Free speech and sodomy

I rather wonder where the society went off the rails here:

Dale McAlpine was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a homosexual police community support officer (PCSO) overheard him reciting a number of “sins” referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same sex relationships.

The 42-year-old Baptist, who has preached Christianity in Wokington, Cumbria for years, said he did not mention homosexuality while delivering a sermon from the top of a stepladder, but admitted telling a passing shopper that he believed it went against the word of God.

Police officers are alleging that he made the remark in a voice loud enough to be overheard by others and have charged him with using abusive or insulting language, contrary to the Public Order Act.

It took us about a century and a half to go from hanging buggerers (the last execution for sodomy was in the 1830s from memory) to finally agreeing that what consenting adults did with their gonads was a matter for such consenting adults, not the rest of us to decide upon. How did we overshoot to the extent that we are now not allowed to opine upon it though?

Is there perhaps some fixed amount of freedom that can be extant at any one time? So that if, rightly in this case, freedom is extended in one direction then it must be, wrongly in this case, limited in some other?

I do have a feeling though that there\’s a simpler explanation in this case:

During the exchange, he says he quietly listed homosexuality among a number of sins referred to in 1 Corinthians, including blasphemy, fornication, adultery and drunkenness.

After the woman walked away, she was approached by a PCSO who spoke with her briefly and then walked over to Mr McAlpine and told him a complaint had been made, and that he could be arrested for using racist or homophobic language.

The street preacher said he told the PCSO: “I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator”.

He claims that the PCSO then said he was homosexual and identified himself as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for Cumbria police. Mr McAlpine replied: “It’s still a sin.”

I have a very strong feeling that the actual crime here is pissing off a policemen. And that might be an even greater problem than the restriction of free speech one.

That we\’re hiring people into the police force who have such thin skins, are not able to understand that what is illegal and what might hurt a policemen\’s fragile ego are not the same thing, that\’s a problem.

And lordy, what a woofter, eh?

22 thoughts on “Free speech and sodomy”

  1. “How did we overshoot to the extent that we are now not allowed to opine upon it though?”

    Because we allowed the progressives to shift the emphasis from tolerance of alternative lifestyles to ‘celebration’ of them.

    It isn’t enough now to say ‘I don’t really like what you do, but you have the right to do it and I like you as a person, so let’s agree to differ on that score’.

    That is now considered a crime.

  2. “That we’re hiring people into the police force…”

    Well, we aren’t, in this instance. He isn’t a policeman (yet), but a faux policeman, one of Blunkett’s plastic police.

    The fact that when the real police turned up, they reacted to his complaint with the arrest is the problem.

  3. “Is there perhaps some fixed amount of freedom that can be extant at any one time?”

    Indeed, it’s Will Self’s Quantity Theory of Insanity. The moment we get something right, we have to immediately screw something else up.

  4. Was he arrested? I doubt they would do that because this is so transparently an abuse that it would be a false arrest, and that draws serious attention.

  5. “Because we allowed the progressives to shift the emphasis from tolerance of alternative lifestyles to ‘celebration’ of them.”

    Beatification of them, with blasphemers burnt at the stake more like.

    Where was this PCSO when Abu Hamza was ranting, eh? Cowards! Hypocrites! Lickspittles!

    The preacher was doing was recounting the contents of a book. You might as well arrest someone reading out The Lord of the Rings for racial hatred towards Orcs.

    This arrest is, IMHO, in contravention of the Rule of Law. Now, if the preacher wanted to change the law to suit his views, that is another thing entirely, but bullying and thought police action like this is all part of the Fabian agenda to make people cease thinking and keep their head down, only uttering what is “permitted”.

    The preacher could well be a carpet muncher, but as long as he munches his own carpet and not mine, then fine.

  6. People who preach tolerance when they are repressed don’t usually exhibit tolerance when they get the upper hand.

  7. “My bad. If he gets a good lawyer, they’re toast.”

    I’d hope so, but…

    “You might as well arrest someone reading out The Lord of the Rings for racial hatred towards Orcs.”

    Well, the Orcs are clearly racial caricatures representing black skinned races (at least according to one barking moonbat in the ‘Times’) so don’t be too surprised if that ever happens…

  8. ….Now, if the preacher wanted to change the law to suit his views, that is another thing entirely,……

    Even that should surely be allowed, if we really believe in free speech. Surely the only thing worth getting upset about is inciting people to actually do a bit of gay bashing.

    The “progressives” have taken the place of the Spanish Inquistors. Punish those who dare to challenge the orthodoxy.

  9. My bad. If he gets a good lawyer, they’re toast.

    Nowadays, the punishment is the process. He’s been arrested, which means he now needs to declare that to various bodies in order to visit the US, emigrate, etc. He’s probably also been offered to agree to a caution, i.e. admitting guilt, in order to avoid a lengthy and expensive trial.

    The process is the punishment, and boy, don’t the police know it!

  10. Interestingly, the police can only arrest if it’s necessary: it it can be shown as unnecessary (no flight risk, offer to cooperate and attend station) then the subsequent arrest will be unlawful – and compensation will be due (and the argument for compensation for visa hassle can be made).

  11. “The process is the punishment, and boy, don’t the police know it!”

    I wonder what the Tories will do about that? Damien Green knows all about this punishment.

  12. Yes, but regardless of whether the arrest is subsquently deemed unlawful, it is still marked down as an arrest when answering the question “Have you ever been arrested?”

    I don’t know if the original arrest is removed from all databases once deemed unlawful, but I doubt it. Ditto for the DNA swabs.

  13. “Was he arrested? I doubt they would do that because this is so transparently an abuse that it would be a false arrest, and that draws serious attention. . . If he gets a good lawyer, they’re toast.”

    I suspect that the police know what they were doing, and were pretty careful to ensure that they were operating within the Home Office guidelines for policing the Public Order Act.

  14. “I don’t know if the original arrest is removed from all databases once deemed unlawful, but I doubt it. Ditto for the DNA swabs.”

    Actually, yes, the court will usually order records destroyed. David Mery was falsely arrested on 14/7 and after several years, IPCCcomplaints and court action had his records destroyed.

  15. “I suspect that the police know what they were doing, and were pretty careful to ensure that they were operating within the Home Office guidelines for policing the Public Order Act.”

    Hmmn. I rarely see evidence that the police know what they are doing. Mostly they seem to act to carry out the “will of the Führer” (although in this case, the will of the Fabianism that has so infected our country for years).

    PCSOs are virtually untrained shaved monkeys who get up to all kinds of tricks (as a quick search of YouTube will illustrate).

  16. “Hmmn. I rarely see evidence that the police know what they are doing. Mostly they seem to act to carry out the “will of the Führer” (although in this case, the will of the Fabianism that has so infected our country for years).”

    True, but how often do you see police officers being charged with false arrest?

    “PCSOs are virtually untrained shaved monkeys who get up to all kinds of tricks (as a quick search of YouTube will illustrate).”

    As JuliaM points out, it was three real policemen who arrested Mr McAlpine. For all three to make a mistake that could get them charged with false arrest would be quite astonishing.

    I must confess that my first reaction was also to think “false arrest” – but I’d be very, very surprised if the constables were charged.

  17. Once you have a law which makes it a crime to think something, the rest follows naturally.

    These laws slide painlessly into civilised society, but require blood to be shed to abolish them.

  18. The Public Order Act is a terrible piece of draconian legislation which has been repeatedly criticised by former Home Secretaries. Sadly as Home Secretaries they do nothing about it.

    It’s almost a blanket “we can arrest you for upsetting people” law.

  19. Pingback: An opportunity to make freedom of speech an election issue? | eChurch Christian Blog

  20. As far as I can tell, PCSOs can only detain someone if they suspect they have been given a false name and address AND have been designated with the required powers.

    If the real police are not there you can just give the PCSO any details they are empowered to request and leave

    “a CSO may only be designated with the power to detain if they have also been designated with the power to require name and address under paragraph 1A of the Police Reform Act 2002”.

    See
    http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/community-policing/List_of_Powers_of_PCSOs?view=Binary

    The crime most likely to have been committed here would seem to be Wrongful Arrest.

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