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Pete at Home
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newsflash: it's not just spankos that are denied free speech in the UK. it's criminal agravated "hate speech" for one honky to call another honky a honky, even in a situation with no hint of violence.
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D.W.
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Umm, what are spankos? I infer it's a slur of some sort but that's a new one on me.
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Pete at Home
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it's what they call themselves. the UK is cracking down on people who practice even the milder formws of bdsm. certain jobs are prohibited and websites are getting shut down.
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KidTokyo
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The UK has been taking an authoritarian turn for a while now.
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Rafi
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Is there a place that hasn't taken an authoritarian turm for a while now?
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Athelstan
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Can I please have a link to this story? Google is giving me nothing but some slightly related story that happened seven years ago.
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Pete at Home
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Pretty sure I got it from BBC. I'll see if I can find it.

Do you recommend any free online UK news source over BBC? That's what I've used since the 1990s.

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Pete at Home
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Ha. Story's been taken down from BBC

Here it is in Daily Mail, which I'm not terribly fond of:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1031126/White-man-convicted-racial-abuse-making-honky-jibe-WHITE-security-guards.html

quote:
A white man has been prosecuted for racially abusing three white security guards.
Jonathan Wicks was taken to court for calling the men 'honky wannabe cops'.
Wicks, 20, has had to attend court at least five times, at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of more than £5,000.
He was on a night out with friends in Reading last September when the incident happened.
He said: 'I was outside the Oracle Shopping Centre and as a joke started pushing and rattling one of the bicycles that was locked up outside, as I'd had a few drinks.
'The security guards told me to move on and that's when I made the comment - I didn't think about it, I just said it as a joke.
'It was in jest, but they took it very seriously. They restrained me and called the police.'
Wicks, of Wokingham, Berkshire, admitted one count of using threatening, abusive or insulting words of behaviour which was racially aggravated, and one count of attempted theft of a bicycle.


Here's a US source which explains why the law would be unconstitutional in the USA.

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/03/uk-hate-crime-white-man-charged-for-calling-white-men-honkies/
quote:
I knew [the UK was] headed towards a pure thoughtcrime model of hate crimes; I didn’t realize they were already there. Question for lawyers and law students: Would the “fighting words” exception to the First Amendment protect this statute in the U.S.? Per Scalia’s opinion in R.A.V. v. St. Paul, the answer pretty clearly is no — at least as the statute is currently written, encompassing not just threats but insults, abuse, and other emotional owies:

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Athelstan
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This is a tale of a petty Crown Prosecution Service doing what they normally do when they have a weak case by throwing every offence they can think of at the defendant and hope one will stick. The other incompetent is the defendant’s lawyer advising him to plead guilty thereby making it obligatory for the defendant to be sentenced. I’ve no idea what the sentence was.

It was a ridiculous case and not at all in keeping with spirit of the Public Order Act of 1986. I have no problem with this Law but then I’m not governed by the First Amendment.

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Pete at Home
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Thanks for your response, Athelstan; I was hoping that you in particular would respond. Rest assured, I have no intention of invading the UK to share the benefit of the first Amendment. I am however troubled that Americans speaking in America to Americans are often hauled up on civil charges based in the UK for utterances with 1st Amendment protection. OTOH, I do think international prosecution is appropriate for hate speech that actually incites or solicits violence. Not speech that some academic gasbag considers oppressive or offensive or even excusing violence that has already occurred.

Being British-educated and generally a cultural Anglophile, I want to accept your characterization of this case as a freak error; I am bothered OTOH that the matter has received so little coverage in the British press (AFAIK only the Daily Mail has kept an article up).

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Athelstan:
This is a tale of a petty Crown Prosecution Service doing what they normally do when they have a weak case by throwing every offence they can think of at the defendant and hope one will stick. The other incompetent is the defendant’s lawyer advising him to plead guilty thereby making it obligatory for the defendant to be sentenced.

Have British Judges really lost that much discretion? In the USA, the prosecution has to obtain facts sufficient to fulfill all the elements of a crime, even in a plea bargain.
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The Drake
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I might be missing something but this story is dredged from 2008. Maybe that's why there's no hue and cry in other media sources.

How on earth did you find it, Pete?

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Pete at Home
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Damn. missed the date. I was browsing BBC and saw a link to it. Can't find the original link.

Still, internet was still around in 2008, so question remains why the DailyNews was the UK internet story googlable on the topic.

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