Bollocks To Blair

Bollocks is a lovely word, flexible and not offensive at all to the majority of the British public, yet the Norfolk police think it causes "harassment, alarm and distress" if you use it as "Bollocks to Blair". It seems to me that's pretty clear that the Norfolk police don't understand the law, the harassment, alarm and distress law that is punishable by an 80 pound fixed penalty notice, is the Section 5 public order act of 1986. The person is guilty of this offence if:
  • (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,
Now, I suppose that you could at a push say it was insulting, but I think it would be a struggle, it's certainly not threatening or abusive, so I'm not sure it's an offence at all however, if it is htere are two obvious defences applicable to the words "bollocks to blair" on a t-shirt,
  • (a) that he had no reason to believe that there was any person within hearing or sight who was likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, or
  • (c) that his conduct was reasonable.
  • (4) A person is guilty of an offence under section 5 only if he intends his words or behaviour, or the writing, sign or other visible representation, to be threatening, abusive or insulting, or is aware that it may be threatening, abusive or insulting or (as the case may be) he intends his behaviour to be or is aware that it may be disorderly.
Unfortunately this will never make it to court, when Tony Wright requests a court hearing, as is his right under the scheme then "the case will be reviewed by a Crown Prosecutor, applying the evidential and public interest test under the Code for Crown Prosecutors." [PND Op guidence], and unfortunately I'm sure they'll decide it's not in the public interest. We need a court case, the police are wasting too much time on ludicrous things, making simple mistakes, it's possible to understand if not quite excuse the police making mistake when under real pressure and shooting innocent men, at least there was pressure, but what pressure is there on a policeman sitting in a Norfolk field faced with t-shirts saying "Bollocks to Blair"? Bollocks has an interesting history in UK courts, in 1977 there was a case against against a record store and Richard Branson the Sex Pistols album's_The_Sex_Pistols, that case failed, probably thanks to the defence having a famous QC and Rumpole creator John Mortimer QC to help in the defence of a minor crime at a magistrates court. Mr. Mortimer managed to sum up in that case saying the excellent
"What sort of country are we living in if a politician comes to Nottingham and speaks here to a group of people in the city centre and during his speech a heckler replies 'bollocks'. Are we to expect this person to be incarcerated, or do we live in a country where we are proud of our Anglo Saxon language?"
[ref]. Unfortunately it's looking increasingly like the Police do what such people to be incarcerated, and this time what famous QC's are there that Mr Wright could call on, unfortunately I could only think of one, Cherie Booth QC, and I'm not sure she'd be up for it.


  1. Ollie Deakin Says:
    Hello Old Timer, Couldnt agree more- too much Politics and too many politics involved. And I can say that now. Hows things anyway?
  2. Ian Summerell Says:
    The police started by changing one girl waring a Bollocks to Blair T'shirt and another with a car sticker, changing them under the Public Order Act but they did not get anywhere. The Crown Prosecutors did not take any of the cases to court. The police are now using the £80 fixed penalty notice. I can only think that the powers above [No.10] are trying to stop us waring "Bollocks to Blair". I understand Mr Wright paid his fixed penalty fine.
  3. Says:
    you are rite the word billocks is now so ubitiquos in every day usage that it is meaningless and this being the case how can the police attach a meaning to it