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Do not fear that Paul Weston will be brought to trial for quoting Churchill on Islam

“A candidate in the European elections was arrested on suspicion of racial harrassment after quoting a passage about Islam, written by Winston Churchill, during a campaign speech,” reports the Daily Mail. “Paul Weston, chairman of the party Liberty GB, made the address on the steps of Winchester Guildhall, in Hampshire on Saturday. A member of the public took offence at the quote, taken from Churchill’s The River War and called police.”

Here is a link to the Mail‘s story: Arrested for quoting Winston Churchill: European election candidate accused of religious and racial harassment after he repeats wartime prime minister’s words on Islam during campaign speech.

I note that the Daily Mail had the guts to quote the Churchill passage in full but not to enable comments, whereas (opposing candidate) Daniel Hannan in the Telegraph has the guts to enable comments but not to quote the passage.

Comments to my post are enabled and the passage is below:

‘How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries,’ wrote Churchill.

‘Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.

‘The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

‘A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.

‘The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

‘Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

‘No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.’

I wish I could claim that by both quoting the passage and enabling comments I have demonstrated political courage. I haven’t. Might I too not be arrested? I won’t be. At the moment that is not the way the process works. Mr Weston has been arrested but I doubt very much that he will ever brought to trial. Trials can so easily go wrong. In fact I suspect that he will – eventually – be in receipt of an apology and compensation for wrongful imprisonment, as was the Christian street preacher John Craven after his arrest under the Public Order Act 1986.

Mr Craven got £13,000 compensation. According to the Huffington Post article about him linked to above, “The total cost for Greater Manchester Police, including both parties’ legal bills, will be over £50,000.”. It is not clear to me whether the latter sum includes the former, but we can safely say that the total cost of arresting a man in violation of his right to free speech seems to be around £50k – £65k.

That’s peanuts for a government – and yet, the whip broke skin. The point was made. All saw, this is what happens. Cheap at the price.

24 comments to Do not fear that Paul Weston will be brought to trial for quoting Churchill on Islam

  • In fact I suspect that he will – eventually – be in receipt of an apology and compensation for wrongful imprisonment, as was the Christian street preacher John Craven after his arrest under Public Order Act 1986.

    The punishment is the process, who cares how many fiat paper tokens have to be printed to keep the plebs in line.

    It’s not real money anyway.

  • Paul Marks

    The state keeps pushing and the “education” of the public continues.

    One day they will be able to have jury trials – and still get convictions.

  • DP

    Dear Miss Solent

    The cost is to the taxpayers not to Greater Manchester Police nor any government.

    Government is so adept at dipping into the taxpayers’ pockets that it needs all the help it can get to squander the proceeds.

    DP

  • Laird

    So you don’t expect to be arrested? And here I thought that the purpose of this post was to get your share of that £50k – £65k! Well, better luck next time.

  • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    Daniel Hannan has demonstrated that he has brains.
    Now he should demonstrate his balls, by standing on the same steps and delivering the same quotation, as part of HIS stump speech.

    Whether he ‘comes to praise Caesar’ or to bury him, he should read the same quote.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Echoing Laird: is there anything i can write in the comments that will get me a share of the proceeds?

  • The Sanity Inspector

    “A nation may lose its liberties in a day and not miss them in a century,” said Charles de Montesquieu, not reckoning on how fast society gets things done these days. John Galt upthread is right: this arrest is intended as a deterrent to anyone speaking out about aggressive Islamism.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    “…and yet, the whip broke skin. The point was made. All saw, this is what happens. Cheap at the price.”

    Apparently not.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    I suppose the point will soon be reached where you will need to be licensed to tell jokes, so long as they are approved jokes, carefully vetted by the relevant authorities.
    Still, no matter how politically correct things become, we Australians will always be able to make jokes about New Zealanders- because they’re so dumb, they’ll never get the jokes!

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    PersonFromPorlock,

    Cheap at the price for the government.

  • Stonyground

    I notice that the spokesman for the MCB didn’t try to refute any of the Churchill Passage. As for Ghandi being a half naked fakir, what would he call him?

  • Rob

    You can, however, call for the murder of executives at Channel Four and face no consequences whatsoever. You just have to be on the right side.

  • PaulM

    I don’t know which part of the quote the member of the public took exception to, but my understanding of common law is that I am the property of my Wife and my Wife is my property.
    Our offspring are our property also.
    I don’t have any problem with this.

    E&OE

  • PaulM

    John Galt (who ARE you?)wrote “It’s not real money anyway.”

    I agree, it is only currency. Gold and silver are real money.

  • Andrew Duffin

    “…suspicion of racial harrassment…”

    I must be missing something.

    Can someone quicker than me point out to me where, in that passage, there is any mention of race?

  • […] Do not fear that Paul Weston will be brought to trial for quoting Churchill on Islam (Samizdata, 1 May 2014) […]

  • Me at Home

    Pretext = to ensure action is taken if decency or safety is put at risk.
    (a bit subjective and wide-ranging, that one)

    http://www.hampshire-pcc.gov.uk/Your-Commissioner/Commissioners-point-of-view/Response-to-the-arrest-of-Paul-Weston.aspx

  • …and yet, the whip broke skin. The point was made. All saw, this is what happens. Cheap at the price.

    This may be true, but there is more to it than that. This is publicity, not just for Paul Weston, but for that quote as well. Mr Weston would not be able to purchase the world wide attention this has garnered.

    The arrest has resulted in that quote being broadcast and published extensively, and is one more step both towards waking people to the truth of how their freedoms are being quashed, and towards geeing up activists to do something about it.

  • Mr Ed

    Meanwhile, this is the extent to which the Courts are eager to protect our rights in England and Wales, a 94 year old woman is protected by a judge.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10804691/Elderly-woman-banned-from-talking-to-the-press-for-life-in-court-ruling.html

    I cannot marshall any arguments against a Bill of Attainder and the highest penalty imaginable.

  • 2dogs

    “as was the Christian street preacher John Craven after his arrest under Public Order Act 1986″

    This is what makes the hate speech laws in Britain more acceptable than those in Australia – trial by jury. Any attempt to curtail free speech will eventually encounter a juror who will say no.

    Australia’s section 18C, however, was written so as to bypass section 80 of the Australian constitution, and deny trial by jury to those accused of hate speech.

  • Laird

    Mr Ed, that is a fascinating article. However, since the basis for the order is that Miss G* lacks the “mental capacity” to speak with the press, I would posit that that same lack of capacity should insulate her from any punishment for violating the order, since obviously she cannot form the necessary mens rea. Sauce for the goose and all that.

    * Why is it “Miss” G? The article clearly states that she has a husband.

  • […] much the same manner as the unelected (and costly HRC public servants) the UK Police enforce political correctness. Once again it is not the crime?? but the process that puts citizens in fear of direct free speech. […]

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    “Who is John Galt?” I just realised that the BBC could turn this into a Joke! Doctor Who is- John Galt! Obviously the Doctor, whilst jaunting around the world, met with Ayn Rand, and revealed his true name. She used his name as an ‘in’ joke that is only now being understood! Maybe the good doctor rescued her from an alternative America that went commie, and she made him her fictional hero. All is solved!

  • I doubt that the Moochers and Looters at the BBC would have any interest in proselytising Ayn Rand’s rational objectivism as laid out in Atlas Shrugged and other works.

    They are in charge of the UK’s TV Tax and pretty much the exclusive recipients of funding from it.

    While you may enjoy Doctor Who, it’s production was paid for via tax theft.