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2014: Jan-March

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Forced Indoctrination...

Porn viewing independent councillor tells Wigan Council where they can stuff their 'behaviour coaching'

Link Here28th March 2014
An independent Wigan councillor has been found guilty of the crime against PC morality of watching porn using his council computer.

A cross-party political correctness committee at Wigan Council unanimously found Coun Robert Bleakley had breached the local authority's code of conduct.

The hearing heard that Coun Bleakley regularly accessed pornographic websites on his Wigan Council IT equipment.

The committee removed his access to the internet via the council's provider and ordered him to undergo coaching to address his behaviour.

After hearing the evidence the committee decided he had breached two paragraphs of the council members' Code of Conduct which mean councillors must not indulge in conduct which could bring their office or the authority into disrepute and requires members to use resources in accordance with the council's reasonable requirements .

However, Coun Bleakley issued a strongly-worded riposte following the hearing and said he would refuse to undertake any training and could not be forced into it by Wigan Council. He said:

This is nothing more than a vendetta against me and a continuation of the politically-motivated bullying and harassment of opposition councillors by certain officers and some Labour councillors.



Recommended by Tesco and the Gloucester Citizen newspaper...

Tesco bans The Hospital, an 18 rated low budget horror

Link Here 20th March 2014
The Hospital is a 2013 USA horror by Tommy Golden and Daniel Emery Taylor.
With Jim O'Rear, Daniel Emery Taylor and John Dugan. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for strong violence, sex and sexual violence for:

  • 2014 Point Blank R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 3rd March 2014 (But read the reviews first, some are appalling)

Tesco censors have removed a horror film featuring strong sexual violence from sale in all stores nationwide after being alerted to the content by the Citizen, a local newspaper.

The Hospital is rated 18 by the BBFC and was on sale for £ 8 in a Gloucester Tesco store. The theme of the film was about snuff movies being filmed at the abandoned hospital. It features scenes of rape of both men and women as well as scenes of sexual torture using an electric drill.

Matt Holmes, the easily shocked and rather unobservant Content Editor of the Citizen, said:

I love horror films and I am not easily shocked... BUT ... I wasn't prepared for the graphic sexually violent scenes depicted in this film.

I would have no problem with the film being sold online or available for rent but I didn't expect to see it for sale in Tesco.

I was also surprised having watched it that there was nothing on the cover warning of the extreme nature of the content as you normally see on films like this.

Actually the DVD's cover describes the film as bloody, violent and creepy as hell and said it was the sickest film since Rosemary's baby. (admittedly Rosemary's baby is hardly the 'sickest' film around)

The newspaper adds that the BBFC warning does not make reference to the extreme sexually violent content of the film.

Actually the BBFC consumer advice reads: Contains strong violence, sex and sexual violence :.

A Tesco spokesperson said:

The Hospital is approved for general release and rated 18. However, on this occasion, we've made the judgement to remove it from sale. We are always pleased to listen to feedback and remain focused on offering the most popular titles to our customers.



Music Censorship...

Camden council gets high court approval for restrictions on busking

Link Here16th March 2014
Full story: Licensed Music Censors...Licensing sets up authorities as music censors
New licensing restrictions on buskers in Camden have been declared lawful by the high court.

Busking without a licence is to become a criminal offence in Camden, punishable with fines of up to £ 1,000. As well as implementing a fine, officials can confiscate instruments.

It is proposed that licences can be obtained on standard conditions for a 12-month period at a fee of £ 19. They can only be used by solo or dual performers. The conditions restrict hours of performing from 10am-9pm, and also restrict the use of certain types of instruments, such as drums, wind instruments and the use of sound amplification.

The restrictions were due to be imposed for the first time last month, but the council agreed to await the outcome of the legal challenge before going ahead.

Comedians Mark Thomas and Bill Bailey and musician Billy Bragg are among celebrities who took to the streets to protest over the restrictions being introduced by the council in the north London borough after noise complaints by local residents. Bragg, who spent his early career busking around London, said licensing would hurt a fundamental aspect of UK culture.

But Mrs Justice Patterson, sitting in London, ruled that Camden council had adopted a policy that was both necessary and a proportionate response to the issue of busking .

The ruling was a defeat for the Keeping Streets Live Campaign, which was ordered to pay £ 7,500 in legal costs.

David Wolfe QC, appearing for the campaign group, asked for permission to appeal, arguing that the ruling raised important legal issues and would have an impact on street entertainment across London. The judge refused permission, which means the campaigners will now have to consider asking the court of appeal itself to hear their case.



Updated: Stop UKIP...

UKIP deputy leader tries to censor tour by satirical comedy act

Link Here15th March 2014
Jonny and the Baptists have wound up the UKIP political party with their Stop Ukip Comedy Tour.

The comedy duo have come under fire for their song about Ukip that suggests the party believes all Eastern Europeans live off benefits and won't let us watch Jim Davidson and wants the Queen's jubilee [to] be every day.

Despite Nigel Farage insisting politicians should let people tell their jokes, The Stop Ukip Comedy Tour has been inundated with complaints from party supporters targeting venues.

Ukip's deputy leader Paul Nuttal has condemned the distasteful satire , calling on the Arts Council to investigate funding given to theatres hosting the act. He spouted:

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and Ukip is very much the party of free speech ...BUT... I think it is wrong that taxpayers money is being used to back this production.

This blatantly party political rubbish is being staged to coincide with the run-up to the Euro elections in May and I am appalled that one of the venues in the much lauded Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. I would have hoped they had higher standards than giving this show house room.

I have written to the Arts Council about this matter and also the Royal Exchange expressing my views about this distasteful satire.

The website Chortle has reported that in fact the pair have received no funding for their tour apart from ticket sales.

Update: Thanks UKIP, more gigs added

15th March 2013. See  article from

A campaign by Ukip to stop a comedy tour called Stop Ukip has backfired massively.

After leaders attempted to censor musical comedians Jonny & the Baptists' new satirical show, the group has now proudly announced additional dates to their tour schedule following an outpouring of support from the industry and general public, alongside soaring ticket sales across the country.

The Huffington Post UK reported last week that Ukip suffered a serious sense of humour fail after launching a battle to stop the comedy duo from touring. But contrary to the intentions of Ukip supporters, news of their campaign against the comedy show quickly saw thousands taking to Twitter to express support for the group -- including fellow comedians Marcus Brigstocke, Dara O'Briain and Robin Ince as well as local councillors, MEP Catherine Bearder and members of the public.

In just three days, Jonny & the Baptists' official UKIP comedy music video achieved over 10,000 additional YouTube views

The comedians said:

The only victory to be claimed is for fans of the Streisand Effect, once again showing that an attempt to censor something only ends up publicising it more.

Every ticket sold on this tour goes directly to paying our rent and keeping us off the streets - so if anyone else wants to start a campaign against us, our landlord would be very grateful.



Offsite Article: Britain is treating journalists as terrorists -- believe me, I know...

Link Here 15th March 2014
Full story: The Edward Snowden Revelations...Internet Snooping in the US revealed
A journalists gives a little insight in the dangers of reporting the NSA/GCHQ revelations

See article from



Update: Unsavoury Censorship...

British Government granted facility for Google to instantly consider consider takedown requests for YouTube videos. Also the Government wants to censor unsavoury but not illegal content

Link Here14th March 2014
Full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim
Google gives UK internet censors super flagger status to give high priority requests to get YouTube videos taken down.

YouTube will instantly screen any content flagged by British security officials. The censors will be able to flag multiple videos at scale rather than needing to flag each offending video.

The UK's security and immigration minister, James Brokenshire, worryingly told the Financial Times the government has to do more to deal with material that may not be illegal but certainly is unsavoury and may not be the sort of material that people would want to see or receive.

Brokenshire also said issues being considered by the government included a code of conduct for internet service providers and companies. The government, he added, was also keen to explore options where search engines and social media sites change their algorithms so that unsavoury content is less likely to appear or is served up with more balanced material.

Google confirmed that the Home Office had been given powerful flagging permissions on YouTube but stressed that Google itself still retained the ultimate decision on whether to remove content for breaching its community guidelines.



Offsite Article: Campus censorship: the fightback starts here...

Link Here8th March 2014
It's time for students to throw off the censors' shackles.

See article from



Offsite Article: Where will this one lead?...

Link Here27th February 2014
Campaigns, both in the UK and the US, are trying to put a stop to the use of images of children in tabloids

See article from



Offsite Article: Should meat be displayed in butcher shop windows?...

Link Here26th February 2014
A family butchers in Suffolk has been forced to remove the carcasses hanging in its window display after a petition. So what do others make of the decision?

See article from



Extract: Twenty five years on from Rushdie...

And we are too frightened to say we are scared. By Nick Cohen

Link Here21st February 2014

In my You Can't Read This Book , I gave 10 rules for fighting back against dictatorial regimes and movements. The simplest, and the most important was:

If you are frightened, at least have the guts to say so. Once one did not write the word liberal and add hypocrite . Since the Rushdie Affair, the reflex has become automatic. The worst aspect of the fear the ayatollahs spread was that Western intellectuals were afraid of admitting that they were afraid. If they had been honest, they would have forced society to confront the fact of censorship. As it was, their silence made the enemies of liberalism stronger.

...Read the full article



Updated: Creation of Easy Offence...

The Flying Spaghetti Monster offends the censors of the London South Bank University

Link Here13th February 2014
Atheist students at a London South Bank University have had a poster featuring a flying spaghetti monster banned by union officials, out of fear that religious students would be easily offended by it.

The South Bank Atheist Society (SBAS) poster featured the monster in place of God in a mock-up of Michelangelo's famous Creation of Adam fresco from the Sistine Chapel, but it was removed from the freshers' fair last week.

South Bank Atheist Society president Choe Ansari said:

This incident is just one of a catalogue of attempts to censor our society. I never expected to face such blatant censorship and fragile sensibilities at university. I thought this would be an institution where I could challenge beliefs and in turn be challenged.

All I have seen is religious sensibilities trumping all other rights with no space for argument, challenge or reasoned debate. It is not what I expected when I came to university.

Union censors at the London South Bank University removed the posters from the society's stall overnight and then barred representatives from printing off more, ludicrosuly citing the visibility of Adam's genitals as offensive. But when society members offered to blur out the genitals, they were told the problem with the poster concerned religious offence.

Update: Apologies

13th February 2013. See  article from

London Southbank University student union has unreservedly apologised after staff censored an atheist society's Flying Spaghetti Monster poster. The student union said in a statement:

It is not currently nor has it ever been the union policy to censor student groups or the materials they produce and as such this was not an authorised act and we have now ensured that staff know that they should not do this,

In recognising the distress caused to the society by our actions we have met with and apologised to The Atheist Society president and vice president.

The Atheist Society are as welcome at the students' union as any group or society and we completely respect and support their right to freedom of expression and free speech.



Update: Government jihad against extremist videos...

The Home Office is attempting to convince ISPs to block religious extremist videos hosted abroad

Link Here11th February 2014

The British government is attempting to block all online extremist videos that they claim are helping to radicalise impressionable young men. The Home Office is in talks with internet companies to block violent religious films that are hosted abroad. The plans have been drawn up by James Brokenshire, the ex-security minister who is now the immigration minister.

One minister told the BBC that about 2,000 Europeans are thought to be fighting in Syria, including at least 200 known to the British security services. It is feared that fighters returning to the UK will seek to radicalise young men in particular to launch terrorist attacks both at home and abroad.

Since February 2010, the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, or CTIRU, has taken down more than 21,000 pieces of illegal terrorist online content. If the CTIRU and prosecutors deem material to be illegal it can be blocked from parts of the public sector, including schools and hospitals. But this does not extend to domestic users - and filters can be turned off.

James Brokenshire said

Through proposals from the extremism taskforce announced by the prime minister in November, we will look to further restrict access to material which is hosted overseas - but illegal under UK law - and help identify other harmful content to be included in family-friendly filters.

The Home Office also hopes it can also make it easier for people to report extremist content online.

Emma Carr, deputy director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, said:

Politicians and civil servants should not be deciding what we can see online. If content is to be blocked then it should be a court deciding that it is necessary and proportionate to do so.



Comment: Bag a Slag...

Miserable Nottingham Council bans fun speed dating event claiming the event brings the city into disrepute

Link Here9th February 2014
Misreable Nottingham Council employees have stepped in to protect the city's reputation after a Bag a Slag night sparked phoney 'outrage'.

The Old Angel, in Stoney Street, Hockley, found itself at the centre of a media frenzy after it advertised the alternative speed dating night on Valentine's Day using the slogan bag a slag, grab a hag .

The event was pulled by the pub last night after the city council's licensing team said its licence could be taken away if it used inappropriate promotions .

A council spokesprat said the event could bring the city into disrepute and that the pub eventually saw sense .

Offsite Comment: Slags, Hagas and the Limit of Offence

9th February 2013. See  article from by David Flint

Here's the background. The Old Angel is a city centre pub in Nottingham. Smack in between the ultra trendy area of the Lace Market and the hipster haven of Hockley, it stands out as a defiant blot on an otherwise fashionable landscape, being a rough n ready punk rock pub. It's regular clientele are a motley crew of punks, metalheads and general alternative types, and it doubles up as a live venue for bands, who play upstairs -- we've run reviews of gigs held here from time to time. It's probably fair to say that this is a pub where you will either feel instantly at home or immediately alienated from, given how determinedly unfashionable it is.

...Read the full article



Offsite Article: The law isn't there to protect us from Dieudonnes odious views...

Link Here 5th February 2014
Full story: Dieudonne Mbala Mbala...Comedian winds up with near anti-semitic humour
Our banning of Dieudonne shows that the UK has grown feeble. A robust society should be able to handle the stresses of pluralism

See article from



Update: Gesture Politics...

French comedian Dieudonne banned from the UK

Link Here4th February 2014
Full story: Dieudonne Mbala Mbala...Comedian winds up with near anti-semitic humour
The French comedian at the centre of the quenelle iracism row has been banned from entering the UK, the Home Office has said.

Dieudonne M'bala M'bala had said he would visit the West Bromwich Albion striker, who faces a ban for performing the comic's quenelle gesture. The quenelle involves touching or gripping your shoulder with one hand while holding the palm of your other hand outstretched and pointing to the ground. Some describe it as a combination of the bras d'honneur with a bent arm (which means up yours ) and the Nazi salute.

Dieudonne has been convicted six times of hate speech against Jews.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said:

We can confirm that Mr Dieudonne is subject to an exclusion order.

The Home Secretary will seek to exclude an individual from the UK if she considers that there are public policy or public security reasons to do so. 'Indecent'



Offsite Article: D notices, the MoD, and the threat to a very British way of keeping secrets...

Link Here 3rd February 2014
Full story: D-Notices...UK press censorship of defence issues
Mandarins are upset that the venerable story-clearance system failed to operate for the NSA leaks. But they should value any kind of consensual arrangement with a free press. By Peter Preston

See article from



Offsite Article: They can arrest us, but we won't stop saying it...

Link Here1st February 2014
Video report: Spurs fans speak up for their right to use the word Yid.

See article from




The Muslim Association of Great Britain calls for the censorship of Jesus and Mo

Link Here28th January 2014
One of Britain's major organisations has called for the censorship of the Jesus & Mo website. The website features a weekly comic strip in which the two religious characters debate and joke about the central tenets of Islam and Christianity.

The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) published a statement claiming that the images were extremely offensive to believers of the two faiths and potentially inflammatory, and urged the website's operators to take down the comics at once. The MAB also claimed that the depiction of the two prophets was as insulting as those published in Denmark .

Ludicrously insisting that it respects freedom of speech and artistic expression, the MAB questioned the wisdom of any individual or organization that places at risk the dignity and values of anyone else, even if they might not hold those values.



Defence Against Snowden...

Government are thought to be considering compulsory censorship of the press

Link Here27th January 2014
Full story: D-Notices...UK press censorship of defence issues

Government officials are planning to review the historic D-notice system, which warns the media not to publish intelligence that might damage security, in the wake of the Guardian's stories about mass surveillance by the security services based on leaks from the US whistleblower Edward Snowden .

Sources said Jon Thompson, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Defence, was setting up an inquiry into the future of the committee, raising fears that the voluntary censorship system also known as the DA-notice could be made compulsory.

The committee is supposed to be consulted when news organisations are considering publishing material relating to secret intelligence or the military. It is staffed by senior civil servants and media representatives, who give advice on the publication of sensitive stories.  Minutes of a recent meeting reveal the comment: The events of the last few months had undoubtedly raised questions in some minds about the system's future usefulness.

In his latest report, its secretary, Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Vallance, raised concerns about the parallel publication of Snowden's revelations by newspapers around the world, noting that at the outset the Guardian had avoided engaging with the DA-notice system before publishing the first tranche of information .



Censors queue up to get ISPs to block their pet prohibition...

ISPs object to policing censorship by the Gambling Commission

Link Here 22nd January 2014

The UK's gambling censor has asked the majo rISPs to warn their customers of the illegality of unlicensed gambling websites, and the ISPs have refused, arguing that it's up to the courts or Parliament to decide on such things.

It's nice to see the ISPs push back against the censorship and policing role that many in the British government think they should maintain.

According to the Financial Times, the Gambling Commission approached big ISPs including BT and TalkTalk asking for the insertion of splash pages when a customer is trying to access an unlicensed gambling site, in order to warn the customer that the service is illegal.

A TalkTalk spokeswoman quoted by the FT said:

We do not believe that it is for ISPs to decide what content customers should access. It is really important that there is either a proper legal framework when it comes to blocking access to sites, just like with copyright infringement, or that it is down to customer choice.

There is certainly a gathering momentum in the UK behind efforts to enforce the offline law online in new ways, and one has to wonder what the British government and its regulators will ask to block or police next.



Update: Nominated Censors...

Nominet decides to ban domain names with terms suggesting serious sexual offences

Link Here20th January 2014
Full story: Internet Domain Censorship...In the Domain of Nominet internet censorship
All new web addresses registered in the UK will be screened for terms that signal or encourage serious sexual offences.

Nominet, the organisation that oversees all the UK's web addresses, said all domain names will be checked within 48 hours of registration. If an address is found to contain a prohibited term it will be suspended or de-registered. Existing web addresses will also come under the new rules.

Once a domain name is registered it will be examined by a computer algorithm looking for terms relating to sex crimes. Any address that is flagged as containing one of the prohibited words or phrases will then be checked by a human. This is to ensure that legitimate domain names are not suspended unnecessarily.

An example of a legitimate website, that might be flagged by the algorithm, is one set up to help victims of rape. Or where a flagged word is contained within another word. Any domain name containing a sex crime term that does not appear to have a legitimate use would be reported to the police.

Nominet took this course of action after the publication of a policy review by former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald. However the policy added that the firm should have no role in policing questions of taste or offensiveness on the internet .

Eleanor Bradley, chief operating officer at Nominet told the BBC that the registration service was not trying to censor the internet:

This is not about domain names that offend, or about swear words, it is about criminal acts relating to sexual offences, she said.

Nominet has notably not published the list of potentially prohibited terms.



Offsite Article: Free Speech, Rape Threats and the War on Twitter...

Link Here18th January 2014
Sadly, most British people seem to have a vague understanding of what free speech is, or why it is so important.

See article from



Comment: Much ado about the 'quenelle'...

The fuss sparked by Nicolas Anelka's goal celebration has sweet FA to do with anti-Semitism.

Link Here4th January 2014
Full story: Dieudonne Mbala Mbala...Comedian winds up with near anti-semitic humour
French soccer star Nicolas Anelka, a friend of Dieudonne, provoked a furious reaction in France after he used the quenelle gesture in a Premier League match on Saturday.

Update: Fined and Suspended

28th February 2013. See article from

Nicolas Anelka has been suspended for five matches, fined £ 80,000 and ordered to complete a compulsory education course, despite a three-man panel of consisting of a QC, an FA official and a former player or manager clearing him of any anti-Semitic intent.

The commission said the FA had proven Anelka's conduct was:

Abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper and included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.

We did not find that Nicolas Anelka is an anti-Semite or that he intended to express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle.

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