The Czechs do value their free speech

Just as they should of course. Just walking back from getting lunch (Kung Pao since you ask) And there was a demo going on. Perhaps a dozen people chanting something half heartedly in the snow as they walked through the middle of town.

One cop car in front of them, two behind plus a paddy wagon. Plus a couple of armed cops walking in front and behind them. The demonstrators outnumbered the cops, just.

This wasn’t to make sure that they didn’t break off to go beat up the Jews, Germans, Gypsies, Socialists, whoever the hell it was they were complaining about. Rather, the cops were there to ensure they could use their right to peaceful free speech uninterrupted.

I supposed when you were denied free speech for 51 years you become rather interested in making sure that it is a right that an be exercised.

Erm, hello?

Free speech has limits. You aren’t allowed to shout “fire” in a crowded theatre because someone’s probably going to get hurt. Your right to say what you like is trumped by your responsibility to stop me being trampled to death by a stampede of panicked theatre-goers. Death threats; rape threats; bomb threats; online abuse that drives someone to suicide – these are all things that free speech doesn’t cover – and which aren’t appropriate to defend in its name.

Erm, those things are indeed covered by free speech. Or at least should be. They might all be very bad things, they might even fall foul of other laws, but they are indeed things that people should be free to say–even if they then suffer the punishment of those other laws.

Watch for the outrage here

The 69-year-old, who campaigned to become Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner and vowed to support victims of domestic abuse, set out the 11 rules in a document, which was posted online after it was issued to a letting agent.

Single parents, workers on low income or zero hours contracts, families with children, pet owners, smokers and single adults will also not be considered. Only those who are able to afford rent and can provide a rent guarantee are to be accepted for his properties this year.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Wilson, who works alongside his wife Judith, said the criteria, which he reissues every year, was “sensible” and the result of the “financial fine tuning of the business”.

He said he issued it to agents to predominantly ensure he didn’t waste the time or money of those who couldn’t get a rent guarantee for his properties because they did not earn enough.

“It is just economics,” he said. “I live in the big bad world of reality, if I do not let properties and do not get the rent then I do not eat, I starve to death… it is the Government’s job to help poor people.

Man rents his own property to whom he pleases. Complaints in 3…2…1..

Yes, there is a double standard at play here

Take Italy in 1948: as the cold war unfolded, the US feared that a socialist-communist coalition would triumph in Italian elections. It barred Italians who “did not believe in the ideology of the United States” from even entering the country; funded opposing parties via the CIA; orchestrated a massive propaganda campaign, including millions of letters from Americans of Italian origin; and made it quite clear, via the State Department, that there was “no further question of assistance from the United States” if the wrong people won. Its efforts were a success. This was the first of many Italian elections featuring US interference.

Take the CIA’s self-professed involvement in the military coup that overthrew democratically elected secular Iranian president Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953: it was “carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government”, as the agency later confessed. The nature of the 1979 Iranian revolution cannot be understood without it. Or what of CIA backing for Augusto Pinochet’s murderous overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973?

There are more recent examples too. Take the military overthrow of Honduras’ Manuel Zelaya in 2009. The then secretary of state – a certain Hillary Clinton – refused to describe the toppling of Zelaya as a “military coup”, which would have required the suspension of US aid, including to the armed forces. Rather than call for Zelaya’s reinstatement, Clinton called for new elections. US assistance – including military aid – continued as dissidents were treated brutally; as death squads re-emerged; as violence against LGBT people surged; and as widely boycotted unfair elections took place.

Allegations of Russian interference in the US elections are undoubtedly alarming, but there’s a double standard at play.

We seem to have missed the Soviets sending in the tanks in 1953 in Berlin, in 1956 in Budapest, in 1968 in Czechoslovakia, the pressures in 1981 in Poland….

Owen Jones does seem to be operating to a double standard, doesn’t he?

As well as missing that that Honduran bloke was dumped entirely according to the local constitution on the grounds that he tried to change said constitution so that he could run for another term.

When freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom of speech

Evil neo-Nazis who launched a “whites only” food bank in Scotland have been banned for being terrorists.

The Record revealed in September that National Action thugs, who claim “Hitler was Right”, were operating homeless reach-outs and foodbanks.

So we’ve forgotten pecunia non olet then, have we?

The charity tactic was based on one used by Greek neo-Nazi group the Golden Dawn, who won nationwide support based on their social outreach programmes.

And do-gooding is a bad idea now? Feeding the hungry is?

Now, NA have been banned by Home Secretary Amber Rudd after she branded them yesterday as a “racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organisation”.

That means anyone associated with the group can be arrested and charged with terror offences.

Rudd said: “The safety and security of our families, communities and country comes first. So today I’m taking action to proscribe the neo-Nazi group National Action.

Whut? Actions can be illegal, righteously so, as can incitement to actions. But thoughts? Err, really?

“National Action stir up hatred, glorify violence and promote a vile ideology, and I will not stand for it.”

And you can fuck off honeybuns. Because we don’t rule the country by what you find acceptable.

Sure, they’re vile fascists and neo-Nazis. And because Britain is a free country they’re allowed to believe absolutely anything that manages to fit into the entire group’s two collective brain cells. It’s what freedom and liberty actually mean.

If they beat someone up then arrest and jail them for beating someone up. If they incite violence then jail the idiots for inciting violence. But they’re allowed to believe what the fuck they want. And not be proscribed just because some middle aged bint who once had the misfortune to marry AA Gill is affronted by what they do believe.

As with all the Wolfie Smith would bes, who insist that it is the bourgeoise that must be eliminated instead of the Jews.

They just never stop, do they?

More than 3 million European Union citizens living in Britain after Brexit will have to be issued with “some form of documentation”, the home secretary has said.

Amber Rudd told MPs she would not yet set out the details for any new EU ID card, but said: “There will be a need to have some sort of documentation. We are not going to set it out yet. We are going to do it in a phased approach to ensure that we use all the technology advantages that we are increasingly able to harness to ensure that all immigration is carefully handled.”

Non-UKites will need ID cards. So, obviously, UKites will need ID cards so that they can be distinguished from non-UKites. Because simple absence of a card will not be proof of being a UKite.

The Home Office, the institution, wants us all barcoded on our foreheads. Just because and any reason will do.

Black footy bags banned in India

Pelham would be proud:

CHENNAI:

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS members will have to bring out their new full pants for rallies that they plan in Tamil Nadu in October to celebrate Vijayadashmi, with the state’s high court saying they cannot march in the half pants that they have worn for nine decades.

The RSS, which does not have as big a presence in Tamil Nadu as it does in other southern states, will have about 200 to 300 workers marching in each of the 14 processions it plans across the state. In Kanyakumari and Coimbatore they expect an assembly of around two thousand members. The police had disallowed the processions saying it feared law and order problems, but the court said on Monday that the RSS can hold its event as long as it gets out the full pants.

The Chennai City Police Act, authorities say, bans processions in outfits that resemble the uniforms of the armed forces or the police. The white shirts and knee length khaki shorts that has been the RSS uniform for years, is very similar to the state police’s physical training gear.

No, it doesn’t honey, it doesn’t

When the Calais camp closes, what will happen to its vulnerable women?
Natasha Walter
Women forced to leave their homes in this global crisis are vulnerable to rape and violence. The UK has a responsibility to protect those at its borders

The UK has a duty to protect those within its borders. France has a duty to protect those within its borders.

Fuck off you grotty little fascist

The actor Leonardo DiCaprio has said he thinks that those who don’t believe in climate change should not hold public office.

Speaking at the White House ahead of a screening of his new documentary, Before the Flood, DiCaprio said such rejection indicated an inability to engage with the rational world.

“If you don’t believe in climate change, you don’t believe in facts, and science, and empirical truths,” he said.

“And, in my humble opinion, [you] should not be allowed to hold public office.”

Yes, yes, cue all those jokes about taking private jets to pick up an environmental award.

But this is, well it’s not just fascism really, it’s a form of totalitarianism. To say that I don’t think you should vote for people with the wrong, to my mind, views on climate change is just fine. The essence of politics if you like. But to say that those with the wwrong views should not be allowed to be elected is to descend into there being an ideological test for office. You can vote for anyone as long as they’re a communist, or a national socialist and so on, as has been done around the world many a time.

To think that someone is unfit for office based on their views is just fine. To insist that they cannot hold office is vile–so fuck off short arse.

Yes, this does apply equally to other views. I would and do argue that SWP types are idiots who shouldn’t be within 500 yards of elective office and I’ve a good evidence base to back me up. But they’ve every right to stand and every right to take office if people are loon enough to elect them.

This is odd, yes

Police are having to “give tip-offs and notify gangsters who are fighting each other” rather than investigate crimes because of the Human Rights Act, a former justice minister has said.

Dominic Raab, who was in charge of human rights policy at the Ministry of Justice until the summer, said it was an example of “human rights being turned into an obligation”.

The warning letters – also known as Osman warnings – are issued by police if they become aware of a real and immediate threat to somebody’s life.

Police issue them when there is intelligence of a threat to someone’s life, but not enough evidence to justify the police arresting the possible offender.

“Dear One Ear,

Billy sez he’s gonna do you in.

yours, Plod”

Umm, sorry, but how did we get here?

How does Jeremy do this?

The former Labour Cabinet minister, Yvette Cooper, has revealed how she has been subjected to death threats online, with one abuser telling her she should be “beheaded”.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Ms Cooper said it was an example of the increasingly vicious internet abuse that Labour MPs suffer and demanded that Jeremy Corbyn act to stamp it out.

Right, OK, so he’s out of power and Twitter is in the US anyway.

Although from not a Labour party member, the beheading threat against Ms Cooper illustrates the growing problem of online abuse, which she says Mr Corbyn must now address.

To be honest here, what the fuck has this to do with Corbyn?

Err, the police get to decide this?

Police forces across England and Wales are considering expanding their definition of hate crime to include misogyny after an experiment in one city that saw more than 20 investigations launched in two months.

I was sure that our system worked on a rather different basis. Don’t we have a legislature or summat that decides what s a crime?

No, not really

Violent crimes against women in England and Wales reach record high

Reality:

The number of prosecutions relating to violence against women and girls in England and Wales reached a record level last year, the director of public prosecutions said

A rise in the number of prosecutions is not the same as a rise in the number of crimes. It could be that we’re simply prosecuting more of those that occur:

Director of public prosecutions says use of social media to threaten and control is driving factor behind 10% rise in number of cases to 117,568 in 2015-16

Ah, yes, that’s what we’re doing. Prosecuting those who call someone a twat on twatter.

This is not what a free or good society does

French police made a woman remove her burkini on a Nice beach while another was fined in the resort of Cannes for wearing leggings, a tunic and a headscarf.

Along the coast in Cannes, a mother of two told AFP on Tuesday she had been fined on the beach for wearing leggings, a tunic and a headscarf.

Her ticket read that she was not wearing “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism”.

There’re fair arguments about wearing a burka in the witness box and the like but this?

Nope.

Given my skin colour, freckles, father’s melanoma, middle of the day at a beach I will be covered up, long trousers, long sleeved shirt, hat. I should be forced into budgie smugglers instead? And no, the State should not be making the difference between me doing it for health reasons and some bint doing it for Allah.

Not that France is a free or good society often enough….

Cat, meet pigeons

Austria could be set to force refugees to do menial work for 87p an hour – or risk losing state handouts from the government.
Foreign minister Sebastian Kurz said many asylum seekers were ‘illiterate’ and should be made to carry out mandatory community jobs to help integrate them into society.
They would be required to work between 15 and 30 hours a week for just one euro an hour on work like street cleaning and municipal gardening, Kurz said.

I’m pretty sure that an asylum seeker cannot be forced to work. They have an absolute right to a minimum standard of care as they seek that asylum. But of course there’s nothing at all to stop people offering a little more in return for some labour.

And here’s the problem Keith

Keith Vaz, the Labour chair of the Home Affairs Committee, also said anti-terror legislation ought to be reviewed.

He said: “It is deeply worrying to see the extent of his activities. While congratulating the police in bringing this case to a successful conclusion we now need to look again at the law to ensure that it allows no gaps that permit preachers of hate to undertake their activities under the cloak of freedom of speech exercised in a democracy.

“In future we need to show zero tolerance to those who act and behave in this way.”

How?

Being a nutter isn’t and shouldn’t be a crime. Even being a vicious nutter who hates our way of life is not and should not be a crime.

Pledging allegiance to a terrorist group, which is what he got done for, that is and perhaps it should be.

But what is the change in law that you want to put forward? And how is it going to be drafted to that it catches him and those like him but doesn’t lock up all those who call for the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie?