What a Shocking Week It’s Been for Free Speech

Padraig Reidy, Telegraph (London), October 12, 2012

This has been a miserable week for free speech in the UK. Two people have been jailed for things they wrote, with a third fined and ordered to carry out community service.

In March of this year, Azhar Ahmed of Yorkshire wrote on his Facebook page that he hoped soldiers would burn in hell. A sentiment offensive in its context perhaps, with several soldiers from a local regiment having been killed in Afghanistan that week. On Tuesday he was sentenced to 240 hours community service and fined £300.

Ahmed got off lightly in comparison to Matthew Woods, who made distasteful jokes about missing April Jones and Madeleine McCann.Woods will serve 12 weeks in jail.

Barry Thew, meanwhile, faces a total of eight months in prisonafter he was arrested and convicted for wearing T-shirt he had daubed with slogans apparently celebrating the shooting of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes (I say apparently, as Thew’s defence claimed he was coincidentally wearing the shirt at the time of the killing of the officers. He is reported to have had a long-standing grudge against the police, who he blamed for the death of his teenage son).

What links these three stories is not just the element of “speech crime”. There is, within all three, a sense of offence against public opinion, and public morality itself. Woods is condemned for joking crassly at a time when the nation’s eyes were turned to the search for the missing schoolgirl in Machynlleth.

In a similar case earlier this year, Welsh student Liam Stacey was convicted for comments about footballer Fabrice Muamba after he collapsed on the pitch. The judge in Stacey’s case made it clear that Stacey’s crime was, in part, to be out of step with public opinion, stating: “Not just the footballer’s family, not just the footballing world, but the whole world were literally praying for Muamba’s life. Your comments aggravated this situation.

“I have no choice but to impose an immediate custodial sentence to reflect the public outrage at what you have done.”

People such as Stacey, Woods or Thew are not exactly Existentialist anti-heroes, but nonetheless they’re being punished not just for saying, writing, or wearing offensive things, but for not feeling the correct thing. Those who spit in the wave of sentiment must not be excused or ignored.

We seem to have entered an age where deference is demanded of all: deference to those in uniform, and a deference to the idea of national public opinion.

{snip}

Much in the way crime of blasphemy has been reconfigured as “religious offence”, censorship has taken on a new meaning and a new purpose; in the past, it was those who directly challenged the elite who found themselves silenced. Now, it seems, we must keep our mouths shut for fear of offending some nebulous, transient, yet powerful public feeling. And the law observes and enforces this. But strong feelings rarely make for good judgment. It’s time we all took a deep breath and a step back.

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  • MekongDelta69

    Every white Briton should say they’re “offended” at everything they don’t like from the ‘Diversity Crew’. Of course they won’t and even if they did, they’d be ignored because they’re white.

    This, from the same country that once ruled the world. Once WWII ended, they fell into the sewer even faster than we did. The only thing which has made our slide into hell slower is our Constitution and Bill of Rights (which NoBama is doing his best to throw under the bus).

  • anarchyst

    In most European countries, it is illegal to question the “official” version of the so-called “jewish holocaust ™”.  Fines and imprisonment await those who question ANY aspect of this “event”.   Noted World War 2 historian and author David Irving was FORCED to recant his assertations that the “jewish holocaust ™” story was largely based on fabrication.  The TRUTH was (and is) NO DEFENSE against these charges.   This cancer has spread to Canada, where “Human Rights Commissions” have fined and imprisoned people for merely speaking their minds.  Not only “jewish holocaust ™”, but ministers speaking out against homosexuality have ben brought before the “tribunals”.    Thankfully, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled against these tribunals, stripping them of much of their power.
    Those of the $PLC, ADL, CAIR and others would LOVE to see this type of legislation here in the USA.
    Of course, there’s that pesky “Constitution” and First Amendment that would have to be dealt with first. . .

    • anonymous_amren

      People like you SHOULD be punished for your stupidity. I would ordinarily agree wholeheartedly with forcing idiots like Irving (and presumably you) to get an education in basic history.

      The problem is, because it’s usually the other way around (punishing the smart people for their knowledge, and rewarding stupidity with high-paying jobs doing nothing), it means we can’t punish stupid people anymore, or force education onto them, without making them look like they’re right.

      So alas, we do have to get rid of bans on holocaust denial. Which is a shame, because I liked those bans.

      • anarchyst

        Your name-calling is PROOF that “there is something rotten about the “official jewish “holocaust ™” story.
        The TRUTH will come out, despite the jewish “holocaust ™” survivors’ eventual passing on.
        Stupidity is putting one’s “head in the sand” and inquiring as to real TRUTH, not propaganda.
        Best regards,

        • anarchyst

          IF a country were bent on exterminating an entire culture, WHY would they keep good records?  It would seem that “making people “disappear” without a trace would be preferable. 
          It turns out that most jewish “holocaust ™” deaths in the camps were due to poor sanitation (typhus) because of allied bombings.  Cremation is the only satisfactory method of disposing of typhus ridden bodies.
          The actual International Red Cross figures for civilian deaths in WW2 Europe is around 731,000. . .

      • anarchyst

        It’s not jewish “holocaust ™” denial but merely a quest for TRUTH.  The “history” that you claim to be “educated” (indoctrinated) in is full of holes.   Man up and seek truth, no matter how uncomfortable it is…challenge your assumptions…
        I am the first one to state that if anything I have posted is incorrect, I welcome input from other gentle posters to set the record straight.
        By putting certain subjects and events “off limits” to critical examination, you are guilty of subverting and hiding the TRUTH.
        As always, best regards,

    • guest

      I have read a lot of David Irvings work as well as following his legal battles that resulted from  the stating of his views on holocaust history and I think he would disagree with your summarizing his opinion of the holocaust as “largely based on fabrication.”, if I understand his work correctly at this date.  Instead I would submit he simply disagrees with some of the views most historians have such as to how predominant gas chambers were and what was the total numbers and ethnic make up of the victims and exactly how did they perish.  The primary issue  that appears to enrage other historians is his opinion that Hitler himself did not order the mass murder of jews and others but that his underlings did so on their own initiative.  I disagree,  but he does give a reasoned basis for his opinion and should not be prosecuted or persecuted for it.  The Austrians have in some cases actually burned his books, which is ironic since that was actually a Nazi technique to suppress diverse opinion.   Anyway we agree stifling any opinion is a grave threat to freedom in the end.

    •  TRUTH does not fear investigation.

      • anarchyst

        I could not have said it better myself!

        Thank you,

    • gngl

      “The TRUTH was (and is) NO DEFENSE against these charges.”

      That’s perfectly logical, because the truth contradicts their claims.

  • It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

    • NM156

      Alice?

  • anarchyst

    The jewish “holocaust ™” is no different than any other event in world history and deserves to be examined critically without bias or deception.
    One would think that critical analysis would be welcome in order to reinforce the depravity and barbarism of this event. 
    There are those (of the “tribe”) who wish to hide their own complicity in generating, supporting and seeing this event to its conclusion.
    There are many skeletons in the “jewish holocaust ™” story that deserve the light of day.

    • Jed Sant Devi

      The “special” White people will never allow their narrative to be questioned freely.

    •  + 1

    • anonymous_amren

      It’s different because it was carried out in front of the entire world, by modern Germans who loved documenting everything, and with TV and movies having suddenly become the big thing. So we know what happened in great detail.
      People like David Irving (and presumably you) can’t be critical without bias or deception, because you are part of that barbarism and depravity.

      • curri

        Wow, you mean the Holocaust was televised?  🙂 

        Seriously , there was some documentation of mass shooting in the Soviet Union, but nothing documenting gassings-just testimony by eyewitnesses and confessions. 

      • anarchyst

        I can see I “touched a nerve”…GOOD!
        The jewish “holocaust ™” DESERVES to be critiqued, criticized and dissected for the TRUTH.
        It turns out that many influential members of the “tribe” actively “assisted” in the jewish “holocaust” because in “tribal culture”, the END (establishment of a jewish state, Israel) justified the MEANS.  The means to establish a “jewish state” has been bandied about since the mid 1800s and yes, that sacrosanct figure of “six million” has been around for about as long.
        Jewish Germans had it good in pre-war Germany, being of the upper stratum of German society while their ethnic German neighbors were struggling with “war reparations”.  Jewish Germans had no intention of leaving their “adopted” country, having control of most major institutions, banking, media and the like.  A way had to be devised to make it uncomfortable for jewish Germans . . . hence zionist collaboration with the Nazis.
        It turns out that the average jewish German just wanted to live his life . . . zionists had other plans.  Marginalization of jews in German society had the effect of encouraging emigration to what was then known as Palestine.
        This TRUTH is not pleasant because it shows the depravity that humans are capable of . . .

      • You are wrong about the Holocaust being carried out in front of the world. All these camps tended to be located in remote, rural areas. Further, the full horrors of the Holocaust weren’t really detailed until the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, after World War II.

        That being said, as much some Jews like to think World War II centered around the Holocaust, I have news for them. It was horrible, true; but it was only one part of the whole sordid mess. Some seven million Chinese were killed by the Japanese. Twenty million Russians perished, as did six million Poles.

  • Net_Drifter

    … “it was those who directly challenged the elite who found themselves silenced.”
    It still is by proxy.

  • Jed Sant Devi

    This is our future, and worse.

    As White privilege is criminalized into oblivion, just speaking while White will have severe consequences when we are minoritized under the coming BRA Diversity Majority.

    White children born today will reach our age and say, “We can finally celebrate the wonderful and historic transformation that corrected the abuses of the hateful First Amendment by our White ancestors.”  They will quickly learn that they MUST say that or be thrown into an awaiting Obama Auschwitz for Whites Only.Just like today you must say you support gay marriage, or the Agenda will force your boss to fire you.

    Segregation will return when we are a minority, with a vengeance… you know it’s true.

  • The UK decided NOT to extradite Gary Mckinnon!  Wow, I’m shocked and elated right now.

    http://rt.com/news/mckinnon-extradition-gary-us-450/

  • bluffcreek1967

    Sadly, I see this as our future here in America in the not-too-distant coming years (months?). “Hate speech” or anything else that’s deemed “offensive” will more than likely be outlawed. Whites will find themselves in court having to answer to liberal-activist judges for everything they say! Like the old Soviet Union, people will say all the right things publically and then completely mock it when in private. People will only speak freely among friends they trust. We will all carefully guard our words, fearful to speak the truth. The good news is that many Americans, at this point in our history, are not used to having their opinions curtailed or stifled so it may provoke a national backlash or even a revolution against the powers that be. We shall see.   

    • FourFooted_Messiah

       But it’s already that way, at least outside of the US.

  • Bad_Mr_Frosty

    BNP has been passing out pamphlets to young girls and their parents, warning them of muslim grooming gangs. Common sense tells us it’s only a matter of time, Britain is about to blow. It will be ugly and since they don’t have guns, its going to look like Braveheart or 300.

  • Coming to America, just ask holder and obama.

  • KenelmDigby

    As a matter of fact the ‘right to free speech’ has never existed in Britain.
    Apparently, the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy is supposed to guarantee basic rights for Britons, the idea being Britons are free unless something is specifically banned, and that MPs being ‘jolly good chaps’ would never allow outrages to occur.
      A further complication is that Britain was a founder member and signatory to the European Court of Human Rights, (an institution NOT to be confused with the EU). The European Charter of Human Rights – written into British law under the Human Rights Act, strangely enough, – guarntees the ‘Right to ‘Free Expression’.
     A brave and determined victim of this judicial bullying is desperately needed to mount a legal challenge under the Human Rights Act and to take the case all the way to Strasbourg, if necessary. Hopefullly, the UK government will be publicly humiliated and forced to pay substantial damages.

  • 5n4k33y35

    David Cameron is a Communist. Can there be any other explanation?

    • anmpr1

      Well he may be a Communist, or maybe it is something else.  There are certain groups that “can’t handle the truth.”  According to the WP:

      Cameron’s paternal forebears also have a long history in finance. His father Ian was senior partner of the stockbrokers Panmure Gordon, in which firm partnerships had long been held by Cameron’s ancestors…

      David Cameron’s great-great grandfather Emile Levita, a German-Jewish financier … who obtained British citizenship in 1871, was the director of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China which became Standard Chartered Bank in 1969.  His wife,
      Cameron’s great-great grandmother, was a descendant of the wealthy Danish Jewish Rée family….

      One of Emile’s sons, Arthur Francis Levita , of Panmure Gordon stockbrokers, together with
      great-great-grandfather Sir Ewen Cameron, London head of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, played key roles in arranging loans supplied by the Rothschilds …for the financing of the Japanese Government in the Russo-Japanese war.

  • rightrightright

    http://www.thisiscroydontoday.co.uk/Emma-West-trial-adjourned-time/story-16820636-detail/story.html
    Emma West, who went into a public rant about too many foreigners in her country, is still waiting to be tried.   The authorities are playing cat and mouse with her, with her trial now postponed at the prosecution’s request for the third time.  Emma wasn’t specific about which brand of “foreigners”, which might be the problem for those out to make an example of her.  Perhaps for this reason they can’t get her for “racism” and “xenophobia” is not yet, I think, an actual crime.

    She is pleading not guilty and has a large support base.  Maybe she will be the one who stands up to our twisted bullying powers that be.

    •  re Emma West – hit back at the evil people in this case- all their contacts are on the web – get photos of them and put on web. This would deter others from engaging in political motivated cases.

  • John Bonham

    They call this progress, I think …  Sounds more like they’re going back to the  middle ages ..The only thing is, I didn’t realize the Brits had any sort of free speech to begin with ..

  • FourFooted_Messiah

    Community service as opposed to jail time.  I would have done the reverse. 

  • A good retort to the professionally offended is — “Well, I’m offended that you’re offended!”.