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 Offsite Article: Policing criticism of Islam: the new Star Chamber...

Link Here 20th January
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Spiked logo Newspapers are being forced to recant their questioning of Islam. By Tom Slater

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 Update: Portsmouth Council Recommends...

K Cider and its 500ml can, council whinges are dismissed by the drinks censor

Link Here 15th January  full story: UK Drinks Censor...Portman Group play PC censor for drinks

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k cider canK Cider 500ml Can Complaint

A complaint about the packaging of K Cider promoting immoderate drinking and urging the consumer to drink rapidly or down the product in one, has not been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel of the Portman Group.

The complainant, Portsmouth City Council, believed that the combination of the strength of the product plus the fact the product is served in a 500ml non-resealable can encouraged consumers to drink immoderately. The council commented on the promotional material:

As once opened [the product] must be consumed or rapidly lose quality of taste etc. This encourages people to drink the entire can in one serving... thus breaching the Portman Group Code under paragraphs 3.2(f) and 3.2 (g).

The product was brought to the attention of the Panel prior to the consultation on the Chief Medical Officers' (CMOs') 2016 Low Risk Drinking Guidelines, and was put on hold until the Guidelines Review had concluded. The Panel noted that the current CMOs' guidelines did not contain a daily or single occasion drinking guideline, and the Panel could not infer from the evidence presented to the CMOs by the Guidelines Development Group that 4.2 units on a single occasion was an immoderate (whether because of increased risk to health or safety or otherwise) level of drinking. The Panel therefore concluded that there was insufficient evidence to find a breach of Code paragraph 3.2(f).

The Panel could not see anything on the packaging that would encourage a consumer to drink rapidly or to down a product in one. Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code paragraph 3.2(g).

Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, Kay Perry said:

Alcohol producers must be mindful not to encourage immoderate or irresponsible drinking when designing the packaging of their products. If they are in any doubt, the Portman Group Advisory Service is free and confidential, and responds to all enquiries within two working days.


  Government Opportunities...

Minister calls meeting of newspaper representatives to discuss censorship and 'fake' news

Link Here 14th January

matt hancockMinisters have summoned media bosses for censorship talks about 'accuracy' in journalism amid growing concern over the rise of 'fake' news. Matt Hancock, the minister of state for digital and culture policy, has asked UK newspaper industry representatives to join round-table discussions about the issue.

The UK government's decision to hold talks on the issue follows Hancock's statement to the House of Commons last November that ministers were considering the implications of the dissemination of fake news on social media sites .

The News Media Association took the opportunity to plug its own brand of 'quality journalism', such as that from the Daily Mail. Lynne Anderson, the News Media Association's deputy chief executive said:

There is now an urgent need to look at the value chain of digital news, and the industry is ready to play a full part in working towards finding a solution which sees the content creators fairly rewarded for their investment in news production. The recent debate around fake news has again highlighted the vital importance of the quality journalism produced by news media publishers which underpins democracy by holding power to account.


 Commented: Short sighted...

Oxford physicist abuses hate crime legislation in an attempt to censor government politician speaking about rules for foreign labour

Link Here 14th January
joshua silver In 2016, Professor Joshua Silver complained to West Midlands Police that British Home Secretary Amber Rudd had committed a hate crime while giving a political speech at the Conservative Party conference.

During an interview with Andrew Neil on BBC2's Daily Politics, Prof Silver said:

I didn't actually see the speech but I've read the draft. And I've looked at all the feedback that there was to the speech. I've read the speech carefully and I've looked at all the feedback. It's discriminating against foreigners, you pick on them and say we want to give jobs to British people and not to foreigners. It was interpreted that way..

During the subsequent discussion on the programme, former Conservative Party leader Michael Howard responded by stating:

Of course it wasn't a hate incident... What Amber Rudd said was no different from Gordon Brown when he said there should be British jobs for British workers. I think Mr Silver should be thoroughly ashamed of himself because what he's doing is to bring a well-intentioned piece of legislation into disrepute.

The BBC subsequently reported that West Midlands Police had not formally investigated the speech, but had recorded it as a non-crime hate incident in accordance with national police guidelines

Offsite Comment: Hate crime reporting risks becoming a tool for censorship

14th January 2017 See leader from

Telegraph logoMr Silver's complaint is vexatious. It reveals the tyranny of elite liberal thinking which labels anything that contradicts political correctness as wicked and wrong -- perhaps actionable. Of course actual hate speech is thoroughly iniquitous. But there is a difference between saying something bigoted with the intention of causing distress, and voicing an entirely legitimate opinion.

The police are not investigating Ms Rudd, but this incident will be recorded in the hate crime figures. Hopefully Ms Rudd will now see the error of her department's approach towards hate . If a crime has been reported, it should be investigated. If something is not a crime then why is data on it being gathered? Hate crime rules risk -- as Mr Silver showed us -- becoming a tool for censorship, a way of threatening people with the law simply for their opinions. That cannot be tolerated.

Offsite Comment: We're all haters now

14th January 2017 See article from by Tom Slater

Spiked logoIf a middle-of-the-road speech now counts as a hate incident , we're all screwed.

Amber Rudd's notorious party conference speech 203 in which she floated the idea of employers reporting on the number of foreign and British-born people they employ 203 has been recorded by the police as a hate incident , a new lesser category of hate crime that Rudd herself helped to introduce in July last year. In her desperation to prove she was taking post-Brexit hate crime seriously, she has effectively criminalised herself.


 Offsite Article: J'etais Charlie...

Link Here 7th January
Telegraph logo Two years after Je Suis Charlie, our willingness to defend freedom of expression has been crushed again. By Jacob Furedi

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 Offsite Article: Disgracing Britain...

Link Here 4th January  full story: UK News Censor...UK proposes state controlled news censor
Telegraph logo If another country had a press law like Section 40, Britain would condemn it for persecuting journalists. By Rachael Jolley

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