Woman found guilty of 'insulting' Cameron

(52 Posts)
NicholasTeakozy Mon 18-Mar-13 20:11:26

Guardian link. Apparently holding up a placard stating that Cameron has blood on his hands is insulting. Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Or does it only work one way?

Darkesteyes Mon 18-Mar-13 20:41:33

Lovely to see the free speech that this country fought so hard for in the past in action <sarcasm>

VerySmallSqueak Mon 18-Mar-13 20:56:08

Protest has been increasingly criminalised since the 80's.
This has been a successful direct action in that the heavy handed treatment of this woman has resulted in her cause being publicised.
I am a lot more angry at the rough treatment she claims to have received than the inevitable over- reaction of the 'justice' system.

Hmm so now the bastard is going after our freedom of speech, it is starting to look reminicent of a fucking dictatorship.

scaevola Mon 18-Mar-13 21:06:29

I think her scaling of a security barrier was part of the offence for which she was convicted.

VerySmallSqueak Mon 18-Mar-13 21:21:08

I agree scaevola that it reads to me that her behaviour (in scaling the security barrier) would also be part of the reason for her arrest.
It doesn't excuse the (alleged) rough treatment that she received,though.

edam Mon 18-Mar-13 21:55:39

Arrest is very different to charge and conviction, though. Maybe the police were justified in arresting her, I don't know, but for a judge to make such a meal of it is ridiculous. As if politicians are such fey, delicate creatures they can't cope with an actual voter criticising them! Good grief.

crazynanna Mon 18-Mar-13 22:06:36

<hides "Cameron you're shite" placard in shed>

VerySmallSqueak Mon 18-Mar-13 22:15:51

Don't hide it crazynanna.
I'll make a matching one.

lottieandmia Mon 18-Mar-13 22:17:23

Theresa May is trying to scrap the human rights act.

Tau Tue 19-Mar-13 07:04:47

Frightening and dangerous. Stupid stupid judge. He should be fired.
I grew up in a country where you had to watch your words, even in school, shops, on the market - never say anything that might offend the commander and his allies, or you risked your dad getting captured/questioned/beaten, or even shot. I can still feel the permanent anxiety, the fear of letting the wrong words slip out in front of the wrong people.
I wonder if that is what the judge wants for the U.K.? Is that how he wants U.K.'s children to grow up?

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Mar-13 08:01:53

Hang on a minute. Cameron is in Witney, standing on a stage with a Santa Claus, there's a children's choir singing and he's about to switch on the christmas lights. Suddenly somebody tries to scale a security barrier, shouting, and lunge at him waving a placard? That's not a legitimate political protest, that's a visible attack which the security services were right to halt.

What did she expect was going to happen when she made a physical advance on the PM? Did she think his security detail were just going to stand there? How are they supposed to tell the difference between a screaming jihadist with a rucksack bomb and a deluded unemployable socialist?

at the Telegraph story. Their photo is a shot from a moment before the unemployable socialist (sorry, Oxford graduate and poet) tried to attack him. It's rather different to the situation implied by the Guardian's photo. The Guardian's photo gives totally the wrong impression of her 'protest'.

And the hypocrisy of the Guardian running this story the way they have while backing press censorship and supporting Private Law for the super-rich (Hacked Off and Leveson) would be breathtaking, if my breath hadn't already been tooked often enough by their hypocrisy.

Shinyshoes1 Tue 19-Mar-13 08:04:13

I thought this thread was about our Custy lol

VerySmallSqueak Tue 19-Mar-13 09:15:07

flatpackhamster.

There is a poem which starts 'First they came for the Jews' - perhaps you should look it up.

We (even deluded unemployable socialists) need to be able to protest in this country.

Otherwise maybe no one will be able to speak out for you should you ever need it.

greencolorpack Tue 19-Mar-13 09:20:50

Verysmallsqueak, it is a poem by Paster Niemoller. Should make it easier to look up.

flatpackhamster, the Telegraph link doesn't work.

ohthedandy Tue 19-Mar-13 09:49:28

No, the Telegraph link doesn't work, but even by The Guardian's report, I don't think this was the time and place for the woman's protest.

I thought the charge was very odd - I'm sure politicians have heard much worse - I'd have thought disorderly conduct would have been the charge. Police response (by the woman's account) very heavy handed.

The photo accompanying The Guardian's report is somewhat disingenious........

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Mar-13 10:05:35

VerySmallSqueak

There is a poem which starts 'First they came for the Jews' - perhaps you should look it up.

I've seen it referenced twice today. Once by you, when you try to draw an equivalence between a totalitarian regime killing people and a dullard Oxford graduate being a dick at a Christmas party. And once by someone who claimed that we should all support the teachers in their demands for more money and bigger pensions, even though the teachers didn't support us when we had our salaries cut and our pensions destroyed.

Solidarity works both ways.

We (even deluded unemployable socialists) need to be able to protest in this country.

You can, and people manage it every day. There is a world of difference between someone protesting, and someone making an aggressive move against the head of state at a christmas event. This woman did the latter and she was grabbed by the rozzers for it. If they hadn't grabbed her, they weren't doing their jobs.

She wasn't punished for insulting Cameron, as the delusional headline claims. She was punished for disorderly behaviour, not insulting behaviour. Here's a quote from the judge:

District Judge Tim Pattinson said: “It is difficult to think of a clearer example of disorderly behaviour than to climb or attempt to climb a barrier at a highly security-sensitive public occasion.”

Otherwise maybe no one will be able to speak out for you should you ever need it.

Where's the solidarity been, Comrade, over the last 10 years? Why have you been so quiet, Comrade, as the Labour party criminalised dissent? As it quietly stripped our liberties, where were you? But now it's Teh Evil Torays in power, and we all know how bad they are, so the braying trots, who were so quiet under Labour, all line up to decry the loss of freedoms.

flatpackhamster, the Telegraph link doesn't work.

Fixed link

weegiemum Tue 19-Mar-13 10:14:55

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

By Pastor Martin Niemoller of the German Confessing Church (where Dietrich Bonhoeffer also served.

ohthedandy Tue 19-Mar-13 10:30:25

Thinking about it, the charge - of "using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress" - doesn't that mean causing harassment, alarm or distress to anybody there, not specifically Cameron? If so, it probably did.

Nancy66 Tue 19-Mar-13 10:46:48

God, I hate it when people constantly quote that poem. It's as naff and twee as that 'dance like nobody's watching ' shit...another MN favourite.

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Mar-13 11:47:38

ohthedandy

Thinking about it, the charge - of "using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress" - doesn't that mean causing harassment, alarm or distress to anybody there, not specifically Cameron? If so, it probably did.

The offence does cover everyone there, not specifcally Cameron.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 19-Mar-13 14:20:47

So,been at work,but to address your post that left me wondering why you are so angry....

The poem is and will always be relevant as far as I am concerned.My opinion- to which I have the right.
The situation that I am trying to point out is that so many actions can now be categorised under a heading in the Public Order Act (1986,I believe) should they wish to employ it.
It is my belief that the wording can be readily interpreted to provide a catch all.
It makes it easier to arrest people who are peacefully protesting.I am not saying that protestors should be immune to arrest regardless of their actions- I am saying that it has become harder to protest without exposing yourself to the possibility of arrest.
There are times when the law is broken in the full knowledge that arrest (even imprisonment) will be the consequence.This still would require the use of minimum force (if any at all) in the course of that arrest.
I am unsure whether it is I to whom you were referring as Comrade?
My point of view is nothing to do with political party.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 19-Mar-13 17:30:45

And listen to what Tau is saying...

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Mar-13 18:30:50

VerySmallSqueak

So,been at work,but to address your post that left me wondering why you are so angry....

Because on the very day that Parliament is voting to give itself control over the press, we get this non-story. And the Guardian - which has been instrumental in this scandalous abuse of the Free Press, merely in order to smash the Mail and Murdoch - has the gall, the temerity, to try to turn it in to a big deal. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

The poem is and will always be relevant as far as I am concerned.My opinion- to which I have the right.

As Wesley Snipes said so eloquently in Demolition Man - "You can't take away people's right to be assholes." Wouldn't dream of depriving you of it.

The situation that I am trying to point out is that so many actions can now be categorised under a heading in the Public Order Act (1986,I believe) should they wish to employ it.
It is my belief that the wording can be readily interpreted to provide a catch all.

It makes it easier to arrest people who are peacefully protesting.I am not saying that protestors should be immune to arrest regardless of their actions- I am saying that it has become harder to protest without exposing yourself to the possibility of arrest.

This wasn't a peaceful protest.

PromQueenWithin Tue 19-Mar-13 18:40:45

Torygraph says "She was shortlisted for a literay [sic] award in June." somewhat ironic really.

infamouspoo Tue 19-Mar-13 18:48:27

best call him a cockwomble now then. while we still can wink

VerySmallSqueak Tue 19-Mar-13 20:04:11

flat I have missed the bit where it was said that she used violence.

Can you point that out to me,please.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 19-Mar-13 20:13:09

Oh,and quoting pure Hollywood is kind of lost on me...

VerySmallSqueak Tue 19-Mar-13 22:47:56

I am still wondering who this 'Comrade' is.

flatpackhamster Wed 20-Mar-13 15:23:47

VerySmallSqueak

^flat I have missed the bit where it was said that she used violence.

Can you point that out to me,please.^

I think one of the problems we're having here is your limited understanding of English. There is a space between 'peaceful' and 'violent' which we could call 'aggressive'. It would not be unreasonable to describe a protestor who crashed in to a Christmas party clambering over a security barrier and shouting at Cameron as 'aggressive'.

Oh,and quoting pure Hollywood is kind of lost on me...

I'm sure that the message won't be though.

I am still wondering who this 'Comrade' is.

It's a reference to your rather vile politics, and the vile politics of the Guardian, which supports the stifling of views even while it pretends to defend free speech. Free speech is only free if you're criticising a Tory, according to the Guardian.

PromQueenWithin Wed 20-Mar-13 15:28:37

Crikey Flat, any particular reason to be so rude?

flatpackhamster Wed 20-Mar-13 15:30:53

Yes, PromQueen. I'm being just as rude as VerySmallSqueak. It's just that she's being sarcastic, and I'm being blunt.

TwistTee Wed 20-Mar-13 16:37:27

And I am standing behind you cheering Flat

PromQueenWithin Wed 20-Mar-13 17:01:37

See, to me, Squeak is just a random Internet person and also I know language and tone is slippery at the best of times, particularly when the written word on screen is all one has. But whilst I can see that ideologically you clearly disagree violently, your tone Flat drips with vitriol and venom, whereas Squeak appears, to me at least, to be simply putting forward his or her opinions.

PromQueenWithin Wed 20-Mar-13 17:02:21

Anyway, I suspect that's a derail. Please continue, as you wish...

duchesse Wed 20-Mar-13 17:19:12

Jeez, what kind of a tinpot dictatorship are we living in for the PM to see some random lady in a demo saying something about him and to have her arrested? I can actually imagine that conversation with his aides- "I want that woman's head on a block!". Isn't it what Mugabe does?

Poor political decision, poor judgment, sign of weakness. Are you going to arrest everyone in the country who's mean to you, Shiney Dave? You should probably think about increasing the capacity of the jails somewhat then... to about 30-40 million.

VerySmallSqueak Wed 20-Mar-13 17:36:55

flatpack trust me,I can be rude. In this instance I am choosing to conduct myself with a little more self discipline than that.
If this has merely become an exercise in name calling,I have better uses for my time.

Thank you PromQueen

insancerre Wed 20-Mar-13 17:44:00

Cameron/ Mugabe
I knew DC reminded me of someone

VerySmallSqueak Wed 20-Mar-13 18:33:19

Right,back to the point.
She did not,by the information I have read in both reports, use any violence.
I am unsurprised she was arrested, however.

Imo non violent direct action is a legitimate form of protest.

ohthedandy Wed 20-Mar-13 18:36:03

Duchesse - it wasn't a demo, it was a Christmas lights turn-on.

Many years ago, I went to demos fully expecting a bit of 'language', 'behaviour' and that things could possibly kick off. In later years, taking dd to Christmas lights events in my local town, I expected some 'ooos and aaahhs' and dd to be massively excited about seeing Father Christmas.

I think the judge was blinkered to relate the thing only to Cameron - as said above I think the 'harassment, alarm and distress' (for which she was charged, not being insulting to Cameron) related to anybody there, and there may well have been people there who did feel like that.

I don't in any way see this as the start of some slippery slope - I've no time for Cameron but for me, this particular incident is all about time and place.

duchesse Wed 20-Mar-13 18:42:59

You'd think DC would be used to people shouting rude stuff at him by now.

Moominsarehippos Wed 20-Mar-13 18:44:17

Good God. If everyone who insulted Cameron was charged, there's be no empty cells!

TwistTee Wed 20-Mar-13 18:53:51

Wow insancerre, I'm not sure Zimbabweans who have suffered under Mugabe and his regime will appreciate the comparison. Somewhat belittles their struggle.

TwistTee Wed 20-Mar-13 18:59:25

Last time I checked, I lived in a democracy and David Cameron wasn't capable of sentencing people to jail, like him or not. But let's all ignore the facts and just have a good old DC bashing. Much more fun.

VerySmallSqueak Wed 20-Mar-13 19:17:59

There was no real need to arrest and charge her.
There was certainly no need to hurt her (as she claims happened).

But I am not in the least bit surprised.

ttosca Wed 20-Mar-13 19:25:24

> Judge Pattinson praised Tichborne's previous good character but said her comments that Cameron "had blood on his hands" could "hardly be more insulting to anyone, whether a politician or not".

It's all a bit of a joke - as is the law of 'causing alarm or distress to anyone'.

Imagine Tony Blair, who ordered the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, giving a speech and someone yelling 'You have blood on your hands', and then being arrested and charged with a public disorder offence.

So: Tony Blair, responsible for an illegal and immoral war which killed hundreds of thousands of - mostly civilian - Iraqis is never charged with any crime, whilst a peace protester yelling her displeasure at Blair for killing people is charged, arrested, and fined.

This is the reality of the legal system which is designed to protect the rich and powerful and keep the public in their place.

ohthedandy Wed 20-Mar-13 19:28:13

She wasn't convicted of insulting Cameron. The judge mentioned that (which is why the woman wants to appeal as she believes the conviction was politically motivated), but we don't have the whole of his judgement statement.

She was convicted of using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

"The court hearing was told that a children's choir standing at the side of the stage, waiting to perform, were terrified and that their shocked teacher heard Tichborne swear before trying to climb over the waist-high barrier.

A police officer told the court that Tichborne's demeanour was "angry, fixated, aggressive and very focused on her intentions"."

So never mind about anybody else there then - you know - just expecting a pleasant family evening.

I've no argument with people being able to protest and insult Cameron all they like. On a demo. Or a rally. Or a protest march. (At any of which it is almost inconceivable any action would be taken about insults to politicians) (unless they were racist or inciting violence or........). Time and place ...............

VerySmallSqueak Wed 20-Mar-13 20:05:58

Obviously the prosecution would make the most of the children's terror and the teachers shock though,and I would expect the police officer to use such words as it wouldn't serve the case otherwise.

VerySmallSqueak Wed 20-Mar-13 20:07:10

Sorry - meant to put terror and shock in inverted commas....

VerySmallSqueak Wed 20-Mar-13 20:51:32

Sometimes marching up a road waving a banner isn't enough because no one's listening.
Sometimes it needs taking to them and pointing out more clearly in a non violent way.

ttosca Wed 20-Mar-13 21:23:35

ohthedandy-

The problem is that the notion of causing 'harassment, alarm or distress' is too broad.

You say that you wouldn't care if this took place in a different context, say, on a protest march, a rally, or demo, but bare in mind that:

a) Sometimes politicians need to be shamed publicly, and are rarely to be seen at demos.

b) There is a long history of heckling and shaming politicians, as there should be, and as right.

c) The law, as currently defined, would mean that Cameron (or anyone) could claim that merely heckling "You've got blood on your hands" caused them alarm or distress. This has obvious ramifications for free speech.

I think the right to heckle politicians and speak out at perceived injustice is a more important right than to not be offended by a speaker in public.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 21-Mar-13 09:07:04

Absolutely, ttosca.
Whether or not the woman attempted to scale the security barrier,she was liable to arrest simply by calling out 'blood on your hands'.
The catch all nature of this piece of law,can,imo,be used to silence legitimate protest.

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