I am happy to insult you

Sod off and stop reading my blog. Seriously SOD OFF. Offended? It doesn’t really matter if you are, because I am free to express myself however I see fit as long as it does not intimidate, threaten or harass (for example starting a hate campaign, or victimising an individual). At the moment however, if you felt insulted by me telling you to ‘sod off’ then I would be breaking the law. Specifically, I would be breaking Section 5 of the Public Order Act (1986) which outlaws ‘insulting’ words and behaviour.

This is why I strongly welcome this government’s consultation to remove the word ‘insulting’ from Section 5. The current law can be abused to criminalise almost any words or actions. This law, as it stands, has been used against Christian streetpreachers who have condemned homosexuality, without them acting in an aggressive or threatening way. What they preach is insulting, but it should not be illegal. Equally it has been used against LGBT activists who have ‘insulted’ religious groups. This position is madness. Freedom of speech is a benchmark of a civilised society. We have to protect it, but we also understand its limitations.

It is right and proper that ‘threatening’ behaviour should be outlawed. We all hold the right to live without fear or intimidation. This has to be legally separated however from being ‘insulted’. On this occasion I am in the strange situation of backing the Christian Institute over the LGBT charity Stonewall.

I am happy to insult and indeed be insulted. So, if you are still reading this, Sod off!

About these ads

7 Comments

Filed under Human rights, Politics

7 responses to “I am happy to insult you

  1. Pingback: The removal of ‘insulting’ from Public Order Act is a victory for free speech | Hynd's Blog

  2. Pingback: Why Azhar Ahmed should never have been prosecuted – freedom of speech | Hynd's Blog

  3. Pingback: Hate crime in Ukraine – Will the police look the other way? | In Off The Bar

  4. Pingback: Euro 2012 Special: Hate crime in Ukraine – Will the police look the other way? | Hynd's Blog

  5. Pingback: Euro 2012 Special: Hate crime in Ukraine – Will the police look the other way? « Euro 2012 « Football Rascal | For the fans

  6. Pingback: Why Sunny Hundal has got it wrong on “my tram experience” | Hynd's Blog

  7. Pingback: 'My tram experience' is shocking – but should it be cause for arrest? | Sunny Hundal - ScrollPost.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s