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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?

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.

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


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 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.

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

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

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.

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 ...............

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

Cameron/ Mugabe
I knew DC reminded me of someone

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

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

And I am standing behind you cheering Flat

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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


^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.

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

I am still wondering who this 'Comrade' is.

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

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

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