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The point is that anyone can do this to anyone

Don’t like what someone says on social media? Don’t worry, with just one phone call you can arrange for whoever said it to have to tell their autistic kids that mummy has to go away and doesn’t know when she’ll be allowed to come back.

“I can’t sleep, says accountant Marion Millar in trans tweet row”, reports the Times.

Marion Millar, an accountant from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, was told to report to a police station over allegations that she had posted “homophobic and transphobic” tweets.

Her account of her ordeal has been viewed by millions of people on social media. Millar, who works for For Women Scotland (FWS), a feminist group, wrote: “On April 28 I received a call from a PC Laura Daley from Police Scotland requesting I attend an interview under the malicious communications act. She told me I had to attend East Kilbride police station so I could be then transported to Cathcart station in a police car because I would have to go to a station where there are holding cells.”

Millar was told that social workers would be sent to look after her young twin boys, who are autistic, while she was questioned.

“This nonsense has been hanging over my head for a month,” she said. “I still don’t know what the offending tweet is. Anyone who knows me knows I am not homophobic or transphobic. ”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “We received two complaints regarding comments made on social media, enquiries into this are ongoing.”

To comply with human rights legislation interviews have to take place at a station with custody suites, which East Kilbride does not have.

I cannot but admire the elegance of using the supposed protections offered by human rights legislation into a vehicle for twisting the knife a little more. Shame if you aren’t allowed to return home, love. But don’t worry, we have a nice custody suite.

Some of you might think this is an example of what a oppressive place Scotland is becoming now that the Hate Crime (Scotland) Bill has been passed. If so, you are wrong. It is an example of what an oppressive place Scotland already is under existing law. Ms Millar was summoned for offences under the Malicious Communications Act. And before English, Welsh or Northern Irish readers feel superior, let me say that as far as I know that same 1988 Act applies to the whole of the UK. As I said in a post from 2012 called “The kraken wakes”, despite its obvious potential for oppression, for the first twenty years or so of its existence the Malicious Communications Act 1988 did not seem to do much harm … but you are not safe just because a monster sleeps.

22 comments to The point is that anyone can do this to anyone

  • Ferox

    What’s needed is an Offensive Speech Day, during which anybody who still cares about living as a free person makes a point of taking to social media to make the most offensive statements they can manage.

    Let the police arrest 20 million people, if they can.

  • Gay willy

    Nice fearmongering!

  • Fraser Orr

    The problem with revolutions is that revolutionaries eat their own. French and Russian revolutions are far more common than American revolutions. It seems we see a litany of this. “For Women Scotland” seems to be a problem because they have some sort of lawsuit to try to stop the redefinition of “woman”. To quote their web site:

    We are challenging the Scottish Ministers over the definition of “woman” in the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 which we believe is outside the legislative competency of the Scottish Parliament under the Scotland Act 1998 and in contravention of the Scottish Ministers’ duties under equality legislation. This leaves us with a definition that includes some men, while, remarkably, excluding some women. This cannot be allowed to stand.

    Standing up to demand female representation on public boards was a progressive value ten minutes ago. This is the problem with virtue signaling. If you signal your virtue then I come along. I want to assert my superiority so I virtue signal something more extreme, then someone else has to virtual signal even more extreme. And over time you start to eat your own. Ayn Rand told us that since only criminals are subject to the viciousness of the state then the solution is to make so many laws that everyone is a criminal. And so, if you are going to plan in that game you had better hope to God that you hold on to the reigns of power lest you be caught in your own net. Just ask Bill Gates.

    It is said that in Classical Greece a certain Perilaus invented a new method of capital punishment, the brazen bull. A Bronze bull into which the victim is placed and a fire lit underneath. The plumbing was such that the screams of the victim broiling to death resembled the snorting of a bull. It is said that Perilaus was the Bull’s first victim.

  • staghounds

    It’s a good thing they have caught all the wife beaters, burglars, and car thieves in North Lanarkshire so the police have time to drive around and question mean tweeters.

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    It seems you can be arrested under the Malicious Communications Act for just about anything. So how come Black Lives Matter / Antifa / lefties in general are seemingly able to send vile abuse to those with whom they disagree with impunity? Obviously those located overseas are, in practice, beyond the reach of the law, but what about those in the UK? There doesn’t seem to be any objective standard as to what’s illegal: if someone reports it to the police as “offensive” then it is.

    So how about those of us on the right going through the Twitter – and other social media – posts of some lefty, and reporting them to the police something we find offensive. It shouldn’t take too long. Anti-semitic tweets would probably be a rich seem of potential complaints. If the police refuse to act, they would be showing themselves in their true colours – as the enforcement arm of the left. At that point it will be time to start thinking about making life less comfortable for them: I’m thinking about refusing them service in shops and the like. Or how does Defund Police Scotland sound to you as a slogan?

  • SteveD

    What is needed is hiring cops who are less evil.

  • bobby b

    I’ve known a lot of cops – I’d venture to say more than almost anyone here – and it’s my impression that X% of humanity is evil, and the percentage of evil people amongst cops is slightly – very slightly – below X%.

    If they could only develop a pee test for evil . . .

  • APL

    Schrodinger’s Dog: “There doesn’t seem to be any objective standard as to what’s illegal: if someone reports it to the police as “offensive” then it is.”

    I think that’s it. Anyone can ‘take offense’ and the Police are obliged by (Blair’s) law to investigate, naturally it’s easier to find and apprehend a ‘nasty’ tweeter, than it is to locate and apprehend a burglar. Easy, lazy crime detection drives out hard and difficult crime detection.

    Schrodinger’s Dog: “So how about those of us on the right going through the Twitter – and other social media – posts of some lefty, and reporting them to the police something we find offensive.”

    By and large, I suspect that right leaning folk, look at something some unpleasant lefty has written, and thinks, ‘Huh! another stereotype confirmed’, then gets on with his life.

    It isn’t a tenet of right wing doctrine ( such as it is ) to seek out and report to the authorities every single racist, homophobic or sexist phrase or sentence uttered by people of the left. Where as these are the weapons of the Left, they created them for just this purpose.

    But, yea, that’s an idea.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Instead of Freedom of Expression, perhaps we need a Freedom of Opinion law. So long as you say, “This is just my opinion-” then you would be free of any legal consequences, though not social ones. You might lose some friends, and gain unsavory new friends. Still, who doesn’t support racial purity!? Oh, that many…..

  • Duncan S

    Meanwhile in Kirkcaldy, Police Scotland were being ridiculed for warning the public to be wary of “controversial” stickers.
    They then deleted their tweet.

    The connection is that “womenwontwheest” is also Marion Millar’s twitter handle.

  • itellyounothing

    If all our society is offering is Nazis (kill foreigners) or Commies(kill citizens), expect national socialism to be more popular…

    The generally preferred kill neither option is steadily loosing ground.

  • Alan Peakall

    Google is still giving me zero matches for The Kraken Wokes. I’ll get my coat…

  • John B

    Two points.

    1. She could have refused to attend, then they would have had to arrest her assuming they had sufficient cause to do so; it sounds like they did not. If not and they did, she could sue for wrongful arrest. The police/political only get away with things if people don’t stand up to them.

    2. When I was a child, certain boys in the neighbourhood and at school were known to be bullies. Mother’s and teacher’s advice was to stay away from them. Mother/teacher were unsympathetic if I reported I had been picked on because in fact I hadn’t stayed away from them… and kept going back for more.

    Engaging on social media platforms is a CHOICE. If it were not known years ago these places were frequented by lunatics and cowardly bullies, we certainly do now.

    Why do people therefore use social media? If everyone except the loonie squad and angry brigades left, the companies would lose nearly all their revenue and either reform their service or shut down.

    We CAN live without social media… and there are alternatives to the two on-line lunatic asylums. Using those platforms to make contentious or even seemingly innocuous comments is asking for trouble. Those who do so merit no sympathy.

  • Jon Eds

    OT – I only found out about this due to an article in the FT.

    https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research#top

    In theory anonymised but this is the NHS we are talking about.

    Opting out is possible. Again, this is the NHS so probably about 50/50 that they would act on your instruction.

  • TomJ

    For those not versed in Celtic variations on English, haud (hold) yer wheest, or simply wheest, means shut up.

  • Rich Rostrom

    John B: What if the bully comes looking for you? What if the bully marks out some considerable public space as “his territory” and attacks you if you enter it? Say, the boys’ bathroom at the school, or the local “high street” or park?

    “Social media” is a de facto “public space” for discourse. “Staying off social media” is keeping silent.

    Do you really think there are “alternative” ways to make public statements of opinion that the bullies won’t attack?

  • Bruce

    Offence?

    MUCH more taken than “given”, in my experience.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Rich Rostrom
    “Social media” is a de facto “public space” for discourse. “Staying off social media” is keeping silent.

    It used to be a “public space”, but it isn’t really any more. Of course it has never been a de jure public space. So if you abandon it to the bullies they are just yelling at themselves.
    I guess the problem is that 99% of social media interactions are just pleasant interactions between friends. I have a facebook account that is quite useful for keeping touch with old friends and family. The censorship is a bit annoying, but they don’t censor the baby photos, birthday reminders or the invites to parties that I mainly use it for.

    Twitter on the other hand seems to be just a wasteland of human garbage. I don’t know for sure since I don’t use it, but I say leave it to the crazies. The thing about it is that they are so vicious that without you and me to attack they will just start to attack each other. Let them get in a big pissing match over who is most intellectually, environmentally and non judgmentally (lol) pure. While the rest of us get on with life.

    Do you really think there are “alternative” ways to make public statements of opinion

    Sure. Start your own blog, like this one. Include a blog roll or other types of distributed reference system, start to share it with others and let it grow organically. Set up some comment rules that allow disagreement but not vitriol, and bob’s your uncle. You might prefer to have the big free audience that FB or Twitter or whatever have created at great expense. But if you want their audience you’ll have to play by their rules. Better to set up your own place where you are in charge, and grow your own audience. If you do and do a decent job, I bet Perry will stick you in his blogroll.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    The only trouble with the ‘controversial stickers’ warning is that you’d need to read a sticker to know if it was controversial, and then the damage is done.

  • Paul Marks

    The post is grimly true – Freedom of Speech has been under attack in the United Kingdom, and the Western world in general, for many years.

    Such pieces of legislation as the Equalities Act of 2010 are infamous – but that was just the latest attack, the Home Office (the British government department that covers this area of policy) was taking advice from openly Marxist academics as early as the 1970s.

    Even the United States, which has the 1st Amendment, is subject to this tyranny – due to universities (the government bureaucrats and Corporate managers they produce) “educating” people in such doctrines as that Freedom of Speech “harms disadvantaged and excluded groups” (the Frankfurt School of Marxism “Diversity and Inclusion” agenda, of Herbert Marcuse and co with their denouncing of Freedom of Speech as “Repressive Tolerance”).

    The Obama Administration made the war against Freedom of Speech the policy of the government – by abusing Title Nine of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (which was never intended to undermine Freedom of Speech) to get universities to “protect” certain groups of people, “protect” them by waging war against dissent. Prime Minister Blair’s government did much the same thing in Britain – but the roots of the campaign go way back into the 1960s (indeed the Frankfurt School of Marxism started out in the 1920s).

    What are chances of a real fight back for Freedom of Speech? The repeal of such legislation as the 2010 Equalities Act? Sadly the prospects for a real fight back are not high.

  • Paul Marks

    The 1988 Malicious Communications Act would have been passed under a Conservative Party government – and the “Online Harms” Act (it it is comes into existence) may well make things even worse.

    If one wants to trace Western government policy right back one would have to mention the Kennedy Administration.

    Yes the Administration of Saint Jack Kennedy – “J.F.K” himself.

    Almost the first action of the Kennedy Administration was to a launch harassment campaign against many conservative groups for the things they said (and a harassment campaign was launched against ONE leftist group “Fair Play for Cuba” so the Kennedy Administration could say that it was not just hitting conservatives – a certain Mr Oswald was rather annoyed by the harassment his leftist group got from the government – very annoyed indeed).

    The Kennedy Administration also passed FCC regulation changes essentially handing over all television entertainment shows to the control of three companies (ABC, CBS and NBC) – under the Orwellian claim that this would protect “creative freedom” (of course it destroyed it – as outside companies were now forbidden to have editorial control, thus giving a stranglehold to the big three television companies).

    So the decline of Freedom of Speech started in the 1960s (one can also think of British legislation from this time) – ironically the very time when “freedom of expression” was being screamed the loudest.

    Although, yes, it is true that the violations of freedom of expression (sexual expression) were indeed removed in the 1960s – for example the Lord Chamberlain having (at least in theory) control over the theatre – something established (by disgracefully dishonest tactics) by Sir Robert Walpole in the early 18t century. Walpole was not really concerned about smut – he was using that as a justification for a crackdown against political dissent.

  • […] days ago I posted about Marion Millar of Airdrie, Scotland, who was summoned to a police station for a compulsory interview over allegations that she had posted homophobic and transphobic […]

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