Analysis comment

Tories planned ‘Minority Report’ law assaults political freedom and free speech

Even former Tory chair and Brexit Sec sees danger of requiring social media posters to combine clairvoyance and a psychology degree to predict whether a comment is ‘likely’ to cause ‘psychological harm’

The Tories are including criminal penalties for posting something that is ‘likely’ to cause ‘psychological harm’, putting free speech at the mercy of those who think finding something offensive is good justification for censorship – and making journalism that actually holds the Establishment to account an undertaking that carries the risk of a two-year prison sentence.

This is a further escalation on the assault on freedom of speech and political expression that their ‘Online Harms Bill’ has represented since its inception as a means of dressing up repression and censorship.

The new legislation means prosecutors and courts will be free to assess what might be the result of a comment on social media or in a journalistic article – and to sentence ‘offenders’ to up to two years in prison for something that might or might not have resulted.

The scope for this to be abused to not only chill, but freeze, free speech and political commentary is so obvious that even former Tory party chair and Brexit Secretary David Davis sees its danger, describing it as ‘too subjective’ and urging the government to reconsider.

Boris Johnson and his minions, by contrast, have described the plans as ‘world-leading’ – presumably in the same sense as ‘MK Ultra’ mind-manipulation was considered world-leading as a tool of control.

All a politician – or others with right-wing political motives, as there’s little doubt that left-wingers are the target of this under cover of so-called ‘protections’ – will need to do is claim they or someone suffered ‘psychological harm’ or were likely to, then have allies in the CPS produce an expert-for-hire willing to agree, and they can hound their critics into jail on a whim. The proposed legislation is a charter for Westminster’s bigots and haters of the poor to act as they do without fear of criticism.

This country continues its slide into fascism and dictatorship, aided and abetted by the Labour right and with not even a whisper of opposition from Starmer and co.

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  1. Vexatious complainers
    One could easily conclude that the Labour Party’s strategy towards its internal hegemony is a template which is successful.

  2. No shit Sherlock! Quelle Surprise!

    Who would’ve thought that something vociferous sections of self-referencing sections of the so called political ‘left’ have been practicing and effectively clamouring for in their insistence that we all ‘Wheest’ for no such thing as society, only the narcissistic atomised individualism of a Thatcheriite and Randian pseudo philosophy was a two edged sword?

    I’m shocked I tell you! Shocked!

    Like no one actually saw that coming?

    As Jonathan Pie succinctly eviscerates here:

    This is what so many pretend “progressives” dominating political left narratives and discourses have been arguing in favour of for anyone with the temerity to observe the ’emperor has no clothes’ by actually challenging and disagreeing with their ultra right wing ideology.

    You could not make this shit up. It was more predictable than the sun rising every morning; the Pope being Catholic; or bears defecating in the woods.

  3. To paraphrase Idi Amin, “Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech, but whether they have freedom after speech is a different matter.”

    “The safest place to go online” …sounds superficially attractive, but it’s basically cover for a huge assault on our rights, rights enshrined in the ECHR and British law. The only thing we’ll be free ‘world leaders’ in, is online censorship.

    I suspect the reason the wording is so opaque and the ‘harms’ test so open to subjective interpretation, is because they plan to systematically go after, and ultimately shut down various blogs(Craig Murray et al) and news outlets (Skwawkbox?) on the flimsiest of pretexts. Outlets that deviate from the official State narrative and pose the awkward questions that the MSM collude every day to omit. Outlets face costly legal battles, a kind of lawfare, as seen with Labour and the antisemitism nonsense.

    As to what’s driving this? My own guess is that social media is making it harder to condition a population into supporting wars and other unjust foreign policy, through state propaganda. The days of one unquestioned, undisputed source of information and a captive hypnotised audience, are over.

    Lies to justify war, like Iraq’s alleged ‘ongoing’ WMD programme couldn’t be deployed as easily today, as social media is such that the infamous ‘dodgy dossier’ – with parts simply copied and pasted from a doctoral thesis, would be ripped to shreds within hours or days. The establishment’s real fear, likely isn’t misinformation or the more serious, deliberate disinformation, it’s probably that ‘false flags’ won’t pass the sniff test against today’s online amateur sleuths and widespread online dissent.

    1. “rights enshrined in the ECHR and British law.”


      Except of course, in the case of British Law, where the 2010 Equality Act only operates via the subjective interpretation of its provisions via pretend ‘progressive’ gatekeepers supported by institutions from the STUC and SG through to big Pharma and everything inbetween.

      Resulting in an intriguing ‘binary’ relationship between extreme individualistic subjectivism and extreme state authoritarianism. Assertion of non-negotiable pseudo-sacrosanct narcissistic power being common to both. Objective law as irreducible sphere of reality is subverted by arbitrary personalism. Might determines right. Autocracy of self-ID is mirrored and enforced by autocracy on high.”*

      * with thanks to one Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh here:

    2. Unfortunately, the Douma false flag
      along with the Skripal incident and the Navalny poisoning are pretty much accepted as true by most people. Anyone researching these events should have many unanswered questions and a hefty dose of skepticism which should cause them to dig deeper. Unfortunately, Google has removed almost any reference to these and many other subjects that don’t conform to the official narrative. Talking of ‘online sleuths’, they’ve got that covered with Bellingcat though anyone familiar with Higgins’s past would not associate him with ‘truth’.
      I think that Covid has taught them how much you can manage behaviour and they are putting it into practice. Welcome to 2022 where wars are fought using proxies, economic sanctions, destabilisation and covert ops, all managed by media propaganda. Even that wasn’t enough so they’ve now decided to use the law to stifle the ‘conspiracy theorists’ who won’t toe the line.

      1. lundiel – Mike Pompeo, former CIA chief, stated openly, “We lied, we cheated, we stole.” And yet, anyone who questions any official narrative today, is immediately and angrily denounced by the London media pack as a conspiracy theorist and/or any of: ‘a Russian operative; Putin bot; tin foil hat, crank, contrarian; peddler of disinformation, and accused of trying to divide society.

        MI6 are virtually joined at the hip with their US counterparts, so if the latter admit they they routinely “lied, cheated and stole” where does that leave our agencies in terms of the truth?

        The fact the MSM barely reported Pompeo’s comments, tells you everything you need to know about the dire state of affairs in our so-called ‘free press’.

  4. I see an increasingly number of UK cases been taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and winning the cases against the UK.
    The problem as Andy says is that defending these cases would be extremely expensive. Cases would need to be presented all the way trough the British Courts and only when failing at the UK’s Supreme Court each case can be taken to the Strasbourg Court for a final bidding decision.
    That JVL after failing in the British Courts still haven’t decided to take their cases to the European Court of Human Rights only highlight how expensive this process is.
    I wonder if those that supported Brexit with the argument of “Westminster supremacy” as opposed to “EU’s supremacy” feel happy with what Westminster’s supremacy is delivering so far? Because let us be clear these pieces of legislation wouldn’t have been passed if we were still part of the EU.

    1. I don’t share your enthusiasm for Europe Maria. While individual rights are better represented in the EU that hasn’t stopped them from presenting a united front on travesties like Libya, Syria, Ukraine etc.

      1. Lundiel, I believe the EU is in need of urgent reform to increase its internal democracy. I never supported the People’s Vote and believed that Corbyn’s vision of existing the EU while keeping the UK in the custom union was the best solution.
        You are correct the EU supported armed intervention in Syria, Lybia etc. Nevertheless, it was only the UK that supported the US on the 2nd Gulf War. The rest of the EU didn’t support the invasion of Iraq. Hence, I am afraid Westminster’s supremacy isn’t going to protect the UK for entering armed conflict around the world at the bequest of the US.
        If anything the UK is on the way of becoming and unofficial US’s “territory” (similar to Puerto Rico) in which US’s companies bid for contracts to provide services under the NHS banner. flood the UK with food that don’t have to comply with EU’s standards in terms of pesticides used in its production, or animal welfare. Plus, we are going to align our foreign policy closer to the US that ever before.
        I feel sorry for those that voted Brexit on the argument of regaining Westminster supremacy only to realise in horror that they were duped and that despite all the reasonable misgivings they have with the EU, it was safety in numbers.

  5. Now for all to see that NO Constitution…no bill of Rights,protects the establishment and our Rulers monarchy,along with the whole farcial baggage of Knights lords barons,Dukes.The rulers are now firmly established and entrenched in all positions of power.and free to pass draconian laws and measures at the wim of the Kingdom..

  6. The Bill has not yet been published.
    Weeks ago, Starmer said, in parliament, that he would support the Bill when it is presented.
    A commitment to vote for something no matter what it says is lunacy.

    1. It might not be lunacy for him Goldbach. He will know exactly what’s in it, have no fear. He belongs to the same club as they do.

  7. As Bertolt Brecht said of Hitler/Arturo Ui:

    “Don’t yet rejoice in his defeat, you men!
    Although the world stood up and stopped the bastard,
    The bitch that bore him is in heat again.”

  8. All the world’s great literature, most of its philosophy, a great deal of its science and plenty of its art causes “psychological harm” to someone. Darwin’s Origin of Species made the church people apoplectic. Millions of Americans are still offended by the ideas of evolution and natural selection. The word “socialism” caused deep psychological harm to Thatcher and the name Scargill had almost every Tory MP reaching for sedatives. Voltaire made it his aim to “epater les bourgeois” (to shock the middle-classes) and J,K Galbraith said we should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. It isn’t possible to have debate without someone experiencing a degree of shock or offence which can be interpreted as “harm”. But we all know from experience the difference between a malicious attempt to do someone harm (of any kind) and the desire to engage in vigorous discussion and argument. I can’t think of a single play by Shakespeare, or for that matter a single play which doesn’t contain something which will offend someone: “Monster, I do smell all horse piss at which my nose is in great indignation”. Are we going to ban it because someone has a fit of the vapours at the use of “piss” of horse-lovers object to the slur on their favourite animal? And if this becomes law, just watch the followers of Herzl leap up and claim that the use of the words “Palestine” or “Palestinian” gives them palpitations. This is a cissy law with a bully’s intent. Make no mistake, it will not be deemed to cause harm to say the poor are feckless and should get on their bikes, but it will to say the rich are buying pour democracy and their wealth is gained through our work.

    1. The only, albeit minor, flaw in this argument is the use of the future tense in a context in which what is reasonably predicted will happen is already the norm. With people losing their Party membership, their employment, hounded out of their livelihood, arrested and harassed by the police, the courts and other institutions, and in receipt of death threats, bullying and harassment for daring to voice a different opinion or present an objective based argument to fantasy Randian subjective individualism pretending to be ‘progressive.’

      So far the only surprise is that subjective based allegations that someone’s reasonable opinion or objective based argument is tantamount to killing those making the allegation has not been taken to it’s obvious rational and logical conclusion via a charge of attempted murder.

      But, mostly being derived from the post modernist ravings of charlatans like Foucault and offcuts like Butler who don’t do the scientific method, that rational link has probably not been worked out yet.

      To paraphrase Pie, I’ll just put my clothes here in a neat pile and make my own way to the incinerator for the above ‘crimes’ committed against the sacred narrative.

  9. “This country continues its slide into fascism and dictatorship, aided and abetted by the Labour right and with not even a whisper of opposition from Starmer and co.”

    Why do you think that is Steve?

    They belong to the same club. Some of us said that well before he stood in the Leadership Election…But no, many took no notice and voted for the Snake Oil Salesman. Now look at us.

  10. Who are the ‘some’ you refer to baz apart from yourself, and who was it you were all saying it to, and on what platforms, and how do you know that many of the people you were saying what you were saying it to took no notice and voted for Starmer anyway?

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