Campaigner Steve Bray targeted by new anti-freedom laws - please support him

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I don't normally make political posts and especially not a call to action one like this one, but this is really important.

Anti-brexit and general anti-corruption campaigner, Steve Bray, has been arrested on trumped up charges that don't even breach the new restrictive laws on political protests. The government must not be allowed to get away with this, or the cancer of fascism will only spread.

Check out the video from Phil Moorhouse of A Different Bias which explains the full scenario and donate if you can. I've donated a tenner to his cause.

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Arantor

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I’m pretty sure the new noise restrictions were brought in just for him.
 

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Quite likely. Thing is, he didn't even break those rules given where he's making the noise. He's effective, so the government don't like him.
 

Arantor

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The 20 police officers they sent to confiscate his equipment had other opinions on the matter though.

It is very telling that they did send 20 officers to move along one man whose only agenda is to speak truth to power.
 

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Indeed, this really stinks. I'm so glad we're on the same page.
 

Arantor

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What offends me is that I do generally believe in peoples’ rights to say what they want, even if I disagree with what they have to say - but that this right is being perverted and taken away unless you say what it is ”they” want you to say.

The current political landscape is dire and fundamentally rotten. And I fear we’ll vote them in next time.
 

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What offends me is that I do generally believe in peoples’ rights to say what they want, even if I disagree with what they have to say - but that this right is being perverted and taken away unless you say what it is ”they” want you to say.

The current political landscape is dire and fundamentally rotten. And I fear we’ll vote them in next time.

For me, "freedom of speech" has an interesting place in my mind. I broadly agree with letting people have their say, within limits such as preventing the spreading of lies and misinformation Trump style about the "stolen" election, defamation, distressing pictures etc.

However, if someone were to be overly critical of me, or disrespectful of me, my family and friends, I'd censor that person no problem, even if it technically fitted the definition of "freedom of speech" and they diidn't swear. And when I say critical, I don't mean pointing out the truth, actual failures of mine, but that malicious type of trolling that happens online, done out of spite and to hurt, just because they don't like me. That's one of the things I love about having my own forum, that no one can get away with this here. And I'll protect others from it, too.


Well, hopefully the tories are so disgraced now after Johnson's resignation that they won't be able to recover. We'll just have to wait and see. Is there any tory who won't stitch up the country in some way? I doubt it as I've never seen one in all my years. The few years that Labour were in power on the other hand, they were hardly saints, but nothing like the tories.
 

Arantor

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On the subject of Steve Bray, he got the last laugh I think. Hugh Grant asked him on Twitter to play the Benny Hill theme (Yakety Sax) and there were news clips on Sky News of Tory spokespeople trying to run damage limitation about Boris and all these resignations and whatnot ... And you could hear Benny Hill in the background. It was incredible.

Censorship is a tricky thing, especially because its become so weaponised lately - see Musk’s desire to buy Twitter to fix its moderation policy - where groups of people (on *both* sides of the political landscape, it isn’t just one side) are saying things, then getting censored and crying foul that, actually, their views are being censored. These people then claim to want freedom of speech when, very often, they just want to be offensive and not care who gets offended.
 

StojanTim

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As a forum owner myself, the needs of free speech vs. the rights of someone not to be offended have always been hard to balance. I suspect this is something where you can never please everyone.

I've had many ex-members attack me for not allowing free speech when I have kicked them off for being t**ts, but I do not see that right should allow people to be offensive or attack people. The culture in the US is more leaning towards free speech I think that it is in the UK where we like to be offended and outraged by things so we can "cancel" them (some sarcasm intended).
 

Arantor

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the UK where we like to be offended and outraged by things so we can "cancel" them
Within a certain amount of boundary.

The UK as a whole is broadly more actually about free speech than the US is because everything I've seen about the US's "free speech" is that it's the freedom to offend and to say 'your truth' whilst not giving others the same courtesy.

The UK on the other hand is broadly - in my experience - more fine with people saying whatever, because the consequences do come with it. There was a debate in Parliament when Trump first became president and they were debating whether to let him into the country and the result was basically 'yes, we'll let him into the country and if he acts like an idiot we're going to call him out on it'.

I broadly view the cancel culture in the UK as the province of the Daily Mail and the Daily Express doing it somewhat on purpose to stir up their specific audience into continuing to buy the paper...
 

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Sunak has proposed cracking down on political dissent. That's criticism of the government and their policies. Nowhere in the Western world is anyone denied this right, but this guy wants to do it. And don't worry, even though it looks like Truss will get into power, she may well be pressured into implementing it by the rest of the tory party.

Recently, someone sued the government for human rights abuses against her and won. Sunak said his Bill of Rights would prevent people from suing the government over things like this. Shocked yet?

The fascist state grows, one human rights abuse at a time. It's happening right in front of our eyes kids, and can't be ignored.

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Arantor

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Remember, kids, this is why despite their clear leadership crisis, they're not going to put it to the country for a mandate because they all know they'll probably lose.

But this is how democracy dies, one freedom curtailed after another.

You know, there are some words I've known since I was a schoolboy: 'With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored… the first thought forbidden… the first freedom denied – chains us all irrevocably.

We think we've come so far. Torture of heretics, burning of witches, it's all ancient history. And then, before you can blink an eye, suddenly, it threatens to start all over again.

These particular quotes are from Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 4's "The Drumhead". I encourage people to watch it, you might find its symmetry a little unnerving.
 

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Arantor, I'm angry at what's happening, not at you. Well put, as usual.

I've seen all of ST:TNG three times over, so I've seen that episode. I went full nerd and then some. :cool:
 

Arantor

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The worst part for me is that I get where both of them are coming from, and both of them are going full on hard-right because they clearly know that's what their member base wants. The Tory party of today is the UKIP party of yesterday, pretending not to be as hardline.

Sunak clearly knows this and is happy to enrich them (and himself) to avoid being thrown under the bus for not being British enough. He knows he has to take this sort of line, along with Priti Patel because he knows full well that if the shoe were on the other foot, he wouldn't have a leg to stand on - he is not welcome by the lunatic fringe of his own party but because he enriches them, he is tolerated.

Truss on the other hand is well on the way to earning her moniker of 'mad as a box of frogs' by saying things that sound good to the lunatic fringe as 'tossing a bone to the poor and undeserving' to give them a veneer of humanity left, but never stand up in practice. For example, the cut to NI that notionally 'helps' the poorest - except it doesn't because the people in that bracket don't pay NI in the first place because they're not over the threshold to do so. That's like saying 'I'm going to cut income tax for those earning under £12k a year' while forgetting that most people (everyone?) has a personal tax allowance of the first £12,500 or so - you can't cut something you're not actually taking in the first place. But it sounds good to the rich folks that won't care either way and they can pat themselves on the back for voting for someone who will 'do something' about all those poor starving people who should just work harder, you know, like the Tory voters do. We're on the threshold of our own version of the American Dream where you can work your way out of poverty if only you worked hard enough, or retrained or whatever. I think on some level much of the NHS should take the government's advice and do just that, leaving the profession for better paid ones. (They won't because too many of them *care* but you take my point.)

Or, Truss's "we're going to get rid of all EU derived laws by the end of 2023" which is clearly designed to appease the "sovereignty" crowd but this is so unworkable it's utterly farcical. It will immediately make our entire tech sector much, MUCH less competitive with the EU because that cuts the data adequacy agreement that permits data to flow in and out of the EU to the UK because we haven't thrown out our equivalent of the GDPR yet. When we do (and that one counts), you suddenly need a whole lot more fuss to move data in and out of the EU, which means Facebook for example will complain bitterly because it won't be able to move its UK people data to its datacentre in Dublin. See also Google with the same problem. And also Amazon. And anyone else who has datacentres and traffic between, say, Ireland and Great Britain which is... all the big tech firms, and of whom might just throw the UK under the bus to keep access to the rest of Europe.

And let's not forget about all the worker protections that have come in that will all be stripped back.

One of these two will deliver a pound-shop America, the other a tin-pot dictatorship. Or somehow, some even worse mashup of the two. The problem is I have no idea what I can do about any of this.
 

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And let's not forget about all the worker protections that have come in that will all be stripped back.
This is the bit that gets me the most. As if the employer didn't have enough of an advantage already, this will make the situation ripe for abuse.

As to the rest of what you say, it's the usual agreement of yes, yes and yes. I just wish things weren't so dire.
 

Arantor

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And yet compared to plenty of other places, our workers have reasonable protections - compare to America where 'you guys have 20 days vacation a year?' (separate from the bank holidays) is genuinely a moment of profound surprise.

Similarly you have all the people who can be fired 'at will' in the US who simply couldn't be fired here on the same flimsy no-pretext/minimal-pretext precisely because we have protections against that kind of exploitation.

Of course, the Tories will aim to undo all of this because this kind of 'red tape' inconveniences them and their mates, the business owners who have to 'put up with' such restrictions on staff. It's times like this I wish Labour a) went back to their roots and b) found their spine.
 

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Well, that's just it, isn't it? They want to make us like America in all the worst ways, such as this, while leaving out all the great stuff it has to offer.

And before anyone thinks I'm anti-American, I'm absolutely not. I love America and would love to be there, but it does have some serious problems such as this one if you're not rich. The worst of course is the relative ease that one can be gunned down and killed for no reason by some psycho having a bad day. Don't dare be a small child at school, mkay? In this respect, the UK is still much better and will hopefully stay that way.
 

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More shocking information about the fascist state that the tories are trying to build. Thankfully, the situation is looking a bit better now, since it's looking likely that the tories are going to lose the next election. They've still got another couple of years in power though and hence can still do an awful lot of damage in the meantime, including trashing the economy to make it as difficult as possible for Labour to fix.

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Crims

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More shocking information about the fascist state that the tories are trying to build. Thankfully, the situation is looking a bit better now, since it's looking likely that the tories are going to lose the next election. They've still got another couple of years in power though and hence can still do an awful lot of damage in the meantime, including trashing the economy to make it as difficult as possible for Labour to fix.
I think improvement of the country is a long ways off. It's a nice idea, but they've shown themselves both incapable and unwilling. Our last labour government took handouts, which is also discouraging and makes it seem coalitions and such are the best way for the country.
If my read of the situation is correct (without any pessimism) socially approved policies, and otherwise nothing positive for the country.
 

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Wot? Labour are corrupt too, Crims? Never! I know, sigh. Sadly, we've only got a choice of two bad options with the Lib Dems such a distant third that we can just forget about them. They probably wouldn't be such a bad party if they ever came to power, but that's another discussion.

This is how I see it when it comes to dealing with this situation at a general election:

Imagine two parties, P1 and P2.

P1 is bloody awful, does some really terrible things and is corrupt af. P2 is just as bad, but has been out of power.

Come election time, one might throw their hands up and not vote, citing that one is as bad the other, or perhaps even vote for P1 again as the "better" of two evils.

Big mistake.

The important thing is that the wrongdoer sees that they don't get away with doing these things and are punished at a GE for them. This will signal to the other party that they better behave better, or they'll go the same way. Of course, they're still gonna be bad, but hopefully less so and at least voting out the wrongdoer each time would tend to reduce the amount of corruption in the two parties over time. Hence, the tories must be voted out at the GE, or the scale of their corruption will increase unimaginably. It's already horrendous as it is.
 

Crims

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The important thing is that the wrongdoer sees that they don't get away with doing these things and are punished at a GE for them. This will signal to the other party that they better behave better, or they'll go the same way. Of course, they're still gonna be bad, but hopefully less so and at least voting out the wrongdoer each time would tend to reduce the amount of corruption in the two parties over time. Hence, the tories must be voted out at the GE, or the scale of their corruption will increase unimaginably. It's already horrendous as it is.
Hrm, I'd rather we pooled resources. it's inevitably going to improve, just not at the threshold where it's improving the country. the issue is that no one has observed the options and said 'dissolve parliament'.
 

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Well, I hope it improves for the country, but seeing how the abominable brexit happened despite everything, I'm not holding my breath. :confused:
 

Arantor

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dissolve parliament
Who, realistically, is going to argue for this?

I'm no constitutional lawyer (yes we have one, it's just not written down) but my understanding of the situation is thus:

* the sovereign can dissolve Parliament at their discretion (because it is only, legally, with their right that Parliament may sit at all), but QEII wasn't going to rock that boat, and I doubt KCIII will either because to do so would certainly see whichever government came next seek to abolish the monarchy outright.
* the Fixed Term Parliaments Act used to require a 2/3 majority of MPs to vote in favour of calling a GE out of the fixed schedule (which would have made it 19 December 2024), but the FTPA has been *repealed* so this is no longer the requirement
* as of Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022, we're back to a) PM can call a GE at their discretion, b) if no election is called for, it will either be 5 years and a bit, short of a vote from Parliament to continue the current session, or c) if the opposition tables a motion of no confidence in the government and the government loses

Note that the last one is not a hard rule but an expectation. Moreover, firing a VONC is very much a single bullet weapon; you fire it too early, you don't get to fire it again for a long time. Starmer is, presumably, waiting for the moment to file it.

Note also the proles (i.e. us) do not get any form of say.

The question is, how bad does it have to get before he will - assuming he will, because the longer this all goes on the more I'm convinced he's really more like them than he would be comfortable admitting.
 

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* the sovereign can dissolve Parliament at their discretion (because it is only, legally, with their right that Parliament may sit at all), but QEII wasn't going to rock that boat, and I doubt KCIII will either because to do so would certainly see whichever government came next seek to abolish the monarchy outright.
Oh, darn it, and there's me thinking their inaction was for the good of the people. Silly me, tsk.

The question is, how bad does it have to get before he will - assuming he will, because the longer this all goes on the more I'm convinced he's really more like them than he would be comfortable admitting.
I do wonder about Starmer.

He's certainly big time disappointed me with his "make brexit work" mantra and no rejoining or even getting much closer, I think. Yes, I know he has to appeal to the thin margin of swing voters who will change their vote from tory to Labour, not the majority and Phil Moorhouse of the A Different Bias YouTube channel has explained that a leader must always appeal to the people, but still, it doesn't feel right to me. I believe he really won't bring us closer when he gets into power, or at least try not to.
 

Arantor

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Oh, darn it, and there's me thinking their inaction was for the good of the people. Silly me, tsk.
I really wouldn't frame it quite like that. There are, even now, a very serious number of people in this country who are adamantly royalist.

Consider: if there weren't, would we have seen the queues in London to pay respects to QEII? Would there be this much fuss and gossip and scandal over Harry's book? Nah, this country loves itself some royals and when we finally come to dismantle that institution there will be actual hell to pay. Not that it isn't overdue, and that while I was, I suppose, a passive monarchist during QEII's reign, I have come round to the belief that the Firm should be turned into just that, a regular firm. Leave them their money - they don't know how else to operate - but make them not special. Least worst of all worlds.
 
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