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Belfast stands alone against Chinese heavy artillery...

China pressured Belfast council to censor photo referencing iconic protest photo at Tiananmen Square


Link Here 27th May 2020
A Chinese Consulate put pressure on Belfast Council to remove an image of Tiananmen Square from a public art exhibition.

A photo from the Double Take exhibition, by Zurich-based artists Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger, displayed images of Airfix like model kits recreating globally significant events. In this case depicting an iconic image of a lone protester in front of a convoy of military tanks in Beijing.

The photograph was not removed, although it is understood the exhibition was scheduled to end a short time after the matter was raised. A council spokesman said:

We received a complaint in June 2019 in relation to a photograph in the Double Take exhibition, part of the Belfast Photographic Festival, on the front lawns of Belfast City Hall. The photograph was not removed.

Amnesty International's Northern Ireland programme director Patrick Corrigan said:

It is outrageous that the Chinese Consulate apparently sought to have the photograph, commemorating the brave students of 1989, removed from the grounds of Belfast City Hall. The state censorship of Beijing cannot be extended to Belfast.

 

 

Commented: Scotland hates free speech...

And so is enacting extreme legislation to silence the views of the people


Link Here15th May 2020
Scotland's government has joined the ranks of many others around the world who are actively working on constraining free speech by amending existing laws to make them even more oppressive than before.

The current law restricting 'hate crimes' is similar to that in England and Wales, covering threats, abuse, and insults.

But based on what's described as a hard-line report from 2018, Scotland's upgraded Hate Crime and Public Order Bill proposed by parliament now looks to change that and introduce three new offences,

  • The first will enable for prosecution of doing anything, or communicating any material, which is threatening or abusive and is intended or likely to engender hatred based on age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender or intersex identity.
  • Secondly having material of this kind in one's possession meant to be in any way communicated to others will in itself now be a crime,
  • and thirdly, managers in organizations of any type not acting to prevent the new set of criminalized behaviours will be criminalized themselves.
The proposals' critics say it is anti-liberal and must not be allowed to pass, pointing out that the bill takes the focus away from punishing acts of hostility based on their gravity regardless of who they target, and instead introduces a tiered approach, depending on groups that are designated as considered more 'worthy' of the victimhood status.

 

Offsite Comment: Scotland's new hate speech law will be too censorious

7th May 2020. See article from secularism.org.uk

Offsite Comment: Scotland's chilling new blasphemy law censorious

12th May 2020. See article from spectator.co.uk

The new Hate Crime Bill proposed by the Scottish Government is a sweeping threat to freedom of speech and conscience. By Stephen Daisley

Offsite Comment: Hate speech: blasphemy for the 21st century

15th May 2020. See article from spiked-online.com by Emma Webb

We must never give the state the power to criminalise speech.

 

 

Fake claims...

The piss poor journalists of ITN, who do no nothing but belittle the achievements of the government in fighting coronavirus, think they deserve a kite mark for 'quality journalism'


Link Here3rd May 2020

ITN, the maker of news for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, is calling for a digital kitemarking system online to distinguish between supposedly quality journalism and fake content, with internet companies facing penalties if they publish inaccurate information.

In a submission to a House of Lords inquiry into the future of journalism, seen by the Observer , ITN says internet companies should face the same penalties as broadcasters and other 'quality' news providers from regulatory bodies, such as Ofcom, if they let misinformation slip through the net.

ITN also calls on parliament to draw up a code of conduct for news suppliers and digital platforms to help prevent the dissemination of fake news. If agreement with the big digital companies on a voluntary code cannot be reached, it says, it should be made mandatory and negotiations time-limited so the big tech companies cannot drag their feet.

The Lords inquiry is looking into how the production and consumption of journalism is changing, how journalists can be supported and how the profession can become more trusted by the public.

 

 

Scotland is set to modernise its blasphemy law...

Blasphemy law will be replaced by a wider protection against religious discrimination


Link Here25th April 2020
Scotland's justice secretary Humza Yousaf said the blasphemy law in Scotland would be modernised to cover discrimination against religion. Yousaf said the law would also cover discrimination against age, disability, race and sexual orientation. He said:

By creating robust laws for the justice system, parliament will send a strong message to victims, perpetrators, communities and to wider society that offences motivated by prejudice will be treated seriously and will not be tolerated.

Blasphemy laws were repealed in England and Wales in 2008.

 

 

The Barbecue Squad...

A few police have been infected by a nasty case of extreme authoritarianism, let's hope it doesn't spread


Link Here15th April 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
The police want powers to be able to enter homes and shut down parties and BBQs they deem unnecessary under lockdown laws.

The Police Federation, who represent rank and file officers, believe there is a technicality in the current measures that mean they cannot enter a private property to break up a house party, unless they are allowed in by the householders.

On Sunday, the chairman of the group John Apter said that increased numbers of people are calling the police to report their neighbours for breaking social distancing rules.

A Police Federation source, told The Telegraph :

We have asked they consider giving us powers around private gatherings or gatherings in a private dwelling.

Despite the clamour for new lockdown powers, they are very unlikely to be green-lit by Home Secretary Priti Patel. A Home Office source told the newspaper:

It would be a really big step for policing in this country that is not needed at this point.

Also police can issue the fixed penalty notice as they travel to or from the party.

The new research indicated 42 per cent of respondents fully support the approach taken by the police, but a further 32 per cent felt in some cases the police had gone too far.

 

Update: What constitutes a reasonable excuse to leave your home...according to the police

19th April 2020. See article [pdf] from college.police.uk

 


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