Britain’s Pending “Online Safety Bill” Turns Free Speech into a Felony
Paul Craig Roberts
“We are used to Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World being held up as a mirror to our current predicament. But there is a third novel in Britain’s dystopian trilogy. In Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, a politician visits a jail to look for a subject for the Lodovico treatment which is designed to cure the offender of the impulse to violence. The reason the minister wants prisoners released safely back into society, and something of the sort is already happening in the UK, speaks to us: ‘Soon we may be needing all our prison space for political prisoners,'” like Julian Assange, Donald Trump, Sidney Powell, and “January 6 insurrectionists. https://www.unz.com/article/britains-worst-amendment-the-online-safety-bill/
The invention of “hate speech” was a slippery slope down which we have rapidly descended. Former British Ambassador and human rights activist Craig Murray has been detained under Britain’s counterterrorism laws for pointing out Palestine’s case in the conflict. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2023/10/18/uk-government-arrests-former-uk-ambassador-for-supporting-palestine/
In the UK just to say that there is another side is an offense, so the British arrest their own ambassador. This is “the free world” today. A very unhealthy place for liberty.
As Mark Gullick reports, Britain’s “Online Safety Bill” currently under debate in Parliament will effectively terminate free speech.
Whatever the intention of the bill, its effect will be to shut down white people who complain about immigrant-invaders, black crime, disagree with an official narrative, or take the unpopular side of an argument. The bill has “usable ambiguity,” which means that a person can complain that a view you expressed distresses them or makes them feel threatened and that they have suffered “psychological harm.” In other words the proof of your speech crime depends only on the perception of the distressed person.
One wonders if white ethnicities can use the bill to prevent being called racists or whether the treatment of “aversive racism” as a fact prevents white ethnicities coverage under the bill.
It seems certain that the bill would terminate debate. Debates can be very emotional, and to engage in one carries the risk of causing “emotional harm.” A government policing speech is likely to find many offenders.