Civil Liberty

It’s in the original definition

Jews practice apartheid, Palestinians can’t vote and…..hmm:

One cannot live a single day in Israel-Palestine without the sense that this place is constantly being engineered to privilege one people, and one people only: the Jewish people. Yet half of those living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea are Palestinian. The chasm between these lived realities fills the air, bleeds, is everywhere on this land.

Note the definition of the area. That includes the West Bank and also Gaza as well as Israel. So at least part of the complaint is that those living with Hamas as their government, those with the Palestinian Unity whatever it is, don;t get to vote for the government under which they do not live.

Quite appalling, I agree. Why shouldn’t Brits vote for the government of France after all?

So, when do they come for the Marxists?

Twitter has said it has suspended more than 70,000 accounts since Friday that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content as the social media site continued to crack down on content after supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol.

“Given the violent events in Washington DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday afternoon,” Twitter said in a blog late on Monday.

“These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service,” the company said.

After all, it’s a pretty widespread conspiracy theory, at least some adherents insist that it requires a revolutionary solution, the bourgeoisie to be eliminated as a class. So?

That’ll teach ‘im

Lai Xiaomin, previously chairman of one of China’s “big four” state-controlled asset management firms, China Huarong Asset Management Co, had pleaded guilty to the dozens of charges. He had been accused of soliciting almost 1.79bn yuan ($276.7m) in bribes over 10 years, a period when he was also acting as a regulator. The Tianjin court said Lai had abused his position to obtain the “extremely large” bribes, and the circumstances were “particularly serious”, including taking bribes to get people jobs, promotions or contracts.

Bad boy.

“Lai Xiaomin was lawless and extremely greedy,” the court statement said. He will also have personal assets confiscated and be stripped of his political rights.

The death sentence for Lai,

So they’re going to shoot him, take all his stuff and prevent him from voting?

It’s that last that’s so fun. Because of course it’s the places that don’t particularly have significant political rights that make so much of taking them away.

Seems unlikely really

Lesbian are facing “extinction” because of the “disproportionate” focus on transgenderism in schools, a controversial campaign group for gay rights has claimed.

Every generation seems to breed its own lesbians anew. Thus extinction seems unlikely.

On Wednesday, Ofcom chief Melanie Dawes said it would be “entirely inappropriate” for the BBC to approach groups like the LGB Alliance to “balance” debates around trans issues after SNP MP John Nicolson, a homosexual, described them as “transphobic”.

Seems odd. If you want to have a debate about trans then don;t you rather need people who are against it as well as people in favour? That is, assume the accusation is correct – it ain’t – then they’re exactly the people you want for balance.

This is the point at which you get to fuck off Honey

To truly protect freedom of speech – a fundamental necessity for meaningful democratic life – we must be alert to how it can become weaponised in ideologically coercive ways. Free speech can become a Trojan horse to
gain space and attention for retrograde ideas that do not really merit debate. Pretending that all ideas must always be treated as equally valid and worthy of discussion in the idealised “marketplace of ideas” allows discredited ones – such as race science – to be covertly rehabilitated.

All too frequently, the gleeful caricature of students as “woke snowflakes” distracts from the fact that fomented free-speech controversies hinge almost exclusively on the right to express discriminatory, hateful or discredited viewpoints that explicitly target racial and sexual minorities.

Yes, this is what free speech means. Peeps get to stand up and say whatever comes into their heads, however stupid, hateful or against your prejudices those things may be.

The two exceptions are libel and the incitement to immediate violence. This last means that it is legal – and part of free speech – to argue for the elimination of the bourgeoisie as a class as the basis of economic and social policy. It is not legal to stand up and argue that we should burn the niggers in the quad right now. That word “immediate” carries a substantial amount of weight there.

And that’s what free speech means. Yea, even to the point that I am indeed allowed to use that naughty word there. And also I have the duty to put up with whatever storms of outrage come my way as a result of my having used it. Just as those advocating the elimination have to put up with arguments back from bourgeois suggesting that perhaps they’re not all that happy with the idea.

Quite so

Two judges have struck a blow to enemies of free speech after ruling people should have the right to offend and even abuse each other without facing a police investigation.

Presiding over a Court of Appeal case concerning the misgendering of a trans woman on Twitter, Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Warby ruled that “free speech encompasses the right to offend, and indeed to abuse another”, adding: “Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having”.

They said it would be a “serious interference” with the right of free speech if “those wishing to express their own views could be silenced by, or threatened with, proceedings for harassment based on subjective claims by individuals that felt offended or insulted”.

This being not just the usual common law understanding of the matter but also protected expression of views under the Human Rights stuff – no, that’s not EU, that’s Council of Europe stuff.

Got it already

Victims should get a legal right to have a say on the sentencing of a criminal, according to a report for the victims’ commissioner.

“It was ‘im. ‘Eee dun it! Lock ‘im up and fro’ away the key!”

Everyone and anyone has an absolute right so say such things already.

Oh, wait, the idiot is suggesting that they get to determine the sentence? What is buggery are we using the judge for them?

Owen matey, this isn’t racism

Twenty-two-year-old Osime Brown has lived in this country since he was four. Whatever the law may say, he is British: he has spent the majority of his life on UK soil and has the vaguest memories of Jamaica, the country in which he was born. Yet Brown, who has autism and a learning age of between six and seven, now faces deportation because he was jailed in 2018 for the robbery of a friend’s mobile phone – something he denies responsibility for.

Despite all the platitudes and regrets expressed in the aftermath of the Windrush scandal, here is the unapologetic racism of the British justice system. After serving his sentence, Brown, a black man born overseas, will receive a second punishment that would not be imposed on someone born in the UK who committed the same offence.

That’s nationalism, citizenshipism perhaps, but it’s not racism. Would, could, the same happen to a white folk from, say, Russia? Yep – so it’s not racism, is it?

You naughty, naughty, people you

Social media firms face multi-billion pound fines up to 10 per cent of their turnover for breaching Duty of Care laws, as ministers pledged there would be “no safe space online for horrors like child sexual abuse or terrorism”.

Unveiling the new Duty of Care in an article for The Telegraph, Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, said the Government would also take powers to shut down firms that failed to remove child abuse, terrorism or suicide content from their sites by blocking their access to UK users.

You’ve been using that liberty of cyberspace to be free. We’d better put a stop to that.

Too many people – not just those in public life – continue to be bombarded by racism, misogyny and trolling on a regular basis.

Your freedom discomfits us rulers. Therefore you may not have that freedom any more.

Or, as we might observe, the kiddie fiddling stuff is just the excuse.

Well, yes…..

Hundreds of senior employees at British banks HSBC and Standard Chartered have been members of the Chinese Communist Party, according to documents seen by the Daily Telegraph.

OK. They’re banks that work in China. And Hong Kong. We’d expect some number of the employees to be members of the local ruling party.

The revelation is likely to heap further pressure on the lenders,


Sure, the Communist Party contains some who actually are communists but where it’s the ruling party membership is often rather like Rotary. That’s just what ambitious youngsters join.


Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge

Apparently not quite up with longstanding British attitudes. She wants to ban online anonymity. Because:

Among the dossier of abusive tweets collated by CST, one called Hodge “a backstabbing, evil old wrinkled pedo lover”

That is what a libel court would call mere vulgar abuse.

And she’d not want to even try prosecuting that for libel given the Oscar Wilde case. See back issue of Private Eye for why.

Well, yes Owen, it’s called free speech

Nearly a decade ago, the Tory baroness Sayeeda Warsi declared that bigotry towards Muslims has “passed the dinner-table test”. This isn’t to say that other forms of racism and bigotry aren’t rampant, or indeed hardwired into British society and its institutions – such as the disproportionate levels of poverty or police harassment endured by black Britons. What it does mean is that people in this country can say virtually anything about Muslims – including those with power, social cachet and influence – without consequence.

Quite why the laddie can’t understand this idea of civil liberty is difficult to understand.

Quick, quick, change the rules!

Jourová also referenced the leave campaign’s “We send the EU £350m a week, let’s fund our NHS instead” slogan in the run-up to the Brexit referendum. “What we saw was the fake news of [saying we will] not be paying money to the EU but paying to the national health system,” she said. “It was proven not to be true and it influenced the will of the people to a large extent, according to many analysts.”

The propaganda that says that the EU has brought peace to Europe will of course be allowed to continue.

Well, yes, this is a problem, isn’t it?

One of Britain’s most prolific paedophiles, who targeted at least 500 children, would not have been caught under Facebook’s proposed end-to-end encryption plans, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Appearing at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday, labourer David Nicholas Wilson, 36, admitted 96 sex abuse offences against 51 boys aged four to 14, whom he conned into sending him sexual images or blackmailed into abusing their younger siblings or friends.

Certain rapists get off because the jury finds they didn’t rape anyone. So, we ban juries?

Well, as we know, there are those who propose exactly that.

Certain crimes are not detected because the police have to have a warrant to bug phones. So, we should stop having warrants to bug phones? There are people who would suggest that too.

In a free – even a liberal – society the presumption is that peeps get to do as peeps desire as long as there is no direct third party harm. This applies to end to end encryption as well. There is no direct harm to it – even as people might use it to hide their activities which do harm. There is no direct harm to a third party with the wearing of a burqa. Even as it might be used to hide an identity or a crime.

Wasn’t aware of this……

A former Facebook engineer masterminded a banned web browser for a far right social network which has become a safe haven for users who were banished from his employer’s platform.

Fosco Marotto, who worked at Facebook for seven years, built the browser to help users of Gab to scrawl right-wing virtual graffiti on any webpage, bypassing the moderated comments section. The browser also allowed people to “block big tech ads”, according to its website.

Mr Marotto left Facebook in October and announced last week that he would take over as Gab’s chief technology officer. Facebook did not comment on why he left or whether his work with Gab violated its policies.

Mr Marotto said he worked on the browser in his spare time. The browser, named Dissenter, was built to circumvent the banning of Gab’s software by Google and Mozilla.

That Gab had been banned. Not picked up, not indexed and all that, yes. But actually banned?

So here’s a weird question

A horror film fan and his boyfriend have been found guilty of murdering a woman who was lured to their “flat of horrors” after a chance meeting during a night out.

Leave aside the case and all that. A weird question.

So, one of the bits of prison as punishment is being separated from loved ones. We don’t do – in secure prisons at least – conjugal visits and all that. Where there’s a same sex couple both sentenced this sorta goes by the wayside. If they’re in the same prison they could continue to be a couple.

Well, assuming they wanted to be and didn’t spend 20 years squabbling about whose fault it was they got caught etc.

So, is there a policy on this? It might be rare enough that no one has ever thought it through. There is an acknowledgement that sexual relationships happen in prison – there’s been muttering about condom provision for years. And that’s long before we get to those American horror stories where the majority (hmm, mebbe?) of rape in the country is male on male in said prisons.

Which is what leads to the odd question. Will the Prison Service be trying to make sure this pair go to different prisons? Or not? To be jailed as a couple would be a different punishment from the more usual being jailed away from partners, no?

Not that it matters in the least in any grander sense it’s just one of those things that puzzles on a Tuesday morning having read the papers.

Well John, here’s how it works

John Boyega has said he is genuinely worried that his impassioned speech at a Black Lives Matter protest in London in June will have damaging consequences for his career.

“Absolutely. I still have those thoughts,” he said in an interview, reflecting on the moment when he addressed the rally so memorably and powerfully.

You have the right – short of libel and incitement to immediate violence – to say anything you like. The right. You also have the duty to accept the consequences. The duty.

Rights without duties don’t work, d’ye see?

Well, OK, but……

An Australian woman has described the “terrifying” experience of being taken off a Qatar Airways flight by authorities who strip-searched passengers as they tried to identify the mother of an infant found in the Doha airport toilets.

Kim Mills was one of nine women taken off a Qatar Airways flight bound for Sydney on 2 October and led through the bowels of the Hamad International airport to what appeared to be a dark carpark or turning circle, where three ambulances were waiting to perform medical examinations to determine if any of the women had recently given birth.

Mills was the only woman not subject to an examination.

“They told me to step forward, to go into the ambulance, and as I stepped forward another officer came round and stood in front of me and said: ‘No, no, you go, you go’,” Mills told Guardian Australia. “And as I was standing there with this officer telling me to go, a young lass came out of the ambulance and she was crying and distraught.

Terrified by not being strip searched seems a bit much.

But let’s try this the other way around. There’s a newborn right there. Abandoned. We tend to think that’s a bad idea. Further, the new mother might actually need medical attention herself. Right. So, how do you work out who the new mother is?