Thursday, May 22, 2008

Insulting the Scientologists

“This is just barmy.”

That’s the voice of traditional British common sense. This story is definitely barmy, but we live in barmy times.

Muslims are normally the only ones who get insulted and then call on British law enforcement to help silence their critics. But this time it’s a different fringe cult that has managed to suppress the free speech of ordinary people.

According to The Telegraph:

Church of Scientology: Boy faces court for ‘cult not religion’ placard

A teenage boy is facing a possible criminal prosecution for holding a sign describing the Church of Scientology as a “cult”, police said on Tuesday.

The boy, who is described only as a minor, was taking part in a demonstration outside the church’s central London headquarters on May 10 when City of London Police officers ordered him to remove the placard.

It read: “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult.”

When he refused, he was issued with a form of summons for an alleged breach of public order. Police plan to pass a file to the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether charges can be brought.

Since the lad’s sign was simply stating his opinion, one would think that his protest would be covered by the right to free speech under English Common Law.

But anyone who thinks that is foolishly naïve. By statute, speech may be suppressed if it is “insulting”:

A spokesman for the force said the youth had been “reported” under section five of the Public Order Act, which contains measures against displaying signs considered to be “threatening, abusive or insulting”.

Muslim kid: Kill those who insult the Prophet!Consider the young boy in the photo at right. I’m insulted by his sign, and I’m sure many “persons of English background” in the UK were insulted, too.

So the police arrested him and he was remanded, right? Sentenced to six weeks of diversity training and multicultural sensitivity courses, yes?

No? Hmm…
- - - - - - - - -
London protestThen how about this photo?

Surely somebody besides the Prophet was insulted by that sign. Were the police insulted? And then they arrested the hateful miscreant holding the sign, right?

[crickets chirping]

We know that Christians can be insulted without causing the arrest of anyone. But now there are two religions, Scientology and Islam, that are officially and statutorily protected from feeling insulted. Will there be others?

And this case has implications that extend beyond religion. Doesn’t it mean that Manchester United supporters can have Leeds United supporters arrested for their slogans and songs? In my day it was, “Dennis Law and Bobby Charlton, too — the biggest set of poofs in football boots!” Not just insults, but homophobia!

The names have changed since then, but surely the sentiments are the same. Are the Lancastrians insulted yet? It’s time to put all those Leeds supporters behind bars!

But back to the article:

Writing anonymously on an internet forum, the boy said: “Within five minutes of arriving … I was told by a member of the police that I was not allowed to use ‘that word’.”

He said he was given 15 minutes to remove the sign, which was eventually confiscated by officers.

Chief Supt Rob Bastable said: “City of London Police upholds the right to demonstrate lawfully, but we have to balance that with the right of all sections of community not to be alarmed, harassed or distressed as a result of other people’s behaviour.”

That last statement describes a Sisyphean task. If the state is to guarantee that none of its citizens will be distressed, then total control of all public behavior will be required. CCTV is just the bare beginning — voice-activated tape recorders will have to be installed in every lamppost, bus shelter, and pub. Sensitivity-enforcement officers will be stationed in all public locations.

Finally, however, the voice of sanity:

The case was described as “barmy” and an attack on free speech by Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, the human rights group.

She said: “They will be banning words like ‘war’ and ‘tax’ from placards and demonstrations next. This is just barmy.”

It’s going to get barmier yet. Just wait and see.


Hat tip: Gaia.

11 comments:

spackle said...

The UK government is becoming as creepy as Scientology.

Armance said...

"But now there are two religions, Scientology and Islam, that are officially and statutorily protected from feeling insulted."

It makes sense. It seems the degree of protection is proportional to the degree of foolishness.

Piggy Infidel said...

Shami Chakrabarti and her organisation Liberty have been at the vanguard of everything anti-British, anti-American and anti-Christian for as long as I can remember. She is the darling of the BBC, popping up on literally every discussion programme about foreign policy, immigration, "Britishness", and can be relied upon to offer up all the usual sneering justifications for why anything male, white or Christian is, frankly, rather unwelcome and a bit embarrasing these days.

For her to start rolling her eyes at political correctness is a joke. Suppression of free speech? I don't remember her making a fuss about the cowardly BBC refusing to show the Danish cartoons. Muslim oppression of women? Muslims murdering women relatives? Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls? The total lack of any kind of free speech in Muslim society? Forget it. Shami's way too busy sniping at Western society. The odd token statement here and there of course, but always carefully calibrated, just enough to be useful as a "Who, me?" defence when accused of bias.

And consider this - last year the BBC's flagship current affairs programme "Panorama" made a very provocative investigation into Scientology. Exposing the corruption, that kind of thing. And now Shami is in on the act. So why are the BBC and the Shami's of this world so keen on open critcism of Scientology when, Islam say, is given a virtual free pass? Might it be that those wacky Scientologists are in the main (here in the UK at least) seen as very, very white; very white American, very wealthy & white, very-Tom Cruise, very quasi-Christian. They represent everything the BBC quietly despises.

Do not trust Shami Chakrabarti. Please.

CarnackiUK said...

Before its name change a few years back, Liberty was known as the National Council for Civil Liberty.

Basically the UK equivalent of the ACLU with very similar views and agenda.

Baron Bodissey said...

Carnacki --

It's not a matter of trust. What she said was true: "This is barmy."

Does the fact that this particular person said it make it not barmy?

Even a stopped clock...

Limpet said...

"In my day it was, “Dennis Law and Bobby Charlton, too — the biggest set of poofs in football boots!” Not just insults, but homophobia!"

Last March in France, an insulting banner was displayed in a soccer match between Lens and Paris (PSG). It read ‘Paedophiles, unemployed, inbred: welcome chez les Ch’tis’. (Ch’tis is a nickname for the people of northern France). For some reason, it became a huge story in the news media. It was on a scale you expect in the USA when someone famous is accused of having said something racist. In the past, such a banner would have been ignored. But suddenly it has become a crime, and people pretend they have been shocked by the offensive banner!

CarnackiUK said...

Baron,

I don't disagree that the arrest of this youth was 'barmy'!

My comment was intended only to provide some context to Liberty, an organisation probably unfamiliar to your non-UK readers.

That said, I agree with Piggy Infidel about Liberty's director, Shami Chakrabarti. She's a constant fixture on UK TV & radio, no doubt because she's young, easy on the eye and, in addition to being being Asian, she can always be counted on to sound correctly politically correct. Despite claiming to come from a Christian/Hindu background, she is careful never to appear critical of Islam/Muslims even when it would be more than justified for the head of a 'human rights' organisation to do so.

A shame because as a charismatic Asian she is uniquely placed in the British media to spread truth instead of manure.

Paardestaart said...

Well actually Carnacki - the fact that a miss Multiculti PC with all the right credentials has run up against a consequence of one these totally silly, monstrous and confusing rules and 'laws' may little by little begin to demonstrate what chaos and mayhem will be èverybody's lot in the brave newe world to come.

gatesofvienna said...

The people of Britain just go along with everything the Fabians in our Government decide is the best thing for us all to follow.
The time is here when the population should challenge them reminding this political elite their job is that of servant and not master!
We have English common laws which are more than adequate for our needs Fabian new laws are not legal and should be disobeyed!
.............
In case this page gets removed which has a habit of happening. we have copied it for permanent reference.

So for all of you who haven't quite caught up the words "...pool their sovereignty..." are the key and the proof alone. How can we pool our sovereignty? We have a monarch bound by constitutional laws - or does this mean that our government have told the EU something they haven't told us? Are they saying that our constitution and are monarch do not exist any more? Because it certainly seems that way. Does this mean that Gordon Brown wants the people to be sovereign, So we can pool our sovereignty with the EU - in other words except foreign rule. Do you see now how fitting Toynbee's Fabian speech was in 1931 and how it fits in perfectly to what is going on now. Can you see how these people slowly undermine and destroy sovereign countries to achieve their goal.

Our Queen is no longer head of this country, she is in fact just an illusion. This is exactly what the Fabians want and are achieving and this is TREASON. Please read this or the Sunday Express report on this subject.

The Pledge - Successive governments using automatic assent.

The Turn - Completely ignoring constitutional law but making out what they are doing is legal.

The Prestige - Sovereignty destroyed, Constitution destroyed, Democracy destroyed, England destroyed.

The Fabians in government are doing their utmost to destroy our constitution and fool us into believing, that if the people become sovereign, the people themselves will govern our country - when the reality is the people will be governed by the EU and the EU will destroy this country.
http://www.tpuc.org/node/62

Our Queen and her son Charles we now find out are paid via the EUSSR £10 million a year each!
WHY?
Our freehold laws we now find are also a fraud HRH owns all the land including our so called freehold!
Smoke and mirrors when what we require is some honesty!!

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Got a tale of it on The Register, and presumably elsewhere. The lad isn't being prosecuted, the CPS evidently believe it was a very silly summons.

This caught my eye:

Scientology is a sensitive subject for City of London police. The force's relationship to the organisation has been under close scrutiny since Chief Superintendant Kevin Hurley welcomed it to the square mile in 2006. It later emerged officers had accepted hospitality including tickets to a Tom Cruise film premiere.

So the action was a result of police corruption. It makes a lot more sense.

Now imagine someone trying to point out similar links between, say, West Midlands police and their muslim "friends".

Zenster said...

voice-activated tape recorders will have to be installed in every lamppost

Much of this barmy horseradish would come to an abrupt halt if a few of Britain's political loons were "installed" on lampposts.