I Guess Everyone Has Their Limits…

…even on such things as freedom of speech and expression.

Take the Royal Wedding, for instance. Unlike my esteemed blogging colleagues, all of whom I’ve agreed with in the past, and no doubt will do again, I’m quite happy to see the police ‘pre-emptively’ rounding up those who’s first thought wasn’t ‘Well, I don’t care for the Royal Family, or the feelings of all those people who are coming to London, so I’ll just sit quietly at home and read a book on Marx’, but instead was ‘Yes! This is my chance! I’m going to make a fool of myself and no-one can stop me!’.

There’s various reasons, of course; one being it did indeed meet the ‘protection of the public’ test. I can only guess how they would have reacted when they were confronted with these loons doing their best to be the classless, selfish, inconsiderate children that they wanted to be. And the police would have had to respond.

And I know that in the past, when the affront has been of, shall we say, a Muslim persuasion, they’ve been less happy to oblige the outraged, claiming ‘free speech’. But that doesn’t mean that they weren’t right to do so here.

It’s one day. One day only. One day for the decent people to have their say, unmolested by the needlessly provocative. I know, I know; I’ve already had this out at great length with others, on blogs and on Twitter. ‘Freedom of speech is absolute, or it’s nothing!’.

And if they decide to ’round up the usual suspects’ tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, I’ll agree.

But until they do…

They have 364 days of the year to make nuisances of themselves, to caper and gibber and be as provocative as they feel they can get away with. Just not for that one day.

Is that too much to expect?

32 comments for “I Guess Everyone Has Their Limits…

  1. May 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    The one thing that worried me was the scale of the pre-emptive arrests. I’m well aware of the fact that the police used to take people into protective custody, but we’ve moved on a bit since then. Everyone arrested has been added to the DNA database. Anyone past the idiocy in due time has a black mark on their CRB checklist.
    That said I’m glad there was no trouble despite the hyperbole of some senior police officers and I’m glad that some from the Religion of Perpetual Outrage (Muslims against Crusades) were turned back at various tube stations when they attempted to attend.
    I’m just worried that a precedent has now been set for any other public event where those who may cause disruption are gathered up before they even have a chance to prove their innocence.

    • May 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      As far as the DNA database goes, I suspect that these people were already on it…

      And I take the point about a dangerous precedent.

      • William
        May 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

        If you want live in a free society then you have to be aware that freedom carries great personal responsibility. Part of that is having the courage to allow other human beings to make a tit of themselves no matter what and yes it has to be said allowing people to commit a crime before they are dealt with by the full force of whatever law, not legislation, is in force.

        What these policymen have done is set a precedent whereby anyone who is assumed by the policymen’s assessment to be about to commit a crime can be arrested.
        It’s worth pointing out that if a complaint is made to the policymen by anyone about some other human being they claim they have to act. Scary indeed.

        On the other hand this ‘we must investigate all complaints’ is something that really does need exploiting for comical purposes if nothing else.

        • May 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm

          “If you want live in a free society then you have to be aware that freedom carries great personal responsibility…”

          I thought, pace Spiderman, that was power..? 😉

          And we hear a lot about people’s rights, and people’s freedoms, but the responsibility always seems to lie with us, the decent majority. As does the self-control.

  2. May 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    We here at Orphans are a prime case of people unhappy about the demise of freedom and all the nasties going on. However, as you say, that was one day when for us [who cares what it was for the Welfs] the ordinary people wanted something, something deep within spilled over and we actually … shudder … enjoyed ourselves and thought the couple sweet.

    Just for one day, as Sackerson said, there was some joy and hope. Tomorrow we can get back to the task in hand.

  3. May 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    We here at Orphans are a prime case of people unhappy about the demise of freedom and all the nasties going on. However, as you say, that was one day when for us [who cares what it was for the Welfs] the ordinary people wanted something, something deep within spilled over and we actually … shudder … enjoyed ourselves and thought the couple sweet.

    Just for one day, as Sackerson said, there was some joy and hope. Tomorrow we can get back to the task in hand.

  4. May 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    It was a good dry run of Police power for the Olympics next year

    • May 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      Good point!

  5. May 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Sloppy. Very sloppy.

    • May 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      Well, care to say why?

      • May 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm

        OK, since you ask.

        I hold that liberty has a higher purpose and is an awful lot messier than simply making the world safe, fluffy and Disneyfied for readers of the Daily Mail.

        It is double minded to claim decency when dissenters are rounded up and locked away, although it is easier to rationalise when they are demonised as loons or closet Marxists.

        Shaming language is a classic Marxist tactic by the way.

        😉

        • May 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm

          That’s better!

          These dissenters haven’t been ’rounded up and locked away’. If they had, I might agree that it was an outrage.

          And sometimes, shaming language is appropriate. Even – maybe especially – for those who can’t seem to feel any shame..

          • May 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm

            100 people were indeed rounded up and incarcerated. Almost all were released while the reception shifted into second gear.

            We will learn more about the “charges” in the days to come.

            Time to get outraged Julia.

            CR.

  6. May 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Well, it beats me.

    For 364 days we are allowed to rail against an unjust system but for the sake of “a lovely day out for the slaves” we have to STFU?

    It makes no sense.

    Parliament is illegitimate, the monarchy is unlawful, but we should park this so we can look at pretty frocks and marching bands?

    As QM says, this sets a dangerous precedent for the future, and when people you know get rounded up in a pre-crime orgy, and you are looking to blame someone, look in the mirror.

    Lest you think I am some kind of monster, I am not. I wish the newly weds all the luck in the world and I hope their union is long and happy.

    But, FFS, let’s not ignore the fact that Madge has no right to the throne. She is a citizen now. It’s a cold hard truth we should not be masking.

    Not even for one minute, let alone a whole day.

    CR.

    • May 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm

      There were other issues going on, apart from the politics, Cap’n.

      • William
        May 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm

        You tease. Are you actually a politician or a journalist as they always make such vague statements, just joking James!

        But really what were the ‘other issues’?
        The guys arrested on Youtube were trying to get themselves arrested IMHO an opinion I came to after watching a couple of videos posted online.
        Remember the Algerian cleaners arrested because they joked about killing the pope or some such (memory dims) and they ‘knew the route’ the Pope was taking?

        When a world is deliberately kept in paranoia because paranoid people don’t argue and always pay their taxes (to keep themselves safe) it is inevitable that you get paranoid actions and reactions like the two illustrated above.

        • May 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm

          Those Algerian cleaners weren’t known troublemakers. Doesn’t that make a difference?

  7. May 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    There were other issues going on, apart from the politics, Cap’n.

  8. what?
    May 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Yes – yes it is too much to expect.A protest today or tomorrow will be absolutely pointless.You know full well nobody will give a flying fuck – the attitude will be ‘pfft-bit late you fucking looney – the wedding was last week lol’
    your trite & smug post here is not worthy of a blog like this.
    You’ve trivialised everything libertarians stand for into ‘making a fool out of yourself.’
    As far as I can see,William (and the ginger spare) is a war criminal.He has actively taken part in an illegal war of aggression,no doubt handled or launched depleted uranium shells,proud to have been involved in the wholesale murder of innocent civilians.
    His mother was starting to have an adverse effect on the munitions market.Depleted Uranium was relatively unreported back in the early 90s.If she wanted to stop the use of a weapon which crippled innocent civilians long after the war was over,DU would have been next on her agenda.This shit unravels your DNA.What do you think Diana would have had to say about Fallujah?She was shagging an egyptian.Given her role in the attempted banning of landmines,do you think she would have been happy to see her children join the army?Happy to see the ginger spare in a nazi costume calling his squadmate ‘paki’?
    Your attitude to protesters being rounded up and censored for the crime of thinking about spoiling your solipsist fun has no place in a libertarian society.Its not one day only.Your attitude is widespread.People don’t want to think.People don’t want to see the truth about their fucked up society.
    Please Orphans..no more shit posts like this one.The round-ups made the royal wedding a hideous propaganda exercise.

    • May 1, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      .Please Orphans..no more shit posts like this one.

      That’s the thing with this freedom of speech malarky – sometimes people say things you don’t like. 😈

      • May 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm

        True diversity! 😛

        • May 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm

          Indeed. That was always the ethos behind this place.

    • May 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

      “What do you think Diana would have had to say about Fallujah?”

      I’m musing on what she might have had to say about us extending our putative ‘No Fly Zone’ to the point where we attempt the assassination of a foreign national head of state…

  9. May 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Have to say, I’m with in the freedom of speech is absolute camp. If these people travelled to the event and tried to disrupt it, fair enough. A pre-emptive strike is just too pre-crime for words. A disturbing precedent and one that we can probably see used in the future.

    It would have been perfectly possible to police the event and allow people to make fools of themselves.
    ———————
    Update I’ve penned a post with a more detailed response to this one. Be up an a day or so.

    • May 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

      Look forward to it! 😎

  10. bnzss
    May 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Always good to get a boot in to the noisy lefties who chose *one day* to exercise their right to free speech? Bastards, the lot of them…

    No, sorry, but I can’t go along with this. The state has no business interfering in freedom of thought, speech and association, *no matter what bloody day it is*. As soon as you start adding exceptions, you’re on a slippery slope.

    • May 1, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      We’ve already given the state limited powers to interfere in freedom of thought, speech and association…

      • bnzss
        May 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm

        The royal ‘we’, I presume 😛

        Besides, even if that were true, I’d appreciate it if people would stop encouraging them.

  11. Sean O'Hare
    May 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    ..so I’ll just sit quietly at home and read a book on Marx

    Bye Bye Miss American Pie!

  12. May 2, 2011 at 8:23 am

    “Your attitude to protesters being rounded up and censored for the crime of thinking about spoiling your solipsist fun has no place in a libertarian society.”

    “Well, what?, I’m glad to see that, (just like round about everyone else in politics), at least some of the libertarians are happy to draw the line beyond which free thought must not go and which attitudes in particular will have no place when The Glorious Day comes.

    Phew! For a minute there I was afraid that there were going to be no limits to what an individual person might think or what values she might pursue in a libertarian society.”

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