I’ll sing my way to court in high heels and a frock
Give the press a winning smile from inside the dock…
Alison Chabloz song, Find me guilty
Mr Gideon Falter, 34, who runs the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAAS) was the chief witness for the Crown Prosecution service’s (CPS) against the British minstrel Alison Chabloz. On January 10th at Marylebone Magistrate’s Court we heard him swear the oath, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He then proceeded to give the court various hearsay conjectures, about what effect Ms Chabloz’ songs might be exerting, upon unspecified persons.
He averred for example that they were ‘spreading anti-semitic hatred’ and were ‘inciting to racial hatred.’ The Court was not given evidence for this, nor advised where or in whom these emotions were being generated. Should he not have called witnesses to testify in support of these conjectures, or better still a psychologist to affirm that they were or had been generated?
The Court was advised of one offensive performance by Ms Chabloz, where she sang her songs ‘(((Survivors))) and ‘Nemo’s anti-Semitic Universe’ namely the London Forum in 2016 (September 24th). A problem here could be the signs of mirth and riotous applause in response to the songs: did this really show what Mr Falter had been alleging, or if not, what did?
She was recently introduced as ‘The brilliant comedienne and singer/songwriter Alison Chabloz,’ by Richie Allen, on his popular radio show (18 January).
The point of satire, is that it makes people laugh. Britain has a long tradition of satire from William Hogarth in the 18th century to Private Eye in the present time. Its future is surely at stake in this trial.
In October of 2017 she was arrested and jailed (or, ‘held in custody’) for 48 hours, for posting a video of herself singing a song. This had allegedly broken her ‘bail conditions’. As Ms Chabloz observed, “As far as I am aware, I am the only artist in modern British history to have been jailed for the heinous crime of composing and singing satirical songs which I uploaded to the Internet.”
We live in a society where just about any sacred belief is liable to be satirised for entertainment value, and those being satirised have not generally sought recourse to legal action. When punk-rock bands savagely mocked the Royal family for example, no-one prosecuted them. Read more