8, 8 days until Disney! Ah ha ha!

Britain introduces thought control

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5196300,00.html

thats what happens when you dont have a written constitution.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 7th, 2005
It doesn't sound too out of line to me. The activities are not consistent with a free, democratic country. Of course "free" needs to have a disclaimer, as no country is absolutely free, and there are limits where one person's "freedom" impedes the freedom and security of others.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 7th, 2005
"It doesn't sound too out of line to me."

?? you dont believe in free speech then?

as a free member of a free society I can think whatever I like, I can express my views, debate them and sympathize with anyone I want.

I cannot commit a crime or I should be punished.

If I happen to believe that the bombers are brave, heroic individuals who sacrificed themselves in the name of my god, I should be free to express that view.

" The activities are not consistent with a free, democratic country. "

I entirely agree, arresting and detaining people for holding 'unacceptable' opinions is entirely unconsistent with any free country.

"Of course "free" needs to have a disclaimer, as no country is absolutely free, and there are limits where one person's "freedom" impedes the freedom and security of others."

so what? *everyones* freedom impedes the freedom and security of *someone*.

how is someone expressing their personal support for the actions of a few loonies threatening anyone any worse than....for instance....bushs support for ID? blairs support for Iraq?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 7th, 2005
Yep. It's not as if the terrorists are looking for any validation. They feel perfectly justified as is. For me to go out in public and say I think they're swell isn't going to cause them to rally and blow up more buildings/civilians. This is a way for those in power to prosecute innocent people that they have a grudge against. "I don't agree with you, so you're under arrest." This is a terrible infringement of human rights and you're a fucking idiot for defending it.

There's no such thing as an idea or concept so onerous that it should be a crime to *talk* about.
Permalink muppet 
August 7th, 2005
Yes, but... we're not a free country.

We're not even citizens. We let people in and make them citizens; the rest of us are subjects.

We still have "Privy Orders" get passed, where the privy council go to the Queen and suggest some new laws, usually in summary format. She says "yes" to them. They're law. Just like that.
Permalink Katie Lucas 
August 7th, 2005
Strange.

I am to tired to do more than a quick browse of the article. Tell me, is it a stunt of a single prosecutor or some more serious?

I may have the brits pegged wrong, but I though stuff like that wasn't really their style. I dont remember seeing anything simmilar with regards to the IRA.

Will we get to see ginger spice massacre "wind beneath my wings"? Sorry, bad joke. Offensive. Naughty Zoot. Back wicked evil Zoot.
Permalink Eric Debois 
August 7th, 2005
Bad precedent. Very bad.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 7th, 2005
Don't worry, not even a written constitution protects you. ;) Even though typical cheerleaders like Chomsky rave about how good the US's free speech is, we should remember that Americans were once imprisoned and stripped of citizenship for powerful anti-war speeches like:
http://www.thememoryhole.org/war/debs-speech.htm

Fine words on some piece of paper don't mean everything. Popular movements in the 60's and 70's were needed to win free speech.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
Funny, the only reason I know about that is because I read it one of Chomsky's books.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 7th, 2005
"If I happen to believe that the bombers are brave, heroic individuals who sacrificed themselves in the name of my god, I should be free to express that view."

If I want to go nude all day, or to have sex on the street corner, I should be free to do so. Of course I can't, and there isn't a single "free" country on the planet where this is true. Our actions, and our words, are weighted against the good of the collective, so to speak. If someone is so sure that it is a great thing that their adopted country has been attacked, then I (like I'd say the vast majority) would say they should be deported on the next flight out.

Regarding whether talk is harmless or not, these terrorists, themselves apparently mostly from families that apparently integrated well are are ashamed of their children's actions, didn't decide on this course on their own. Instead they had hatred and isolation pounded into their heads, until eventually they were pawns for someone elses ends.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 7th, 2005
The talk isn't harmless, but it's less harmful than giving the Government license to censor speech.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 7th, 2005
I was warmly pleased when I read about this. "It's about time" was one of the thoughts that passed through my mind. It goes to show that frantic passing of new laws is not the only response to acts of terrorism.

Treason is part of the common law that goes back a thousand years. People have unhesitatingly considered the incitement, encouraging and plotting of acts against the state to be a heinous crime since time immemorial. It is only in recent times that we seem to have taken leave of our senses and extended hospitality and financial support to those who speak against us and incite others to do so.

I say Bravo! More power to those who find ways to deport or imprison the traitors amongst us.
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 7th, 2005
Yeah, and a side order of McCarthyism.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 7th, 2005
Remember this is not simply the expression of political views, this is incitement and encouragement to commit murder.

Why shouldn't people be held accountable for their actions? Freedom of speech always comes with freedom to take the consequences.
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 7th, 2005
By the same token, someone who publicly incites a nation to go to an unnecessary war might be held to task as being responsible for all the deaths in that war.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 7th, 2005
Sad to say, the acts of western nations overseas have often been unjust and faithless. And I dare say the political leaders responsible for the invasion of Iraq do bear responsibility for the deaths resulting from that action. But who is to hold them to account? If you say it is the terrorists exploding bombs in Iraq's name, then they have no moral authority since it is the very same ideology that is daily killing and maiming native born Iraqi men, women and children with suicide bombs.
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 8th, 2005
so wheres the line? for which crimes am I allowed to openly admire the people who commit them? bank robbers? drug growers? am I allowed to think highly of those who mug people?

do I deserve to be arrested everytime I say out aloud something nice about *anyone* who has committed a crime?

lots of people in ireland think very highly of the IRA and say so fairly openly....should that be a crime?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 8th, 2005
"do I deserve to be arrested everytime I say out aloud something nice about *anyone* who has committed a crime?"

No shit. Virtually everybody I know has committed some kind of "illegal" act, whether it's a crime or some civil infraction. Some of them are laws which think are entirely unjust and I will praise them for breaking them.

Better kill me now.
Permalink Brad Wilson 
August 8th, 2005
Mountains and rivers, mountains and rivers.
Permalink KayJay 
August 8th, 2005
"If I want to go nude all day, or to have sex on the street corner, I should be free to do so. Of course I can't, and there isn't a single "free" country on the planet where this is true."

No, but you can go to Hyde Park, climb on top of a trashcan and wax lyrical about the joys of exhibitionism.

It's sad that such a thing should happen in a country whose one-time leader, when asked whether the Communist party should be banned and its leadership deported because they pose a threat to the nation, replied with incredulity that these men were Brits, and thus he saw no way in which they could be a threat to Britain.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 8th, 2005
The switch over the weekend after Goldsmith talked with some other legal folk is to try and use the existing Treason and Acts in Preparation for Treason, as well as good old Conspiracy laws to arrest those marginal clerics.

This really isn't about some odd person in the street who misguidedly thinks that terrorism is a good idea in the City of London or wherever, its about the incitement of others to commit acts of terrorism or to gloat about such terrorism such to glorify it and encourage others.

Now, I might think that's a largely pointless process but I can see that a Government that has the momentum and the general support of the population to do something is tempted to do the easy and the simple, and locking people up is always a simple response.

More importantly, those actually involved in the abortive bombings are being arraigned today. It will be far more useful to show the pitiful stupidity and cupidity of those sucked into these attempts.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 8th, 2005
". Our actions, and our words, are weighted against the good of the collective, so to speak. "

I particularly like the way you have connected the two, there is a *huge* difference between me saying "yay! go suicide bombers, you guys rock!" and me shoving a bomb up my ass and stepping into oncoming traffic.

Most civilized countries protect the right of free speech.



"If someone is so sure that it is a great thing that their adopted country has been attacked, then I (like I'd say the vast majority) would say they should be deported on the next flight out."

great. you've thought through the implications of that have you?

what if its not an adopted country, but their home country...jail then?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 8th, 2005
And what about if we speak out against the censorship? The "if you're not with us, you're against us" mentality could also start making THAT illegal. After all, although you wouldn't be defending the bombers you *would* be defending the people who *are* defending the bombers, and the moron contingent may see that as being much the same thing...
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 8th, 2005
I'd still rather be able to heckle these guys at speakers' corner.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 8th, 2005
They won't be at Speaker's Corner, they won't say these things in places and in ways where they can be challenged.

I'd argue for more free speech in the mosques. For a long time there has been no debate in mosques in the UK, nothing about the Palestinians, nothing about Iraq, they are all ignored as if talking about them will raise difficult situations and imply that moslems are dangerous. This has enabled the Saviour Sect and the rest to talk in dark corners to not be exposed and because those issues aren't raised in public within Islam those that raise them in private and secret are given greater credence.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 8th, 2005
"I say Bravo! More power to those who find ways to deport or imprison the traitors amongst us."

yeah, lets define traitors as "people who recklessly endanger the state by pushing ideas it disagrees with:

you fucking moron, you are creating a *really* unpleasant place to live.


christ, why cant all the stupid fuckers just piss off and create their own damn country. they can imprison one another, invade each other, teach myths to one another as fact and be generally unpleasant to one another as much as they like without screwing up everyone elses lives.

the solution to having a couple of dozen people willing to kill themselves and others in the UK for the sake of their political/religious beliefs is *not* to arrest and persecute the thousands of people living in the UK who may sympathize with their views.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 8th, 2005
I don't know whether to be depressed or just philosophical at the extreme variance between the naive that think free speech is some kind of absolute right and the frightened that think banishing words you don't like removes the intent.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 8th, 2005
"extreme variance between the naive that think free speech is some kind of absolute right"

?? I really hope you are not suggesting that I believe that free speech is some kind of absolute right?

if so you are really making rather a large assumption, dont you think?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 8th, 2005
>free speech is some kind of absolute right

Free political speech should be an absolute right. This isn't about shouting fire in a crowded cinema.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 8th, 2005
Why isn't free speech an absolute right? If I could opt out of residence here on Earth and go someplace else (tangible, mind you), I'd be all for it. As I'm stuck here, why the fuck should I temper myself in order not to offend you buggers?
Permalink muppet 
August 8th, 2005
To be nitpicky... Rights to even political speech does contradict other rights. For example, harassing women in the workplace could be considered political. (Say, as protest against some anti-discrimination law.)

Also, drafting careful plans to shoot an abortion doctor and explaining them to a sniper, even if you don't pull the trigger, is probably a form of terrorist conspiracy. Even if the speech is political in nature.

But if cheerleading murder and terrorism were a crime, large parts of my government would be in jail, maybe put to sleep. ;)
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 8th, 2005
...and there's me thinking that "rights" were just professional politicians promising to behave. Apparently they're real. Wow.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 8th, 2005
I'm with cynic.

Politics is the art of the possible.

Chow down and say sir.
Permalink  
August 8th, 2005
19. Plural.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 8th, 2005
There are consequences to expressing an opinion and sometimes those consequences mean harm to others, so I can say what I like, but if the consequence is that someone dies, I have to pay the price.

Freedom of speech comes with an obligation to learn when to shut the **** up.
Permalink WoodenTongue 
August 8th, 2005
How do you prove your words were the cause? Maybe you talked to a guy about the history of presidential assassination, and then he went and shot the president. Are you liable or not?
Permalink muppet 
August 8th, 2005
Nobody should be forced to shut up. If you don't like the opinion, the onus is on you to make your own rebuttal, not silence the other person.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 8th, 2005
Come, come Flasher - I'm not doubting the moral principle, I am doubting the real world application, which has more to do with political axes being ground than anything else. Hence the American first amendment which was by the way of a truce between the various churches.

If you look back it took a riot to get Speaker's Corner in the first place. Those in power will use the rhetoric of rights to take them away whilst the politicians keenest on freedom of speech are those out of power.

Not that I'm cynical or anything...
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 8th, 2005
Meanwhile a true story - a pacifist at Speaker's Corner was being heckled:

"Your a bleeding nutter"
"I'm afraid I'm not"
"Prove it"
"I can't prove it - can you prove you're not"
"Yes" - at which point said heckler waves his release certificate from mental hospital.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 8th, 2005
Dennis:

You have a very strange perception of the world; perhaps it's time to oxygenate your decaying brain cells?
Permalink Dan Denman 
August 8th, 2005
Let them glorify murder if they like. Hollywood does it all the time.

If everyone can at least be open about their views at least everyone will know where everyone else stands. There is absolutely no reason to muffle what anyone thinks about anything.

It is hiding behind false curtains of perception and deception that I feel is to blame for such conflict amongst people to begin with.

Amazing how here in the U.S. organizations like the KKK have had their right to a voice vigilantly defended. Now that the people threatened by such voices cannot possibly be predicted, how can anyone here find this censorship acceptable? Because now YOU are possibly affected by the speech? Rot. Rot and die.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 11th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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