I don’t usually sign petitions but this is a very important one for British people. Here’s the link: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/203615
Update 25/01/18: And here’s the response from the UK government with my interjections in red:
The Government is committed to upholding free speech, and legislation is already in place to protect these fundamental rights. However, this freedom cannot be an excuse to cause harm or spread hatred.
[ Already we are into the grey area: What constitutes “harm” or “hatred” Microaggressions? Nasty tweets?]
Current UK legislation values free speech and enables people who wish to engage in debate to do so – regardless of whether others agree with the views which are being expressed.
[Wrong. Right now, the erosion is continuing]
Everyone has a right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
This is a qualified right however, which means that it can be restricted for certain purposes to the extent necessary in a democratic society. This means that free speech is not absolute.
[And there you have the crux of the matter and a 360 degree turn from the true definition of Free Speech which is ABSOLUTE. The problem comes from the encroachment of differing opinions from Official Culture orthodoxy i.e. postmodernism and SJW ideology that deems any speech as harmful, as per postmodernist philosophy. That is NOT hate speech which incites violence and death. The law was perfectly adequate for netting the latter. And this is the bottomless abyss that the UK government in their mind-numbing stupidity have fallen straight into.
Importantly, the law ensures that people are protected against criminal activity including threatening, menacing or obscene behaviour both on and offline.
[Again, words can hurt you it seems, if you are insufficiently inoculated against radical left ideologues. And this, despite the fact that it has been proven time and again that actual incitement and genuine threats either turn out to be just some nasty invective or even worse no threats at all.]
The Government is clear that hate crime and hate speech are not acceptable in our society, and anyone seeking to use freedom of speech as an excuse to break the law should still face the full force of the law.
[Talk about an oxymoron! Read that again. An “excuse to break the law” meaning, to write or voice potentially nasty things to someone or, I suspect more insidiously, anything that could potentially rock the boat of the Establishment directives. That is not in anyway hate speech but it has been redefined to suit the reworked law according to the SJW rule book of speech code fragility. Very useful if you make capitalise and encourage the hysterisation of a culture already woefully unprepared for social and cultural shifts coming down the line.
Exercising FREE speech can now be punished with “the full force of the law.” Free speech is now “qualified” and “restricted to the extent necessary in a democracy.” This should take anyone’s breath away at the sheer implication of such a declaration. It is a completely oxymoronic and contradictory sentence. How on earth can there be restrictions on free speech if we live in a democracy?
Well, you can now prosecute someone when they are exercising their free speech it seems …
…because we no longer have free speech.
Here’s a scenario:
A: What’s the crime?
B: I exercised my right to free speech.
A: What did you say?
B:While on Facebook I told my girlfriend to grow the fuck up. She reported the comment to the police as threatening and harassing behaviour and that she was afraid for her life.
B: Because she was pissed off about the fact I didn’t want to be with her anymore.
A: And why didn’t you want to be with her?
B: Because she was – is – just as much a pain in the arse in real life as she is on Facebook.
All of a sudden I had two policeman at my door and a court appearance to look forward to, just because she can’t handle her bubble being burst.
This actually happened to a friend of mine. The case was thrown out but not after a good deal of pain, inconvenience and further lies. And now he has a record of a court appearance, something you cannot simply erase.]
A hate crime is any criminal offence, for example assault or malicious communications, which is perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s actual or perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.
[Which is perceived to be motivated. Not what is beyond question and obvious – only that it is perceived to be so, presumably by anyone who feels offended and threatened since, now it can be malicious, hostile or prejudiced – nasty and unpleasant yes, but none were grounds for criminal offence under free speech prior to the influence of the SJW rulebook. Now, to be merely offended has opened up a whole new kind of “free speech” that means you are no longer free to offend. Under this new rule book, who decides what is malicious and what is just hysteria? The accuser. And if the Legions of the Offended can persuade the suitably primed and fearful society that words can wound like a weapon causing microaggression and “threats” then professors will continue to be hauled over the coals at the latest Diversity Initiative Board and people like my friend will continue to be visited by police merely from writing a comment on Twitter or Facebook in a moment of anger.]
The Government takes hate crime very seriously, which is why we published the hate crime action plan (Action Against Hate: The UK Government’s plan for tackling hate crime) in July 2016. It is also worth noting that section 29J of the Public Order Act 1986, for example, states that the offence of inciting religious hatred, does not restrict or prohibit discussions, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions.
[Yet, this is exactly and precisely what is happening.
The “antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of religion” amounts to the very “malice, hostility and prejudice” mentioned before, yet the former is somehow permissible. Apart from this crazy contradiction, no SJW or fragile millennial is ever going to see any difference between these descriptors since his or her offence barometer is permanently off the scale. Incitement then becomes micro-offences concerning “perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.” These in turn, become the boundaries by which free speech is transformed into a self-censoring, cultural ghetto policed by cretinous politicians and Whitehall mandarins who happily do the bidding of a psychologically disturbed radical minority].
In this way, the Government believes the law strikes the right balance between protecting citizens and protecting their right to free expression.
[Yes, we know what your “protection” means: its the same word trotted out for illegal surveillance and State-sponsored terror in the Middle East which has managed to make us all less safe.
And now we have the erosion of free speech solely due to the fact that a section of society can’t handle reality and want to force the rest of us into the same infantile perceptions. I guess whichever State minion was assigned the job of writing the above Home Office garbage is of the same mind.]
Please sign the petition, even if you believe it’ll do little good. At least you’ll give voice to your conscience which may have more effect on the future than if we did nothing.
Which of course is exactly what our beloved government is banking on.