• It has come to our attention that some users may have been "banned" when they tried to change their passwords after the site was hacked due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software. This would have occurred around the end of February and does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you believe you were affected by this, please contact a staff member or use the Contact us link at the bottom of any forum page.

The growing totalitarianism of the mob, upholding the "tyranny of decency" or the modern version of blasphemy


oxterSniffer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
2,996
The growing totalitarianism of the mob, upholding the "tyranny of decency" or the modern version of blasphemy

It is not often that I will heap praise on an opinion piece in The Guardian, but this is a truly excellent piece:

Arrested for poppy burning? Beware the tyranny of decency | Ally Fogg | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

At 9pm last night, with a knock on the door of a 19-year-old man, Kent police hammered another nail into the coffin of free expression in the UK.

Earlier in the day the unnamed man from Aylesham had allegedly posted a photo of a poppy being burned, with a crudely worded (and crudely spelled) caption. He was arrested under the Malicious Communications Act and held in the cells overnight to await questioning.

It is of course just the latest in a succession of police actions against individuals deemed to have caused offence: mocking a footballer as he fights for his life on Twitter; hoping British service personnel would "die and go to hell"; wearing a T-shirt that celebrated the death of two police officers; making sick jokes on Facebook about a missing child, the list goes on. A few months ago, these could have been dismissed as isolated over-reactions or moments of madness by police and judiciary. Not any longer. It is now clear that a new criminal code has been imposed upon us without announcement or debate. It is now a crime to be offensive. We are not sleepwalking into a new totalitarianism – we have woken up to find ourselves tangled in its sheets.

News of the arrest was first announced on Kent police's Twitter feed, and it didn't take long for users to spot the painful irony of their official avatar, which simply says Kent police 101. The number is taken from the non-essential police phone number, but as we all know, Room 101 was where Winston Smith was taken in George Orwell's 1984 to be tortured and eventually persuaded to recant his individual beliefs and fall into line with officially sanctioned viewpoints.

The Orwellian allusion inevitably fed countless suggestions that we are, or are becoming, a police state, a dictatorship, even a fascist society. Such allegations miss the point: they use a 20th century microscope to analyse a 21st century problem. The Orwellian model of tyranny was invariably nailed to political propaganda, and the policing of thought-crime served only to protect and preserve a political elite or ideology. This is not what is happening in modern Britain. The new tyrant is not an oligarch or a chief of secret police, but an amorphous, self-righteous tide of populist opinion that demands conformity to a strict set of moral values. What we are seeing has less to do with the iron heel than with the pitchfork.
Of course, the only reason we are able to discuss this issue is that it is because it is concerning offence to British patriots and not to the "oppressed" groups of choice that the "liberal"-luvvies deem fashionable. This hypocrisy of course is a side-track to the real issue at stake here...

In Northern Ireland a year ago we had poppies being burnt and arrests being made by the Coleraine PSNI, yet hardly a peep out of anyone concerning how incredibly ludicrous this creeping totalitarianism has become.

We also have had many here demanding prosecutions this year in Northern Ireland because some people choose to express themselves through music that they "offensive". We have "hate speech" where in law one may be prosecuted for expressing "blasphemous" opinions, even if they involve no direct threats, no calls to direct violence, and no form of personal harassment. Just this week we also have demands in a SDLP party-political broadcast to "outlaw sectarianism" (might as well outlaw themselves, eh?).

All in all, our rights to freedom of expression are coming increasingly under attack, all over the UK but if not more-so in Northern Ireland due to the fascist Appeasement-process brigade. It seems that too many people are using the excuse of "peace" that they are allowing this creeping totalitarianism to pass-by unguarded.

Someone needs to stand up for the freedom of expression. If the Orange Order were to place increasing influence on this aspect of their beliefs above all else and stand up primarily for the freedom of expression for all, then I'd join-up tomorrow! They, and the Royal British Legion, need to denounce these arrests for poppy burning at once!
 
Last edited:

DavidCaldwell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
3,981
Yes - the best way to get beyond extremist ideas is to for them to be discussed and then rejected by the population, not banning their discussion.
 

oxterSniffer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
2,996
I also place much of the responsibility for this mob-like censorship on much of the media. e.g. the BBC will often place stories which the BBC luvvies deem unacceptable opinions as headline news (merely stirring up things unnecessarily), despite there also being actual real news elsewhere and no one really being affected in a meaningful way by another expressing an opinion of which they don't agree.
 

Glaucon

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
8,308
Good post, and a difficult topic to adjudge aright it must be said.

Ideally, I favour letting the OO march where they want, and people burn poppies when they want - but, as one well knows, we live in a community and in communities the whole usually becomes paramount over the individual.

I certainly think the arrest of anyone for burning a poppy (or a flag) is obscene. I don't think anyone should be prosecuted for playing the ''Famine Song'', though p*ssing against a Church breaches the boundary, as it constitutes an attack on private property, without a break on which we should lapse into anarchy and unrestrained violence.

Scotland's laws against something as nebulous as ''sectarian chanting'' are, for example, near outrageous. Education and discussion are the remedies to sectarianism, not state intervention, which merely encourages repression and sinister feelings, unable to be spoken as such, but still viscerally felt.

Society should show its disapproval socially by leaving people who behave in an offensive, though non-physically threatening manner, ''severely alone'' in their own sort of moral coventry, as said Parnell - the state is inching toward a P.C. control of publically expressed thought, which is entirely injurious to personal liberty.

In this, France and Germany are particularly bad as it stands (a guy in France who wiped his ass with the French flag and posted it on Facebook was prosecuted), and Britain is catching up quickly.

Franklin once said, ''where complaining is a crime, hope becomes despair'' - I'd take a similar view of speech (in all that it entails), where being out of step with the ''moral'' majority becomes a sanctionable offence, society becomes stereotyped, intolerant, and backward.
 
Last edited:

DavidCaldwell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
3,981
I suspect there will not be too much of an argument, since anyone who believes that giving offense should be illegal probably wouldn't spend much time on a forum specialised in this.
 

Glaucon

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
8,308
I suspect there will not be too much of an argument, since anyone who believes that giving offense should be illegal probably wouldn't spend much time on a forum specialised in this.
Maybe not, David, but I'm sure we could find events, actions, or speeches that we would instinctively like to see banned or curtailed, yet which run counter to our professed principals if we apply them to their logical conclusion.

For example (in NI), Irish signs or flags, the Ulster Banner, the 12th of July, Unionist/Nationalist rallies/candidates, etc.

An examination of our feelings and actions when faced with an act or event that contravenes our ''liberal'' principals generally indicates how dearly we hold them - for many, it is none too deeply. For example, I support gay marriage and gay adoption, but I am very wary of those who decry anyone who disagrees as an ark dwelling bigot, unfit to partake in a ''tolerant'' society.
 

RedCloud

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
2,998
With 'freedom of expression' comes 'freedom of responsibility'.
Those lamenting the loss of their 'freedoms' should go to Pakistan,burn the koran,then stand back and see the 'freedom of expression' given . :)
 

Glaucon

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
8,308
The last two posts do not address the topic in any way. Let's have one decent, on-topic thread here.
 

Global Justice

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
13,520
With 'freedom of expression' comes 'freedom of responsibility'.
Those lamenting the loss of their 'freedoms' should go to Pakistan,burn the koran,then stand back and see the 'freedom of expression' given . :)
Pakistan and other repressive regimes in the Middle East has much in common with the British/unionist regimes, in that they suppressed democracy, civil rights movements and murdered innocent civil rights demonstrators, so it is no surprise that the Brits would react in this fascist-like way. Actually, Gadaffi, Mubarak and co probably learned their war crimes from the Brits.
 

RedCloud

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
2,998
Pakistan and other repressive regimes in the Middle East has much in common with the British/unionist regimes, in that they suppressed democracy, civil rights movements and murdered innocent civil rights demonstrators, so it is no surprise that the Brits would react in this fascist-like way. Actually, Gadaffi, Mubarak and co probably learned their war crimes from the Brits.
Book your ticket,the Pakistani's will welcome you with open arms :)
 

physicist

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
6,274
We also have had many here demanding prosecutions this year in Northern Ireland because some people choose to express themselves through music that they "offensive". We have "hate speech" where in law one may be prosecuted for expressing "blasphemous" opinions, even if they involve no direct threats, no calls to direct violence, and no form of personal harassment. Just this week we also have demands in a SDLP party-political broadcast to "outlaw sectarianism" (might as well outlaw themselves, eh?).
"Outlaw sectarianism in the same way as we outlaw racism", I believe the phrase was.

On a pedantic note blasphemy comes from the Latin "blasfemia" which translates to the "destruction of reputation" or "injurious speech" and its modern version are our libel and slander laws.
 

RedCloud

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
2,998

likesfish

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
1,692
Blokes a pratt and should be left to deal with the storm he created actions have consquences.
NI probably diffrent as a bit "special" and chances are somebody innocent would get a kicking or worse from hoods on both sides.
 

physicist

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
6,274
Blokes a pratt and should be left to deal with the storm he created actions have consquences.
NI probably diffrent as a bit "special" and chances are somebody innocent would get a kicking or worse from hoods on both sides.
Maybe some consistency in the law would be nice.

Would Heroin addicts be treated the same way?

Think about it.
 

Billy the Prod

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
591
All in all, our rights to freedom of expression are coming increasingly under attack, all over the UK but if not more-so in Northern Ireland due to the fascist Appeasement-process brigade. It seems that too many people are using the excuse of "peace" that they are allowing this creeping totalitarianism to pass-by unguarded.

Someone needs to stand up for the freedom of expression. If the Orange Order were to place increasing influence on this aspect of their beliefs above all else and stand up primarily for the freedom of expression for all, then I'd join-up tomorrow! They, and the Royal British Legion, need to denounce these arrests for poppy burning at once!
Political correctness has strangled freedom of expression in the UK. The PC Brigade opportunistically pounce on anyone daring to pose legitimate questions on the unsavoury (I'm being euphemistic here) nature of Islam. And of course they relish in branding anyone who dares question immigration policy and/or object to undemocratically imposed multiculturalism as "racists!". Suffice to say, people are long tired of being afraid to speak their minds without experiencing such scurrilous accusations.

In a democratic, liberal society, where freedom of speech is permitted and encouraged, sometimes we have to tolerate the opinions of others that may be an anathema to our own. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. This amendment prohibits the obstruction of the freedom of speech, and means that even the American Nazi Party have the right to peaceably assemble in America and hold rallies.

Poppy burning of course offends the sensibilities of the great majority, and has the capacity to cause public outrage, but if someone is a pacifist or conscientious objector, burning a poppy may be perceived in a different way. It may be viewed simply as an objection to war.

The Orange Order not only have the right to freedom of assembly on their side, they also have civil and religious liberty and indeed the backing of Sinn Feinn. Gerry Adams himself has stated himself in his book "The New Ireland" that in a reunified 32 county Irish Republic Orange Order parades must be allowed, so as to reflect and uphold Irish Republicanisms support of cultural diversity.

Orwell's vision of a Big Brother state must not be allowed to become a living reality in the new Ireland. Freedom must prevail.
 

PeacefulViking

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2012
Messages
2,506
The restrictions on free speech can not be blamed solely on the "PC brigade". Both the right and the left have worked for restrictions on speech.

In the US they have got the First Amendment which has been interpreted to ban most speech restrictions. People seem to respect it. The right knows it can't been blasphemy or pornography and the left knows it can not ban hate speech.
 

oxterSniffer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
2,996
I suspect there will not be too much of an argument, since anyone who believes that giving offense should be illegal probably wouldn't spend much time on a forum specialised in this.
Oh really? That's why we have had the most popular threads in the last few months with hundreds of posts saying the complete opposite?
 

oxterSniffer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
2,996
"Outlaw sectarianism in the same way as we outlaw racism", I believe the phrase was.
So the SDLP want to expand a situation whereby one cannot openly discuss immigration, nor mention race in an intelligent manner; a crime not simply treated as a crime, but preferential treatment given by the judicial system towards those of a race favoured by the "liberal" elite...

What a wonderful precedent to be building upon!
 

The Owl

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
2,967
The restrictions on free speech can not be blamed solely on the "PC brigade". Both the right and the left have worked for restrictions on speech.

In the US they have got the First Amendment which has been interpreted to ban most speech restrictions. People seem to respect it. The right knows it can't been blasphemy or pornography and the left knows it can not ban hate speech.
In the US you get your head kicked in if you wish someone a Happy Christmas, so they all say "Happy Holiday". And if I may suggest you read just one of James Lee Burke's books you will soon change your view of the USof A.
 
Top