The government plan is to amend the official secrets act to criminalise any reporter who effectively embarrasses the government. It means that anyone who publishes stuff like Hancock’s extra-marital kiss could face up to 14 years in prison.
“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.”
The reach of the act will cover anyone from journalists to bloggers, to keyboard warriors on Facebook and you don’t even need to have signed the act to be liable. But it gets worse. Click the video link below to watch a 6 minute video explanation of this appalling new proposal…
Many people I know and love seem very happy about the recent deplatforming of the likes of Donald Trump and some others. I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been a Trump fan. But there’s a much wider issue here and it really should concern us all, especially those of us on the left who aren’t supported by the big corporations and billionaires who prop up social media platforms.
This video is quite old. It’s from the Left Eye View channel’s early days but it makes the point, I think. The relevant part begins at about 7:40.
One of the biggest ironies to come out of the modern far right is their claim to support the principles of freedom of speech. Of course, these modern incarnations of Nazi and fascist bully boys have no interest in freedom of speech at all. They only want freedom for their own speech. This is a far cry from the lofty ideal attributed to Voltaire (but never actually written by him)…
“I disagree with what you have to say but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it.”
On the contrary these snowflakes are so frightened of other peoples’ words they’re actually prepared to fight to the death to remove their right to say it. That’s not freedom of speech – that’s the key stepping stone on the way to authoritarianism, totalitarianism and dictatorship.
It’s no coincidence that in George Orwell’s fictional, fascist Britain, ‘1984’ control of the people began with control of the language and with the topics that could be discussed. That’s how fascism progresses.
If you really care about Freedom of speech, stop clamouring for the death penalty for those who disagree with you and who dare to say so out loud. Have a look at the short video linked to this post. Then you might understand why so many of us on the left are so tired of your snowflakery and your constant attempt to turn UK into a giant ‘safe-space’ where nobody disagrees with you.
This one is just priceless, coming as it does from the fash who also claim to be the guardians of freedom of speech!
Of course, we all know that of the two principles, freedom of speech and hanging political opponents it’s the latter that they really mean. But once again, they just haven’t thought it through.
If you believe in freedom of speech then you believe that the state should not intervene to limit or control peoples’ free expression of their beliefs. Since treason is a criminal act (an offence against the state) it would be up to the state to deal with traitors. That means criminalising speech.
Does that mean (of course we know it does) that when they advocate freedom of speech they only really mean freedom of speech for those who agree with them?
Does that mean anyone advocating for a non-fascist political stance is a traitor deserving of death?
Are they so afraid of opposing viewpoints that they want to make the entire country a safe space where they will never be challenged?
Of course this attempt to exterminate all those who disagreed with him is exactly what Hitler did. No, that’s not Godwin’s law – it’s genuinely, factually true. And how did that work out?
The best nuclear physicists went to work for the Americans.
The most efficient organisers, those with experience of running large municipal organisations along equitable lines were sent to concentration camps or murdered.
Many of their soldiers were taken up guarding many of their other potential soldiers (the German army contained many Jews and trade unionist socialists during world war 1).
The policy of excluding all this potential meant that the likes of Goerring ended up running the Luftwaffe leading to the loss of the Battle of Britain and ultimately the war. Had Britain fallen D-Day could never have happened and Europe would not have been liberated. It’s exactly what happened to the French military after the revolution. Military officers were usually aristocrats at that time and so, like all ‘aristos’, they were either executed or demoted leaving thoroughly inexperienced, newly promoted officers in their place. Naval battles like Trafalgar or the Battle of the Nile show just what an experienced officer like Nelson can achieve against such a force. Montgomery wouldn’t have stood a chance against the Desert Fox in North Africa and Normandy almost certainly wouldn’t have fallen to the Allies in 1944 had Rommell had sufficient quality officers supporting him in Libya and in Normandy. And let’s not even begin discussing the Manhattan project’s likely impact had the Allies deemed it necessary to use their new weapon on German cities the way they did in Japan.
When modern British fash advocate the death of all their political opponents they also advocate the removal of a wealth of talented people. In short they’re making the same mistake as Hitler and Robespierre. Were they ever to gain power in this country and carry out their ridiculous threat their own downfall would also be assured. They’re making enemies out of potential friends and all because of a flawed ideology that assumes some people are inherently better than others. It’s ludicrous!
But they don’t understand that either. Why not tell them?
Many people support the proposal to increase sentences for those convicted of defacing war memorials to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. I’m uncomfortable with this but before you jump on me let me explain why. The argument has a few premises and needs to develop. Bear with me.
First, I believe passionately in freedom of speech and freedom of expression so long as people aren’t inciting violence or impacting upon the rights of others. Second, freedom of speech and expression depends absolutely on there being no legal right not to be offended. People desecrating memorials are offending others first and foremost and freedom of expression demands no legal right not to be offended. Offending people is not a crime.
Criminal damage is a criminal offence but why make the penalty for defacing one type of public edifice greater than others if not due to offence? I’m all in favour of criminal damage charges being brought but my support for freedom of expression means I can’t support any extension of criminal penalty because of offence. It’s not like we’re discussing someone urinating on a Chelsea pensioner here, monuments are things, however symbolic and they mean different things to different people. It’s interesting that the further our society goose-steps to the right the more we Revere militaristic symbolism. This is a pattern that the world has seen several times before. Freedom of expression means prosecuting what has actually happened rather than adding stuff on because we disagree with someone’s sentiment. Many BAME citizens can make a really strong argument against glorifying both world wars which really were white, European wars that colonised people’s were forced to die in by their European overlords. Not everyone will agree with that viewpoint but it is sincerely held by many. So prosecute the actual crime – don’t add other penalties just because your perspective differs from theirs. Most UK citizens would disagree with the blasphemy laws some very religious, even theocratic states uphold and the harsh penalties that await those who ‘offend’ the faithful.
How is this any different, except that it’s an offence taken from our perspective rather than from someone else’s?
Thankyou for unblocking me and so allowing me to comment on your FB page. I’d much prefer to engage with my MP than merely criticise from a distance. That’s why I offered you an interview for my channel during the election campaign. That’s also why I have written to your office with questions more than once since you were elected. You see, I believe passionately in freedom of expression and the democratic process and that must include constituents having access to their elected representatives.
So in the spirit of this renewed openness I’d like to make a suggestion…
I recently made a video which to date has had approaching 8,000 views criticising you for denouncing my union, the RCN for ‘politicising’ the current PPE crisis, a crisis which only yesterday Boris Johnson himself acknowledged is something we have to ‘fix’. As ever I’d prefer to give you the chance to put your own case so here’s my suggestion…
We conduct a brief (around 10 minute) skype interview which we both record, me to make a video and you to ensure I don’t misrepresent you in which we discuss your idea that the RCN complaining about the lack of PPE is wrong because they’re ‘politicising’ a crisis. I can be contacted easily enough, your office has my Email address or we can communicate on Facebook.
I look forward to hearing from you and to beginning a more reasonable dialogue moving forward.