We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Taking offence cannot be equated to being criminally victimised.

– “Cannot” as in: “should not”. Sadly, they just did. That’s Richard Carey, writing at Libertarian Home about the disappearance of the blog and twitter feed of Old Holborn, and other twitter accounts, for the crime of being “inappropriate and offensive”.

15 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    There is (or was – it may be confined to parts of America now) in the Common Law of “fighting words” (it is ancient and goes back to be the Germans and the Celts as well as the Norse) that if an insult or a THREAT is bad enough a violent response may be expected.

    However, this is not about fighting words (this is not a man or women, dead child in their arms, taking a swing at “Old Holborn” for an insult) this is CENSORSHIP.

    Plain, ugly CENSORSHIP.

    And sadly this is exactly where the modern (not the traditional) doctrine of “civil rights” leads.

    And where the P.C. doctrine was MEANT to lead us. To silence dissent – so that even harmless old council members in Chichester live in terror of every word they say.

    They (the Progressives) are not just after guns, and they are not just after property (for “Social Justice” “redistibution”) they are after EVERYTHING (including the soul – whether in the religious or nonreligous sense).

    They always have been.

  • Mr Ed

    Section 1 (1) and (2) of The Malicious Communications Act 1988, (Mrs Thatcher, PM) which applies in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland, as amended is below, all that is required is that the message is ‘indecent or grossly offensive, a threat, or information that is (believed to be) false, if a purpose (not simply the main purpose) is to cause ‘distress or anxiety’, so if you text a friend who is an obsessive football fan to tell him that his team has lost and is getting relegated, and that is false, as a prank, you might fall foul of this law, and face 6 months in prison and a £5,000 fine.

    “1 Offence of sending letters etc. with intent to cause distress or anxiety.

    (1)Any person who sends to another person—

    (a) a [F1letter, electronic communication or article of any description] which conveys—
    (i) a message which is indecent or grossly offensive;
    (ii) a threat; or
    (iii) information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender; or

    (b) any [F2article or electronic communication] which is, in whole or part, of an indecent or grossly offensive nature,is guilty of an offence if his purpose, or one of his purposes, in sending it is that it should, so far as falling within paragraph (a) or (b) above, cause distress or anxiety to the recipient or to any other person to whom he intends that it or its contents or nature should be communicated.

    (2) A person is not guilty of an offence by virtue of subsection (1)(a)(ii) above if he shows—

    (a)that the threat was used to reinforce a demand [F3made by him on reasonable grounds]; and

    (b)that he believed [F4, and had reasonable grounds for believing,] that the use of the threat was a proper means of reinforcing the demand.”

  • Look at that Paris Brown girl. She was interviewed under caution and then the police let her go because it then became clear that she hadn’t broken any law. It’s completely arse-about-face. If a police officer sees something happening and can’t think of what law they’ve broken, what are they arresting them for?

    This country will sadly, probably only sort itself out after a dose of fascism and then revolution.

  • Paul Marks

    Not Fascism – as there is no strong ideological movement.

    And “revolution” – inspired by what set of ideas?

    More likely decline – ending in chaos.

    Britain’s future is not likely to be nice.

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    You might be able to improve your future- if you improve just one small section of the economy. For instance, if you made it easier to get patents, and encouraged inventors to create new things, then you’d have a country people want to get to. Japan has stalled, and never had its’ version of Silicon Valley, because the culture of shame is so strong, that nobody is prepared to take a risk- because if they fail (and lots of start-ups fail!), they believe that will blacken the family name for generations! That is not a pro-inventor culture! Gradual innovation, yes; risky enterpreneurship, no.

  • AndrewWS

    Mr Ed:

    If that is what Section 1 (1) and (2) of The Malicious Communications Act 1988 say, then surely “offence”, “indecency” or “gross offensiveness” should be tested by a jury?

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray:

    You might be able to improve your future- if you improve just one small section of the economy. For instance, if you made it easier to get patents, and encouraged inventors to create new things, then you’d have a country people want to get to.

    That kind of mercantilism, with its increased bureaucracy, doesn’t sound too appealing. I’d rather be in a place that went the other way and had free(er) markets.

  • Paul Marks

    Of the big countries….

    Australia and New Zealand – far away from the centres of the power and no food shortage.

    New Zealand is less hard to get into.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    This is a lousy development, for sure. And I say that as someone who frequently found Old H. to be boorish and often unpleasant as an advocate of the libertarian point of view. But this is outrageous.

  • Well of course, JP – they would never do it to someone who is amiable and pleasant. At least not in the beginning.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Paul M,

    “They (the Progressives) are not just after guns, and they are not just after property (for “Social Justice” “redistibution”) they are after EVERYTHING….”

    That is because Social Justness is “Fairness” elevated from the merely desirable to the be-all and end-all of existence.

    (Of course, the goal of Perfect Fairness is more proper to some equals than to others.)

  • Julie near Chicago

    Heh…”Social Justice,” I mean. Although Social Justness would be muc the same thing, I think.

  • Nick 'nice-guy'Gray

    I am thinking that Britain led the Industrial Revolution BECAUSE it originally had an environment congenial to the Inventor and innovator! Maybe Britain Nowadays has too many laws, but it could revert to a simpler time, surely? We are celebrating ANZAC day here in Australasia, and I like to think that this means we are celebrating the offshoots of that- increased liberty and freedom. Even though a muslim here has called for muslims not to celebrate, I hope that all will realise that a victory for the Central Powers would have been disasterous. There’s another ‘what-if’for you! What if the Germans had taken Paris in WW1? Would the French have turned into revisionists, and started WW2, as Ben Bova once imagined in a short story I read ages ago?

  • Paul Marks

    Julie – yes.

    Nick – yes, but trying to push this tidal wave of “laws” back is hard.

    Even in the Victorian period “mainstream” legal writers (such as Maitland) were already de facto denying there were any principles behind the Common Law (foundational principles) – Common Law (to Maitland and co) was just law that was “common to all the Realm”.

    And statute law?

    Oh that was wonderful – the more statutes the better (after all Parliament stood for the good of the commuity…..)

    And, I repeat, this was in the Victorian period.

    The decline of “mainstream” thought in the Western world started a very long time ago.