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Friday, December 11, 2009

Freedom of speech alive and well (ish)

So now we know. Next time a brace of Jehovah's Witnesses come knocking at your door, you can, if so inclined, tell them they're bonkers without acquiring a criminal record. If, that is, you get the right judge. I think I can guess which newspaper Mr Justice Clancy doesn't read over his Cornflakes. If Ericka Tazi faces counter-charges from the Vogelenzangs (having according to them started the whole barney by rubbishing their Christian beliefs) she'd better hope it's him she comes up in front of.

We're left with the scandal of the Vogelenzangs ever having been dragged in front of a judge in the first place. When the government created the offence they were charged with, we were assured that of course there was no intention to criminalize robust debate and the bar for bringing a prosecution would of course be set high enough to ensure there was no chance of that happening. Ha! I trust a global ban on ministerial assurances is on the agenda at Copenhagen.

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