How Comforting

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From the end of a BBC story about new U.K. legislation that would ban speech or actions likely to stir up "religious hatred":

Rowan Atkinson has warned that comedians like him were at risk of prosecution for lampooning religious figures.

But Home Office ministers pointed out that this was not the intention of the legislation.

Well, if that's not the intention, everything should work out fine, right? The article suggests that Muslim groups have been vocal in calling for protections of this kind, a strategy I can't help but suspect may backfire.

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  1. You know, there’s been an awful lot of bad news on the libertarian front as of late. I keep lookin’ for silver linings.

    …the thought of Mr. Bean in jail is kinda funny.

  2. But Home Office ministers pointed out that this was not the intention of the legislation.

    The intention? THE INTENTION??? Who gives a flying fuck about the intention of the legislation, what will be the EFFECT?

    Are these Oxford-educated buffoons familiar with the phrase “the end doesn’t justify the means?” Can someone remind me why we helped save these Limey scumbags from the Germans when they seem hell-bent to bring fascism down upon themselves?

  3. Yeah, it’s a shame to see the land that was the wellspring of most of our libertarian heritage, plumb such tragic depths.

  4. I can’t help but think that what the U.K. needs are reruns of “Yes, Minister.”

  5. What does the text of this proposed bill actually say?

    Mind you i’m quite wary of where this could go. But without seeing what the bill says and doesn’t say, it’s hard to really comment.

  6. Dear Limey Bureaucrats,

    Please try to cut back on excessive regulation. In no way do I intend to meddle in your domestic affairs, but the opposition here don’t know what to do with themselves. They are very impressionable, and they think that everyone else doing something is a good reason for us to do it. In case you haven’t noticed, our politicians here are much more vicious than yours. You may be able to debate the “intention” of legislation, but in America there is no such thing. Such legislation, instituted here, would be abused as much as possible.

  7. I don’t know if you are aware of this but this legislation actually owes it’s birth, indirectly, to the war on terror. Post 9/11 we British introduced various bits of legislation that allowed indefinite detention without trial and other lovely things. British Muslims felt a bit picked on because this legislation was almost invariably used against Muslims. Blair decided to reassure them by bringing in this bill to stop people saying nasty things about them.

    Mind you its all part of a generally authoritarian agenda. We came up with Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (Asbos) all on our own. These mean people, not convicted of any criminal offence, can be banned from just about anything and if they break the ban can be given up to five years in prison. Thus far people have been banned from such heinous behaviour as swearing, wearing hoods and answered the door only wearing underwear.

    (http://www.statewatch.org/asbo/ASBOwatch.html)

    Just hope you never get anything like that. (Although you are protected from such things to some extent by your constitution.)

  8. Would that idiotic vulgar dimwitted knee-jerk anti-religious Brit-hating bigot Akira MacAsshat please stop spouting nonsense on this board?

    Get lost and drop from a cliff somewhere!

  9. I’m sure Rowan will figure out some way to blame Baldrick if he ever gets into any real trouble.

    Seriously though, this is disturbing stuff. Like the plots of “Yes, Minister”, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to see how the exact same things could happen here.

  10. what Rick B. said.

    where are the Persuaders when you need them? They could figure it out. Intermeshed with their homoerotic plotlines, of course.

    please please, Mr. Carping. Akria simply tried pointing out a bunch of “intellectually inferior football hooligans” put his cousin Otto in jail. 🙂

    Seriously, you have to love this. Everybody wants to be the victim of bigotry. Sigh. Including the authors of the “white man’s burdon”. Sigh.

  11. I read the article and some of the comments posted underneath at the linked site. I like this gem:

    I really don’t understand the fear of those who think the legislation would curtail freedom of speech. It’s only aims at protecting people against religious hatred.

    [Yeah. Gee, guys. What’s all the fuss? It only aims at protecting people against hatred!]

    [Hey, know what would be funny? If this clueless statist post came from somebody in, say, France.]

    Farouk, Grand Quevilly, France

    [Oops.]

  12. Would that idiotic vulgar dimwitted knee-jerk anti-religious Brit-hating bigot Akira MacAsshat please stop spouting nonsense on this board?

    Make me.

    I can stand being called anti-religious, because I proudly admit that I am. However, I’m not a “Brit-hater.” I just hate their government.

    Get lost and drop from a cliff somewhere!

    Hmmmmmmm…. No.

    (Oh…Nice job of not addressing the point of my post.)

  13. Well I for one don’t have any problem with a law that deters religious people from acts promoting hatred of other people.

    Oh.

    Never mind.

  14. Rowan Atkinson has warned that comedians like him were at risk of prosecution for lampooning religious figures.

    No, he should have done time for driving his car with a broomstick from a recliner on the roof. Though at least he wasn’t talking on his cell phone!

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