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Civil Liberty

This is just what happens

The Netherlands has taken this argument to its logical conclusion. While the law there hasn’t changed in the 20-plus years since it was introduced, over time the interpretation of its criteria has,

So that’s about euthanasia. Here abortion requires 2 doctors to sign off – anyoine heard of anyone being denied that? It’s on demand.

And those laws that would only be used against the real baddies – they use RICO whenever they like these days. And on and on – of course these things get expanded.

Bernary Levin called it the Fallacy of the Altered Standpoint – he was right too.

Kocking someone off because they’ve depression, no, obviously not, don’t be absurd. But if you’re already at the point where you’ll knock someone off for being physically ill then why not?

So, we tell ’em to fuck off then

The press watchdog has ruled against journalists reporting evidence given in open court, in a decision branded a dangerous intrusion on free speech.

Lawyers and campaigners have warned that the ruling sets a precedent that could seriously curtail reporting in the future.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) ruled that details of a rape trial reported by the website Aberdeen Live had been an “intrusion into grief or shock” of the anonymous victim in the case.

The victim, whose identity is protected by law, had complained to Ipso that the website’s report of a specific “detailed description of her physical reaction to the attack” had contained a “level of detail” that “had retraumatised her”.

IPSOS can fuck off. Simple, see?

Conscription is slavery

Rishi Sunak has vowed to bring back National Service for 18-year-olds to create a “renewed sense of pride in our country” in his first major policy announcement of the election campaign.

Under the mandatory scheme, school leavers will have to either enrol on a 12-month military placement or spend one weekend each month volunteering in their community.

Well now, well now

DEI – short for diversity, equity and inclusion – has become the latest dog-whistle term in the conservative war of words to frame basic egalitarianism as a net negative.

There are those of us really not sure – to put it polititely – about basic egalitarianism. For egalitarianism implies – at the very least – an equality of outcome. And there are indeed those of us who think that’s a seriously bad idea. Equality of opportunity, sure, that’s vital, but to insist upon that equality of outcome is vile. Or, as we might put it, a net negative.

Given that the background here is Baltimore the distinction also gives us something to concentrate upon. Agreed, teh place is a wasteland. Has horrendous problems. But is the solution to insist that there are equal numbers of each grouping, ethnicity, different ability level and so on in each part of what society remains?

Or, given that the school district is absolutely, wholly, shite while still having in the top ten of large school districts funding levels, might the solution be to sort out that wholly shite school system so as to give at least the possibility of that equality of opportunity?

This does rather depend

Claiming to be a “non-feminist” at work could be an act of discrimination, an employment tribunal has ruled.

An Environment Agency manager who claimed he was forced out of his job because of his views had his claim dismissed, with a judge saying not agreeing with equality and diversity in the workplace was a “questionable” belief that conflicted with the rights of colleagues.

Ruling against Kevin Legge, Robin Postle, the employment judge who chaired the tribunal, suggested holding such views could be in breach of equality laws.

What views on equality and diversity? That all are equal and have the same rights? Or that all other than cis white men are victoms of capitalist patriarchy?

Interesting

Emir Kir, the mayor of the Brussels commune of Saint Josse, had signed a court order demanding the closure of the event with “immediate effect”, on the grounds that speeches by the likes of Mr Farage and Suella Braverman could cause public disorder.

Might it be possible that this no platforming idea might have gone too far? Maybe?

No worries

Iran has charged several journalists and newspapers after they criticised Saturday’s strikes on Israel.

Tehran’s prosecutor’s office said it had issued charges against the pro-reform newspaper Etemad and its journalist Abbas Abdi, the financial newspaper the Jahan Sanat, the journalist Yashar Soltani and prominent filmmaker Hossein Dehbashi.

Well, not directly. As yesterday, my mate’s already out – but right newspaper.

Tehran prosecutor’s office said it had charged Mr Abdi and the newspaper under its “legal obligation to address individuals who disrupt societal psychological security”.

….

Jahan Sanat, a Tehran-based financial newspaper, was charged with trying “to undermine the psychological security of society and disrupt the economic stability of the nation” with its front page on Sunday.

The newspaper had said it was concerned about the hit to the economy and stock market that escalating tensions between Iran and Israel would have.

Did you note that I was less that complimentary about Murphy when he stated that Israel was just as bad as Tehran?

Snigger

Scottish football fans face hate crime complaints from members of the public who hear chants on TV at home, a senior lawyer has warned.

Police Scotland, which has already received 8,000 reports since the new laws came into force last week, is facing warnings that as many as 2,000 further complaints will be made on Sunday due to the Rangers vs Celtic clash at Ibrox.

Sectarian songs are often heard at Old Firm matches, raising fears that partisan supporters watching the game live on TV could swamp the force with new hate crime reports.

Tis an idiot law.

And, as I read it, physical presence – of the insult being made, or of the insultee – in Scotland is not necessary. It is, purely, that the supposed and felt to be insult is read or seen in Scotland.

An idiot law.

Most un-British

Humza Yousaf has suggested that racist graffiti targeting him near his family home shows the need for his controversial hate crime laws.

The Scottish First Minister took to social media to highlight slurs relating to his Pakistani heritage and Muslim religion that were sprayed on walls in Broughty Ferry.

Mr Yousaf said it had become “increasingly difficult” to shield his two children “from the racism and Islamophobia I face on a regular basis”.

Although offences involving stirring up racial hatred have existed since 1986, he suggested the graffiti helped make the case for his new hate crime laws, saying it was “a reminder of why we must, collectively, take a zero-tolerance approach to hatred”.

The idea that we mustn’t say hurty things about the feckin’ bawbags who take 50% of our money off us is rather un-British, no?

In fact it’s getting rather French here – they say hurty things about me so the state must crack down – l’etat c’est moi, no?

How unlike a Leftie, eh?

Labour’s Yvette Cooper has criticised Elon Musk’s management of X, saying the tech billionaire’s social media company is being used to “continually promote anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate”.

The shadow home secretary also accused Rishi Sunak of giving a “free pass” to tech executives who are “allowing their platforms to harbour hate”.

People are saying things I disapprove of.

Ban it!

Eh?

Justin Trudeau’s government has proposed a law giving judges the power to put someone under house arrest if they fear they could commit a hate crime.

Critics have warned the “draconian” bill is an overreach of power and could stifle free speech and difficult discussions.

But Canada’s justice minister defended the measure, claiming it would be an “important” tool to help protect potential victims.

To be used against wrongthink in 3…2…1….

Now it’s the law the fool doesn’t understand

They justify this by saying:

We have a duty to ensure that that we understand the reasoning of a court so that we can correctly apply any considerations to future cases and charging decisions. This appeal was pursued because what is required, for all concerned, is clarity and certainty.

There is a technical description for that, which is it is drivel (other words could be used).

The reality is that the Tories want to limit free speech.

The courts would not do it.

Making a justified claim that the Tories are scum is clearly a legal thing to do.

Unless you are a Tory minister, of course, whose aim here is to politicise the Supreme Court, whatever the outcome. Which looks like the actions of Tory enemies of free speech to me.

Taking is to the Supreme Court clarifies whether it is legal to call a Tory minister scum. Which is what the department of pp is saying they’re doing.

“Scum” is clearly not libel, as it’s “mere vulgar abuse”. Something that was clarified in libel law by a case or 17 going up and down the court system until top judges clarified what “mere vulgar abuse” was and why it wasn’t libel.

There’s also behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace – currently calling someone n word probably is in a way that a century ago it probably wasn’t.

And so on. We have interlocking restrictions on what may and may not be legally said in public. We also have a common law system, which means that it’s, often enough, the judges making precedent setting rulings which define what those specific laws are.

Here we’ve an interesting question. Which needs to be sorted. So, the system we’ve got is going to sort it.

Ho Hum

Ownership means being able to sell it

If who you can sell it to is conditional then the ownership is conditional:

The media minister said on Tuesday that she was concerned in principle about a foreign government owning a British media organisation.

Julia Lopez made the comments in a Commons debate about the proposed takeover of The Telegraph by RedBird IMI, a group that is 75 per cent funded by the UAE.

Ms Lopez urged MPs to “be heard loud and clear” and indicated that she would be sympathetic to some of the fears they had raised in the debate, which was triggered via an urgent question.

Children are doing it for themselves

Over 90% of child sexual abuse imagery is self-generated, data shows
Volume of material children are coerced or groomed into creating prompts renewed attack on end-to-end encryption

That second line, about coercion, might be an invention. For it could – could – be possible that the kiddies are perfectly happy playing doctors and nurses. It’s one of those things that does happen, encryption or not, online or not, after all.

Of course, this is all really part of the campaign against end to end encryption. How dare you want to have a part of life that government cannot see into? At which point any excuse will do really.

Free speech?

Following that report, writers behind 247 Substack publications issued an open letter to the company asking it to clarify its policies and explain why it chooses to “promote and allow the monetization of sites that traffic in white nationalism”. In response, the Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie said the platform would not remove or de-monetize newsletters promoting white nationalism, stating that the platform was “committed to upholding and protecting freedom of expression, even when it hurts”.

Meaning, if it’s legal, they get to say it?

Sure, freedom more generally does mean that those who don;t like the idea can run their newsletters on some other platform. That’s fine too.

Myself I’d suggest they do too.

A certain problem with values here

Under the proposed definition in the documents, extremism would be the promotion of any ideology which aims to “overturn or undermine the UK’s democracy, its institutions and values; or threaten the rights of individuals or create a permissive environment for radicalisation, hate crime and terrorism”.

It adds that the definition should be supported with public guidance that enables “consistent use and application”. The documents state that “stakeholders have thus far agreed this sets a clear threshold for identifying extremism”.

Who defines what those British values are?

Would be asy enough to argue that a British value is a concern for the underdog, for those fleeing violence elsewhere. For example. Therefore it becomes hate crime to oppose the small boats crossing the Channel.

Or that Brits are against poverty therefore it’s criminal to oppose a rise in welfare benefits.

And if you think that’s absurd then you’ve not been paying attention to what people will do once they gain political power.

The only way out of this is to stick with the old definitions. Actions can be prosecuted. Incitement to immediate violence can be. And nothing else. Not because there isn’t some further class that is dangerous, that we’d like to ban. But because the further edge of that would be the imposition of a State ideology. Because that’s just what happens with political power – it all comes down to who gets to define.

They’re losing their heads here

Possibly they should therefore lose their heads:

Property owners who fail to comply with new energy efficiency rules could face prison under government plans that have sparked a backlash from Tory MPs.

Ministers want to grant themselves powers to create new criminal offences and increase civil penalties as part of efforts to hit net zero targets. Under the proposals, people who fall foul of regulations to reduce their energy consumption could face up to a year in prison and fines of up to £15,000.

Criminal offences for energy regulations? Entirely lost the plot.

One wonders

Djamani on Friday became the 15th prisoner sent to the gallows since the government resumed executions in March 2022 after a two-year pause during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Why the pause? Worried the executee might get ill?

It is an amusement, isn’t it?

A “well-known” BBC presenter has been taken off air after allegedly paying a teenager more than £35,000 in exchange for sexually explicit photographs, it has been reported.

The teenager was allegedly 17 years old when the payments first began and their family filed a complaint to the BBC on May 19, according to The Sun.

A 17 year old can bang anyone they want but a piccie of their titties is illegal.

We do end up with some weird laws.