This* is worrying on so many levels:
- a blogger links to evidence linking a reverend in the Anglican church with holocaust denial and antisemitism
- the reverend complains to Surrey Police, who pass it on to Yorkshire Police, who pay the blogger a visit, during which the blogger agrees to delete one of his blogs.
- in addition, it appears that the police have also spoken to the university which the blogger attends, where the head of ICT “would like to remind me that I should not be using university property in order to associate individuals with terrorists and Holocaust deniers”
- The blogger eventually chooses to speak up when the same reverend threatens another blogger with similar action (despite them being in Australia)
Forget about the specifics. Here are the questions:
- Why are police getting involved in a libel issue ? Update: West Yorks police say it was a claim of “harassment”.
- Why are they ‘paying a visit’?
- Why are they approaching an educational institution to gather information on that person?
- Why does that educational institution then get involved?
Extremely worrying. Watch this one.
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““harassment” of a person includes causing the person alarm or distress; and
a course of conduct must involve conduct on at least two occasions.”
The nebulous law and the nebulous police use of it is a large part of the problem.
Had the blogger in question known about this, or had he known his right to legal representation then he could have and should have sent the police packing and counter-claimed harassment by the reverend in “shutting him up”.
In my experience of extremists you have to be careful what power you let them believe they have, because they will grab it and abuse it with every ounce of their soul. The Yorkshire Police gave this reverend power, one which he has used to squash freedom of speech and freedom of press.
The only defence against this is to investigate and publish the truth in as many mediums as possible.
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