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Campaign to revoke UK law that prohibits insults - some of the rudest remarks ever made.

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posted on May, 20 2012 @ 04:12 AM
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In the UK, free speech is no more.

Under the Public Order Act of 1986, it is an offense to use “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” if anyone within earshot finds it “insulting”.

Note: the test isn't would a reasonable person find the words or behaviour insulting. The legal test is did anyone find the words or behaviour insulting.

• One student was arrested for calling a police horse gay.
• A Christian was charged for calling homosexuality a sin.
• Another Christian couple were charged for calling Muhammad a warlord and stating a burqa was oppressive.
• Another man was charged for calling scientology a cult.

None of these charges have resulted in convictions but the people so charged were dragged through the court system at considerable financial and emotional cost.

A campaign to overturn the Public Order Act of 1986 has brought together a coalition of Right and Left politicians, libertarians and social conservatives, under the inviting banner: “Feel free to insult me”.

Here are a number of insults by historical figures which could result in a criminal prosecution in the UK today.


“When they circumcised Herbert Samuel, they threw away the wrong bit”

David Lloyd George on the Liberal home secretary

“Tell him I can only deal with one sh-- at a time”

Winston Churchill on being disturbed in his toilet by a call from the Lord Privy Seal

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends”

Oscar Wilde

“Her trouble is that she lacks the power of conversation, but not the power of speech”

George Bernard Shaw

“Such an active lass. She loves nature in spite of what it did to her”

Bette Midler on Princess Anne

“After Braveheart, they said he’d never make a true Scotsman, but look at him now – alcoholic and racist”

Frankie Boyle on Mel Gibson

“Sir, you are drunk.”

“Indeed, madam, and you are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning”

Winston Churchill to Bessie Braddock

The Telegraph


All of those insults are a criminal offense under the UK Public Order Act of 1986, if anyone within earshot finds those words or behaviour insulting.




Frightening stuff.
edit on 20-5-2012 by ollncasino because: formatting




posted on May, 20 2012 @ 04:17 AM
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reply to post by ollncasino
 


wait, so they are trying to get rid of it? and its been this way for a long time?


or did it suddenly just show up again?


i hate laws like these, they are disgusting, and against human freedom.


anyone should be able to say anything they want without any consequences, as long as it isn't a threat, in the SAYER OF THE STATEMENTS OPINION.


for example, "dude your so dumb! im gunna bonk you"

"and no thats not a threat"

should be ok.
edit on 20-5-2012 by SoymilkAlaska because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 04:24 AM
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Originally posted by SoymilkAlaska

i hate laws like these, they are disgusting, and against human freedom.

anyone should be able to say anything they want without any consequences, as long as it isn't a threat, in the SAYER OF THE STATEMENTS OPINION.


Pub singer arrested for racism after Chinese passers-by hear him perform Kung Fu Fighting




A pub singer has been arrested on suspicion of racism for singing the classic chart hit Kung Fu Fighting.

The song, performed by Simon Ledger, 34, is said to have offended two Chinese people as they walked past the bar where he was singing.

Daily Mail


In the Uk you are free to have any opinion you like, as long as it is politically correct.




edit on 20-5-2012 by ollncasino because: clarify



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 04:32 AM
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Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was arrested and charged under the Public Order Act 1986 when he protested against the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.


"Members of this Islamist group had endorsed the killing of Jews, gays, apostates and women who have sex outside marriage," he wrote.

"I displayed placards that documented the persecution of gay people by Islamist fanatics...

"I fought the charges and won, but not before spending many hours in police cells and standing trial."

Yahoo News



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 04:33 AM
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I hope this campaign succeeds. UK has some really ridiculous laws when it comes to speech and expression. Indeed, political correctness gone mad, one would think that in 21st century, we would move into opposite direction, towards greater freedoms.

Control freaks that desire to curb free speech are some of the worst. But one can find comfort in the fact that in the age of the Internet, their actions are futile anyway.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 04:41 AM
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Originally posted by Maslo
Control freaks that desire to curb free speech are some of the worst. But one can find comfort in the fact that in the age of the Internet, their actions are futile anyway.


It is of note that just because a statement made is true, that is no defense under the Public Order Act of 1986.

If someone finds the statement 'insulting' even if it is true, it is then a criminal offense.

The campaign being launched is attempting to persuade the UK Government to remove the word “insulting” from the Act after a series of arrests and prosecutions of people for expressing their opinions.


a parliamentary campaign is being launched in an effort to persuade the Government to remove the word “insulting” from the Act after a series of arrests and prosecutions of Christians for expressing their opinions.

Other notorious arrests under this measure include that of a teenager who described the Church of Scientology as a “cult” and the Oxford undergraduate who was arrested for asking a police officer if he realised his horse was gay.

The Telegraph


It is truely frighteneing that the truth of a statement is no defense.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 04:47 AM
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In 2010, a jury returned a verdict of guilty against Harry Taylor, who was charged under the Public Order Act 1986.



Taylor was charged because he left anti-religious cartoons in the prayer-room of Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport on three occasions in 2008.

The airport chaplain, who was insulted, offended, and alarmed by the cartoons, called the police.

Judge Charles James of Liverpool Crown Court sentenced Taylor to a six-month term of imprisonment suspended for two years, made him subject to a five-year Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) (which bans him from carrying religiously offensive material in a public place), ordered him to perform 100 hours of unpaid work, and ordered him to pay £250 costs. Taylor was convicted of similar offences in 2006.

Link


Six months for leaving anti-religious cartoons in a prayer-room?

I'm not so sure about that.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:00 AM
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reply to post by ollncasino
 


Of course it's a stupid law.

But that is sensationalising it a bit....I think the key thing is that NONE of these cases have ended up in a conviction.
In other words, common sense, (which is one of the biggest misnomer's ever and isn't really that common), has prevailed.

The CPC are a law unto themselves and there is no rhyme nor reason to who they do or do not prosecute - they are only consistent in their inconsistency.
They require a radical overhaul with a large injection of due process and the afore mentioned common sense.

Legislating against what constitutes offensive or even insulting is a bit of a legal and moral quagmire and to be honest I certainly wouldn't want to be involved in trying to get the balance between freedom of speech and libel, defamation of character, slander etc.

Whilst we certainly aren't as free as some us would like, and without a doubt our civil liberties are at threat from all quarters, but to say "In the UK, free speech is no more." is exaggerating things to the extreme.
Literally thousands, if not millions, of Brits express their opinions on a daily basis with absolutely no threat whatsoever of any prosecution or incrimination - we only hear of the thankfully very few and rare instances like these which give a very one-sided and uneven impression.

Yes, we need to fight the increase in influence of the PC brigade and their nonsensical and repressive dictates, the apparent continual intrusion of the nanny state and the ongoing ersoion of civil liberties but sensationalism and inaccuracy does no-one any favours.

Conservative MP David Davis is at the forefront of the campaign to repeal this ridiculous legislation.
en.wikipedia.org...(British_politician)

edit on 20/5/12 by Freeborn because: spelling



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:00 AM
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everywhere the same Bull#..sad but true



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:02 AM
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In the UK, Robin Page, former presenter of television’s “One Man and His Dog”, a farmer, columnist for The Daily Telegraph, and the chairman of the Countryside Restoration Trust was arrested for stating at a a country fair



“If you are a black, vegetarian, Muslim, asylum-seeking, one-legged lesbian lorry driver, I want the same rights as you.”

Mr Page said: “I was told I had committed a ‘hate crime’, interviewed under caution and given police bail.”

Link


In the UK, you are allowed, by law, to say anything you want, as long as it is politically correct.



edit on 20-5-2012 by ollncasino because: formatting



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:11 AM
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Originally posted by Freeborn
Of course it's a stupid law.

But that is sensationalising it a bit....I think the key thing is that NONE of these cases have ended up in a conviction.
In other words, common sense, (which is one of the biggest misnomer's ever and isn't really that common), has prevailed.


Yet the people charged were dragged through the courts at considerable emotional and legal cost.


Originally posted by Freeborn
Legislating against what constitutes offensive or even insulting is a bit of a legal and moral quagmire and to be honest I certainly wouldn't want to be involved in trying to get the balance between freedom of speech and libel, defamation of character, slander etc.


Well a good start would be to use an objective test (would a reasonable person find the statement insulting) rather than a subjective test (it is insulting because anyone says it is).


Originally posted by Freeborn
Whilst we certainly aren't as free as some us would like, and without a doubt our civil liberties are at threat from all quarters, but to say "In the UK, free speech is no more." is exaggerating things to the extreme.


Not at all. Any statement that anyone finds insulting under the Public Order Act 1986 is a criminal offense under that act.

A criminal offense.

At the moment, as a private citizen, we can only hope that the police and criminal prosecution service decide not to exercise their powers under the act. So far, they have proved that they are happy to exercise those powers.


Originally posted by Freeborn
Yes, we need to fight the increase in influence of the PC brigade and their nonsensical and repressive dictates, the apparent continual intrusion of the nanny state and the ongoing ersoion of civil liberties but sensationalism and inaccuracy does no-one any favours.


I agree with you there.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:20 AM
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reply to post by ollncasino
 


I very much apprecite those quotes, I love the way a good put down can be so eloquently delivered with a finality assured, the quote about princess anne made me lol.
Maybe, the recent law lords ruling on using profane language against the police, that the police cannot arrest you for using swear words at them, can be somehow used in a defence in court for "Insulting words or behaviour".
The courts said the police cannot prosecute people for swearing at them, and, that the police need to have a thicker skin.
There is a long and historical tradition of insults being traded by the british, to criminalise someone for calling a horse "Gay" is pathetic.
Maybe it failed in court due to the horse not responding when asked if it felt it's feelings were hurt.

Im PC1024, and your honour, i could swear i saw tears in flossies eyes when the accused called her "Gay"......



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:25 AM
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A Conservative politician and a gay rights activist have combined forces to promote the cause of free speech in Britain, the campaign gathering steam at a time a cartoon led to a furore in the Indian Parliament.


The campaign, under the slogan “Feel free to insult me”, is against a law banning “insulting” language and behaviour and has brought together religious and secular groups along with human rights and minority organisations.

Right-wing Tory David Davis, a former shadow home secretary, said the law was strangling free speech and should be scrapped.

Davis, once expected to become the Conservative Party leader, said Section 5 of the 1986 Public Order Act was having a “terrible, chilling effect on democracy”.

LInk


The problem is, the UK police and the prosecution service have shown that they are happy to use their powers under the Public Order Act 1986 to muzzle free speech.

The law should be repealed.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:34 AM
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Put it this way, the once I got attacked by two people, I rang the police, they came out....

Now at the time, I was more angry than upset, I'd took a good few digs, but instead of being upset, I just wanted to get me hands on the fookers n give em some back, the police were NOT very sympathetic, as I weren't crying, and were MORE concerned about the fact I was cussin every 2 minutes. I assured them my cusses weren't aimed at them, and I was just really angered by what had just taken place, they told me to shut up, and as I didn't LOOK very upset they were gunna nick me! They then went on to say they weren't going to persue the matter as it would be 2 peoples word against mine!

I said I wanted them to take further action and they just flat out refused!

I just cannot believe how close I was to being nicked for swearing!! F*uckin dirty pigs

edit on 20-5-2012 by Sinny because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:41 AM
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reply to post by ollncasino
 




Yet the people charged were dragged through the courts at considerable emotional and legal cost.


I understand that and to a certain extent agree, however, how many people weren't prosecuted and dragged through the courts for saying or doing the same or similar.
Granted it's a guess, but based on personal experience I'd suggest it run's into thousands and probably millions.

The vast majority who say these sort of innocuous things do so without any legal recrimination at all.

That's my point; whilst these isolated instances need to be eliminated it is still incorrect to portray them as the norm because they simply are not.



Well a good start would be to use an objective test (would a reasonable person find the statement insulting) rather than a subjective test (it is insulting because anyone says it is).


And who or what determines who a 'reasonable' person is or what that 'reasonable' person would determine is insulting?



Not at all. Any statement that anyone finds insulting under the Public Order Act 1986 is a criminal offense under that act.


Not exactly true.
As with most things, context is everything.
And context is very, very hard to legislate for because it is as you say subjective - but that is the reality of life.
Unfortunaly very few of our law makers, policy makers and politicians live in anything that resembles the reality that is the life the vast majority of us live.



At the moment, as a private citizen, we can only hope that the police and criminal prosecution service decide not to exercise their powers under the act. So far, they have proved that they are happy to exercise those powers.


Not exactly true; on occassion they have shown that they are happy to exercise those powers but the vast majority of time they don't.
And to be fair that in itself is a clear sign as to the ambiguity of the legislation.
Any law should be clear - black and white - you've committed a crime and this is what is going to happen.
There should be no room for numerous interpretations of the same law.



Originally posted by Freeborn
Yes, we need to fight the increase in influence of the PC brigade and their nonsensical and repressive dictates, the apparent continual intrusion of the nanny state and the ongoing ersoion of civil liberties but sensationalism and inaccuracy does no-one any favours.


For this to happen I firmly believe we need a complete re-boot of the system - radical electoral and parliamentary reform giving the people the chance to have a real say in the governing of this country and to influence and form policy.
But that I suspect is a discussion for another time and place.

edit on 20/5/12 by Freeborn because: spelling



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:45 AM
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reply to post by ollncasino
 




The problem is, the UK police and the prosecution service have shown that they are happy to use their powers under the Public Order Act 1986 to muzzle free speech.


One of the biggest problems in this country is that some individuals in the police force believe they have a right to determine policy and law rather than simply enforce the law.

To be fair, not all police forces are enforcing this law as rigorously as others.
And again, that in itself is inherently wrong - the law is the law regardless of where you live and how an individual employee of the CPS or senior police officer interprets the law.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:46 AM
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reply to post by ollncasino
 


The UK is one of the worste places on Earth. They have CCTV cameras absolutely EVERYWHERE. They can't say crap all without being charged by some moron. They are required to pay for TV licenses. It's like sheeple central.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:53 AM
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reply to post by Sinny
 


And therein lies one the problems with any police force - they allow their own personal opinions to affect how they deal and handle some situations.
A human trait I know but one law enforcers should be above.

If a crime has been committed they have a moral, and I suspect a legal, duty to investigate it to the fullest of their ability and should not be able to determine the validity of any future prosecution - that is for the CPS to determine and eventually either Magistrates, a Judge or Jury to decide upon the guilt or innocence - it has nothing to do with the police and certainly not a PC Plod.

And incidentally - swearing IS NOT a crime.
The crime is the context in which the swear word is used.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 05:59 AM
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Originally posted by Freeborn
The vast majority who say these sort of innocuous things do so without any legal recrimination at all.

That's my point; whilst these isolated instances need to be eliminated it is still incorrect to portray them as the norm because they simply are not.


If anyone feels insulted by what someone says and they complain to the police, then the police have a legal obligation to investigate. They then have a legal obligation to charge people with a crime under the 1986 Act if they objectively believe a crime has been committed.


Originally posted by Freeborn
As with most things, context is everything.

And context is cery, very hard to legislate for because it is as you say subjective - but that is the reality of life.


The use of the 'reasonable man' test (what is reasonable is decided by a judge or jury) would help to decide whether it is reasonable for a person to have taken offense.

The wording of the Act itself is


Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986:

"(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he:

(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby."

This offence has the following statutory defences:

(a) The defendant had no reason to believe that there was any person within hearing or sight who was likely to be alarmed or distressed by his action.
(b) The defendant was in a dwelling and had no reason to believe that his behaviour would be seen or heard by any person outside any dwelling.
(c) The conduct was reasonable.

Link


Why should anyone have to defend themselves, in a very real legal sense, because someone else finds what they said "insulting"?



edit on 20-5-2012 by ollncasino because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 06:05 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 




The UK is one of the worste places on Earth.


Nonsense.



They have CCTV cameras absolutely EVERYWHERE.


The vast majority of which are privately owned and used as a deterrent...the police have to request permission to view any footage and have to have a reasonable suspicion that it can assist in an investigation.



They can't say crap all without being charged by some moron.


I think I've already covered that.



They are required to pay for TV licenses.


Which thankfully saves us from a never ending stream of mind numbing or indoctrinating advertisements which continually disrupt viewing.
It also provides some of the greatest TV shows that have ever been produced.
The BBC is envied by programme makers the world over.

Of course there's some complete crap as well.....but nothing's perfect.



It's like sheeple central.


Where isn't?



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