Even an oik has freedoms

Imprisoned just for speaking

A Welsh district judge, John Charles, just barged through ancient legal protections for free speech and gaoled one Liam Stacey for 56 days for offensive tweets — essentially two months in pokey for speaking.

These tweets were obnoxiously filthy but the judge went too far. It should be possible to utter any offensive words in public without fear of arrest or legal sanction. If the words are wrong, if they accuse a person incorrectly, or make allegations without justification, then the speaker should expect to be charged with slander or similar. But so-called “hate speech” — merely insulting a person, organisation, community, city, nation or race gives insufficient grounds to deprive a person of liberty.

Shall it now be unlawful to craft insults or express hatred? Why should we not hate some people? Continue Reading →