British police have arrested five* men (*actually the figure has now risen to six) after they were caught on video on social media burning on a bonfire an effigy of Grenfell Tower. What? Is this some kind of sick joke??
I think we can all agree that it wasn’t a nice thing to do, making light of the awful conflagration in a London apartment block last year that caused the death of 72 people. But since when was not being nice an arrestable offence?
Brendan O’Neill asks much the same question in a characteristically trenchant essay headlined “Is it now a crime to be a twat?”
The UK police department on whose watch 1,400 girls were raped by Muslim gangs in just one town alone has tweeted out a message urging the public to report “non-crime hate incidents”.
The message has infuriated the public — prompting over 3,500 replies, most of them angry, from people wondering why South Yorkshire Police doesn’t have better things to do than encourage snitches to bleat about hurty stuff people have said on social media.
In addition to reporting hate crime, please report non-crime hate incidents, which can include things like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing. Hate will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire. Report it and put a stop to it #HateHurtsSYpic.twitter.com/p2xf6OLoQZ
And also why, if South Yorkshire Police is so keen to put a stop to “hurt” it has done so little over the last two decades to prevent many thousands of white and Sikh girls, many of them underage, being groomed, drugged, trafficked, and raped by gangs of Muslims.
In tech-speak, South Yorkshire Police has been “ratioed”. That is, its tweet attracted significantly more comments than it did “likes” or “retweets”. This is invariably a sign when someone’s tweet has gone very badly awry…
If you’ve seen The Lives of Others, the Oscar-winning movie set in Communist East Germany, you’ll know how constrictive and oppressive it was living in a surveillance state where the authorities monitored your every move.
But hey, why watch the film when you can live it for real in Britain.
Here’s a tweet that gives a snapshot of where we’re at:
Just been at a hate crime event with the Met police + they told me something really useful.
If you’re on a bus + you witness a hate crime, if you give the police the number on the back of your Oyster/debit card, they can trace the bus + every passenger on it to find the culprit.
For me, the sinister part here is not that the police have the ability to track you down via the information on your Oyster card. [Though actually they don’t. Not if your Oyster card isn’t registered. And it’s the least law-abiding who are, it seems likely, the ones who are least likely to bother]. It’s the fact that the thing that really rocks their boat about these extraordinary Stasi-like powers they have is not that they can use them to track down terrorists or knife gangs or acid throwing thugs – but that they can use it to prosecute “hate crimes.”
If you didn’t know the details, you might imagine he’d done something serious.
Nope. Here’s what happened:
Gascoigne was speaking at a venue in Wolverhampton, as part of his An Evening With Gazza tour, where audiences around Britain are paying upwards of £30 a head to hear anecdotes about Gazza’s days as a footballing legend.
At some point in the evening, Gazza made an ill-advised quip at the expense of a black bouncer standing in a darkened part of the auditorium. Gazza joked that he couldn’t see whether or not the security guard was enjoying himself because the venue was poorly lit.
Yes, you probably had to be there. It’s not the funniest joke ever told. But nor is it the kind of remark you’d ever imagine getting anyone hauled up before the courts. It’s just laddish banter of the kind you’ll often find when boozed up blokes are gathered together. There’s certainly no malice in it and in the old days – before the era of licensed victimhood and professional offence-taking – that security guard would perfectly well have understood this, in much the same way any white person would have done in the Seventies or Eighties had they been singled out as the butt of a joke by, say, Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy.
I originally reported that the bouncer had complained to the police – but it turns out I maligned the poor fellow. It wasn’t the black bouncer who complained but one of those grisly SJWs – often known as Offendotrons, usually white – whose speciality is to patronise ethnic minorities by taking offence on their behalf. This Offendotron reported to the police and the police, in accordance with the wishes of the rampantly politically correct Crown Prosecution Service, decide to make an example of Gazza.
Well I’m not so sure about that. My fear is that this kind of case, far from healing racial divisions in Britain is likely to exacerbate them by fostering a climate of mutual resentment and bitterness and a sense that “Britain is no longer a free country any more.” Which indeed it isn’t. In Britain – taking our cue from the identity politics victimhood culture of the US – our minority grievance industry has now become so powerful that you cannot even make a mildly tasteless joke without being dragged before the courts and treated like a criminal.
And it won’t be long – you can be sure – before jokes perceived as offensive to women result in similar court cases.