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June 28, 2018

Comments

Dipper

Thanks you for this excellent post .

"If you have the mindset of the ruling class, you will assume that power will be exercised wisely as long as the right people are in charge"

Cannot recall seeing a more accurate and succinct description of all that is wrong with the EU.

Ralph Musgrave

Re the idea that it is "centrists" who oppose freedom, I suggest it is rather the political left (maybe the centre left) who oppose freedom at least in the form of freedom of speech.

ComRes did a survey of MPs to find out their attitude to freedom to criticize religion. Labour MPs were significant more opposed to the latter "freedom to criticize" than other MPs. See:

http://reformsection5.org.uk/download/ComRes-RS5-polling-data.pdf

I totally fail to see why religion in general or any specific religion should be in the privileged position of the immune from criticism. You can insult political parties and similar to your heart's content. But criticize a religion, and you may be arrested for "hate speech" (whatever that is).

GrueBleen

Ralph,

Maybe some accuracy in reporting would help. The student who called the police horse "gay" was arrested, but not prosecuted in contradiction to what the 'download' says.

However, in both cases it was the police who took action, not the political left. Unless, that is, you are accusing (all) police of being members of the 'political left' ? Incidentally, in both cases the police were basically criticised and told to get their act into gear.

Further, it isn't that religion is in a 'privileged position', criticism of religion and religionists is still perfectly legal - it's just that using certain words judged to be 'insulting' (read 'gratuitously insulting') are subject to legal action.

Rather like walking down the street and calling a passerby 'a fucking cunt' - that would probably draw some condemnatory action too. So, is that a case of denial of 'freedom of speech' ?

Ralph Musgrave

GrueBleen,

I don't see the relevance of the fact that the police did the arresting: they often do that. It's their job. They arrest on the basis of what the law says. If parliament passed a law saying smoking a pipe was illegal, the police would arrest pipe smokers.

Thus the important question is: which political parties or MPs are behind a particular bit of legislation.

As to whether religions are in a privileged position relative to political parties and similar, far as I can see they are, because there is a specific offence: "stirring up religious hatred", but there is no equivalent like "stirring up political hatred". See section 7 of this Sentencing Council publication here:

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/6.4328_Public_Order_Offences_Guideleines_Consultation_web.pdf

Zaster

Perhaps you think workers' "legitimate concerns" can cover everything except immigration?

In defence of Blairites (and I would have voted for them in 1997, 2001, 2005, 2010 just as I would vote for Corbyn today, but Labour refuses to stand candidates here in Northern Ireland for me to vote for), you don't have to agree with bosses to fawn over them. You just have to be scared of them!

Same is true for Labour being on the right on law and order (something which was true before Blair was ever heard of). The press pretends sentences are lenient and it's the fault of political correctness i.e. they accuse Labour of making the law soft. So they respond with harsher sentences.

And while New Labour kept labour protections weak (whether it's unions or agency workers), they did take action against illegal blacklisting, so they obviously care more about bosses' power over workers than the Tories do.

GrueBleen

Ralph,

But do you see the significance of the fact that the police action - arrest in one case - did not result in prosecution (get that, the police action was futile) and also that the police were seriously criticised for taking the action that they did.

So, seriously criticised for what they did and no further action taken. Does that sound even remotely, vaguely like the police actions were approved of ?

Let me tell a short story that comes from Melbourne Australia. Not all that very long ago (maybe around 55 years) the right wing conservative government of Victoria was into censorship in a big way. To the point that the police used to attend public performances of plays etc in the hope they would catch a performer saying a naughty word.

So I'll repeat that: the right wing conservative government was into gross censorship via the police (note, no left wingers here anywhere).

Anyway, an action was brought against a performance of a certain play (sorry, can't remember exactly which one - 55 years is too long a time) because, according to the policeman giving evidence in court "the performance was intended to cause sexual arousal". Upon which the judge said to the policeman" "And what's wrong with that ? If your parents hadn't been sexually aroused at some point in time, you would not be standing here before me today."

Bingo, end of police enforcement of right wing politically motivated censorship. The man responsible for all that - in case you want to do some fact checking - was Chief Secretary of Victoria, Arthur Rylah. Who once publically stated that he would not let his teenage daughter read Mary McCarthy's The Group. But fortunately for her, he didn't actually have a teenage daughter (she was an adult by then).

But he did hs level best to prevent Victorians from reading Lady Chatterley's Lover by ensuring that its entry to and sale in Victoria were banned. So perhaps you'll understand if I don't get too excited by a teensy bit of political correctness from the Left, compared with the righteous and draconian censorship from the Right.

Bob

We need a different kind of centrism, based on temporary immigration controls, shelf contact min wage, net zero immigration to prevent stealing skilled staff from other countries.

Ralph Musgrave

GrueBleen,

The fact that an incompetent attempt to prosecute by the police under the Public Order Act failed is wholly irrelevant to what I am saying. What happened was that a student asked a mounted policeman if his horse was gay. The police tried to prosecute under the POA. They failed.

That has precisely nothing to do with my point namely that under the Public Order Act, one can be prosecuted for “stirring up religious hatred” whereas one cannot be prosecuted for “stirring up political hatred”, hatred of the local angling club, hatred of all mothers-in-law, etc etc. Ergo there is a clear bias in favour of religion.

If the police had tried to prosecute someone under the POA for farting too much, they would almost certainly fail. Would that have anything to do with my “religious” point? No it wouldn’t.

Mat

I don't think it's fair to analyse national service as forced labour. In character and purpose it's more like part of the education system and should be analysed as such. Unlike many countries' education systems, however, it holds the promise to throw people from different backgrounds together. I'm sympathetic to the idea, although maybe not the military slant.

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