"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Don't Speak, Don't Think, Just Obey


The police are proving to be delicate little flowers lately.  An EDL supporter has been found guilty and fined £200 + £200 costs + £15 'victim' surcharge for chanting "threatening, abusive or insulting" words that were likely to cause "harassment, alarm or distress."

He pleaded not guilty and defended himself, saying that he was in a crowd of like-minded EDL supporters and that no-one likely to be offended was within hearing distance.

"I went to an EDL demo and was in an area which was isolated away from everyone else. The only people that would have heard were the EDL. I was not aiming it at anyone. No-one around would find it offensive. Otherwise, I wouldn't have said it. I was just voicing my opinion at an EDL meeting with just EDL people around."

The magistrate, Rick Moore, said, "It is a fact you were with others chanting and police were within hearing distance but there is no evidence of non-police officers within hearing distance. It is likely that a police officer or officers hearing the words would be likely to be alarmed and for that reason we find you guilty of this offence."

Full article HERE

The police are also seeking powers to close websites (eg FITWatch) on suspicion and without due process. Whatever happened to policing by consent?

UPDATE: I missed this from Big Brother Watch. They have the Nominet story and also reference the Digital Economy Act, Mandelson's pet project.

10 comments:

  1. The article doesn't say what he said, only that it was about Allah. So, who could have been offended? Not that I view the legislative instrument (I refuse to call it a law) to be valid in any case.

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  2. 1984,thats all i have to say.

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  3. Harbinger ended up in a cell for six hours last night and all because he twatted some git, (who attacked him), in self defence and bloodied his nose for him!

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  4. The magistrate's logic sounds crazy to me TT. What would happen at other rallies - anti-EU for example? If a europhile policeman is offended by my anti-EU rhetoric, would I be liable to arrest even though Barroso didn't hear me call him all the names under the sun?

    This govt's concern for civil liberties is as bogus as the last lot, Fraser. Can't trust any of them.

    I popped over and had a look, Spidey. He did well to get out without being fingerprinted. Good for him. Some police forces are too overbearing & thuggish.

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  5. Oh dear. I'll have to be very careful if I'm anywhere at all and the subject of Clegg comes up, or Cameron, or Brown, or the police.

    You guys want to watch with all these magistrates. They are a dangerous lot. Better off having proper lawyers on the bench in my humble opinion.

    I'd be well hacked off if I'd to stand for some craggy faced old Daily Mail reader who was only there because she had a double barrelled name and her husband was some big nob in the area.

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  6. It's amazing that in a country that once allowed free speech, you can now be fined for saying things that might cause "alarm" or "distress".
    And in my opinion, any copper that could be alarmed by the words of others should not be doing the job.

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  7. GV "If a europhile policeman is offended by my anti-EU rhetoric,", the supposed plod in question was not offended, he was 'alarmed'. As you say this Magistrate has taken it upon himself to allow the Police to decide what is or may be 'offensive, alarming or distressing' if it affects them and their politcal/cultural opinions.
    Will I get a tug for shouting "Chelsea for the cup" in the hearing of a Spurs supporting Policeman?
    (Not that I would do such a thing, obviously)

    On the subject of power grabbing, the new Police Act includes giving the biased medical profession a heavy say in deciding on alcohol licences to which they may object if granting it may cause 'community harm'. Alcohol rations coming our way soon methinks.

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  8. You won't be surprised to know that I agree with you all. There's still too much loosely-worded legislation and we're still too much under the thumb of intrusive state mechanisms. I'm sure I can remember a time when the law was the law and not open to such wide interpretation by individual court officials/police. Brits won't question something they see as fair and above-board but if they see the state apparatus manifestly playing the man and not the ball, well, it's just not cricket, is it?

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  9. Our Police are increasingly becoming not fit for purpose. They are members of the public not an arm of the State or of Government. About time they were disbanded and reformed on Peelian lines. Or we could always just form our own - Big Society and all that, eh ?

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  10. Yes, it's a problem, ReefKnot. They've become so politicised and ACPO does nothing to regain trust. The upper ranks only seem interested in smoothing their way into the HoL on retirement. They do need reform but I'd be worried if anyone in govt at the moment said they were going to do it! (a bit like 'reforming' our Bill of Rights).

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