“Britain is a liberal and progressive utopia – and the authorities will arrest anyone who disagrees.”
So writes Melanie Phillips in a “thought crime special” edition of the Spectator magazine, published this weekend.
Concerns about the policing of opinion are shared in the magazine by the homosexual journalist, Matthew Parris, and the Sikh comedian, Hardeep Singh Kohli.
Melanie Phillips, who describes herself as an ‘observant agnostic’, writes that “the intellectual trend in Britain is a remorseless slide towards a dark age of intolerance, reverting to a reason suppressing, heresy-hunting culture in which certain opinions are being turned into thought crimes.
“Astoundingly, people are being arrested by the police – even if the case against them eventually falls – because of what they have said. They are not inciting violence or any criminal activity. They are merely expressing a point of view. Yet for that they may find the police feeling their collars.”
She refers to the case of Dale Mcalpine, a Christian street preacher who was arrested, held in police cells and charged with a crime because he believes that homosexual conduct is a “sin”. The costs of his legal defence was financed by The Christian Institute.
Dramatic video footage shows the moment he was arrested, captured on a hidden camera. It shows police ignoring his calm pleas for officers to consider his free speech rights.
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Labels: freedom of speech