RIP Freedom of Speech

Crossposted from Witterings from Witney

RIP Freedom of Speech!

A censor is a man who knows more than he thinks you ought to.

Granville Hicks (1901-1982)

Probably long forgotten, but on 28th November 2008, Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law was published and which has now been “confirmed” – and is therefore now “in force” – in the Official Journal L 328 , 06/12/2008 P. 0055 – 0058. Readers with a knowledge of matters EU will know that a Decision is one of the three binding instruments provided by EU legislation. A decision is binding on the member state or individual to which it is addressed

In summary, this states that:

As a follow-up to Joint Action96/443/JHA, this framework decision provides for the approximation of laws and regulations of the Member States on offences involving racism and xenophobia. Racist and xenophobic behaviour must constitute an offence in all Member States and must be punishable by effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties of a maximum of at least one to three years of imprisonment.
This framework decision applies to all offences committed:

  • within the territory of the European Union (EU), including through an information system;
  • by a national of a Member State or for the benefit of a legal person established in a Member State. To that end, the framework decision provides criteria on how to determine the liability of a legal person.

Certain forms of conduct as outlined below, which are committed for a racist or xenophobic purpose, are punishable as criminal offences:

  • public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined on the basis of race, colour, descent, religion or belief, or national or ethnic origin;
  • public dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material containing expressions of racism and xenophobia;
  • public condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8) and crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, when the conduct is carried out in a manner likely to incite violence or hatred against such a group or a member of such a group.

Instigating, aiding or abetting in the commission of the above offences is also punishable.
With regard to the offences listed in Article 1, Member States must ensure that they are punishable by:

  • effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties;
  • terms of imprisonment of a maximum of at least one to three years.

In all cases, racist or xenophobic motivation is considered to be an aggravating circumstance or, alternatively, such motivation may be taken into consideration when determining the penalties to be applied.
With regard to legal persons, the penalties must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive and must consist of criminal or non-criminal fines. In addition, legal persons may be punished by:

  • exclusion from entitlement to public benefits or aid;
  • temporary or permanent disqualification from the practice or commercial activities;
  • being placed under judicial supervision;
  • a judicial winding-up order.

Note that under Article 1 (a) “publicly inciting to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin” – means, in my view, that any criticism of an MP for example, especially where I have blogged previously that some of them should be suspended from lamposts – and named names – may well result in my prosecution? That my view the EU is a ‘crock of shit’ – as are those who work within it and support it – is not to be allowed? Freedom of Speech is to be that which the EU will allow? Foxtrot Oscar!

It is noted that on Saturday (yesterday) the police have requested extended powers to shut down websites deemed to be engaged in “criminal” activity. A cynical view it may be, but I have to ask what the connection is between the European Union Decision and this latest ‘request’ from the police, together with the timing of the police request.

It is worth remembering that limitations, placed by government, on the freedom of speech is but censorship. As a result, once the people of a nation allow their government to decide the parameters involved in freedom of speech:
To permit is to control

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About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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8 Responses to RIP Freedom of Speech

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention RIP Freedom of Speech | IanPJ on Politics -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: RIP Freedom of Speech | The Albion Alliance presents

  3. jameshigham says:

    Didn’t I see this at WfromW or did I see his here?

  4. Edward Hill says:

    We all should get ready for that knock on the door then, but where do they expect to imprison the majority of Europe’s population for 1 to 3 years? You could also argue that the EU itself could be charged with racism. Abolishing the sovereignty of its member nations and suppressing any show of support or pride for the former sovereign nations national identity, surely must come under this,-
    ‘hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined on the basis of race, colour, descent, religion or belief, or national or ethnic origin.’

    We must have all seen ‘The Daily Express’ campaign to get Britain out of the EU by now. At last one of the mainstream news papers has brought the subject into focus. However, I have taken a look at their online site and have serious doubts as to their sincerity. Beware those who control the opposition! I was going to place a comment on to the launch page of their campaign, but changed my mind. When I went to register, I was shocked at the amount of personal information I had to submit, that was a compulsory requirement before you could submit a comment. They are also collecting names for a petition to hand over to the government which requires the same amount of personal info. So far, they have only touched on subjects which are already common knowledge. No mention or investigations into Common Purpose activities, UN agenda 21 or ACTA etc. I am worried for the people who will naively give the government all their personal info via this newspaper. Do you think this is a data collection exercise set up, or am I being paranoid? I’m just so suspicious and sceptical about these things recently!

  5. Edward Hill says:

    Your next post ‘The big game gathers pace’ has just answered my question, ‘where do they expect to imprison the majority of Europe’s population for 1 to 3 years’?
    Of course! It’s the only place big enough. In a war!

    • EH, my apologies for not responding to your earlier comment, have been a little tied up with some web design which takes my entire attention for hours on end.

      But yes, you correct, there will not be the need for mass imprisonment, we will feel the walls closing in around us, no need for wire.

  6. Pingback: THE BIG GAME GATHERS PACE | Centurean2′s Weblog

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