Tory Councillor Arrested for Twitter Joke

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A Tory councillor in Birmingham has been arrested (and suspended from the Tory party) for joking that someone should stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (a particularly annoying and silly commentator) to death. She had been discussing human rights in China on the Radio 5 breakfast show when he tweeted:

"Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really."
He was then arrested under the Communications Act 2003.

It might or might not have been a poor taste and/or unfunny joke, but surely this is rather silly overkill? Alibhai-Brown might have been upset, but shouldn't people have the right to express humour of questionable taste? Did no-one of common sense exist in this process?

An attack on freedom of speech? From the BBC page you wouldn't get that impression, given all the hand-wringing and pseudo-indignation against the comments from people like Tory Leader of the Commons, Sir George Young. Alibhai-Brown herself doesn't seem to see the contradiction between her position in defence of human rights and the clear attack on freedom of speech here (she'd have a case if it wasn't absolutely obvious he was joking and not actually inciting murder)...

BBC News - Tory councillor arrested over Twitter stoning post
 


jpc

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The tyranny of righteousness.
Wonder would an over zealous religious type get the same treatment?
 
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In fact, Alibhai-Brown went so far as to support the police involvement:

"I straight away decided this was incitement and I would go to the police, but as it happened I didn't have to as a member of the public had already done that."
Tory Councillor Gareth Compton Arrested Over Tweet Calling For Yasmin Alibhai-Brown To Be Stoned | Politics | Sky News

Is freedom of expression, including the right to make bad taste jokes, only to be extended to Chinese dissidents? Hypocrisy, no?...
 

LeDroit

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This is the start of it folks. Multiculturalism is no longer about enforcing others rights, its about removing ours. The pendulum has now swung utterly, propelled by PC faux outrage. Dermot Ahern's Blasphemy Law introduced last year is the start of it here.
 
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This is the start of it folks. Multiculturalism is no longer about enforcing others rights, its about removing ours. The pendulum has now swung utterly, propelled by PC faux outrage. Dermot Ahern's Blasphemy Law introduced last year is the start of it here.
This is nothing to do with the rights and wrongs of multiculturalism, it has to do with the abandonment of common sense. The man was clearly joking, the police should never have taken the complaint seriously, and Alibhai-Brown should not be pandered to under any circumstances, as she is an idiot.
 

Samell

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Bloody thought police next,

I'm awaiting arrest, all I said was "I could murder a pint!"
 

Sean O'Brian

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I agree with LeDroit.

Wonder would an over zealous religious type get the same treatment?
Last year a Christian couple who own a hotel in Liverpool were charged with a public order offence for saying that Mohammed was a warlord (which is true, he was) and that traditional Muslim dress for women was a form of bondage. They've since been acquitted.


Link
 

reknaw

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Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (a particularly annoying and silly commentator) to death
That's your opinion, TA. I find her well-informed and balanced. In fact, an outstanding journalist and one who experienced nastiness under the regime of Idi Amin before she came to Britain.

Tories in general shouldn't try to do humour and that eejit in Birmingham should know that there are plenty of whack-jobs around who might take him at his word and actually do something to harm Ms. Alibhai-Brown. People in the UK and everywhere else are entitled to expect a greater sense of responsibility on the part of those who put themselves forward for elective office and enjoy the generous salaries, allowances and other benefits that go with it.:roll::roll::roll:
 

TaxHavenSite

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I wonder what kind of serious crimes the police could have been investigating,while they wasted time on this. The problem with the police is that don't have a sense of priority when it comes to crime sometimes.
 

LeDroit

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This thread should be merged with the PWC thread. They're both symptoms of our competitive outrage, sanctimonious PC new culture.
 

former wesleyan

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This thread should be merged with the PWC thread. They're both symptoms of our competitive outrage, sanctimonious PC new culture.
I presume from the tenor of your posts that you reserve the right to say what you like about anyone without any form of comeback ?
 

LeDroit

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I presume from the tenor of your posts that you reserve the right to say what you like about anyone without any form of comeback ?
It's called freedom of speech. The price you and I pay for that is we run the risk of being offended by others words. Sticks and stones and all that.
 

orbit

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Ah good old twitter. .. :) There should be a mandatory cooling off period for all material posted to it :p

Seriously though, would anyone regard a call for someone to be stoned (in the UK) as a serious threat or incitement? Cultural context is important. While that might be a serious threat in parts of Asia, I don't recall anyone been stoned (in that way) in recent history over here.
 

Mark.Keogh

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Dermot Ahern's Blasphemy Law introduced last year is the start of it here.
I think the incitement to concept (terror, hatred, disregard of sky fairies) rather than the incidement to action (riot, harm) which is proven to happen due to that incidement was introduced with the incitement to hate act here. And the blasphemy law was just a version patch.

While the USA has a strong constitution that has been torn to shreads, we have a holed constitution that is never used. There were a couple of years after the wall came down when the world was venturing towards freedom. I guess the powers that be got scared of the internet and have been building a prision around us while we were looking at the wide open sky, or more likely buying a house and building up negative equity.
 
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former wesleyan

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It's called freedom of speech. The price you and I pay for that is we run the risk of being offended by others words. Sticks and stones and all that.
I'd be willing to bet you're careful where you exercise it and about whom though.:D
 

stoichkov

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calling for a muslim woman to be stoned to death is slightly different from checking out a few hot girls in an accountancy firm's office.

alibhai-brown isn't exactly the world's greatest columnist but, as someone else said on page 1, tories are almost always woeful at humour.
 

delaad

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calling for a muslim woman to be stoned to death is slightly different from checking out a few hot girls in an accountancy firm's office.

alibhai-brown isn't exactly the world's greatest columnist but, as someone else said on page 1, tories are almost always woeful at humour.
Their humour is a bully's humour: "I was only messing, sir."

Come to think of it, there may be a few on here who heard the above excuse offered for a humiliation that had been visited on them.
 
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That's your opinion, TA. I find her well-informed and balanced. In fact, an outstanding journalist and one who experienced nastiness under the regime of Idi Amin before she came to Britain.

Tories in general shouldn't try to do humour and that eejit in Birmingham should know that there are plenty of whack-jobs around who might take him at his word and actually do something to harm Ms. Alibhai-Brown. People in the UK and everywhere else are entitled to expect a greater sense of responsibility on the part of those who put themselves forward for elective office and enjoy the generous salaries, allowances and other benefits that go with it.:roll::roll::roll:
I don't think there is anyone who would stone her to death on foot of a bad joke on twitter. Anyone capable of such an act would probably not be twittering anyway, and wouldn't need to be told to do it. The man was clearly joking, it might have been a bad joke, even an irresponsible one, but surely that is the right of free people? I have a sick and puerile sense of humour, I like being able to hear sick jokes (so long as they are funny), I don't want moral policing of that.

Alibhai-Brown is one of those people that makes me reach for the remote when she is introduced as a guest on shows like 'Question Time'. Shrieking 'liberal' intolerance and one-dimensional thinking (and I am no political conservative). Just a very annoying woman.
 

TonyBird

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What about them 'coloureds ' ? Eh ?
Im not racist but is there a 'coloured ' country that isnt an absoloute disaster ? Sure jaysus just look at what 'coloured' Obama is doing to the USA !
Im only messin !
 


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