Friday, 15 June 2007

Blogger faces jail for "causing offence"

In Falkirk, a blogger named Andrew Love has pleaded guilty to committing a "racially-aggravated breach of the peace", and may now face imprisonment. What, you ask, were the heinous acts which constituted this offence? Well, he wrote a blog, in which he "directed insults at groups including black and disabled people, Muslims and homosexuals."

In deferring sentence, Sheriff William Gallacher, the presiding judge, told Love that:

You should be under no illusions that this is a charge of great gravity.

The offence you caused, and might have caused, was very grave indeed, and may need to be marked by the court.

Now, it may well be the case that Love's blog was vulgar, juvenile, and, as the Sheriff said, offensive. The BBC report does not provide any details regarding the blog's content, beyond the fact that it "featured a film clip of a disabled colleague playing a mouth organ and captioned it with an insulting remark", which doesn't sound particularly horrific to me.

However, regardless of the content of the blog, the fact is that all that Love has actually done to merit a criminal record and a possible prison term, is to write things that people found offensive. That, moreover, the wrong kind of people found offensive, for I doubt that he would be in his present predicament had he directed his offensive remarks at white Christian men. To me, it appears that this whole case represents a grotesque violation of Andrew Love's free speech, and is indicative of the increasing extent to which non-PC views are not merely criticised, but are actually criminalised.

Cross-posted at ATW

2 comments:

MrSmith said...

Actually criminalised? But this isn't new, FR. Think about that 'landmark race case' (http://tinyurl.com/ytmpra) from a while back. No, what's newsworthy here, and worthy of note, is that his own private blog is grounds for his conviction in the criminal courts.

This just goes from bad to worse.

youdontknowme said...

People do not have the right not to be insulted or not to be offended. If they don't like it tough. It's called free speech.