"Section 12 of the Human Rights Act 1998 refers to freedom of speech so, as the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr Straw) pointed out, such a provision has already been accepted. Some say that mentioning the idea of freedom of speech in a Bill compromises it because a future statute could take it away, but we already have it in the Human Rights Act. The US has the first amendment, which is a statute that protects freedom of speech."
Its from column 639 ( for reference).
Ok, the Human rights Act has been in law since 1998 so plenty of time to bed in, lets now test this in practice, from earlier this year
"A man who wore a homemade T-shirt containing an offensive anti-police sentiment in the immediate aftermath of the deaths of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes has been jailed for a total of eight months.
Barry Thew, 39, of Radcliffe, Manchester, was sentenced at Minshull Street crown court in Manchester to four months in prison, after admitting a section 4a public order offence – displaying writing or other visible representation with intention of causing harassment, alarm or distress"
But this is not a isolated case (From the BBC)
"A Lancashire man who posted offensive comments on Facebook about missing five-year-old April Jones has been jailed for 12 weeks.Matthew Woods, 20, made a number of derogatory posts about April and missing Madeline McCann.
He appeared at Chorley Magistrates' Court where he admitted sending a grossly offensive public electronic communication."
Just one other line from that story
"About 50 people went to his home. He was arrested at a separate address."
First of all i will say that i disagree with what they both said/expressed i found it unpleasant and distasteful, however i do not think they should be jailed for it, are they idiots? Yes, are they morons? Yes, but even idiots and morons have the right to free speech and expression and we have the freedom to ignore them. When these morons spout of their idiotic and brainless stuff some people make a choice to get *offended* ( offence can only be taken, never given) and they are now assisted by the police and court to silence opinions that they consider *offensive*.
"I disagree with what you say but i will defend to the death your right to say it"
That quote is the essence of free speech and expression, we may find somethings that some people say distasteful, unpleasent , crazy , even outrageous (see some religions) but we should never silence them or throw them in jail.
Free speech is an absolute (like pregnancy) , you either have free speech or you don't, you are either pregnant or not pregnant, there is no inbetween. We all have the choice how to use our freedom of speech, if we go round saying things like these two examples then frankly you wont have many friends and you will have a pretty lonely life, but that is a choice ( well it should be) for people not the State.
The State has regulated the freedom of speech of us plebs despite this Human Rights Act that Useless Eustice praises and claims our freedoms are protected, no Mr Eustice, they are not.
And now the State is considering the regulation of the press ( the very same press that investigate the politicians) by statute, they say claims of a slippery slope are nonsense or we are over-reacting, are we? Of course these are the Mps that couldn't even honestly claim the expenses that they were entitled to.
Our current free press is not perfect ( its run by humans who themselves are not perfect or flawless) , but its a damm sight better than any press tamed by the power of the State.
Any power the state has it WILL abuse.
You can the sign the anti Leveson petition here