Civil Liberty

Details and that Devil

UK to withdraw from European arrest warrant

Excellent.

And yet:

“The agreement should instead provide for fast-track extradition arrangements, based on the EU’s surrender agreement with Norway and Iceland which came into force in 2019, but with appropriate further safeguards for individuals beyond those in the European arrest warrant.”

As long as that includes the usual extradition rules, why not. Must be a crime here as well as a crime there, there must be sufficient evidence for there to be a case to answer.

Sigh

First, we never censor content. Our powers to sanction broadcasters who breach our rules apply only after a programme has aired. In fact, the clear, fair and respected code that we enforce on TV and radio acts as a strong deterrent against poor behaviour.

So your rules do censor what people say then?

How weird

The Labour party has formally adopted a definition of Islamophobia, arguing that it is vital to tackling the rise of far-right racism.

A party spokesperson said its national executive committee had adopted the working definition produced by the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims “to help tackle Islamophobia, build a common understanding of its causes and consequences, and express solidarity with Muslim communities”.

The definition reads: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

Islam is a belief system, one open to humans of all races, tribes and nations, closed to none. It’s exactly the opposite of any form of race or racism. So too therefore must be any criticism of it.

Seems fair enough to be honest

The government is to introduce emergency legislation to remove the possibility for terrorists to be released early automatically without risk assessment by the parole board. This will apply to serving prisoners.

Of course, the idea that people are released automatically is itself silly. Why not just shorten the original sentence?

Automating Plod

Inside Clearview, the secretive facial recognition start-up that can reveal your identity from single photo

Such a horror, eh? Getting a machine to do what an untrained Plod can manage.

“Here’s a picture. Know ‘im?”

“Jim down the petrol station Sah!”

There are indeed things to think about. Like machines being able to do this can be produced in their millions and thus we can be id’d walking down the street – each and every street. But it’s the deployment that is the potential problem. Not the being able to recognise from a single picture.

No, this doesn’t work

The Bank of England could face a legal challenge from vegans over its use of animal fats in banknotes, lawyers warned after a landmark ruling on Friday.

An employment judge found that holding a sincere belief in “ethical veganism” should be given the same legal protection under the Equality Act as that given to Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Because both Jews and Muslims would already be against the use of pig fat (also, Hindus beef) and they are protected philosophical beliefs and yet they don’t give rise to grounds to sue the BoE.

QED

Isn’t this interesting?

Ethical veganism is an ethical belief protected by law.

As Maya Forstater found out, blokes are blokes and blokes aren’t birds is not an ethical belief protected by law.

Odd old world, eh?

The judge Robin Postle ruled that ethical veganism qualifies as a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010 by satisfying several tests – including that it is worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not conflicting with the fundamental rights of others.

It’s the first of those three tests which sells the pass. Because who defines what is worthy?

Damaging police batons

Several hundred mostly Muslim men face having their property confiscated after being given “unpayable” fines for allegedly vandalising police batons,

The accused willfully broke my baton, M’Lud, by being in the way of my hitting him with it”……

I’m with Russia Today here

This really is beautiful:

Spain’s public broadcaster has inadvertently carried an interview with the exiled Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont after hackers hijacked its online news channel and substituted its content for that of Russia’s state-backed RT network.

The hack, which happened last Thursday, meant Spanish TV’s +24 channel showed RT’s interview between Puigdemont and the former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa.

In the interview – one of RT’s series Conversation with Correa – Puigdemont again insisted “there’s no solution to the Catalan problem that doesn’t involve independence”.

RT’s boss, Margarita Simonyan, appeared to revel in the embarrassment the incident had caused but said the network was not responsible.

“Hackers got into the Spanish +24 channel and switched their transmission for ours,” she said.

“We ended up having an interview with Puigdemont, the main Catalan independence leader. Our transmission lasted the whole evening. We don’t know who did it but it was beautiful.”

No, not agreeing with RT on other matters. But is is indeed a beautiful hack.

More of this please, more of this

Union leaders behind the longest rail strike in British history were confronted by a furious passenger who stormed their headquarters and tried to lock them inside.

The commuter barged past security into a meeting of senior figures at the RMT and shouted “You’re going to ruin my f—ing life”, the Telegraph has learned.

He then attempted to lock the door and told union executives they would not be allowed to leave until the action was called off. Police were called before the man was eventually frogmarched out of the building by staff members who heard screams for help.

Entirely true that peeps have the right to strike, to associate into unions to aid them in doing so and all that.

We also get to tell ’em what we think about it. Which we should be dong, up close and personal, more often.

How truly despicable

He’s not the only problematic person supporting the LGB Alliance, which has already set up the inevitable crowdfunder to process conveniently anonymous donations so we don’t get to see who they are.

People being able to spend their own money, as they wish, without being dissuaded by the howling mob.

Disgusting, isn’t it?

But we used to have this

I do not want to abandon representative democracy. I want to see it balanced by popular sovereignty, especially the variety known as deliberative democracy. By contrast to the adversarial nature of representative democracy, in which politicians try to dominate and vanquish their opponents, deliberative democracy means drawing citizens together to solve problems. It means creating forums in which we listen respectfully to each other, seek to understand each other’s views, change our minds when necessary, and create the rich, informed democratic culture currently missing from national life.

That’s what pubs did. So, obviously, they got closed down.

Sigh. What does anyone think talking to the neighbours is if it isn’t deliberative democracy?

Facts and transphobia

Apolice force has been accused of “incredible irresponsibility” for treating the display of transphobic stickers around Oxford as a “serious crime”.

Some of the stickers, which have been dotted around the city centre, state: “Woman: noun. Adult human female” and “Women don’t have penises”.

Thames Valley Police has announced that those responsible could be charged with a public order offence and has appealed for witnesses.

It said: “Officers are investigating a large number of offensive stickers that have been placed across Oxford city centre containing transphobic comments.

Interesting to see what actually counts as transphobia, no? Presumably “Blacks have more melanin” is racist therefore, “Buggery, not just for homos” is inclusive?

Michael Biggs, Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Oxford, suggested that the police had overreacted.

“This is literally the Oxford English definition of what a woman is,” he said.

“I can’t believe that needs any stance at all. To say that a dictionary definition is a terrible hate crime is extraordinary. The police is being incredibly irresponsible.”

How NewSpeak we’ve become. Quoting the dictionary is a crime now.

The rule of law is important

So too is that democracy thing. As is the primacy of Parliament:

Carloway said the situation was very fluid and if Johnson did try to thwart or sidestep the act, this would become clearer after midnight on 19 October. If he breaks his promises to the court, it could issue an interdict, or injunction, ordering Johnson to send the extension request, or it could do so, using unique powers open to Scottish judges known as nobile officium (noble office).

That empowers a court to take action on a legal matter where the responsible person fails to do so, or in order to remedy a deficiency. It would be unprecedented but in that situation, the court would write, sign and send the letter specified in the legislation to Brussels and the other 27 EU member states.

That would, presumably, apply only in Scotland. What fun, eh? The Scots become independent just like that…..

Excellent

On Monday afternoon, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone issued a statement with a faux apology about the ban.

“Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts,” the statement reads. “We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the great Communist Party of China. May the autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful. We good now China?”

Some nutter will want to legislate here

Atransgender man who attempted to create legal history by having his baby become the first to legally not have a mother has lost his High Court fight, with the presiding judge citing the “basic facts of life”.

Freddy McConnell, who was born a woman but later transitioned to become a man, took the Government to court earlier this year for refusing to let him register as the “father” on his child’s birth certificate.

The Government argued that he must be the “mother” because he gave birth to the child, who has a “right to know the identity of the person who carried him or her”.

Handing down his decision in the High Court today, the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, sided with the Government, telling Mr McConnell that he must appear as “mother” on the birth certificate.

In his written judgment, Sir Andrew “looked back on earlier times” to draw upon the common law definition of a mother “prior to the mid-20th century, when conception and pregnancy other than through sexual intercourse was unknown.”

Because it’s such a common thing that a woman insisting she’s a man gives birth. And then wants the birth certificate to read that the child doesn’t have a mother.

But there will be that call for legislation because rights……

Sounds fairly normal

Samoa is a small Polynesian country located in the western Pacific Ocean. Fields of taro flank the side of the country’s few roads, and coconut palms and ginger flowers dot well-tended villages, where the people by and large live very traditional lives; defined by church, subsistence farming, and loyalty to family.

But the beauty of this verdant tropical paradise conceals a dark secret: one of the highest rates of family and sexual violence in the world. Last year, Samoa became the first Pacific Island country to conduct a national public inquiry into family violence. Published in late 2018, the findings revealed an “epidemic” of violence and sexual abuse.

Why do you think the entire peasantry has escaped the villages as soon as they were able?

Everywhere, from Cornwall right around the world to the Carolinas, via Chengdu and all places in between?

Because village life is that suffocating conformity to the established power structure. It’s only in the crowds that freedom resides.

Why do you think both the commies and the fascists want block captains? To enforce that village uniformity in the towns of course…..

Well Owen, it’s like this, you see?

Far-right violence is on the rise. Where is the outrage?
Owen Jones

Human beings are inconsistent creatures. It depends upon who is getting the slapping, d’ye see?

There is also that thought that those who say we must “fight” fascism, “fight” racism, “fight homophobia” might get people confused as to what the word “fight” actually means.

Well, yes, they can

Yakou Méïté: ‘People think they can say what they want, even if it’s racist’

People do indeed get to say what they want even if its racist. It’s called free speech.

They also have to put up with the reaction to what they’ve said – say, being derided as racists – but that is the way the whole thing’s supposed to work.