Over a week ago now, I was attending the protest against the conviction of Scottish YouTuber Count Dankula. His crime? Telling an offensive joke, that being having his girlfriend’s pug do Nazi salutes to annoy her. While most would find such behaviour innocuous at best, Scottish courts disagreed, prosecuting Dankula under the Communications Act of 2003, section 127 of which prohibits ‘grossly offensive’ speech online.
The case itself was stupid and the whole thing a complete farce, but it brought something to the attention to the widest audience possible of which previously had been undiscussed for years. That being the slow erosion of freedom of speech in the UK.
This erosion has been a slow but steady process and will only continue more rapidly if it isn’t stopped. Dankula may be a high profile case here, but he isn’t the first. Several other cases have seen our freedom of speech undermined for the sake of political correctness.
Beyond Dankula, other cases surrounding online censorship include the YouTuber 6oodfella, who was similarly punished by Scottish authorities over a joke about Islamist terrorist attacks in Europe, and a teenager in in Croxteth was also found guilty under the same law as Dankula for posting supposedly offensive rap lyrics by Snap Dogg because they contained the n word. This was despite the lyrics being posted as a tribute to another teenager who had recently died in the area as opposed to something posted out of malice.
Not to mention how the screws of censorship are tightening up for those who criticise the religion of Islam. Tommy Robinson detailed such accounts in his 2015 book Enemy Of The State all the while the likes of Britain First’s leaders (Paul Golding and Jayda Frensen) have been convicted recently for religious aggravated harassment. Now while you may disagree with the viewpoints of these people (the loutish and aggressive behaviour of Britain First and their leaders in particular), their sentences were clearly not carried out as a way to protect the public from risk.
Rather their sentences seem more of a way to bury under the rug any criticism of Islam so that the authorities do not have to deal with an issue they have created for fear of being disowned by the politically correct press and leftie voting blocs.
But such cases are not confined to our own shores. Oh no, in fact many people have been banned from Britain not for being a serious risk to Britain’s land or being general thugs who have no right to be here. Rather their banning is more to protect the public from offensive speech. The horror! Michael Savage is perhaps the most high profile case here, with his various views leaving him banned by the Home Secretary.
Meanwhile the rapper Tyler The Creator was also banned by then Home Secretary Theresa May on the grounds of his homophobic lyrics from his debut album. With the recent banning of Lauren Southern, Brittany Pettibone and Martin Sellner from the UK, this trend of banning people on political grounds seems to be a trend that is not going to be reversed any time soon.
Meanwhile, the British Board of Film Classification similarly banned certain films out of clear political correctness. Take for example the 2015 horror film Hate Crime of which is about a group of Neo-Nazis attacking a Jewish family. Initially planned to be released for video on demand services, the film was banned on the grounds of its violence in conjuncture with the ‘verbal racial abuse’ of which it is carried out in.
The director James Cullen Bressack found the ban ‘unbelievable’ and felt upset that ‘censorship was still alive and well’, mainly because as a Jewish man, he had made a film of which was meant to ‘remind us that we live in a dangerous world’ where ‘racial violence is on the rise’.
It is clear that through the film’s ban that certain politically incorrect stories are being censored to protect supposed communities from increasing tensions as opposed to lay down some hard truths.
This is just the tip of the iceberg here. There are numerous cases like the ones mentioned above, and they currently are not being taken seriously as a threat to one of our most fundamental rights as a democracy: the right to free speech. If that is gone, it indicates that we are moving further towards totalitarianism, something not seen in this country since the days of Cromwell.
That is why the Day For Freedom actions were so important. Not just to show opposition to this erosion of our basic liberties but also to show the authorities that we are aware of what they doing to our liberties. The sooner this erosion stops, the better.