We’re probably going to have to abolish blogs, comments threads underneath newspaper columns, Twitter and Facebook – and indeed, just about anything else. Her Majesty’s Government, just when you thought it could do nothing even more stupid than the last stupid thing it did, is passing legislation which will make it an offence to cause annoyance. We are ‘reassured’ by the Home Office that the Police would never use this right in an ‘unreasonable way’. That would be the same police who have arrested street preachers and tried to intimidate them into silence, and have accused them of being ‘homophobic’ because they repeated what St Paul said about homosexuality? Ah, well, happen some folk reassure more easily, but somehow, I’m not in the slightest bit reassured.
In case you think that no Government would be so stupid as to make being annoying an offence liable, upon conviction, to a term of imprisonment of up to two years, check out the campaign against it here. I find David Cameron intensely annoying, can I sue him and get him locked up? More seriously, for those of us who proclaim the Gospel on the streets on a Saturday morning, is the prospect of the boys in blue feeling our collars for proclaiming Gospel Truth. All it seems to need is a person of homosexual orientation to complain he’s been hurt in his feelings (diddums) and that, we saw in the case of Dr Clifford in Norwich, is all it takes for the police to bear down on you. This is the same police force which can’t really tackle crime such as burglary and theft, so I suppose it is as well to give them a ‘crime’ they can try to deal with
Anyone who thinks it won’t lead to vexatious and needless litigation must be a lawyer. Nowadays folk are so sensitive that even looking at someone the wrong way can be enough to involve the law.
It would appear that as a society we no longer have agreed norms, so everything comes down to the law. That may be the inevitable outcome of a House of Commons full of lawyers and folk who’ve never held a job in the real world, but it is also a chilling prospect for a free society.
We’ve just been told by a former president of the Irish Republic: ‘If you are the so-called sinner, who likes to be called that?’ Presumably under the new British law, you can sue someone for the ‘annoyance’ caused’? Now you might say that’s a bit of an exaggeration, who would do that? But when an Irish Catholic former president studying for a doctorate in canon law can seriously bang on that it is wrong for her church to take the stand it does on homosexual behaviour, and make a comment like the one just quoted, all bets are off.
Anyone like to start a book on the first victim of this legislation being a street preacher? If so, I’d take a side bet that it isn’t a Muslim one. This ridiculous government has already told us that same-sex marriage is what the country wants, even though its sham consultation showed it wasn’t what those who responded to it wants. It has driven down heavily on those on benefits whether they are disabled or not, it has shown all the care and compassion of Dr Crippen. Then it asks us to trust it on this one. Well, there’s one born every minute I guess, but I don’t trust them as far as I could throw them.