Today, a trial will begin for a French politician who was charged for criticizing immigration as a public danger. In the meantime, a Christian street preacher was reportedly facing criminal charges in the United Kingdom for declaring that a trans woman was really a “gentleman” and a “man in woman’s clothing.” The counter-terrorism unit arrested David McConnell, a Christian preacher who was already convicted last year for “harassment” in the incident last year.
For the earlier offense, McConnell was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 80 hours unpaid work. However, according to the Daily Mail, he was also reported to the counter-terrorism unit and, according to McConnell’s probation officer, he is “viewed [as] persistently and illegally espousing an extreme point of view” with his preaching.
That is all that it takes now in the UK and most of Europe today: “an extreme point of view.” So now he is akin to a terrorist for exercising free speech.
This case is reminiscent of the “toxic ideology” ruling in the Brock case.
Last year, Nicholas Brock, 52, was convicted of a thought crime in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The neo-Nazi was given a four-year sentence for what the court called his “toxic ideology” based on the contents of the home he shared with his mother in Maidenhead, Berkshire.
While most of us find Brock’s views repellent and hateful, they were confined to his head and his room. Yet, Judge Peter Lodder QC dismissed free speech or free thought concerns with a truly Orwellian statement: “I do not sentence you for your political views, but the extremity of those views informs the assessment of dangerousness.”
Lodder lambasted Brock for holding Nazi and other hateful values:
“[i]t is clear that you are a right-wing extremist, your enthusiasm for this repulsive and toxic ideology is demonstrated by the graphic and racist iconography which you have studied and appeared to share with others…”
Even though Lodder agreed that the defendant was older, had limited mobility, and “there was no evidence of disseminating to others,” he still sent him to prison for holding extremist views.
After the sentencing Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE), warned others that he was going to prison because he “showed a clear right-wing ideology with the evidence seized from his possessions during the investigation….We are committed to tackling all forms of toxic ideology which has the potential to threaten public safety and security.”
“Toxic ideology” also appears to be the target in Ireland with the recently proposed Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) law. It would criminalize the possession of material deemed hateful. The law is a free speech nightmare. The law makes it a crime of “possession of harmful material” as well as “condoning, denying or grossly trivialising genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.” The law expressly states the intent to combat “forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.”
What is so striking about the law is that it allows for the prosecution of citizens for “preparing or possessing material likely to incite violence or hatred against persons on account of their protected characteristics.” That could sweep deeply into not just political but literary expression.
The expansion of such prosecutions to thought crimes is a natural extension of the anti-free speech movement that took hold of much of Europe decades ago. The decline of free speech in the United Kingdom has long been a concern for free speech advocates. A man was convicted for sending a tweet while drunk referring to dead soldiers. Another was arrested for an anti-police t-shirt. Another was arrested for calling the Irish boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend a “leprechaun.” Yet another was arrested for singing “Kung Fu Fighting.” A teenager was arrested for protesting outside of a Scientology center with a sign calling the religion a “cult.”
Once you start as a government to criminalize speech, you end up on a slippery slope of censorship. What constitutes hate speech or “malicious communications” remains a highly subjective matter and we have seen a steady expansion of prohibited terms and words and gestures. We recently discussed a woman arrested for praying to herself near an abortion clinic.
Free speech is in a free fall in the West. The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, and other Western powers have plunged headlong into censorship and speech crimes. This case is a sad demonstration of the loss of a critical core of constituents who demand the protection of this core liberty. Conversely, those who embrace censorship and criminalization today are blissfully content that their own views will never be deemed “toxic” or “extreme.” It is the siren’s call of censorship and more citizens are yielding to the temptation to silence (rather than debate) those with opposing views.
27 thoughts on “British Minister Faces New Charges Under Counter-Terrorism Laws for Criticizing a Trans Woman”
Funny the UK is the topic, I just learned all about Jeff Clark, who was recently raided by the OIG with the usual Roger Stone treatment, and never to this day given the affidavit that explains why it occurred. He was Assistant AG under Trump (and another potus) according to him, his big sin was questioning the 2020 potus election and offering counsel with 5 other lawyers in a meeting with Trump which was leaked by one of the other lawyers, to the NYT, that remains unnamed. That started the attack ball and death threats.
Also the Jan 6th committee went gonzo on Jeff Clark demanding everything falling under Executive Privilege of course.
We don’t need to go to another country to see free speech and even legal counsel itself being under fire and effectively outlawed.
Now the BAR has threatened him. It has become woke. He is fighting their crazy claims.
He has also been blackballed from the big firms he used to work for. Banned, cancelled.
Frankly, at some point, blood will fill the streets.
Not really sure whose blood that will be, though it appears no revolution is coming, so I suspect it will be the blood of those currently persecuted.
The Left is a totalitarian movement. Conform, or be punished.
It cannot tolerate diversity of opinion.
This is exactly why the transgender movement is tyrannical, intolerant, and hostile.
Activists don’t just want tolerance and compassion for people who suffer from gender dysphoria. They demand that everyone affirm that the sufferer is, indeed, a different gender, or no gender at all. Failure to comply will be met with harsh penalties. In the US, activists will try to impoverish those who disagree that behaving, speaking, and dressing differently actually changes someone’s gender, by getting them fired, canceled, and blacklisted. Psychiatrists and psychologists who do not automatically affirm the patient’s self assessment of gender dysphoria run the risk of losing their license. In various European countries, voicing the opinion that a man cannot become a woman can land you in jail.
It’s the fevered dream of a Monty-Python skit, wrapped up in a South Park episode.
How in the world did far Left activists seize so much power, over all of Western civilization, so as to declare that people can change their gender, be gender fluid, or genderless? How did the movement become so successful pushing gender stereotypes. 15 years ago, a teenage girl who liked short hair, working on cars, and lifting weights was a tomboy. Hers was a fully valid form of femininity. Being a woman no longer required ultra feminine behavior. Now, that same teenage girl would be told she’s transgender. She’d be showered with attention from online forums, and told that if she had a double mastectomy, hysterectomy, sex reassignment surgery, puberty blockers, and cross sex hormones that would permanently lower her voice, coarsen her facial features, and create anger management issues, then she’ll be her “true self.” Afterwards, too many of these people realize they’ve mutilated their true self, irretrievably. Detransitioners are now suing medial providers for automatically affirming their gender identity.
What we’re seeing is a craze in the castration and sterilization of people, including miners.
Transgenderism is mimicry. Someone either dresses ultra feminine, wears a bow, and declares himself female, winning woman of the year awards, or they don’t bother shaving or dressing differently, show up in work boots and a deep baritone, and simply declare themself women.
My gender is not a state of mind.
My foremothers did not fight for equal rights so that men can force their way onto girls’ sports teams, and into locker rooms, telling the girls to shut up and keep sweet if they find it unfair or unsafe.
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
– Karl Marx
It is 90 seconds to midnight.
Do you know where your country is?
Al Qaeda thinks we’re hilarious.
Reign of Counter-Terror
Seems like the last days of the Roman Empire
Transgender (e.g. cisgender or homosexual) or trans/social?
The one error I think Turley makes is to maintain the advocates of censorship are “blissfully unaware“ censorship will ever redound to their views.
I think, in fact, that they are vaguely aware of the possibility; but the intervening promise of power and dominance overrides any long-term considerations.
Correct. Talk about future generations etc.is rhetoric.
The elites always think they’ll have the power to dictate over others, while they’ll receive special privileges.
Like the Socialists in lucrative government positions in the USSR how lectured the public against capitalism and inequality, while the general population waited in bread lines.
Like how Governor Newsom of CA shut down all restaurants in CA, saying you could die eating in one, but hosted an expensive bash at the French Laundry. How AOC attended the Met Gala maskless, in a couture gown, didn’t pay merchants, while people all around her worked with masks on. Or how Al Gore said the seas would rise due to global warming and wipe out properties along beaches, and then bought an ocean front villa. How Bernie Sanders is a socialist, but charges exorbitant speaking fees and sells books. Or how Democrat governors shut down entire economies, and then went on vacation to exotic destinations. Or how Nancy Pelosi supported lockdowns, but had a hair salon opened just to do her hair. She was maskless while the employees wore masks.
Oh, the elite do so love their privileges, while taking rights and success away from others.
AT ONE TIME ENGLAND DID HAVE AN “ENGLISH BILL OF RIGHTS” THAT PROTECT ENGLISH MEN AND WOMEN FROM SUCH GOVERNMENT TYRANNY, IN FACT THE RIGHTS ARE STILL IN EFFECT AS ALL ENGLISH LAW IS EVEN THOUGH IT WAS WRITTEN HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO. FURTHER EUROPE HAS REALLY NEVER HAD THE RIGHTS AS WE DO HERE IN THE USA, THEY NEVER HAD THE RIGHT OF FREEDOM OF SPEACH OR PRESS OR RELIGION, EUROPE HAS BEEN MOSTLY RULED BY KINGS, QUEENS, DUKES, BARONS, LORD, DICTATORS AND WHAT EVER STRONGMAN COMES ALONG. IT’S PRETTY SAD THAT HERE IN AMERICA OUR SYSTEM OF LAWS WERE ACTUALLY BASED ON ENGLISH LAW AND CHRISTIAN ETHICS AND WE FIGHT EVERYDAY TO KEEP THOSE RIGHTS THAT WERE GIVEN TO US BY OUR BLESSED CREATOR. YOU FOLKS IN ENGLAND AND IRELAND NEED A REVOLUTION OR TWO TO STRAITEN THINGS OUT BEFORE MASSES OF YOUR CITIZENS ARE ROUNDED UP AND PLACED INTO RE-EDUCATION CAMPS. HISTORY DOES REPEAT ITSELF DONCHA KNOW. NUF SAID.
This never ends good, nor without bloodshed. In addition to Nien Cheng’s “Life and Death in Shanghai,” two books that should be required reading now–“The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William Shirer and “Troublesome Young Men” by Lynne Olson. History does repeat itself because humans are too arrogant to think mistakes of the past are never repeated. They are and we’re seeing it front and center.
Self Awareness is an interesting concept. In order to be self aware one must be willing to criticize one’s self, not necessarily in public but in the privacy of your own mind. You do it to correct your mistakes after you admit to yourself that you were wrong. Admitting that you were wrong is the biggest hurdle and my experience over many decades is that most people can never make the jump over that hurdle, especially the high ones. Some will literally go to the gates of hell rather than admit error. Even in the scientific disciplines where we are supposed to be ruled by theory and then observation and then an improved theory, there are those who will often refuse to believe their lying eyes. I am a conservative but I have been wrong on several occasions and changed my position as a result. Sometimes further to the right on some things and sometimes more to the progressive on others. If you cannot adjust your thought in light of experience and observation then how can you grow.
The hive mind that infects the left is a poison and is destroying western democracy, especially in Europe. We have some time here as we have on many occasions in the past, to swing the pendulum back. With our constitution and Federal system we have the weapons to fight the leftward drift, even when we do not control the central state power but have power in many states. This is a concept that Europe could never wrap their mind around. I think that is why so many of our ancestors left there, and came here. And still come from everywhere.
The government’s ultimate goal is always the survival of the government. Not necessarily the people.
Well said, GEB!
Interestingly, this is the same country that for years allowed the immigration of Islamic clergy to take over mosques and preach jihad including advocating the killing of British infidels. It also the same country that allowed certain “communities” to abuse teenage girls for years with impunity out of respect for cultural diversity. Yes a rational critique of transgender madness is terrorism. Another example of the west committing cultural suicide and devolving into third-world like nations ruled by authoritarian governments.
if you have study Mao Cultural Revolution in China in the 1970’s you will see parallels. People are FORCED make statement that Contradict their beliefs and reality
The Leftists are Machiavellian Fascists…using every lever of power to destroy all opposition, while stealing EVER MORE!
FACT is you can TEST DNA for Gender…. Changing you hair, clothes, voice, having surgery, getting hormones, etc doesn’t CHANGE WHAT YOU ARE!
All I can add, there is more than ample evidence, the American Democrat Party moves ceaselessly to exercise this kind of Government power/abuse.
As I said “ample evidence…”
In the latest stunning testimony from whistleblowers at the FBI, it has been alleged that the bureau actively used intelligence threat tags to label multiple groups of conservative activists as potential domestic terror threats
Read H.G. Wells excellent book “Outline of History” (Vol II) and you will see how Machiavellians accumulate centralized power and then destroy empire after empire through history!
We are there….centralized power ABUSED by EVIL people!
Does anyone really think that this crack “Counter-Terrorism Unit” would have arrested a Muslim street preacher espousing a call to Jihad and the killing of Jews ? Thank you, Jonathan, for an excellent article.
We laugh at the “fureners” and think that it can’t happen here – we have the First Amendment and they don’t.
Ask the pro-lifer whom the FBI arrested in his house if he still thinks that.
Jonathan, I think your article somewhat misses the point] of the Brock case. He was jailed for possessing materials useful for terrorism such as bomb making and weapons manuals. That is an offence in the UK. The ideology stuff went to sentencing and severity. You make a number of good points but I wouldn’t use the DM as a primary source if I was you.
Free Fall Indeed. Truly ironic how the woke left screams for censorship to “save” democracy. Their complete lack of self-awareness is astonishing. Thank you, Jonathan, for an excellent article.
I don’t believe it is a lack of self-awareness. They (the woke ones in power) know exactly what they are doing. Free speech is the only barrier between authoritarianism and liberty. The rest are just woke sheep. The loud sound you hear are the likes of Churchill and Anthony Eden spinning in their graves.
I think so, too. It is not tone-deafness or incompetence, it is very much intentional, and very, very calculated. Nothing happens randomly with despots, and that is what our dem party have become, full stop, regardless of where they might have dipped their toes previously. This is not a political party, it is a well-funded regime.