How to tell when a politician is lying about freedom of expression: the key is the use of the word ‘but‘…
Newport city councillor, Majid Rahman said: “I believe in freedom of speech and defend his rights to say what he wants, but once it starts offending people then it’s a police matter and it’s up to them whether they think it’s broken any laws.”
… the first fifteen words are negated by everything after the ‘but’, which is to say Newport city councillor Majid Rahman very explicitly does not believe in T-shirt printer Matthew Taylor’s freedom of speech and rights to say what he wants. No, he believes in state regulated speech enforced by the police and that he is only ‘free’ to say things that do not offend certain categories of people. And that is not freedom of speech.
Personally I would like to see Newport city councillor Majid Rahman arrested and thrown in jail, not because he offends me (although such view do indeed offend me) but because a politician threatening people with the police because of a T-shirt should be regarded as a crime. Do you think if I called up the Plod in Newport and complained that might happen?
If I was Matthew Taylor I would say “Get stuffed you nasty little thug, it stays in the window and if you don’t like that, I suggest you arrest me and charge me so we can run this past a jury of my peers.” I know quite a few people who would be able to find a pro bono lawyer who would delighted to take such a case.