More on British and Canadian Censorship

Thursday, January 17th, 2008 3:14 pm by Neal

Earlier, we wrote on the governmental assault on free speech in Great Britain and Canada, specifically the current case of Ezra Levant who is fighting “charges” from Alberta’s Human Rights Commission.

We have updates from both countries showing the serious threats to free speech from leftists. Yep, multicultural, politically-correct liberals are behind the assaults on free speech in both Great Britain and Canada.

In Great Britain we have the case of Robin Page who was arrested for the following statement: “If you are a black, vegetarian, Muslim, asylum-seeking, one-legged lesbian lorry driver, I want the same rights as you.”

(Hat tip: Mark Steyn):

Robin Page fought a five-year, one-man campaign to clear his name over remarks he made at a pro-hunting rally which led to him being held in a police cell.

Using the Data Protection Act, he obtained official documents which showed that there had been no grounds for prosecution before Gloucestershire Constabulary agreed the settlement for his wrongful detention.

“I believe I have scored a significant victory over the ludicrous and sinister politically-correct ‘hate crime’ culture that is currently doing so much to prevent free speech in this country,” he said.

Mr Page, 64, a farmer, conservationist, columnist for The Daily Telegraph, and the chairman of the Countryside Restoration Trust, became the focus of police attention after his comments at a country fair in September 2002.

e claims that in order to gain the attention of listeners at the gathering in Frampton-upon-Severn, Glos, he started in a “light-hearted fashion”.

His opening remark was: “If you are a black, vegetarian, Muslim, asylum-seeking, one-legged lesbian lorry driver, I want the same rights as you.”

No one present expressed any concerns at the time but a letter of complaint was later received by police, and another person wrote to say he disagreed with the remarks made.

He was arrested the next month, and a further five months later was contacted at his farm in Cambridgeshire and asked by two officers from Gloucestershire to attend an interview at a police station.

At the station he declined to answer questions without a lawyer and was arrested.

He was put in a cell and told that he would have to stay overnight if he wished to wait for his solicitor, but after 40 minutes agreed to be interviewed without legal representation.

Mr Page said: “I was told I had committed a ‘hate crime’, interviewed under caution and given police bail.”

David Warren, writing for Real Clear Politics, has a piece on the inquisitions by Canada’s notorious “Human Rights Commissions” — Kafka’s Canada.

At the moment, a number of “interesting” cases are coming before Canada’s inaptly-named “human rights commissions.” I have mentioned in this space before the case being brought against Maclean’s magazine, for publishing an excerpt from a book by Mark Steyn, by the Canadian Islamic Congress.

Ezra Levant has just gone on “trial” before an Alberta “human rights” tribunal, for what he had published in the (now defunct) Western Standard newsmagazine two years ago. He ran examples of the Danish cartoons on the Prophet Mohammed — to show readers that the fuss over them was overblown. His right to publish is being contested.

Catholic Insight, a monthly published from Toronto, is being prosecuted by a man in Edmonton for upholding the Catholic position on homosexuality (“hate the sin and love the sinner”), and for having vigorously opposed the “gay rights” agenda.

There are other meandering cases in the works, or that were in the works, often against Internet website owners or the contributors to their online forums. It is almost impossible to get clear information about these. In the notification process, the recipient of a human rights complaint need not be told who the complainant is, or what he is alleging. The recipient is just left to guess for a while, as the bureaucratic machinery of quasi-legal “justice” proceeds at its glacial pace. Truth and rumours become hard to distinguish in this kafkaesque environment. …

Though appalled, I am not myself surprised by the nature of the cases now being brought before Canada’s “human rights” commissions, with a view to extinguishing free speech in Canada. I have seen this coming for decades, and have argued all along it would come to this. My only surprise is that it took more than three decades for the ideology behind “multiculturalism” and collective “human rights” to bear this kind of fruit.

This is the ideology of Canada’s “liberal” elites. (I stand it in quotes because it is another Orwellian reversal of a term: the contemporary liberal has views directly opposed to those traditionally associated with liberalism.)

Every society contains people who are seething with resentment against some individual or class — sometimes with cause, and often without it. The creation of any quasi-legal bureaucracy to purge notional sins, plays into their hands. If that bureaucracy also subsidizes complaints, and strips all defendants of due process, of course it will be used for execrable motives. The complainant can’t lose, the defendant can’t win, under such a system. Canada’s “human rights” commissions were designed to be abused.

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