Is Freedom of Speech Dead in the UK?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by GrumpyCabbie, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I know this will possibly be irrelevant to most of my American friends but it is becoming a concern to me here.

    There is no constitutional right to freedom of speech in the UK though previously we have been protected under law (in a way I don't quite understand, though lawyers do). However, after our last Government signed us in to the ridiculous European Human Rights law we are now having this used against us.

    Perhaps the following links could explain it more eloquently than I;

    Gagging order judges 'must put free speech before privacy of celebrities' | Mail Online

    PM David Cameron hits out over gagging orders | The Sun |News

    And its now lead to a guessing game. A week or so ago it was reported that Jeremy Clarkson had had an affair with his mistress and this was all over the front pages. Yet now this story has been dropped and some papers are offering hints as to why; A television personality and newspaper columnist with three children has taken out a gagging order against any reporting of an affair;

    Showbiz - News - TV star granted worldwide gagging order - Digital Spy

    Is it Jeremy Clarkson or not? Who knows? I know Jeremy is supposed to be a supporter of freedom of speech but the details of the 'person' do sound rather like him which would be hypocritical if it is him! :eek: If it is him, perhaps this could be used by Tesla against him! His argument against their lawsuit is that he was exercising his freedom of speech!?! Top Gear sued by Tesla Motors over 'rigged' electric car test | Mail Online

    The reason for this this thread is what are we to do? Should we allow this continued restraint of our press and freedom of reporting? Where does this situation stop? Perhaps it's ok to gag the reporting of an affair but then what if the reporting is of something else and this then gets gagged because the previous gagging orders have set a precedent?

    Should a brave newspaper editor say what the hell and release the details of these people (who are obviously not of good character by having had an affair in the first place) and risk the wrath of the law and probably end up in prison? I think once they have done this the adverse publicity would get something done. Where are the brave journalists these days?

    I feel strongly of this as I don't like the way it is heading and fear that in 5 years I'll be living in a secretive society like communist Russia. Or am I overly concerned over nothing? Perhaps I should start a freedom of speech movement in the UK and then when I face arrest I can apply for political asylum in the US? ;)
     
  2. Hidyho

    Hidyho Senior Member

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    You don't have a democracy, just like the US doesn't, you have a monarchy/representative, and we have a republic, our only saving grace is that we have a Constitution that overrides our ignorant people and politicians, you only have the Magna Carta, and I'm not sure that covers anywhere near what our Constitution does. You got anything else other then that?
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i fear it may be too late for all of us.
     
  4. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Freedom of Speech is sometimes overrated, for example, consider Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and the Westboro Baptist Church. :madgrin:
     
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  5. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    Freedom of speech is only protected by practicing it. Laws are more a history of the problems that have been faced.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i believe gb already banned michael savage from speaking there because they didn't like his right wing rhetoric.
     
  7. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    One word => WikiLeaks
     
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  8. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    I can't see where this could possibly be an issue. Censorship should be impossible in the UK. From what I can tell from watching British TV shows and movies, no one could ever understand what they are saying anyway.

    :p

    Tom
     
  9. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Savage is a weiner.
     
  10. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    And here's me thinking I'd get a sensible discussion :confused: :rolleyes:
     
  11. Seamaster

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    That's because we don't have a constitution, and — because we're not "citizens" — we don't have "rights".

    We're subjects, granted privileges.
     
  12. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Unless you use the European Human Rights laws but the only people using these are scumbags who either want to sue the householder they were trying to rob before tripping over their carpet, or some footballer who was shagging a whore but doesn't want his wife to find out.
     
  13. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Artist In Residence

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    :pound:

    Hey, good luck with that.
     
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  14. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    I think that was some of that Brit humour we have trouble grasping over here in the colonies:D
     
  15. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    I thought I *was* being sensible when I pointed out that no one could understand them. Free speech doesn't make any difference when the speech is unintelligible.

    (I intend to keep hammering on this until I get a rise out of Grumpy -- so far he hasn't taken the bait.)

    ;)

    Tom
     
  16. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Tell him the Brits only drink warm beer because they have Lucas refrigerators. ;)
     
  17. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    OK, I'll try to be serious for a moment. I can't promise how long it will last, or that anyone else takes it that way.

    Freedom of speech laws differ significantly between the US and Canada. In the US, it's a big deal, and people feel very strongly about it. For instance, the rights of homophobic protestors at a funeral were recently upheld in a US court after they were sued by the father of the dead soldier. In Canada, that same scenario would likely have been judged a hate crime.

    Another difference is that in Canada, journalists are required to be truthful. In the US, talk show hosts seemingly just make stuff up and spew all sorts of vitriolic lies - as long as the ratings are good, there's no problem.

    Ownership of media outlets can be a problem. There's little in-depth investigative journalism of things the owners don't want the public to know, and no end of 'teach the controversy' BS to purposely confuse people. Providing information is no longer the goal of news - telling us what to think is.
     
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  18. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    It would be nice if people realized that the right to free speech should also include the responsibility to tell the truth, but unfortunately, there is no such requirement in the US.
     
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