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Free Speech & Cancel Culture

2022: Jan-March

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Legal Utopia...

ASA dismisses complaints about using the word 'shyster' in an advert

Link Here23rd February 2022
A TV ad for Legal Utopia, a legal support app, seen on 22 October 2021, featured a voice-over that stated, I've discovered Legal Utopia; the app to help you save time and potentially save money 206 It's accessible, affordable law for all and for all sorts. The voice-over continued by giving examples of when the app could be used, including 206 claims against shoddy shysters, accompanied by a shot of a women speaking angrily on the phone as she examined leaky pipes under a sink.

A complainant, who understood the word shyster was a derogatory term used to describe Jewish people, challenged whether the ad was offensive.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Not upheld

The term shyster was used in the ad accompanied by footage of a woman speaking angrily on the phone whilst examining leaky pipes under a sink. The ASA considered that the context of the scene, in an ad for an app in which users could seek legal support, implied that the woman was berating a plumber who had carried out substandard work and that she could choose to seek legal recourse through consulting the app.

We understood that there were a range of opinions about the etymology of the word shyster, including that it referred to the character Shylock in The Merchant of Venice who was a Jewish moneylender. Others believed the word originated from the German word ScheiĆ?er. We understood that its common usage in British English was to describe an unscrupulous or disreputable person.

We sought a view from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who had no concerns about the use of the term in the ad.

We considered that in the context used in the ad, most viewers would understand the term shyster as referring to an unscrupulous plumber who had carried out substandard work and failed to correct it. We acknowledged that some viewers may find the term distasteful but we concluded that in the context of the ad it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.



Commented: Jimmy Carr has fun with his 'career ending' jokes...

And winds up those that would like this to be taken literally

Link Here 9th February 2022
Full story: Jimmy Carr...TV comedian winds up the easily offended
Jimmy Carr: His Dark Material is a 2021 UK comedy by Brian Klein, Amanda Baker
Starring Jimmy Carr BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Jimmy Carr finds humour in the darkest of places in this stand-up comedy special. This special features Jimmy's trademark dry, sardonic wit and includes some jokes which Jimmy calls "career enders".

The programme was passed 18 uncut by the BBFC with a trigger warning for sexual violence references, discrimination, language.

Now comedian Jimmy Carr has sparked 'outrage' for a routine about the Holocaust in his latest Netflix stand-up special.

The programme, titled His Dark Material , was released on the streaming platform on Christmas Day but the clip about the Holocaust came to light more widely when it was shared on social media.

The comedian, who introduced his show as being a career ender and warned it contained terrible things, said a positive of the Holocaust was that thousands of Gypsies were murdered. The comments were greeted with applause and laughter from the audience.

Between 200,000 and 500,000 Roma and Sinti people were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators, according to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. The charity's chief executive Olivia Marks-Woldman said:

We are absolutely appalled at Jimmy Carr's comment about persecution suffered by Roma and Sinti people under Nazi oppression, and horrified that gales of laughter followed his remarks.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the comments were abhorrent and they just shouldn't be on television. Dorries suggested the government could legislate to stop comedy people find offensive being shown on streaming platforms. She told the BBC:

We're already looking at future legislation to bring into scope those sort of comments

Asked about a previous Tweet where she said left-wing snowflakes are killing comedy, Ms Dorries replied: Well, that's not comedy.

SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes, who is co-chairman of the House of Commons All Party Parliamentary Group for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma, wrote on Twitter that he was utterly speechless at this disregard for the horror of the holocaust and its impact on the Gypsy community of Europe.

Netflix declined to comment. Carr has also not commented.


Offsite Comment: Jimmy Carr must be free to say the unsayable

9th February 2022. See article from by Simon Evans

The government has no business decreeing what is funny.



Offsite Article: Free speech is for morons, too...

Link Here30th January 2022
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
Slagging off Captain Tom should not be a criminal offence. By Ian O'Doherty

See article from



Modern day troubles...

Elvis Costello asks radio stations not to play Oliver's Army

Link Here24th January 2022
Elvis Costello has revealed he will no longer perform his biggest hit, Oliver's Army, and has also asked radio stations to stop playing the song.

Written about the conflict in Northern Ireland, the lyrics contain the racial slur 'white niggers' used to describe Irish Catholics. The song about the army and imperialism has recently fallen foul of cancel culture owing to his barbed inclusion of the word to describe a British private:

Only takes one itchy trigger,
One more widow,
one less white nigger.

Costello explained the decision to the Telegraph:

If I wrote that song today, maybe I'd think twice about it, he says. That's what my grandfather was called in the British army -- it's historically a fact -- but people hear that word go off like a bell and accuse me of something that I didn't intend.

On the last tour, I wrote a new verse about censorship, but what's the point of that? So I've decided I'm not going to play it. When the song is broadcast on the radio the offending word is often bleeped out which, says Costello, is a mistake. They're making it worse by bleeping it for sure. Because they're highlighting it then. Just don't play the record!

Costello added that radio stations will do him a favour by not playing the track again.



Wrong think...

Ludicrous academics attach trigger warning to George Orwell's 1984

Link Here24th January 2022
Ludicrous academics at the University of Northampton have issued a trigger warning for George Orwell's novel 1984 on the grounds that it contains explicit material which some students may find offensive and upsetting.

The book is one of several literary works which have been flagged up to students at Northampton who are studying a module called Identity Under Construction . They are warned that the module addresses challenging issues related to violence, gender, sexuality, class, race, abuses, sexual abuse, political ideas and offensive language.

In addition to Orwell's book, academics identify several works in the module that have the potential to be offensive and upsetting including the Samuel Beckett play Endgame , the graphic novel V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd and Jeanette Winterson's Sexing The Cherry .

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said:

There's a certain irony that students are now being issued trigger warnings before reading Nineteen Eighty-Four. Our university campuses are fast becoming dystopian Big Brother zones where Newspeak is practised to diminish the range of intellectual thought and cancel speakers who don't conform to it.

Too many of us -- and nowhere is it more evident than our universities -- have freely given up our rights to instead conform to a homogenised society governed by a liberal elite "protecting" us from ideas that they believe are too extreme for our sensibilities.

A Northampton University spokesman said:
  • While it is not university policy, we may warn students of content in relation to violence, sexual violence, domestic abuse and suicide. In these circumstances we explain to applicants as part of the recruitment process that their course will include some challenging texts. This is reinforced by tutors as they progress through their programme of studies.

Offsite Comment: RIP Satire

24th January 2022. See article from by Brendan O'Neill

I suppose it was only a matter of time before the woke mob came for Nineteen Eighty-Four. A novel that suggests it is a very bad thing to censor inconvenient opinions, to memory-hole problematic culture, to treat alternative ways of thinking as a species of mental illness, and to engage in orgies of spittle-flecked hatred against those deemed to be the enemies of correct thought?

See article from

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