i don’t know if sentencing her to community service was wise as it makes a bigot into a martyr. She was sending Chick tracts into the school and i am familiar with the one she sent which is pretty vile. A fine and a warning that repeat behaviour of this kind would lead to a harsher sentence might have been wiser.
There should have been an extremely succinct warning first of, “This is harassment”, so she could then have a clue of, “am I doing to do this again or not.”
This just establishing a climate of fear in the UK, where the average citizen does not - and indeed cannot - make an easy differentiation as to what kind of material they are or aren’t allowed to pass on. If they cross too far one way or another into the gray area of the government’s ire, they could or could not face consequences, but who is to know?
A criminal charge for sendng a tract in the mail ? Unbelievable !
So freedom of speech is not entirely held sacred in the UK. Rudeness is now criminal?
And if she doesn’t do the community service? And really, are people now so thin-skinned? :rolleyes:
Harassment is. I’m certain you’d change your tune if this was sent to a Catholic.
As I’m sure would a lot of folks who defend Islam on the matter. What she wrote wasn’t nice and I don’t agree with it, but it’s dangerous to get the government involved over hurt feelings.
Of course, free speech has been dead in Britain for a while now.
I don’t care how vile the tract was. Unless this woman made threats, I consider her communication to be within the scope of free speech.
Yes, some folks are thinned skinned, although I wouldn’t blame the Muslims for being upset over this. The problem is every time there is a problem in the First World, people’s first instinct to run out of the gate faster than Seabiscuit into the arms of government.
But being thinned skinned is a luxury that won’t last much longer. Suffice to say reality doesn’t tolerate it well.
What do you mean “dead”? We have weaker anti-discrimination laws than the United States. The most recently elected leader of the Labour Party certainly doesn’t strike one as the establishment-loving type, and indeed the opposition strongly opposes the governments attempts to restrict internet free speech. By “freedom of speech is dead” do you mean that you regret anti-hate speech laws?
I agree, however, that there may be a better method of handling this issue. As a poster above me said, she is simply being made a martyr of.
Additionally, the woman was prosecuted by the judicial services. Judicial services are not generally referred to as “the government”.
I find this encouraging - participation in politics, especially among my generation, is increased significantly. Most educated people my age actively keep up with politics, and the moratorium on discussing politics seems to have been lifted.
Perhaps you are influenced by post-cold-war anti-socialist culture, but if there is such broad participation, the government is not some “great other”, the original purpose of a democracy is to give voice to those with the power to enforce it. The more people make use of their freedom of speech, the shallower the chasm between people and state becomes.
You have no idea what is being said about Catholics. The generalisations, outright lies and name calling from news outlets. Not to mention what is said online by people who use their legal name. Have yet to see one prosecuted.
If a Chick tract came in the mail I would just throw it into the trash, um, dustbin. I’ve had people try to hand them to me at bus stops and told them to buzz off.
Rather than reporting this crackpot to the police the headmistress might have taken a more creative approach. Why not send friends to her claiming they were interested in learning about Christianity?
Being Catholic and growing up in a passively anti-catholic country, yes, I certainly do. The MP Anne Widdecombe was sent harassing e-mails and letters after converting to Catholicism, and the perpetrators certainly should have been prosecuted.
That’s just th BBC
I can’t imagine anyone calling a person who’d send a letter like that as “a devout Christian”.
That letter is spreading hatred.
Too bad about Britain.
It used to be great.
Now it has its arms full bullying great grandmothers.
It used to make its fortune colonizing and exploiting regions to weak to fight back, and then engaging in selfish, nationalistic wars with other powers for those regions. I’d hardly call that “great”.
This is a far better society now than 100 years ago.
Bad precedent for UK to set.
You can’t continuously mail somebody hurtful mail and claim it under free speech. It’s definitely harassment territory, but the fact that there wasn’t even a citation or something is what worries me. Just an automatic, “bam”, 100 hours of community service. For a country that is generally less gun-ho than the US about responses to crime, this seems extremely… gung ho.
This creates an atmosphere of fear for the UK. How can the average citizen - or anybody - make a clear determination of what constitutes free speech and what constitutes legal consequences? You can’t.
This is why writing is far more dangerous than speech. Putting something down in writing is automatically much more dangerous.
Good for you.
It is nice to see that all that aggression is taken out on the insidious influence of great grandmas now.
As a Canadian, I am also aware that when Great Britain noticed how little money there was to be made off the colonies, they were more than happy to get rid of the expenses accrued upon them by us colonists.
Pure economic exploitation describes well enough the role that the Dutch played in Indonesia. People who understand that the same describes British colonial history have forgotten huge swaths of their own history, or perhaps never knew much about that history in the first place.
Carry on beating up grammas though. Their tongues may be sharp, but they otherwise can’t put up much of a physical fight.