UK still afraid of free speech

There’s no denying it: the UK is afraid of free speech. With their ridiculous libel laws, scientists are routinely brought to trial for exposing quacks and frauds. Ben Goldacre, author of the book Bad Science has spent a considerable amount of his own money defending himself from England’s ridiculous legal system. While the country claims to give its citizens freedom of speech, in reality their rights are ‘negative’, meaning the government simply doesn’t prosecute speech, unless of course it includes the following:

1. Threatening, abusive, or insulting speech

2. Behavior likely to cause a breach of the peace

3. Incitement, incitement to racial hatred, incitement to religious hatred

4. Incitement to terrorism, encouragement of terrorism and dissemination of terrorist publications or even glorifying terrorism, collection or possession of information likely to be of use to a terrorist [whatever the fuck that means]

5. Treason including imagining the death of the monarch [don’t use your imagination in England]

6. Sedition [speech critical of government or other institutions]

7. Obscenity, indecency including corruption of public morals and outraging public decency,[So they would still jail Socrates I guess]

8. Defamation,[basically calling quacks out on their shit]

There’s also a bunch of other stuff related to court proceedings, but I think you get the gist of what I’m saying. I haven’t even included Blasphemy Laws in this whole mess. Why bother when it should already be patently clear that free speech is a misnomer in the UK. You’re free not to offend or defame anyone, and that’s about it.

A perfect example of their cowardice is the arrest and trial of Peter Crawford, who decided to express his outrage at Islam by showing up at an information kiosk and ripping his own copy of the Qur’an, finally throwing it on the ground yelling “your religion is bullshit”. Naturally, nearby Muslims were in shock that other people on this planet could give a fucking rat’s ass about their shitty book, but this was enough to arrest him and send him to court to waste everyone’s precious time and resources defending a religion that can’t seem to defend itself.

He is on trial at Leicester Crown Court accused of causing religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress, by demonstrating hostility based on membership of a particular religious group, Islam. He denies the charge.

How is ripping the pages of a fucking book causing distress to anyone? Perhaps their inflated sense of righteousness is actually to blame here: no one who claims to possess the sole truth about the Universe would react so strongly to any challenge unless they felt somewhat insecure about their beliefs. It cannot be easy defending the indefensible, but that does not mean we should warrant jailing or prosecuting individuals simply for having ‘hurt’ the feelings of people highly invested in nonsense.

Mr Quyyum agreed that apart from a hand gesture – which Mr Newcombe suggested was the pointing of a finger rather than a gun gesture – the defendant did not threaten or provoke any violence.

So why then is anyone bothering to bring him to ‘justice’? Because he dared to insult the feelings of Muslims by showing zero respect for their holy book? Good. Any book that encourages its readers to kill anyone who does not share their ideology deserves as much. The fact the government has to employ its legislative powers in an attempt to save face for these religious ass-hats is hat so shocking. it amounts to the government suppressing dissent, a clear sign of intellectual cowardice and moral bankruptcy. Thank you for showing us the wrong way to handle free speech, guys.

Comments (4)

  • avatar


    As a small aside to your rant, the UK Blasphemy laws were repealed in 2008.

    There is now no way you can be bought to court for blasphemy.

    As for the rest I guess they’ll work their way towards a better legal system by the continual testing of the current laws.

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    If i recall what they did was change it to a penalty where you get charged a certain amount. For poor people, you might as well send them to jail. it’s still persecution.

  • avatar


    Apparently they did try to include islam in the blasphemy laws, this was sometime during Blair’s government, as previously the blasphemy laws only counted against the Church of England.
    Jack Straw, I think, tried to widen the blasphemy law to include all religions. However, the government were beaten by the one vote in parliament.
    This was after Tony Blair had been advised that they were going to be beaten easily so he shouldn’t stay around to vote. His vote would have made it a draw, so the government would’ve won the vote and the law would have changed. He didn’t vote, they didn’t win and the law eventually got changed and the blasphemy laws repealed because they were redundant and unlikely to result in prosecution.

  • avatar


    Any country that would even CONSIDER a law against blasphemy (which is a victimless crime), well, I wouldn’t want to spend much time there.

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