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Top criminal law professor’s tweet calling out Daily Mail Jo Cox headline goes viral

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Tabloid reporting branded ‘disgusting’ by Twitterati

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A leading University of Glasgow law professor has gone viral for calling out the Daily Mail for its coverage of the Jo Cox murder story.

This week, neo-Nazi Thomas Mair was convicted of and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of former Batley and Spen MP and mother of two Cox. The vocal Remainer was shot and stabbed multiple times by Mair just days before the EU referendum. While the 52-year-old murderer did not give evidence at trial, it’s been widely reported his actions were politically motivated and were described as an act of terrorism by trial judge Alan Wilkie.

In its coverage of the trial and sentencing, the Mail Online — a pro-Brexit, right-wing media outlet — ran an article yesterday with the headline: ‘Did Neo-Nazi murder Jo over fear he’d lose council house he grew up in? Terrorist thought property could end up being occupied by an immigrant family — and the MP wouldn’t help him’.

It didn’t take long for lawyers, typically a left-wing bunch, to express their dismay.

This was led by Professor James Chalmers, who tweeted a screenshot of the offending headline with the caption “Turns out there really is nothing the Daily Mail can’t blame on immigrants”.

Chalmers — who specialises in criminal law and the law of evidence at the Russell Group university — went viral, his tweet racking up over 2,000 retweets in a matter of hours, rising to almost 5,000 overnight. It also prompted a number of like-minded comments from equally outraged tweeters.

One such comment came from Devereux Chambers tax specialist Jolyon Maugham QC, who used his popular social media account to denounce the controversial headline.

This certainly isn’t the first time the Mail Online has got under the skin of solicitors and barristers alike.

Just this month, lawyers had their heads in their hands once again when the newspaper launched a personal attack on the three judges involved in the Brexit High Court challenge, including one story which referred to Sir Terence Etherton’s sexuality in its headline. Legal commentators described the reporting as “disgraceful” and “low”.

46 Comments

Not Amused

Lawyers are in no way “traditionally left wing”. What you mean is that the lawyers you follow on Twitter are generally left wing. The two are not the same.

(58)(5)

Interloper

You are the very embodiment of living proof on that front

😀

(5)(20)

Not Amused

“You are the very embodiment of living proof on that front”

And I consider it important for the young people who read this publication to know this. I have always encouraged, with every mentee, people to think for themselves. My main objection to identity politics is that it shuts down freedom of thought. Any form of ‘club’ mentality or ‘saying what you think people want to hear’ harms freedom of thought.

Lawyers are at our very best when we disagree with everyone – including ourselves. It is our job to question everything. Why is it our job? Because you will find in our society that no one else has the courage to do it – so if we don’t then no one will.

People are entitled to, and should, set out arguments. Arguments should be detailed and inherently consistent. They may then be assessed, individually, on their merits. There must be no element of “oh I like the person making the argument therefore it is a good argument” or indeed of “the person making the argument comes from group X and I feel sympathy for group X so the argument is good”. There has been far too much of that lately.

The only point to my putting thoughts down here is to promote that freedom of thought. I hope and expect to be disagreed with. Indeed I fully expect to be wrong every now and then.

(38)(5)

Interloper

Well argued. There are times when you can be impressive. Thanks.

(3)(4)

Anonymous

‘Interloper’

You mean he can string a few words together to make a coherent argument!

Unlike you.

Interloper

Thanks for that astounding contribution but no, I don’t mean quite that as, for a start, “he” happens to be a she.

SingaporeSwing

I think Not Amused is a she

Pantman

Eh? You’re the one always telling everyone to “suck it up” over Brexit aren’t you? How is that promoting free thinking?

(8)(1)

Anonymous

Let’s see a bit of ‘practise what you preach’ then.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

No one element in society has the ability to question except lawyers. Really?
Mate, I’m a scientist, that’s my job.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

I honestly get the feeling that most lawyers are on the liberal end of the spectrum, at least with regard to social issues.

(13)(0)

Not Amused

Ah but there you have a problem.

Social Liberalism is not a traditional value of *either* political party. Both have, to an extent, adopted social liberalism recently – but it has and does continue to cause problems for both of them.

I am socially liberal, but I accept that you can’t pick your party on that basis. If you want to be consistently socially liberal then you have to sometimes switch parties and pay constant attention to individual policies – which is itself a good thing.

There are lawyers who are not socially liberal. Which is in turn their right.

(13)(5)

Anonymous

@Not amused. I think you may have missed the point. I think the “typically a left-wing bunch” comment was meant ironically.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Freedom of press is a vital part of England, plus it is true what the Daily Mail said.

(17)(16)

Anonymous

That Mair killed Jo Cox because he feared being turfed out of his council house? Mair has chosen to remain silent throughout the judicial process, so how does the DM come to this conclusion?

(6)(3)

Anonymous

So what?

If there is any substance whatsoever in the Mail article, then it should be published however much it upsets the PC crowd.

It is only one of many articles on this heinous crime.

Get a grip professor and understand that your left wing head in the sand condescending rants are as irrelevant as any other persons rant, that try to shut down the free press or alternative views to your elite narrative.

(29)(19)

Anonymous

Jolyon Maugham QCs twitter account is a parody of the archetypal liberal elite head in the sand toff.

(27)(11)

Jolyon Maugham QC

Not a parody – am deadly serious about my views. Not an archetype – as the Newcastle fans used to sing “There’s only one Titus Bramble”. Not head in the sand – was out on the doorsteps in housing estates campaigning for the Remain vote. Not a toff – supported myself working as a cleaner whilst at secondary school. But I am undoubtedly liberal – and proud of it. And, via the strength of my own right arm and with little help from anyone, I’ve become elite – and I’m proud of that too.

(17)(21)

Anonymous

Pocketing mass monies from clients who use Tax Avoidance schemes fits the Liberal Elite tag quite nicely.

(14)(6)

Anonymous

An extremely rich Tax lawyer lecturing those in financial desperation who are living in housing estates about the benefits of the EU and mass migration.

Worked a treat, not.

(16)(10)

Anonymous

Hypocrisy?

Slating retail firms who advertise in the Mail.

Being paid large sums by tax avoidance clients.

Hhhhhmmmmm

(8)(4)

Interloper

Hah, look at this. Someone’s frantically googling…

And then going to his mate’s machines, opening their browsers and downticking all the points he doesn’t agree with.. Then his personal iPhone and the company blackberry he’s got…

You are one sad fk Trumpenkrieg. 😐

(4)(8)

Anonymous

So that is how you do it Interloper.

You have been hoisted on your own petard.

Interloper

Ha, nice try but that is certainly not what I’ve been doing. One machine one browser, no phone signal. The down-tick differential on this page would seem to confirm this fact.

But you crack on if it makes you firm.

Interloper

You’ve been exposed for a fraud and a sad individual.

No-one’s going to take you seriously anymore. What’s more your style is so transparently obvious to anyone with half a brain, there’ll be no more hiding behind pseudonyms.

How’s it feel, you massive quilt ? 😀

Trumpenkrieg

It seems I dominate your thoughts even when I am nowhere near a thread.

Interloper

Isn’t the point here – as James O’Brien eloquently put it on LBC – that, had this been a murder in the name of Islamic fundamentalism, the Daily Heil would have been screaming it all over the front page with eye-bulging hysteria and a special pull-out session ?

And yet because it’s a white guy with established Nazi sympathies (which they seem to *cough* share) – buried towards the end of the paper – barely a mumble. This isn’t a left-wing/right-wing issue – this is about balance and decency.

You think they shouldn’t get called out on that ? Then you need your head checked.. Simple as.

(22)(24)

Interloper

*pull-out section (not session)

(0)(0)

Anonymous

If you quote James O’Brien then you really are a gullible Hard Left fool.

(16)(18)

Interloper

Yes, I forget that what was liberal about 20 years ago is now regarded as hard left.

If I’m a fool by your standards, then great. Win for me.

(12)(15)

Anonymous

If you read the whole article it’s actually quite a thorough and careful piece of journalism. Sure it’s in a tabloid, and the headline and bullets stress particular aspects of the story. But that’s how all newspapers work, even the Guardian.

The account given is NOT about immigrants being responsible for Mair’s actions. He is presented as wholly and exclusively culpable.

I suspect the professor simply read the headline and applied some pre-conception to what he expected the article to say.

(6)(1)

Jones Day Partner

We had our annual pull-out session in September, to tie in with the new trainee joiners. It gets them familiar with what’s expected of them.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

I don’t like the term ‘calling out’. It’s cheap

(6)(2)

Trumpenkrieg

Someone has been reading too much Slate/Salon

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Calling out! Calling out! Calling out!

I love calling things out!

(1)(0)

Gladiatrix

Oh for God’s sake, the Daily Mail reported what Mair thought – it didn’t accuse Jo Cox of anything. Mair was and is seriously mentally ill and the trigger was the closure of a local mental health service on which he had relied. He wrongly blamed Jo Cox for that because she was the local MP and became fixated on her. This was all made clear at the time by a local resident who knew Mair. The judge’s use of the word terrorism was entirely misplaced and people like Jolyon Maugham ought to be able to parse language properly, and discern what is actually being said rather than indulging in their own ill-informed prejudice.

(19)(6)

Anonymous

Careful you are ‘not’ allowed to deviate from the Jolyon Maugham QC tale.

(14)(3)

Anonymous

The Daily Mail did not report what Mair “thought”. He refused to reveal what he thought, hence their article has to concede:

“his true motive will never be known as the 53-year-old, who could not stand the sight of blood, refused to speak to police, remained silent in the dock – even refusing to enter a plea – and offered no defence.”

The article is speculation based on some comments made by his “step-father’s half-sister” which may or may not have any basis in fact.

(4)(4)

Anonymous

Top law professor?! Ha ha. Top gay boy anyway

(2)(10)

Anonymous

WTF? Have I suddenly been transported back to a 1990s school-yard?

(4)(0)

Ciaran Goggins

Twitter? Everyone is on Gab.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

I’m a big right wing poo head and I spend far too much of time with one hand on the keyboard typing utter b******s and the other fondling my actual b*******s. Please delete any comments that I make from now on but (because I’d like to apologise not only for the things that I write in comments, but also for my existence on this goodly earth) please do not delete this one. I will then force my face and head into an industrial food blender going on full tilt in order to end my life and not bother anyone any more. Now for that apology.

I apologise for things that I write and have ever written by way of comments on this website and also for my existence. Thank you.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Pre-teen alert!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I’m not really a big right wing poo head. I’m not really the other Not Amused who left comments after this article earlier in fact. I’m actually the Not Amused who likes animals and old people, and the healing power of laughter and Alpine shepherd songs. There are many Not Amuseds lurking in the comments section. I am but one. I’d like to think I’m the nice one. The one who’ll go and buy you your first pack of cigarettes and can of Special Brew when you’re 12. The one who’ll sit in the passenger seat and keep daring you to go 80 in a 30 after you’ve just passed your driving test. Ah, good times had by all when THIS Not Amused is hanging out!

(1)(1)

Anonymous

I’m sorry, but as a rather serious Not Amused who hasn’t said anything yet but who likes Radio 3, making sauerkraut and having sex with 18th century portraits, I’m definitely not amused by all the other Not Amuseds. I certainly neither condone giving cigarettes and alcohol to children, nor do I agree with any sort of right wing poo head namecalling. The whole bally lot of you are giving us Not Amuseds a bad name!

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Looks like the Legal Cheek people realised the massive bug in its comments section of being able to leave comments in other people’s names, hehe. Only one Not Amused then: the original boring and disagreeable one.

(1)(0)

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