A STORY (or two) on free speech this week, that precious but diminishing concept which used to be in the gift of all Englishmen good and true.
I include our Scottish cousins in that, because it was in a court north of the border this week that a rather unfunny comedian, Markus Meechan – aka Count Dankula – was convicted of a hate crime.
Meechan thought it hilarious to teach his girlfriend’s ‘adorable’ pet pug to raise its paw in a Nazi salute when he said ‘gas the Jews’.
Good luck with that relationship pal – its prospects are about as good as the stand-up career.
As people do these days, he posted it on Youtube. In Meechan’s defence, he said he was using the most offensive, horrible thing he could think of, to train the dog and get up his girlfriend’s nose.
Meechan’s video was viewed three million times before YouTube removed it. Apparently, from those three million views, there wasn’t a single public complaint – some people, dearie me, even posted ‘Lol’ (‘laugh out loud’ in the modern idiom) which goes to show it takes all sorts. Neither were there any reports by Curry’s of a surge in purchases of gas ovens.
But the police, with nothing better to do, descended and a Scottish judge – no jury, mind – declared him guilty of inciting racial hatred, heeding the prosecution demand that the comedic “context” be ignored.
Let that sink in: Context should be ignored.
Any amalgamation of words, seized in isolation, can be interpreted in any fashion the UK’s Thought Police deem fit. Reciting the alphabet probably isn’t safe, if you over-emphasise the N or P along the way.
A bad joke? No defence if you offend anyone whatsoever (unless of course you’re one of these virtue-signalling lefty ‘comics’ like Russell Howard for whom anyone who doesn’t know ‘the Red Flag’ by heart is fair game).
Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go.
A far better verdict on this case than mine is espoused in brilliant comic fashion by the online satirist Jonathan Pie. Just google his name along with ‘It’s a JOKE’ – but be warned, when Pie goes off on one the language gets exceedingly fruity. I laughed so hard, I’ve watched it half a dozen times. It’s miles better than the saluting pug.
Pie rails against left and right alike, and one of his least favourite people must be Tommy Robinson, who I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, planning an appearance at Speaker’s Corner.
That event went ahead, in front of huge crowds supporting Robinson, plus a few gangs of Muslim activists, at least one of whom was filmed attacking people with a stick – in front of masses of police mind. No arrests were reported that I saw – and no mainstream TV coverage either.
And as Jonathan Pie points out, “what the **** is going on when the likes of Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins hold the mantle of free speech?”
I guess I can leave my ‘Catholic, Jew and a Muslim at Pearly Gates’ joke out of the after-dinner repertoire.
STILL with the idea of free speech and idiotic pugs, Momentum, which is Labour’s modern equivalent of the Gestapo, quietly launched its local branch last Sunday.
It’s called Momentum Kirklees but was founded by a Batley resident and Virgin East Coast train driver Ben Bradley and friends, one of whom appears to be Peter ‘bomb the Tory dinner’ Ward.
The chronic old socialist has been busy on Facebook mostly defending the Russian poisoneers lately. Good old Comrade Corbyn.
Kirklees councillor Erin Hill, partner of Shahid Malik’s old bag carrier Dathan Tedesco, is also signed up, but there’s no sign yet at least of any local front-line Labour figures, let alone our two MPs.
It will be interesting to watch what this lot get up to in the months ahead.
OUR 16th birthday celebrations this week have been somewhat muted by a bit of sad news at The Press.
On Thursday we bade farewell to our long-serving, faithful friend Adele Latham, a familiar face to anyone who ever came into our office – and those of the Dewsbury Reporter before here – to be met by little Adele’s always smiling, welcoming self.
She’s finally leaving Batley to start a new life with her partner over on the east coast and she takes with her all of our warmest best wishes – not that she should ever have been here in the first place.
When I started this paper we were given six weeks, six months tops, before the might of Johnston Press inevitably stamped the young life out of us. Adele was working at The Reporter, where she had been since forever and a day. My phone rang. “Danny, it’s Adele. I’m coming to work for you.”
“But I don’t have a job for you love. We’re just starting up and times are really tough.”
“That’s okay, I’m coming anyway.”
“But you have years of service, your pension, everything … and like I said, we really haven’t got a job.”
“See you Monday.”
It’s been a lot of Mondays! Don’t be a stranger, darling.
THE first time frazzled residents tip over the edge in frustration at the non-policing of crime in this parish, and take the villains head-on, their feet won’t touch the ground.
The number of suddenly-available police galloping along Huddersfield Road will look like John Wayne and the 7th Cavalry coming over the hill – probably armed to the teeth like them too, screaming “death to the vigilantes!”
Just about the only thing Kirklees Police like more than going ‘tut tut’ and banging up desperate members of the public, is playing Starsky and Hutch – nothing quite like kicking a door down while brandishing a shooter!
Clearly their parents didn’t let them outside to play cops and robbers or cowboys and indians as children.
They’ve been going Rambo all over the place, Halifax Road, Dewsbury Moor, Mirfield, Ravensthorpe...
If you haven’t yet read the story on page 3 about the tenants of Speakers Court in Westtown and the anti-social (probable) drug dealers, then please do. Specifically, read the absolute horse shine emanating from Insp Chris Hughes, who is in charge of policing Dewsbury.
Try not to cry or be sick.
Insp Hughes should go into politics, avoiding the subject as deceptively and artfully as that. Instead he’ll probably end up as Chief Constable – never made an arrest, but boy can he blow smoke up people’s backsides.
We have to assume desperate complaints from residents actually get through to a police officer, having been fielded by the people answering 101 while painting their nails or doing a crossword.
I have two possible scenarios for you:
1) Kirklees Police HQ, Huddersfield: a dozen black-clad ‘operatives’ in body armour, lounge around the task force room, boots on desks, oiling their Heckler & Koch MP5 machine guns, or practising a quick draw with their Glock 17 handguns.
A call comes through. PC ‘Pistol’ Pete Muggins takes it.
“What’s that? Drug dealers and an unholy 3am racket at Speaker’s Corner? Sorry, not on our patch, try the Met...
“Oh, Speaker’s Court! Where’s that? Westtown you say – where’s that? Dewsbury ... yeah, think we know that.
“Any reports of dead bodies? Nope. Ok. Anyone shooting or wielding a gun? No? Just log it for the PCSO hobby bobbies to walk by at noon some time...”
2) The phone rings and rings in the Kirklees control room. Eventually the 101 operative hangs up and decides to try doing her nails Shocking Pink next time.
There is an answer, an easy one, of course. Next time the scrotes are keeping you up at 3am, call 999 and say you’ve seen a bloke with a gun! Problem solved.
A CORRECTION – and shame on you politicos out there who didn’t make The Press phones go into meltdown by correcting last week’s faux pas.
The Prime Minister of Canada is Justin Trudeau (I knew that) and not the President (I knew that too) Pierre Trudeau, who was his dad.
Put it down to old age.