Thoughtcrime in Britain

A 19-year old man was arrested yesterday for the supposed crime of burning a Remembrance Poppy and posting a picture of the incident on Facebook.

A teenager arrested on Remembrance Sunday on suspicion of posting a picture of a burning poppy on Facebook is being questioned by police.

The 19-year-old was held after the image of a poppy being set ablaze by a lighter was reportedly posted online with the caption: “How about that you squadey cunts”.

Police said the man, from Canterbury, Kent, was detained on suspicion of an offence under the Malicious Communications Act after officers were contacted at about 4pm on Sunday.

This is simply dangerous, absurd and Orwellian.

It is just the latest in a succession of police actions against individuals deemed to have caused offence: mocking a collapsed footballer on Twitter; hoping that British service personnel would “die and go to hell”wearing a T-shirt that celebrated the death of two police officers; making sick jokes on Facebook about a missing child. Each time the police have arrested people for nothing more than expressing an unpopular, outrageous or offensive opinion.

Britain is setting a precedent for trampling all over free speech in the interest of enforcing public morality. Mussolini would be proud.

The point of free speech is not to protect popular speech. It is to protect us from becoming a society where the expression of unpopular, offensive and distasteful ideas is criminalised. That is the surest guard against totalitarian tendencies.

This new incident is particularly bizarre. Children are taught in school that Britain fought the Second World War to defeat fascism. They are taught that the deaths of British soldiers commemorated on Remembrance Sunday were for the cause of freedom, to defeat fascism, to defeat totalitarianism. And now we arrest people merely for making offensive comments and burning symbols?

Are we turning into the thing that we once fought? 

What has happened to free speech?

What has happened to Britain?

51 comments on “Thoughtcrime in Britain
  1. giles says:

    1. Yes.
    2. It’s Gone.
    3. It’s F***ed.

  2. Harry says:

    Only in the UK, for now… (not even in the USSA?)
    Soon also near YOUR home.

  3. Cheify says:

    Yes it’s dumb, but I’ve heard a number of police officers say this was a very stupid move.

    We didn’t fight fascism just so we could take its place. I’m ex-services, a lot of my family are ex-services, and while I don’t like the idea of someone burning poppies, I find this business even more distasteful.

    I just hope this is a one-off.

  4. Free speech is a fundamental human right. Putting up with tasteless speech is an inconsequential cost of maintaining a free society. Plus, a little tasteless speech can be fun.

  5. yawp says:

    That’s awesome. I don’t support the troops either.

  6. I_Cant_Believe_Its_Just_a_Dip says:

    @Cheify, is not a 1 off- its soon to be the norm and the next generation won’t know any different (as predicted by George Orwell). Here these guys are trying to save our country and wake people up to our treasonous leaders.
    How many of our young soldiers lives is it going to take before people start questioning whats going on right in front of their own eyes? Have people already forgotten Vietnam?
    None of the government have any of our interests at heart, they have sold out to the highest bidder a long time ago.
    Remember WW1 Germany and WW2 with the Nazi’s were fully supported by the banks, how do you think they would have managed to fund it all otherwise?.
    Lots of money and asset/sovereign siezures can be made in wars of course..

  7. Flopot says:

    “The Malicious Communications Act 1988 is a British Act of Parliament that makes it illegal in England and Wales to “send or deliver letters or other articles for the purpose of causing distress or anxiety”. It also applies to electronic communications.”

    Any message that causes distress or anxiety…that is a nice law for rounding up anyone who pisses off TPTB.

  8. Flopot says:

    PS where I come from the poppy is used as a symbol of oppression.

  9. Febo says:

    I thought Deek Jackson had added the Squaddie cunts comment- that puts a slightly different slant on the story – it IS a bit nasty to say that. Of course, he shouldn’t be arrested, but maybe he needs to learn that the politicians who send out the squaddies are the real cunts. As are the rest of us for letting them.

  10. Anna says:

    Human’s freedom has been copyrighted by a select group of people in suits who have hijacked our faith in ourselves and our own power with their ill-fitting symbology. And the sense of humour has been drained from nearly every social pocket of society… It’s f*%#ing bull*%#$ man.

  11. Danny Cunnington says:

    I’m more concerned that the isle of Albion seems to have turned in a giant lunatic asylum. I have to go visit my mother there. I find it scary to go there mainly because I live in Flanders where civilisation still rules and the contrast is shocking.

  12. trooper dave says:

    @I can’t believe … thanks for the UK column link. Very good site.

  13. Febo says:

    @Danny cunningham
    You live in Flanders? Does that mean you live in the Middle Ages then? Or can’t you quite admit you live in Belgium?

  14. Mary Genoud says:

    I always think of GB as the world of P.G. Woodhouse with Jeeves at the helm. Think again; free the manipulated and disadvanataged including GB’S teens.

  15. Flopot says:

    Danny Cunningham gingerly steps from the plane and onto UK soil. A hoary man in rags approaches him, leering and looking him up and down.

    “Any kiddies with you? Naw? Aw pity. Heh.”

    Abruptly the man’s cheerful attitude switches to aggression, “Where’s your poppy!?!?! Are you one of us or one of them? You know whom I mean. The plebs…”

    DC steps back onto the plane etc etc etc

    *who/whom…I dunno 😛

  16. General Rasta, SLA says:

    @Max, Stacy

    KKKatholic pedophile POPE RATzinger knows more about abusing young boys than any other person on the planet

  17. trooper dave says:

    WWI and WWII were just business. The people who organised them and made money of both sides regard the dead as a a necessary business expense or a bonus depending on how they to use accounting. The debts from the 2ndWW , the allies and Germany’s, have just been paid off by the populations of US, UK, Ireland, France, Netherlands, basically most of Europe, Japan, Australia and many others…….and now, all of a sudden, the people are plunged back into massive debt that will take a generation to pay off by the combined double act of banks and gubberment…… coincidence??? Yeah right!
    War has and still is the most profitable business and it also has the bonus for the elites of wiping out the increasing population of the chattle below them. This population decrease magnifies even more the gains the elites make.

  18. giggler says:

    I’m not a number, I’m a free man

  19. HUH? says:

    Looks like the 19 yr old Brit really pissed off those “squadey cunts”.

  20. I_Cant_Believe_Its_Just_a_Dip says:

    @giggler, if you are refering to the excellent ‘Prisoner’ series from the 60’s then isn’t it strange that all of the surveillance and psycho brain washing (aka predictive programming etc) was so accurately predicted in this all encompassing series, how amazingly prophetic or did the writers know something already and were trying to warn us what was going to come. The mainland of the UK could be taken to be the ‘Village’ and ‘Rover’ itself could be taken to be those tracking mini death drones that are O so popular nowadays..

  21. hello says:

    Say what? Is this punk not supporting the PRO WAR movenment??? Arrest his A$$ now and lock him up for LIFE. The nerve of these people.

  22. Steven says:

    Law making is a divine power and only gods can make laws. Therefore it is a violation of the first commandment if humans make laws. Since her majesty has promised god to uphold the law of god and the gospels she has failed to do her job by preventing law making in her domains and also the politicians have exceeded their authority and committed heinous sins through legislation and playing god.
    Therefore all the laws made by mankind must be of no effect. By extension the captives ought to be set free, debts cancelled and anything established by human law done away with. Is this thought crime or just stating the obvious?

  23. R. Freiherr v. Wackendonk says:

    Good thing the guy didn’t light up a picture of Gordon Brown’s bottom with a caption, “Mervyn King, your ass is next!”

    We’d probably be seeing his head on a pike in front of Parliament!

  24. swell says:

    …its soon to be the norm and the next generation won’t know any different (as predicted by George Orwell)

    It’s such a refreshing surprise that someone actually knows that. I would not have guessed that for the world, nor for the life of me, that someone would even know that. People simply do not generally realize that they’re insane. They cleave to their insanity. They cherish it. They nurture it. They worship their insanity. By way of example: the runamock moral panic. People wallow in it. They dwell in it. They so much as admit it is their mainstay, their reason for being, their food of life. A simple review of famous Brit Lewis Carrol would show his fondness for little girls and his penchant for photographing them in the nude, such as those of Alice Liddel, (who inspired Alice in Wonderland). That simple example shows the terror of these things has not always been as it is now. Now those very symbols themselves are manipulated as objects of abject terror. And yet, people can’t seem to get enough of being so terrified, so mortified, so morally outraged.

    So children went from “being seen and not heard” to neither being seen NOR heard? Who here with such pronounced acute moral panic hysteria/mania ever even posts their ideal examples of children? Of course they don’t. The real or imagined horror stories of abuse serve merely as fodder to feed and fuel their moral indignation, little more. Certainly not as actual concern for kids. Children are apparently useful only in that sense that they help to serve to feed people’s own moral outrage.

    So the FBI busts the DCI on an affair? Yet they don’t tackle the collapse of the nation, owing to banksters, because they are, in their minds, ideally principally out-of-the-boardroom and in-the-bedroom sex police? And the People love that? The People simply cannot get enough of that even when it means a risk of the end of the world?

    So twenty states have filed for secession? Would a dissolution of the United States nullify the national debt? Would those states with nukes within their borders honestly expect to keep them? Do those states believe that they can achieve the legislatures of three-quarters of the states to join them, such as would be required of a constitutional convention?

    How many are aware that the US Supreme Court now holds religion in check and that fundamentalist Christianity is as every bit as rabid and prone to radical extremes as the most violent and radical elements of Islam? Are they prepared to unleash that?

    What would happen to the Indian Nations (Reservations) within their boarders? Why would they not expect states such as those taken by war from Mexico, not to then be reclaimed by Mexico? Are we truly past our Minsky moment? Is it time to mortgage the states directly to the banks?

    One thing is sure, changes would soon become the norm and the next generation wouldn’t know any different and then cleave to the new norm. And cherish it. And worship it. And generally believe that’s the way it always was.

  25. matizer says:

    In our capitalist world profit is more important than humanity. What an awful statement. If we had evolved spiritually as fast as we have technologically well I wish I had a vision of that world. If there is no profit in freedom maybe it is in danger of being cut just like the public sector.

  26. Ptah says:

    I started digging a trench at 10.58 on Sunday, I stopped at 11.02… my mattock was loaded… no one dared ask me to be quiet…

  27. James says:

    When I first read the articles on this my eyes played tricks on me. I thought it was about some sick nut setting a puppy dog on fire. I mean, of course you would arrest someone for that. There was a precedent, like the American troops throwing a puppy dog off a cliff. Now that I realize it was a flower or even a paper flower set on fire, then I realize the sick weirdoes are actually the authorities. What a bizarre word we are living in.

  28. Nathan el Corochio says:

    Orwell was right! except about the vacuum tubes sending messages around office buildings.

  29. SAO says:

    Major General Smedley Butler USMC wrote “War is a Racket” and he should know.

  30. JMZX says:

    @Nathan el Corochio: Perhaps the vacuum tubes were metaphorical? I don’t know

  31. Youri Carma says:

    Yeah, Poppies and other drug traficking made the Royal family rich beyond everyones imagination in the good ol skull & bone times.

    So burning a poppy is like burning the Queens merchandise. U.S. Army We Tolerate The Cultivation Of Opium Poppies

  32. Youri Carma says:

    New British Army field manual advises bribing the Taliban with ‘bags of Gold’

  33. Youri Carma says:

    Talkin bout Skull & Bones:

    Obama Considers Skull & Bones Kerry as Defense Secretary

  34. Bruce says:

    “…squadey cunts”
    Classic. I need to brush up on my street slang, and this makes me smile.

  35. TJ says:

    It’s only ‘a story’. Where’s the proof it actually happened?

  36. snoop diddy says:

    You are number 6

  37. snoop diddy says:

    some people call their grandfather, ‘poppy’.
    maybe it was an innocent mistake and they’ll
    all have a good laugh over tea and scones?

  38. Bruce says:

    snoop diddy,
    not if the ‘squadey cunts’ steal your tea and scones first!

  39. snoop diddy says:

    I wonder if they mean this:

  40. John says:

    Servicemen need to realise that they put their lives at risk for the elites to line their grubby pockets. Anyone remember Michael Moore handing out leaflets asking all those congressmen if they’d enlist their own children to go to war? The overwhelming answer was ‘no’ and a look of utter disbelief.

    They need to dig their heels in and stop doing their bidding. Of course, they target the poorest of society who are simply desperate for a job/career/wage.

  41. Trevor Morgan says:

    As a vereran myself I note the following:
    “Sticks and stones…..names will never hurt me”

    This seems like safe work for the plods
    New police recruits are paid twice as much as a squaddie or matelot with four years service.
    Police do not die in such large numbers or face as much risk. (Visit National Memorial at Alrewas – by comparable police memorial would be rather small) (Police 256 – Forces more than 5500 in battle alone plus other death on active duty of 12000)
    When there is a punch up in town the police are nowhere to be seen.
    This act seems like nice work for cowards to do.

    As for Mr Poppy burning boy – you are a prat.

  42. Danny Cunnington says:

    @Febo, I live in Zeelandic Flanders. It’s part of the Netherlands. You can look it up in Wikipedia. Belgium is Belgium Flanders with a former French part cobbled together in 1830 as a divide and rule strategy between Germany and France and a great place to stage wars.

    Belgium Flanders wants to break up with the French bit. The bit you don’t hear in the press is that a big part of this is a huge child abuse scandal at the highest political level that remains unresolved which has outraged Belgiums. I don’t think anyone here in Zeelandic Flanders wants to join their breakaway province.

  43. giles says:

    I’d support our troops, if they weren’t fighting for a global fascist cabal. But they are.

  44. Anna says:

    @ICan’tBelieveItsNotDip it’s not amazing at all, the history of our civillisation has gone in loops, little pockets of political regimes separated by smaller waves of revolt, and the police state military industrial complex is our suicidal rampage nearing its logical conclusion. Doesnt take a genius to see it, its the slow onslaught of the zombie apocolypse. Until humanity seeks revolution outside of a dept-based framework of reference, we will continue to see these revolts, but no revolution.

  45. OlympiaLogger says:

    “What has happened to Britain?” !?!!

    What do you think happened to it? You’re old hag German “Queen” turned you into the Nazis you Squadey Cunts.

  46. 243kitty says:

    well- people made the ultimate sacrifice firstly to protect small nations from militaristic aggressive bullying and invasion; secondly to defend the freedom to choose – democracy, free speech and before it was codified by mainly British lawyers post WW2, WHAT WE NOW KNOWN AS HUMAN RIGHTS. This includes this young man’s right to wear or not to wear a poppy. But it doesnt give him the right to burn poppies or other symbols held dear, deface this symbol or indeed a koran or bible, while maintaining his right to PEACEFULLY argue his point of view without threat of violence or incitement to hatred.

    But of course he was probably only really pissed off that some SQUADDY probably shagged his girlfriend and he couldnt beat him in a fistfight.

  47. Anna says:

    @kitty the bottom line is that whereas no one may neccessarily claim the right to be an asshole about anybody else, evey human should be free to express themselves without the danger of arrest or other types of punitive violence,
    And if somebody is insulting towards someone else, the way to prevent that kind of behaviour isnt by violently punishing them or arresting them, but to assist them in experiencing empathy
    As MLK Jr. said “Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate but to win friendship and understanding.”

  48. Nathan el Corochio says:

    @JMZX I dont think it was metaphorical. I think it was just vacuum tubes. Also he was wrong about the youth chastity organisations. I dont see many of those lately, probably due to Masturbation which was invented long after Orwells death.

  49. Nathan el Corochio says:

    @snoop diddy you may be right, perhaps orwell forecasted the internet.

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