All emotional at being ticketed for parking in a pedestrian crossing, Melbourne lawyer Jeremy Sear seeks revenge
by posting the ticketing officer's name, photo and by calling him a “vindictive twerp”, a “petty tyrant”, a “prick” and an “arsehole”. Unmoved by the law-breaking (he admits the offence) lawyer's obvious distress, right-wingers Tim Blair
and Andrew Bolt
are, well, somewhat critical of Sear's name-and-shame tactic. Having thought about it Sear eventually realizes that his emotional outburst was excessive, so he tidies up his original post, removing the officer's name and photo and deleting all of the name calling except for "petty tyrant". Sear's decision to revise the original post
was possibly influenced by a carrot dangled by Blair:
... delete the name and picture and you'll be granted Lifetime Blair Immunity, under the terms of which you may continue to write whatever you wish about me but I vow never to respond.
Here's Sear explanation
for his change of heart:
Now that the matter has got way out of hand, and been publicised well beyond a mention in some minor blog post, I am no longer comfortable with identifying the official. That detail has now been deleted.
Of course, I'm not particularly keen on acceding to demands made by people like Blair or Bolt. But I also didn't intend that minor reference in the venting post to get as out of hand as it has. The airport officer in question (he wasn't a "parking guy", but anyway) was never supposed to be the recipient of all this attention (although, knowing blogosphere dynamics, I should probably have predicted it), and I'm no longer all that comfortable with his name and photo being bandied about, now that it's become part of a right-left blog war.
So posting the officer's name and photo and calling him names was only a "minor reference" and Sear didn't really want the guy, who was just doing his job, to be the "recipient of all this attention". The post is no big deal anyway because An Onymous Lefty has a small readership, so hardly anyone was going to read it. But just to make sure none of these little errors of judgement come back to haunt the overly emotional lawyer he's arranged that his blog no longer be cached by Google.
Sear is lying when he claims he didn't want his post to be a big deal: he was caught up in a very emotional moment – I think it has something to do with being a cat owner – and was out to get the "offending" officer.
He has no empathy for those who see themselves as suffering from a much more significant miscarriage of justice, however. In a post titled "Courts cannot revive the dead"
Sear rejects the notion, put forth by family of some of the six teenagers killed by Thomas Towle
, that his sentence is not long enough:
I don't know who is advising the families, but I'd suggest there is nothing positive to be gained from their focusing on the Towle trial and appeal as a major part of their grieving process. Human nature notwithstanding. Because no matter what happens to Towle, it will, in truth, little comfort his victims' families.
Of course, I've never lost a family member as a result of such a crime, and if it ever happened I'm sure I'd be outraged and want vengeance against the guilty party too. I would not care about esoteric notions of "legal principle" - I would want the person who had made me suffer to suffer as much as possible in return. In other words - grief would overcome my ability to reason.
Which is why it would be wrong for the media to take advantage of my state of mind by publicising my angry pronouncements, which would all, really, boil down to vengeance over any other principle. I might want it at the time, but a country that was run that way, the criminal justice system of which held vengeance to be a legitimate sentencing principle, would not be a good one in which to live. If I got my way, I'd regret it later. Others might regret it much sooner.
Here's a thought, maybe the grieving families should ask Sear's advice. Seriously, this rubbish is from a lawyer who loses the plot over a parking ticket and wants to punish an officer for enforcing
the law. The hypocrisy is breathtaking and makes the title of Tim Blair's original post on Sear's ticketing – VENGEANCE SHALL BE HIS – all the more fitting.