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The pitchforks are out for Count Dankula

“M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi.” That link takes you to a video in which a man who wished to annoy his girlfriend trained her cute pug to lift its paw in a “Nazi salute” in response to Nazi slogans. Well, it used to. At present for me it takes me to a video of a black screen saying “This video is not available in your country”. Mark Meechan, the man who made the video, is from Scotland and I am in England, but I do not think that explains it.

From the Telegraph‘s account and even more from a swing round Mr Meechan’s “Count Dankula” YouTube channel, it does sound as if his humour tends towards the crass and tasteless. But do these words from the beginning of the video sound to you like the voice of a man committed to the triumph of Nazism?

The court heard that at the start of the clip, he said: “My girlfriend is always ranting and raving about how cute and adorable her wee dog is so I thought I would turn him into the least cute thing I could think of, which is a Nazi.”

In the video, the dog is seen perking up when it hears the statements and appears to lift its paw to the “Sieg Heil” command in the video, which has now been viewed more than million times.

Mr Meechan is currently on trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court for committing a hate crime. If convicted he faces up to a year in prison. The verdict was due two days ago but has been delayed for reasons unknown.

One of the more detailed reports on the case came from the Washington Post:

The dog is also seen watching a Hitler rally during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The dog appears to raise its paw when Hitler proclaims “Sieg Heil.”

“Who’s a good wee Nazi?” Meechan praised the dog.

The video ricocheted around the Internet and has now been viewed more than 3 million times. Some found it amusing; others feel it was crude and anti-Semitic, including a woman who Meechan says confronted him, then spread dog feces on his front door.

Prosecutors say it’s a hate crime.

That April, soon after the video was posted, police knocked on Meechan’s door in Coatbridge, a town in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, he told Alex Jones. The officers told him that he was being charged with a hate crime and that the video could be seen as promoting violence against Jews. They told him to change his clothes, took pictures of his apartment and hauled him off to jail.

He spent a night there and is now on trial for violating the Communications Act of 2003, which prohibits using public telecommunications to send discriminatory religious messages.

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26 comments to The pitchforks are out for Count Dankula

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Even ‘hate’ speech should be protected, or someone who hates the sound of my voice will put me in jail. The only way to stop hate speech is to stop hate thinking, and the only way to stop that would be to indoctrinate kids from birth upwards, so that they love Big Brother.

  • Confused Old Misfit

    Some prosecutors need to get a life.

  • Mr Ecks

    Everybody involved in this disgrace from the Westminster scum who passed the laws through to the Courts, CPS and the BluBottles on the doorstep need to be sacked without a penny compensation and their pensions confiscated.

    Does anybody know if Dankula has a legal fund started? He is on Paetrion (sic) but $1 a month won’t cut it.

  • Laird

    A truly stupid law, promoted by stupid people, and enforced by utter morons. You guys are so screwed.

  • Benaud

    I thinks its worse then people think.

    Training his dog to respond as a storm trooper was a mockery of the NAZIs.

    The hate speech laws are immoral in of themselves but in this instance a being used to protect the respect of actual NAZIs.

  • Vinegar Joe

    Sounds like your police and prosecutors are the real Nazis.

  • But the real question is how many dog years will Poochie end up serving?

  • Mitch

    You guys really need the equivalent of our First Amendment. I thought we Yanks borrowed it from you, but I may have got the whole bill of rights thing mixed up. 1689, 1791; so hard to keep it all straight.

  • @Mitch:

    Free speech has exists in English Common Law, but it has never been unfettered with things such as treason, sedition and libel overriding this.

    There has always been a right to absolute free speech guaranteed in Parliament, but that only covers members of the house for statements made in Parliament itself.

    The European Union’s Human Rights Legislation which was incorporated into UK legislation in 1998 includes explicit free speech (Article 10 – Freedom of Expression)

    Article 10 – Freedom of expression

    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

    2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

    It’s all very well having a constitutional right to freedom of expression, but if the assertion of such rights requires years of legal process and millions of dollars (and can still be rejected for consideration by the Supreme Court which rules on such matters), then you have to question how meaningful is such a right?

    The countries under Soviet rule had similar constitutional guarantees and were without exception ignored by the Communists, so while the first amendment guarantee is not worthless, it is not a universal “Get out of Jail Free” card.

  • Thailover

    “…including a woman who Meechan says confronted him, then spread dog feces on his front door. Prosecutors say it’s a hate crime.”

    Yes, spreading dog feces on someone’s front door is a hate crime. Teaching a dog to raise it’s paw…isn’t hate in the slightest. Yet, I understand that it’s the teacher of the “wee doggy” (Sorry Jed Clampett), that faces a year in jail.

  • From the Daily Record

    Prosecutors allege Meechan communicated material that would cause fear and alarm and stir up hatred on religious grounds.

    He also faces an alternative charge of posting a video on social media and YouTube which was grossly offensive because it was “anti-Semitic and racist in nature” and the prosecution claim it was aggravated by religious prejudice.

    Note two charges from the same alleged action, double jeopardy rolled into one trial.

    I hope that the Court considers how it would cause fear and alarm in a reasonable person or stir up hatred is not clear, obviously the joke only works if the Nazis aren’t seen as bad.

    Again, the video is not anti-Semitic, it is obviously anti-Nazi as it only works if the Nazis are bad, juxtaposed with the cuteness of the dog.

    The Procurator Fiscal (Scotland’s public prosecutor) got its name from the prosecutor hanging around after the trial to collect fines for the King. In England, until recently, the prosecutor had no interest in the sentence or even conviction, the job was to put the entire case before the court, where it was in the public interest to do so.

    It is very East German all this.

  • It is very East German all this.

    The punishment is the process.

  • JadedLibertarian

    Ephraim Borowski, director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities testified at the trial they he was offended by the video, took the video personally and that “sections of the Jewish community in Scotland felt threatened by the video’s contents”.

    Should any of the above be directly actionable? The video is not the kind of thing I would have posted, nor would I have approved of its posting. However I’m more than just a little disgusted that a community spokesman* was willing to testify at a trial of a man he’d presumably never met or spoken to and attempt to have him jailed.

    See also this article

    The deputy fiscal sez:

    He has constructed the video and he accepts that within a short time frame the noxious phrase is uttered 23 times by him. “The phrase ‘gas the Jews’ contains a clear threat of incitement to carry out a seriously violent act. “This is an exoneration to gas the Jews, people who belong to the Jewish community. “He might just as well have said ‘murder the Jews’ that is the effect of the toxic phrase ‘gas the Jews

    The deputy fiscal sounds like a fucking moron. The phrase in this context was not an “exoneration” (nor was it an exhortation) to do anything. It was not equivalent to saying “murder the Jews”, so Mr Mecham mightn’t as well have said that.

    For some reason when I read the words of the prosecutor I hear this:

    No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.

    * – I hate, hate, hate identity politics. People are not the sum of their racial or religious identities. If you want to know what Jews/Muslims/Black people/Chinese people etc think, you do not ask a self appointed spokesman. People are individuals dammit! If you wanted to obtain the opinions of Scottish Jewry on this video, you’d need to ask more than one Jew about it.

  • JadedLibertarian

    For some reason I got the following picture in my mind:

    In the waiting room of Identity Inc., the applicants shuffled nervously in their seats. In walked a man with a clipboard.

    “I need a Jew who’s offended by the YouTube Nazi dog to testify at the trial. Must be able to make vague assertions about feeling threatened”.

    Up shot Ephraim Borowski, pausing only to force an elderly Hasidic gentleman back into his seat.

    “I’m you’re Huckleberry” he yells.

    “Excellent” replied the man with the clipboard. “Proceed to window 2 and Ms. Vicious will check your union card before arranging your fee. Next… I need a black person who thinks all white people are racist to appear on BBC news…”

  • With many a grotesque hate crime prosecution on record, I find it more interesting in this case merely to register that any prosecution under these vile laws will do evil and no good, then to wonder if there is any sane law imaginable under which the girlfriend (ex-girlfriend?) would have a case?

    The ‘puir wee doggie’ has been trained to show enthusiasm for a form of socialism. (Maybe the next video would have shown it wagging its tail at the sound of Corbyn denouncing Israel.) As it appears the girlfriend, not Meechan, is the dog’s legal owner (so Meechan abused a position of trust in which she gave him access to the dog):

    – Could she sue that her property is damaged? Maybe the resale value of a dog trained to salute ‘Sieg Heil’ is diminished.

    – Could she sue for libel under good old fashioned law? People visiting her and observing her dog’s enthusiasm when some WWII documentary is on in the background might be caused to think things about her politics.

    – Could she claim she is part owner of the video, since her dog stars in it, or sole owner, because her consent to her dog’s appearance was not gained?

    (Generally, in the very rare cases when such prosecutions have any aspect other than hatred of freedom, I find myself thinking that existing law could handle such aspects, as here – and that that fact is probably avoided for corrupt reasons.)

    It might be of course that the Mr Meechan’s justificatory framing device is imaginary, and the girlfriend who figures in it equally so; it was just his excuse for posting a video that got lots of views. I can easily imagine the sort of animal inspector who would generalise the laws on animal abuse to cover this case, but I’m too species-ist to think a law against the free speech of dogs is as vile as one against the free speech of humans – or as likely to end badly.

  • Vinegar Joe

    People forget that Hitler loved dogs…….and he was a vegetarian.

  • staghounds

    I’m a state
    prosecutor by profession. I would be laughed at by all my fellows and fired by my boss if I even hinted at presenting this case.

  • People forget that Hitler loved dogs…….and he was a vegetarian.

    He loved his Alsatian Blondi so much that he tested the cyanide capsules intended for his suicide on the poor dog.

    As for his vegetarianism, he was still eating meat as late as 1937 although he self-identified as a vegetarian from the early 1930’s onwards and may have only done so because it played to the public personae that he had created of himself.

    Hitler was a murderous narcissist, nothing more.

  • Mr Ed

    staghounds

    I would be laughed at by all my fellows and fired by my boss if I even hinted at presenting this case.

    I take it that you are outside the UK. I fear that you’d be on a disciplinary and the subject of much muttering from colleagues if you baulked at putting this case in the Crown Prosecution Service (England and Wales) or Procurator Fiscal (Scotland) in Great Britain. You have a duty as part of the public sector to uphold ‘equality’ and human rights.

    And you might be sanctioned by your professional body when your employer is done with you.

  • Sam Duncan

    Oh, I’m sure the Airdrie fiscal has nothing better to do. I mean, it’s not as if Scotland has the highest rate of assault in the world or anything.

    Oh, wait

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Would I be correct in presuming that, despite the 100,000,000 murders that can be attributed to the many attempts to impose Marxist ideologies on various countries, no such case would ever be brought against someone who, say, taught their parrot to sing the ‘Internationale’?

  • Paul Marks

    The humour of this comedian is not to my taste – but the idea that he can be legally punished for his joke shows just how evil (yes – evil) the “law” of this country has become (especially since 1965).

    Zerren Yeoville – you are correct.

  • RRS

    Ah! The Scots.

    Who hung Thomas Aikenhead

    for

    Blasphemy

    Did reaction to that initiate the “Scottish Enlightenment?”

  • Did reaction to that initiate the “Scottish Enlightenment?” (RRS, January 9, 2018 at 5:17 am)

    No, union with England did. The Scottish parliament was persuaded to abolish itself in 1707 (“That’s ane end to an auld song”), after which Scottish MPs sat in a United Kingdom parliament. The “Scottish Enlightenment?” really gets going when the generation born after that event reaches maturity.

    Regrettably, after three centuries of welcome absence, a Scottish parliament and the idea of killing people for blasphemy (against a different religion) have both reappeared here.

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