Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Another requiem for Satire

Many, who have not get realised that the act of expressing a view which does not respect the laws of political correctness has become a prosecutable offence, will have heard the news that a British Teenager is facing possible charges for calling the Church of Scientology a "cult" with varying degrees of amazement.

I was not amongst them, in fact, I am just surprised it hasn't come sooner; enforcers always push the boundaries, hence the need for strict rules controlling them.

We now have anti-terrorist legislation (mis) used by town councils to see who is properly recycling their garbage bins, we have "9/11" legislation rushed through to protect the nation being used to extradite businessmen to America to be tried for crimes that the UK government are satisfied never took place, and now policemen are deciding what words peaceful public protesters may use on their signs.

I think there are three problems. Sloppily drafted legislation is the first problem, it all needs to be repealed and laws drafted by lawyers, (define 'glorifying terror') and a culture of lack of accountability the other (who was the policeman who decided it was a criminal offence to decide the Scientologists were a cult, given a British High Court Judge (and the German Justice Minister) have publicly said they are? Why hasn't he been named and his picture published? Is it an official secret? Is he himself a Scientologist? Will he be tried with any offence or disciplined in any way for infringing the right to peaceful protest, one of the most fundamental rights?

The third, and most serious concern though, is the British public may moan a bit but I am starting to believe that it would take nuclear war to stir them out onto the streets and kick a government out because of it.

I am afraid the point we have reached is not how low it will go. There will be more to come.

What this latest madness exposes is the fact if we didn't already know it, that we do not have the right of free speech in this country, and have not had it for over a generation.

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