England’s slow motion demise

England basically invented individualism, liberty, and classical liberalism, so it’s really sad to see it going down the tubes. Here’s two stories from a single day showing how far England has sunk. First, there’s this:

The TV presenter and Marks & Spencer model Myleene Klass has been warned by police for waving a knife at teenagers who were peering into a window of her house late at night.

Klass was in the kitchen with her daughter upstairs when she spotted the youths in her garden just after midnight on Friday. She grabbed a knife and banged the windows before they ran away.

Hertfordshire police warned her she should not have used a knife to scare off the youths because carrying an “offensive weapon”, even in her own home, was illegal. . .

The warning issued to the model comes after a pledge by the Conservative party last month that they would make it more difficult for people who tackle burglars to be prosecuted.

It’s illegal in England today, even in your own home, to wave a knife a intruders. Never mind actually using it, merely suggesting that you might defend yourself is illegal.

But at least they didn’t arrest Klass, perhaps due to her celebrity. This next fellow wasn’t so lucky:

A wealthy businessman was arrested at home in front of his wife and young son over an email which council officials deemed ‘offensive’ to gipsies – but which he had not even written.

The email, concerning a planning appeal by a gipsy, included the phrase: ‘It’s the ‘do as you likey’ attitude that I am against.’

Council staff believed the email was offensive because ‘likey’ rhymes with the derogatory term ‘pikey’.

The 45-year-old IT boss was held in a police cell for four hours until it was established he had nothing to do with the email, which had been sent by one of his then workers, Paul Osmond.

Forget for a moment that he didn’t even write the letter. They arrested this man because (they thought) he said “likey”, which rhymes with something else that they found offensive! This is the most asinine thing I’ve heard in a long time.

And they didn’t even release the guy because it was a stunning violation of his human rights. They only released him because they had the wrong guy. The other guy was arrested and had to make bail. And even the innocent guy is going to have his DNA on file permanently.

More broadly speaking, this incident shows how hate speech laws are utterly incompatible with free speech. This proves that absolutely anything can be offensive to someone. If you use a word that rhymes with an obscure racial slur, that’s hate speech. In England, that’s enough to send you to jail.

(Via the Corner.)

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