As I said, people who say, well, we have a “strong justice system” so let’s let the process play out are either innocents who’ve never been tied up in court or cold cynics. The German Chancellor can hardly be an innocent in these matters. Like the Canadian Islamic Congress, she has a “strategic objective” and regardless of the verdict this trial will help her achieve it: There will be fewer poems, fewer satirical sketches, fewer jokes – not just about Erdogan, but about Islam in general. To reprise my old line: The process is the punishment…

So Jan Boehmermann will be put on trial pour encourager les autres. As Barbara Amiel well understood, for every protracted expensive court battle that ends in a free-speech victory there are thousands and thousands of other publishers, editors, writers, comedians, film-makers, playwrights, directors, producers, cartoonists, artists who get the message that discretion is the better part of valour.