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Is It Now A Crime To Be A Twat?

Brendan O'Neill with a piece in Spiked Online about the thought police. 

The police investigation of the Grenfell Tower bonfire video is deeply disturbing.

I cannot be the only person who finds the Metropolitan Police’s promise to investigate the Grenfell Tower bonfire video more chilling than the video itself. Yes, the video is repulsive. But what crime has been committed here? Being a wanker? Being a scumbag? Saying disgusting things in your own back garden? Those are criminal offences now? If they are, then Britain has far greater things to worry about than the fact that a handful of dreadful people decided to burn an effigy of Grenfell Tower for Bonfire Night.

First things first: the video is horrible. I am going to make a wild guess that the people featured in it, laughing and cheering as their cardboard Grenfell Tower goes up in flames, are not very nice. Some of them are probably racist. In the windows of their Grenfell effigy, there are notably non-white paper figures, waving for help. The effigy-burners say ‘This is what you get for not paying your rent!’ as the paper figures are consumed by the bonfire flames. Gross.

But criminal? That would be even more gross.

Continue Reading @ Spiked Online.


Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show
 
Brendan O'Neill is on Instagram: @burntoakboy


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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

7 comments to ''Is It Now A Crime To Be A Twat? "

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  1. Under Public Order legislation it is illegal to , through speech and/or action, to cause harm and distress to people directly affected by such speech or actions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Barry - the British under Blair were also considering Blasphemy legislation. I think this is the point being made in the piece: such things should not be a crime, a police matter. People are offended by simply not being agreed with/deferred to - our being offended should not mean we are victims of crime. The act of causing this type of offence says more about those offending than those being offended. It takes a particular type of moron to do this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. AM

    Anthony, I agree that there should be no criminal or civic offence of causing offence to religions, political philosophies, lifestyles, institutions etc but surely mocking the dead particularly using racist invective as in the Grenfell Tower case is in a different category.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Barry - in their own back garden?

    The author's point is summed up in his comment:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t want the police investigating videos in which no crime has been committed. In which no one’s property has been damaged or stolen and no person has been harmed. In which there is merely an act of expression. That way the police state lies. If we allow speech in one’s own home to become a police matter, we will regret it. Profoundly. What next: telescreens?

    There is no defence of the comments by the author, the opposite in fact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AM

      Anthony

      The scene of crime ceases to be their back garden once they decide to broadcast their obscenity on social media IMHO. There needs to be legal clarification to determine if crimes have been committed in such instances.

      Delete
  5. Barry - the problem there is if I am not mistaken is that someone else broadcast it. Are those in the garden culpable if they spoke but did not broadcast? Or are the broadcasters culpable if they did not speak but broadcast? We are not in disagreement here about the lousy bastards in the garden. What we are trying to tease out is where the actual crime begins and with it the catalyst for police action.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angtony

      I guess it comers down to whether social media companies are legally publishers and the domain name and ISP of whoever broadcast the footage.

      Delete

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