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Government to remove ban on issuing insults

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  1. Craig Denney 15 Jan 2013, 2:18pm

    That Lord Carey is a nutter and should be interned in a mental asylum!

    1. What’s Lord Carey got to do with this? So far as I’m aware, this is one of the rare occasions when he’s on the right side.

      1. He’s not on “the right side” because he particularly cares about freedom is he?
        Lord Carey is a well-known bigot who would be happy for gay people to be second class citizens.

        Peter Tatchell has always supported freedom of speech, his reasons for supporting this are undeniable. Others though have more sinister motives, if you asked a lot of people who belong to the “silent majority” what their reasons were, if they were completed honest then they’d tell you that they would like to return to a time where you could scream racist or homophobic abuse at people in the street, that’s what people really mean when they say “you can’t open your mouth these days!”.

        1. That would still be caught by the other 2 arms of the legislation.

      2. Spanner1960 15 Jan 2013, 5:07pm

        Lord Carey happens to sit in the House of Lords.

        1. Carey was not present on the day in question, so neither spoke to the motion nor voted on it.

          1. Spanner1960 16 Jan 2013, 11:51pm

            What difference does that make?
            He’s still a fcking lord though, isn’t he?

  2. Hallelujah!!

    A victory for common sense and REASONABLE freedom of expression.

    And yes, that includes the right to insult and offend your pity poor me sensibility.

    The alternative is a police state that seeks to monitor all our thoughts and criminalise any one of us on the flimsiest of pretexts.

    As the loopy extremist fringe are wont to say, Deal with it!

    1. All the people who continue to claim that “Britain is becoming a police state” (mostly reactionary whiners) don’t actually seem to know what a police state actually is. Personally I think that freedom of speech is essential in a democracy, but I don’t actually think that a large percentage of people who complain about the “thought police” actually care about freedom of expression, except for when it comes to people who share their views.

      I’m sure that the right wingers who complain about political correctness would be happy to live in a state where religious intolerance and racial discrimination were the norm.

      If you think you live in a country which is in danger of becoming a “totalitarian police state” then I suggest you spend a few months in the Gulf Stats, it will really open your eyes.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Jan 2013, 3:58pm

      Fine! Then we get to insult with impunity all those religious nutters who’ve been giving it to us for decades.

      Now we too can get to call them mentally ill, sociopathic and intrinsically disordered as well as denigrate and deride religion and beliefs to our heart’s content. This has suddently put new impetus into using the word “bigot” much more frequently. I don’t think they’ve really considered what they were bargaining for. They won’t be able to throw around the “abuse of religious freedom” victim card as much either. This is also a win for gay people.

      1. Absolutely Robert, why shouldn’t you have the right to call religious nutters mentally ill, sociopathic and intrinsically disordered without running the risk of arrest?

        Or your pussy come to that?

        And in response to Chris, the very fact that people were being prosecuted for insulting horses and dogs proves that this law was being seized upon by our supposed law enforcers to push through a greater agenda of oppression.

        Allowing any laws to pass that impinge on our freedoms only leads to a drip drip, or enactment by stealth, of further laws that restrict our very thoughts and, eventually, movements until our every impulse is controlled by the state.

        Twas Benjamin Franklin no less who declared:-

        ““Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

    3. If you are walking home, Samuel, and a gang of youths taunts you because you are old, or fat, or disabled or gay, is that “freedom of expression”? I would argue that it is bullying.
      Odd how those who whine about the “PC brigade” are the first to cry “freedom of expression”, and “my human rights are being violated” when someone tries to stop them bullying minorities!

      1. Second paragraph not aimed at you Samuel, just a generalisation!

  3. That There Other David 15 Jan 2013, 2:31pm

    Considering the dripping vitriol that anti-equality campaigners have been throwing around recently the Government must be doing this to avoid jamming up the courts. I’m sure Cardinal O’Brien is now happily awaiting his next trip south of the border to tell us what he really thinks of us.

    1. Tim Hopkins 15 Jan 2013, 3:59pm

      Although insulting behaviour is not a crime in Scotland. Abusive and threatening behaviour is. This change seems to make the law on this in England and Wales more like that in Scotland.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Jan 2013, 3:59pm

      Well, then he won’t like it when we start giving it back in full measure. The bigot of the year award will now have much more meaning and nobody will care if he’s offended and there is nothing he can do about it. Ha-ha!

      1. Good point, Robert! Let’s make them realise this is a two-edged sword!
        Or, as the Americans say, “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it!”

  4. is there a technical legal difference between “abuse” and “insult”?

    1. Spanner1960 15 Jan 2013, 5:09pm

      An insult is generally considered to be verbal.
      Abuse can include psychological, physical, and sexual variants and is considered far less acceptable.

      1. an insult is a throw-away comment like muttering under your breath “b!**h” at someone.

        Abuse would be where you run after them screaming “imma kill you b!**h” and smash your head in your effing w***e”.

        1. Spanner1960 16 Jan 2013, 11:52pm


  5. Garry Cassell 15 Jan 2013, 2:50pm

    Just a move to protect the religious nutjobs…of all continue to spread their biggoted hatred…Do the KKK get this freedom too???

  6. What excellent news! Now the next time I’m walking past a church and see people coming and going I’ll be able to shout at them what deluded nutters they are without the fear of prosecution. Can’t wait.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Jan 2013, 5:24pm

      Exactly! Catholic clergy won’t like it when some of us start calling them paedophile protectors or the word they hate most…”bigots”. This is a day to celebrate and the dumb arse religious nutters calling for this won’t have a leg to stand on and won’t be able to play the victim card once they start getting a dose of their own medicine. This is a good move.

  7. Andrew Robertson 15 Jan 2013, 3:08pm

    So if someone calls you a dirty fucking queer – is that an offence?

    If someone calls you a dirty fucking muslim – is than an offence?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Jan 2013, 5:30pm

      No, it probably won’t be and that’s fine too. You’ll be able to give it right back to them. They’ll forfeit their abuse of religious freedom card. It won’t work for them anymore even though they’ll still be outraged but won’t be able to do anything about it. I don’t think they quite realise what it is that they didn’t quite wish for. Tory adulterers Bob Blackman, Nadine Dorries and Sir Roger Gale are on notice, ditto Anne Widdecombe and Anna Minichiello and all that CI/C4M hate-mongering rabble.

      1. That’s how we move forward as a society is it, by hurling insults at each other?
        Shouldn’t we be showing our humanity by not stooping to their level?

        What about rational debate? I know that doesn’t work with some people but still, surely it’s better than mindlessly insulting people.

        I’ve been saying that religious people are brainwashed for years, I believe Dawkins called it “the virus of faith”. That’s not an insult, it’s a fact.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Jan 2013, 7:06pm

          There is NO such thing as rational debate with our opponents, not even reasoned debate. Their minds are made up. They resort to hateful rhetoric, spreading lies and information and much of it malicious and vicious in the name of religion to deny equality. No, you simply cannot let it go unabated. If equal marriage were to fail, you can attribute that to the same people you wish to rise above.

          1. I don’t disagree with you when you say that they spread lies and hatred, that is absolutely true. However you can’t build a progressive society by taking the “eye for an eye” approach.

    2. depends on the context, the expletive suggests a level of aggression.

  8. Insulting me is fine. Threatening me or trying to take away my rights is not.

  9. jacqui.pollock 15 Jan 2013, 4:13pm

    ridiculous to say the least, what happened to sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me, I never knew such a thing was a crime in the first place but I do know that now we cant even blink the wrong way way too much rules for this and that and we dont know the half of it.

    1. Bit of an exaggeration there.

      As I said before if you think that there are “too many rules” on free speech here the go to a country that doesn’t have any free speech. We are fortunate compared to most countries when it comes to freedom of expression.

      That said I do support this decision.

  10. I welcome this. It gives us as much freedom to fight our would-be oppressors as it allows them. Insult is too loose a word to be enforceable.

  11. So that’s Julie Burchill and Suzanne Moore exonerated, then!

    Hurrah for common sense and the rights of those to call a spade a spade:- and if those decrying this positive development for free speech insist on playing the eternal victim instead of developing their back bone and standing up for themselves without resort to PC Plod then tough, you aren’t getting any sympathy or faux outrage from my corner.

    What with Christians also being vindicated their right to display their crucifixes, this is truly a rare day where common sense trumps insanity, and one in the eye for the PC fascists who even as I type have their fetid fingers poised over the red arrow…

    1. it also means that they can’t complain that people responded calling her a C**t or a b***h. Suzanne Moore used aggressive and abusive language so she’s not exonerated.

      They have shot themself in the foot

    2. the very fact that people were being prosecuted for insulting horses and dogs proves that this law was being seized upon by our supposed law enforcers to push through a greater agenda of oppression.

      Allowing any laws to pass that impinge on our freedoms only leads to a drip drip, or enactment by stealth, of further laws that restrict our very thoughts and, eventually, movements until our every impulse is controlled by the state.

      Twas Benjamin Franklin no less who declared:-

      ““Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

      1. yet if they published a similar statement about jews you would be the first to be “offended” and whinging about it.

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Jan 2013, 6:59pm

      How would you like it mate to hear anti-semitic slurs aimed at you knowing you can’t do anything about it? Or some denying or condoning the holocaust? You’re an idiot!

      1. Do you think I didn’t hear plenty of that in the schoolyard, Bob?

        What did I do?

        I developed a spine and rose above the bullies merely by not letting words inflict emotional turmoil on my person, all the while accepting that in a free society they had a right to express the fact that they were antisemetic.

        So yes, been there, “mate”.

        The alternative to perceived insults being a reality which, taken to its extreme conclusion, we are all conditioned to all think the same way and spout a dictionary of allowed words that is no more than a dozen pages long.

        That may be your idea of utopia and you are welcome to it, but not on my patch ta you very much.

        1. Spanner1960 16 Jan 2013, 11:54pm

          “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

          The people on here need to grow a fcking pair.

          1. On the other hand, an old lady who is taunted by a group of youths cannot be expected to “grow a pair”. Insults hurled by a group of people is bullying, and intimidation, surely?
            It’s not just us gays who are on the receiving end of insults!

  12. most of the insults towards minority groups are used exactly because they solely to be abusive or threatening.

    This also means that christians can’t complain when we call them bigots though! I wonder how long before they start backpeddling?

  13. The usual suspects are very happy about this change, I guess we can expect more of the same – plenty of insulting postings all in the name of “freedom or speech or thought”.

    With freedom comes certain responsibility towards others. Sadly I have seen plenty of inappropriate bully boy comments dressed up as “freedom of speech” here on PN with the perpetrators having very little regard for how those comments are perceived.

    This will only give the green light for these comment pages to be turned into the playground where the bully boy rules!

  14. If people wish to call me a deluded nutter because of my Christian faith then that is free speech. However, I have the right to say that homosexuals need to repent.

    This amendment to the law is long overdue.

  15. What about a vote in the House of Commons. What is the progress on the bill there?

    Freedom of speech protection is essential – even more so today!

    Repeal this stupid section 5 once and for all!

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