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Freedom Of Speech.


bobby47
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Together with the United States of America, Britain was once the land of hope and dreams and a place where you could excercise your right of freedom of speech and say exactly what was on your mind without fear of prosecution. Indeed, whatever it once was that you wanted to say, no matter how tasteless or insensitive it was, as a British citizen you were allowed to say it and the State and its citizens would defend your right to say it because we were free.

Now it's gone. The United States stands alone as the only place on Earth where there is true Freedom of Speech and Britain has now joined the ranks of all the other countries who want to control the thinking of their citizens and stop everyone from saying something that could offend another.

Today in the Hereford Times it reports the conviction of a young lady who posted something on Facebook which was mocking and offensive toward some minority groups. Despite the young woman deleting it quickly from her FB page it was brought to the attention of the West Mercia Police and in partnership with the Crown Prosecution Service the young lady was prosecuted resulting in a 'guilty' plea and a criminal conviction that'll impact upon her for the rest of her life.

I couldn't care less about the content of her now notorious FB post. Chances are I wouldn't have liked or agreed with it but that really isn't the point. The point is the State have intervened, they've clearly used this young lady as a vehicle to promote their agenda and their interpretation of multicultural Britsh ideology and they've used their power and their privileged position to smash her into tiny pieces so as to send a message to all Hereford social media users that you shouldn't say, think or transmit anything that goes against the so called shared values of our so called modern Britain.

In this place, Hereford Voice, many things have been written that I completely disagree with but just because I personally consider those views as abhorrent to my way of seeing the outside world it shouldn't be that I, you, or someone else should be prosecuted just because 'someone' took offence to a transmitted opinion or their opinion is very different to yours.

If just one British citizen can be permitted to spout hatred in the name of their chosen religion and their ideology is defended and protected by the State and our Police, then why can't we protect the rights and the freedom of expression of those who take to social media and transmit something that makes some a little or a lot offended?

Quite simply, from an original position of a noble cause where the State wants to create the perfect happy tolerant society that prevents anyone becoming offended by anyone and anything we've managed to haul a silly young woman before a Hereford Court and thus limited her future prospects of ever getting the job she wants. Where's the justice in that?

Why, when someone, perhaps stupidly makes a silly quip about a pork product or something else that could be interpreted in a negative way, should the State and the Police become involved to further dilute one of our freedoms. The freedom to say what you think even if it could cause someone to take offence!

The conviction of this young silly woman who posted a poem that she found online is something that everyone should be alarmed with and sadly, its just the beginning of the State intervention into your daily online chat about this, that and the other.

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Wholeheartedly agree with Bobby's post. We've long passed through PC; now we've become a nanny state. Watch out for the furore that will envelop Eddie Izzard's attempt to get himself elected onto the Labour's National Executive.

 

Most puzzling of all is the fact that this young lady's Facebook indiscretion and court appearance were actually reported in that bastion of Free Speech The Hereford Times! The local newspaper whose website editor felt it inappropriate for the public to be forewarned of the arrival in the city of Prince William.

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I think you'll find there was never any right to free speech enshrined in UK law until, ironically perhaps, the adoption of the European Convention on Human Rights as the Human Rights Act in 1998.   Prior to that you were free to say what you wanted provided you didn't infringe any other law - criminal or civil. We had, and possibly still do, some of the most  punishing libel courts in the land. Why do you think rich  foreigners were so keen to come here and issue a writ every time someone offended them?

 

The situation was something of a mess with the boundaries of free speech being tested in the courts on a fairly frequent basis - remember Mrs Whitehouse and the infamous gay Jesus poem? She won. The gay paper that published it was found guilty of blasphemy.  Since 1998 there is a right to freedom expression subject to numerous caveats and qualifications. A British muddle replaced by a European fudge if you like. Is it worse, better, the same? Who knows - personally I suspect the latter.

 

The prosecution of the young girl reported in the Hereford Times was heavy handed in the extreme. Difficult to believe that police and CPS resources were expended in pursuing this. Further evidence that our national institutions have lost all sense of proportion and common sense. 

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'Charlotte Walker, of Kenwater Close, Leominster, pleaded guilty to one count of racially/religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress in words or writing at Hereford Magistrates Court.' ~ quote from HT.

 

The defendant admitted that she intended to cause intentional harassment/alarm/distress with her FB post. The guilty plea pulls the rug from under the people moaning about free speech. 

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No Colin. I had it in mind when I referred to a pork product. My view was yours was nothing more than a silly comment and one which should not have attracted the attention of the local Constablary. Frankly, your visit and presumably words of advice were driven by an ever increasing ideology that wants to prohibit people from expressing anything that may offend anyone and the Police are the tool the State will use to stifle any expression of objection.

When you can't make the silly comment you made without the attention of the Police then it's a sad look out to anyone else who thinks that by mocking killers they'll be able to excercise their so called Freedom Of Speech. I wouldn't have made your comment but I and others should defend your right to say it because if we don't the State will pluck out a silly girl from Leominster, make an example of her and ruin her life as a warning to the rest of us that if you say anything, no matter it's level of so called intolerance, they'll get you and stop you ever saying anything ever again.

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No Colin. I had it in mind when I referred to a pork product. My view was yours was nothing more than a silly comment and one which should not have attracted the attention of the local Constablary. Frankly, your visit and presumably words of advice were driven by an ever increasing ideology that wants to prohibit people from expressing anything that may offend anyone and the Police are the tool the State will use to stifle any expression of objection.

When you can't make the silly comment you made without the attention of the Police then it's a sad look out to anyone else who thinks that by mocking killers they'll be able to excercise their so called Freedom Of Speech. I wouldn't have made your comment but I and others should defend your right to say it because if we don't the State will pluck out a silly girl from Leominster, make an example of her and ruin her life as a warning to the rest of us that if you say anything, no matter it's level of so called intolerance, they'll get you and stop you ever saying anything ever again.

 

I totally agree Bob and it is very frustrating, especially when the people being targeted by the police about their comments or personal views appear to be dealt with a lot more severely by the courts than the regular thieves, burglars, druggies or motorist driving without insurance, clearly an agenda here... 

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Mention the word Racism to Mr PC, and it carries more weight than most petty crimes and will receive a prompt visit and/or conviction. Tell them your cars been nicked and they’ll send someone round at a convenient time a week or so later!

Maybe it’s because im .........!

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  • 2 weeks later...

To those who believe that our freedoms are not being tightened and lost to us, ask yourselves this. Would a film such as The Life Of Brian, that mocked Christianity be made and distributed to the British public today, particularly if it was produced lampooning another religion?

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To those who believe that our freedoms are not being tightened and lost to us, ask yourselves this. Would a film such as The Life Of Brian, that mocked Christianity be made and distributed to the British public today, particularly if it was produced lampooning another religion?

 

Probably not Bob.

 

I see this article on Sky News today and Conor McGregor admits it was wrong to use homophobic slur, Freedom Of Speech is no more! He called someone a faggot, so what! The World has gone mad, people cant say bugger all these days without fear of some repercussion.  

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Last Saturday morning I was listening to the Graham Norton radio show on BBC Radio 2 . He was interviewing a man who's name escapes me . This man was Gay and explaining how he " came out " During his explanation he used the words Faggot and Queer . It did flash through my mind that they were not words I would use in this day and age but I presume that as the person who used the words was Gay it was acceptable - becomes quite confusing for somebody who had attended more courses on PC than you can shake a stick at .

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Last Saturday morning I was listening to the Graham Norton radio show on BBC Radio 2 . He was interviewing a man who's name escapes me . This man was Gay and explaining how he " came out " During his explanation he used the words Faggot and Queer . It did flash through my mind that they were not words I would use in this day and age but I presume that as the person who used the words was Gay it was acceptable - becomes quite confusing for somebody who had attended more courses on PC than you can shake a stick at .

 

 

I fond it all rather strange, nobody likes the N word but black people call other black people the N word all the time, what is that all about?

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