WOW. How quickly was that Leeds United moron banged up?.
On Friday evening, 21-year-old numb skull Aaron Cawley invaded the pitch and slapped goalkeeper Chris Kirkland to the ground.
By Monday lunchtime it was Mr Cawley who was being slapped – with a four-month stretch in chokey.
Three days! That must be some sort of record for the British justice system, which normally moves about as quickly as, well, Chris Kirkland.
But that was still a snail’s pace compared to the speed of the class-based carping which followed.
From the moment the judge’s gavel hit his, erm, gavel hitting thing, it took around three seconds for the first chippy comparison between Cawley’s four-month sentence and the six-month stretch imposed upon Trenton Oldfield, the pillock who disrupted the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race, three days earlier.
On my Twitter feed alone, a footballer, a comedian, a journalist and even some people with real jobs all (independently) reached the same conclusion within minutes of sentencing: namely, that the establishment deals more harshly with those who disrupt “their” sports (boats n’ blazers) than those who disrupt “our” sports (flat caps n’ phlegm).
I am fairly certain the same people would have complained equally vociferously if Cawley had received a longer sentence than Oldfield.
But this time their complaint would be that the Establishment treats its own miscreants (Oldfield was privately educated, albeit in Australia) more leniently than a bog-standard proletarian thug.
Both views are utter nonsense, of course. I did not attend either court hearing but I would hazard a guess that Oldfield received a slightly longer sentence than Cawley because he pleaded not guilty and his crime appeared to be both premeditated and committed while sober.
But, hey, where is the fun in that?
This country has always been class obsessed, but it did seem to be ebbing away during the New Labour years, when Tony Blair deliberately lowered the bar to middle-class membership (“Shop at Tesco? Ever eaten rocket? You’re in!”).
In recent years, however, the combination of a savage recess- ion, a few Etonians in Downing Street and the irresistible urge to play for Retweets has awoken the beast once more.
Class war did for Andrew Mitchell via Plebgate, as Britain refused to accept a privately-educated Tory’s word over that of an un-named police officer who never broke cover in the media. We did not need to hear his version of events, you see. It was enough that he was one of us.
Class war also caused a headache for George Osborne, who –gasp! – tried to blag a seat in First Class with merely a standard class ticket. And yet if “one of us” was to try the same thing, we would be congratulated for our chutzpah.
Whilst toff-bashing is fun – I enjoyed Plebgate and Traingate hugely – it goes too far when jobs are lost.
Like the delightful Mr Cawley, Britain’s class warriors need to learn the difference between tribal banter and “crossing the line”.