A voice is nothing without ears to hear it

AS the great Sam Clemons (better known as Shania Twain) once said, stories of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.

So here we go again, dear readers, on a rollercoaster ride of plain speaking and contentious chatter.

It’s been a quiet seven weeks or so since my last column. Boris became PM and remainer MPs, most notably the ever more treacherous three C’s, Clarke, Cooper and Corbyn, are openly planning insurrection in one more last gasp bid to prevent Brexit and thus thwart democracy, but apart from that…

Well, the situation with Iran has become more worrying with tit for tat oil tanker confiscations, but apart from that…

Well, a young newly-wed police officer was killed as violence continues to overrun our society, but like I said, apart from that, not.. much.. going.. on.

Unless you count a crowd of rednecks chanting “send her back” at a Donald Trump rally as the US President stood smirking, surveying his racist hoard like a cross between Hitler at a nazi gathering and the wicked witch of the west with her flying chimps.

At least there’s the new football season to look forward to.

That’s if you like your footy with frequent delays while off-field officials decide if that finely choreographed goal celebration was actually worth it.

But there’s something far more pressing going on than VAR.

On Monday, my team, the magnificent Wolverhampton Wanderers, grabbed a point against a resurgent Manchester United at Molyneux.

That in itself is not news. We’re at the stage where since last season for the first time in my lifetime, we are capable of giving anyone a game, including the almost invincible City.

However, things would have been a little different on Monday if United’s Paul Pogba hadn’t missed a penalty.

That triggered some dreadful racist insults on social media which Twitter, in a disgraceful but hardly surprising abrogation of responsibility, blamed on society and insisted it was nothing to do with them, even though they had provided the platform for these vile attacks.

This prompted former United legend and England Ladies boss Phil Neville to call for a boycott of social media and I must admit, I can see his point.

As a journalist I have always been an advocate of free speech, but that doesn’t mean we have to listen, does it?

And it certainly doesn’t follow that social media should provide the megaphone for their soapbox.

If clubs are taking measures to issue lifetime bans to fans hollering racist abuse at players, why can’t the likes of Twitter and Facebook do the same?

It doesn’t stop them from spouting their hatred, ,but once you rob these people of an audience they are just shouting into the wind.

Edward Case

Columnist