"I disapprove of what you say....

#1
....but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

In the last couple of years there have been various high profile court cases where people have been charged with "incitement to....." (not incitement to leave suggestive unfinished sentences). what are people's feelings on where the line is?

i just think if i want to be racist, set up a facebook site threatening to start a riot, call for death to the west and all of the infidels occupying forces then i should have the right to do so. these are extremes but what is the difference between this;
BBC News - Robert Rollie avoids jail term over Neil Lennon abuse

and Clarkson saying public sector workers should be shot (just so we're clear, i know he was joking)?
 
#2
Simple speech doesn't always impinge on somebody else's freedom to act, but speech threatening violence can. A reasonable man does not feel threatened or restricted by his pet religious prophet being insulted, though he may not like it. If you are vulnerable (as most of the population is to thugs) and are verbally threatened with violence not to do something, that is an impingement on your freedom. A reasonable person may change their course of action to avoid having their head kicked in.

The whole point of civilisation is to remove violence from the equation. The threat of it is significant as well.

Now whether the threat is credible is another matter. I think the use of social media during the riots showed that even online incitement can be very serious. However, if we were to arrest every Tom, Dick and Harry who shouted "Come we test bruv" then the courts would be overloaded very quickly.
 
#3
Simple speech doesn't always impinge on somebody else's freedom to act, but speech threatening violence can. A reasonable man does not feel threatened or restricted by his pet religious prophet being insulted, though he may not like it. If you are vulnerable (as most of the population is to thugs) and are verbally threatened with violence not to do something, that is an impingement on your freedom. A reasonable person may change their course of action to avoid having their head kicked in.

The whole point of civilisation is to remove violence from the equation. The threat of it is significant as well.

Now whether the threat is credible is another matter. I think the use of social media during the riots showed that even online incitement can be very serious. However, if we were to arrest every Tom, Dick and Harry who shouted "Come we test bruv" then the courts would be overloaded very quickly.
and this is the main reason i dont like this stuff, it comes down to interpretation. i could've set up a facebook site like some of those idiots and sent it to my friends and got 4 years. it would've been a stupid tasteless joke but i dont think it would've deserved 4 years getting it up the arrse. its the same with threatening behaviour, one person may consider some behaviour threatening that others may not.

the first time this kind of thing registered with me was when Mohammed Siddique got locked up (10 years?), during the trial it was mentioned that he'd been on sites relating to firearms, that he had a beheading video and that he thought OBL was a top bloke. he sounded like a complete idiot but if you're going to start locking people up for that most of this site will be in trouble.
 
#5
if you want to live in a free and open society you run certain risks to do so. even extremist hate sites are just propaganda, yes they pose a threat but i dont think the erosion of our rights is worth legislating against that threat.
 
#6
As I have said before a lot of those who took umbrage at Clarksons remarks will also be the type who like to talk about Thatcher dying slowly and painfully then going to shit on her grave. Some subjects are more acceptable than others despite them not being very PC or in good taste.
 
#7
I think you have to pay careful attention to the context in which anything is said or written. Anyone writing anything should be aware that something that may be glaringly obvious to the writer may not be so to the reader.

Generally I have no great problem with jokes when they are obviously designed to be first and foremost funny and are not designed to upset. We need to laugh and, if we can see the funny side of situations then there is less likelihood of tension.

As has been pointed out, many people who were outraged by Clarkson had been calling for Bankers' heads on spikes the week before and I don't think many of them were joking.

You have to wonder how some people would handle a Frankie Boyle gig.

Where someone is deliberately and maliciously stirring up hatred then they reap what they sew. If they get a robust reaction to their views then they deserve it. However civilised any of us are we can only take so many insults and so much hatred aimed at us before we retaliate. Does someone really consider it free speech to use that hard won privilege to incite a gang of people to go and set fire to someone's house because they're a bit strange or because they're a different colour or religion?

Having a preference is natural, we all express preferences in one way or another: big tits, small tits, blondes, brunettes, tall, slim etc and certainly I know people who have a preference for certain races. Having a preference though should not mean that you actively discriminate against your non-preference or try to make their life harder.

If someone says to me, I don't like Asian people or black people I must admit I find it bizarre because how can you not like anyone, irrespective of the sort of person they are just because of a racial characteristic? Alright then, they don't like certain races, as long as they stay at the preference stage then I can't see that they should be vilified Only if they allow their preference to become exclusive should they face castigation.

In my experience the ones whop scream loudest about free speech rarely want to employ it for the common good. Does that mean they shouldn't be free to say what they like? I guess it comes down to what is publicly acceptable. I don't find those Muslims who hold demonstrations at Military home comings acceptable and I think they should be prevented from demonstrating for the common good, likewise some of the more extreme right wing organisations whose messages are equally as unacceptable.

Do I think Nick Griffin should have been on Question Time? Yes, absolutely. They are a bona fide political force even if I don't consider them a legitimate one. They have a right to speak about multiculturalsim and overcrowding and positive discrimination and they are subjects that should be debated as long as they can be debated in a mature way and without resorting to cheep insults, either way.
 
#8
snip,
he sounded like a complete idiot but if you're going to start locking people up for that most of this site will be in trouble.
ahh well unless your a member of the yougove table you wouldnt know i guess, theres a white paper proposal suggesting ot do just that -recreate state sanatoriums and get all the crazies off the streets- in laymens terms there talking about anyone claiming or found ot have a mental disorder so sever as to justify payment of ESA or which requires constant medication in order to remain in a stable condition,

the second group revision idea is put them in assissted housing schemes where a warden would shove there daily pills down there throat sometime before they trotted off to work.

personally i cant see the problem, inceitment to riot used to be classed as a treasonus act and the penalty for that was flogging incarceration transportation/deportation or death depending on how successfull the offender had been in there efforts to incite, of course like all good things the punishments seem rather watered down now, i wonder if the chippy lil fucksticks would of been so keen on inciteing anything if death was still a viable penalty.......

what your refering to is not covered under the freadom of speach or the right to express ones own opinion, no matter how derogatory a persons views of another may be based on there race colour or creed so long as there not a hint of suggesting any violence or wishing harm to befall them theres no offence comitted (well the pc/anti racism brigade might have some new fangled laws about it all) but the second your encouraging anyone else to loiter with intent or publisising wishes or sentiments of illwill or harm to others its jail time its incitement, offering any form of reward and its enticement+incitement, and then depending on the target (the establishment or crown servants and its treasonus) depends on what level you get slammed up for, i personally cant see the problem of thick spunk slingers being sequestered and there ability to procreate being abated for a period of time, indeed it could be argued that the sentances were far too short for hte crimes under which they were tried, and that is an even bigger problem since more often vile crimes are given only minor wrist slap's when in truth they deserve much harsher treatment.

peacefull protests like women campaigning for the vote chained to inanimate objects caused harm only to themselves and there own property so no real crime was comitted (the suffragets) when certain of there members took upon themselves to escalate to criminal acts they were ostricised by there own for there behaviour, it was that act more than others which saw them get the vote since it demonstrated the ability for unbiased thought...

bring back proper laws and chain gangs and stop being soft on cnuts tbh
 
#9
As I have said before a lot of those who took umbrage at Clarksons remarks will also be the type who like to talk about Thatcher dying slowly and painfully then going to shit on her grave. Some subjects are more acceptable than others despite them not being very PC or in good taste.
you must visit left wing brixton based forums quite often LOL

the irony is lost on them
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
I wasnt so much outraged at Clarkson, more disappointed.

Clarkson can be genuinely funny and sometimes outrageous humour hits the mark. I think he missed by a long way. It seemed to me that he just needed to shock to sell a DVD.
 
#11
Don't want to drag the thread off line but read an archive article about the 19th century workhouses
and inmates were allowed tobacco and beer [obviously free] as well as being fed. [which is probably
an improvement for those living on the streets at the moment.] The loons in a workhouse in Portsmouth
were housed in special wings and the whole thing eventually became St Mary's Hospital.
Common task was to pick oakum.
Things have moved on and the so-called poor can live in their own houses, given money to buy whatever they want
[X-boxes TV's].
I would bring back "workfare" and accommodation for the lunatics.
Food vouchers insted of cash.
As for speech being a crime, unless incitement to break criminal code then all the old PC bolux should be binned.
 
#12
It's called being 'politically correct' for a reason. The worrying thing is - whose poitics are these things judged by?

Seems like it's still Labour's.
 
#13
Thought police, hate crime etc, theres just scores of people queing up to take umbrage at anything anyone say's, and normally (and I find this particularly bizzarre) by proxy! Now even worse than the genuinely horrible crimes of rape and murder, is the awful crime of offending someone!
 
#14
Thought police, hate crime etc, theres just scores of people queing up to take umbrage at anything anyone say's, and normally (and I find this particularly bizzarre) by proxy! Now even worse than the genuinely horrible crimes of rape and murder, is the awful crime of offending someone!
I've never been sure where this 'by proxy' argument comes from and why it should be so narrowly applied. If you see someone physically or verbally abusing a child in the street would you take offence? Do you need to be a child to see that sort of behaviour as offensive?

Should only soldiers find what certain Muslims in Luton have done as offensive? Since I'm no longer a soldier am I not entitled to be offended by a bunch of lunatics calling soldiers murders, baby killers and rapists?

Why was anyone offended by someone burning poppies? We aren't dead so we must be being offended by proxy. I can only assume that Bald Bleep was not offended by such actions since he is clearly alive.

Compared to rape and murder being insulted isn't anywhere near as bad but maybe living in fear of violence and being treated as a piece of dirt is to some people. More than that though, how many people, of all races, would stay on a forum where, in the supposed serious threads there was open and unchallenged racism? What would that do for the standing of HM Forces with the public?

As someone who served when all soldiers weren't considered heroes, when there weren't glittering award ceremonies to celebrate every aspect of Military life and when you weren't even allowed to wear your beloved uniform for fear of offending someone. I would guard the Forces reputation fiercely and would not like to see it's good name dragged through the mud by Neanderthals who think the colour of someone's skin makes them a legitimate target.

Yes, I do get offended when people think they have the right to degrade someone because they don't follow the right religion or have the right skin tone. I get offended because we are supposed to be better than that and because it wasn't so long ago that we, as soldiers, had to suffer degrading insults purely because we wore our country's uniform and were made to take over from certain public figures when they wanted to exercise the luxury of going on strike to obtain their goals.

We, as human beings live by principles. If you don't like the thought of someone screaming insults at your mother and calling her all the names under the sun then understand that others feel the same. It is not being offended by proxy. It's called empathy and being disgusted at base behaviour, that those with little brain power, seek to excuse by saying such trite nonsense such as 'when my intended target complains I'll stop'. The trouble is most of the targets will just not join the site or join the Army of even wish to integrate with a society that stands by whilst they're vilified. So it remains for those of us with a degree of conscience to put our hands up and say 'enough is enough'.
 
#15
somne good points, well made etc etc etc. tbh i dont know really know what the solution is, i understand the need to protect our society from various elements within it but as i've said previously its just the vagueness i dont like. whenever people argue the case for these laws they go to extremes but as we all know things are rarely that clear cut. the two neds in dundee got 3-4 years for inciting a riot they themselves didnt even turn up to. both said it was a joke and that they were idiots (i dont think this was in doubt). they wouldnt have got 3-4 years if they'd gone out and beaten the crap out of someone but apparently talking about doing this is worse.

As I have said before a lot of those who took umbrage at Clarksons remarks will also be the type who like to talk about Thatcher dying slowly and painfully then going to shit on her grave. Some subjects are more acceptable than others despite them not being very PC or in good taste.
you cant beat a bit of double standards joey. another favourite are the people who constantly bleat on about the PC brigade and not being able to say what they think but if someone says "i think the army are a bunch of cnuts for shooting muslims" they want them slow cooked in a bbq.
 
#16
somne good points, well made etc etc etc. tbh i dont know really know what the solution is, i understand the need to protect our society from various elements within it but as i've said previously its just the vagueness i dont like. whenever people argue the case for these laws they go to extremes but as we all know things are rarely that clear cut. the two neds in dundee got 3-4 years for inciting a riot they themselves didnt even turn up to. both said it was a joke and that they were idiots (i dont think this was in doubt). they wouldnt have got 3-4 years if they'd gone out and beaten the crap out of someone but apparently talking about doing this is worse.
I am a little uneasy about some of the convictions for FB rioting. I can see that inciting to riot can be a very serious thing but also feel that if someone is obviously joking then the sentence is ridiculously harsh.

However, what about someone who talks another into becoming a suicide bomber? If someone had a FB page encouraging people to blow themselves up in crowded places should they not be apprehended? Free speech has to end somewhere.


you cant beat a bit of double standards joey. another favourite are the people who constantly bleat on about the PC brigade and not being able to say what they think but if someone says "i think the army are a bunch of cnuts for shooting muslims" they want them slow cooked in a bbq.
It's interesting that the woman who was 2i/c of a trade union who was so offended by Clarkson actually said she'd like to take him out and shoot him in from of his family. They then went on to make a formal complaint against Clarkson. As has been pointed out with the left it's not what you say but who your 'target' is.

When you get to the stage where you're discouraged from saying black board or talking about giving someone a black mark or black looks then you have gone off the scale in terms of pettiness and done nothing to protect those you seek to, from prejudice. If we can't laugh at each others' traits and foibles then we truly are in a sorry state.
 
#17
However, what about someone who talks another into becoming a suicide bomber? If someone had a FB page encouraging people to blow themselves up in crowded places should they not be apprehended? Free speech has to end somewhere.
i think this is where i diverge. if you wish to discuss the pro's (virgins) and cons (most probably dying a virgin) of being a suicide bomber then i think you should be able to, if we want a free and open society we expose ourselves to dangers by giving our citizens those freedoms, and personally i think that risk is worth it.

in the example you give above i would argue that we should look at different ways of preventing this (surely recruiting for terrorism is against the law?) and that freedom of speech should be a guaranteed right no matter what problems this can cause.
 
#18
i think this is where i diverge. if you wish to discuss the pro's (virgins) and cons (most probably dying a virgin) of being a suicide bomber then i think you should be able to, if we want a free and open society we expose ourselves to dangers by giving our citizens those freedoms, and personally i think that risk is worth it.

in the example you give above i would argue that we should look at different ways of preventing this (surely recruiting for terrorism is against the law?) and that freedom of speech should be a guaranteed right no matter what problems this can cause.
theres a difference of freedom to debate freely on any topic and free to publish hatefull incitements, speach by its nature is spoken and not written so we fall back on christian values (stolen from other relegions like everything else about christianity) and we are left with say what you want in spoken words as a deabteing point but dont record it for the world to see.

thats the general rule of thumb and if by your retoric you manage to make anyone act upon your words you also have ot stand by the consequences, theres very old examples of this type of rulling, right back to tudor times when the church incited a riot over the kings plans to divorce his wife and the disolution of catholisism within the uk, of course the example was set and has been used ever since, i dare say there are earlier examples and i know there are many more examples since, the idea of course if you lop the head off the howling dog the rest will fall silent, although perhaps there rather barbaric methods and inclusion of all members of a religion were way over the top compared ot what was actually necessary.
 
#19
An interesting debate..

My take on this, is to look at who is gaining by the action and the means employed.

The aim of "Political Correctness" is to give power to whoever is setting the "accepted standard" by which someone will be judged. If you have control of the agenda, then you have the power to support those you approve of and censure those you do not. If this power is gained by free and open debate, then fair enough; however too often this not now the case, with standards being proposed and adopted by minority interests by devious means, either through the courts, the media or unelected bodies such as the EEC.

The trick in politics is to seize control of the agenda with as little power as possible, and use it to gain more power. This is often done by manipulating special interests; in other words, persuading lots of people to do something is hard and expensive, so what you do is focus on some issue that is of particular interest to some small, identifiable and controllable group and use this to lever yourself into a position where you gain more power to influence others. Lots of examples of this in history from Wilberforce and Mandela to Lenin and Hitler...

The problem is that if it works too well, then those who gain power soon reach the tipping point where the agenda changes from gaining power to retaining power and dictation rather than persuasion..

Ideally any political system needs balance and complexity to create stability. We do not want the current minority group to ever gain so much power that they become unaccountable. We need the judiciary, legislature, executive and whatever passes for religion to be constantly at each other - none ever gaining the upper hand..

IMHO since the war, we have allowed our politics in UK to become too organised. The legal system has been twisted to meet the political ambitions of various minorities to the point where the common man has become the victim rather than the benificiary of society, mostly for the benefit of the leaders of the special interest groups.

We have to break the weakness in UK society that allows special interest groups to gain so much power at the expense of the individual and the established pillars of society which exist to safeguard that freedom.

Editid to crect dylexic speling...
 
#20
theres a difference of freedom to debate freely on any topic and free to publish hatefull incitements, speach by its nature is spoken and not written so we fall back on christian values (stolen from other relegions like everything else about christianity) and we are left with say what you want in spoken words as a deabteing point but dont record it for the world to see.

thats the general rule of thumb and if by your retoric you manage to make anyone act upon your words you also have ot stand by the consequences, theres very old examples of this type of rulling, right back to tudor times when the church incited a riot over the kings plans to divorce his wife and the disolution of catholisism within the uk, of course the example was set and has been used ever since, i dare say there are earlier examples and i know there are many more examples since, the idea of course if you lop the head off the howling dog the rest will fall silent, although perhaps there rather barbaric methods and inclusion of all members of a religion were way over the top compared ot what was actually necessary.
i like that i'm trying to paint the state being heavy handed and in your defence by using precident use an example where a religion was outlawed and thousands killed because they didnt like Harry's new mrs :)

you make a good point about the difference between the written and the spoken word which is something i've not really thought about but do you think that with the rise of social network sites etc our perception of the written word is changing? is chatting online the same as firing up the hidden printing press and knocking out extremist propaganda?
 

Latest Threads

Top