The assault on free speech in our time

Today I learned that a 65-year old Suffolk woman is to be dragged through the courts for “racially aggravated harassment”.  Her real crime?  To place a golliwog in her window.  She was denounced to the police by a coloured neighbour who has a grudge against her.

Mark Steyn, himself a victim of these thought-crime laws, has written a long but excellent overview of what is going on.  For this is not a trend peculiar to England, but universal throughout the west.  In Gagging us softly he writes:

In this anniversary week, it’s sobering to reflect that one of the more perverse consequences of 9/11 has been a remorseless assault on free speech throughout the west. I regret to say that, in my new book, I predict this trend will only accelerate in the years ahead. …

… the Canadian establishment seems to think it entirely natural that the Canadian state should be in the business of lifetime publication bans, just as the Dutch establishment thinks it entirely natural that the Dutch state should put elected leaders of parliamentary opposition parties on trial for their political platforms, and the French establishment thinks it appropriate for the French state to put novelists on trial for sentiments expressed by fictional characters. Across almost all the Western world apart from America, the state grows ever more comfortable with micro-regulating public discourse—and, in fact, not-so-public discourse: Lars Hedegaard, head of the Danish Free Press Society, has been tried, been acquitted, had his acquittal overruled, and been convicted of “racism” for some remarks about Islam’s treatment of women made (so he thought) in private but taped and released to the world. The Rev. Stephen Boissoin was convicted of the heinous crime of writing a homophobic letter to his local newspaper and was sentenced by Lori Andreachuk, the aggressive social engineer who serves as Alberta’s “human rights” commissar, to a lifetime prohibition on uttering anything “disparaging” about homosexuality ever again in sermons, in newspapers, on radio—or in private e-mails. Note that legal concept: not “illegal” or “hateful,” but merely “disparaging.” Dale McAlpine, a practicing (wait for it) Christian, was handing out leaflets in the English town of Workington and chit-chatting with shoppers when he was arrested on a “public order” charge by Constable Adams, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community-outreach officer. Mr. McAlpine had been overheard by the officer to observe that homosexuality is a sin. “I’m gay,” said Constable Adams. Well, it’s still a sin, said Mr. McAlpine. So Constable Adams arrested him for causing distress to Con­stable Adams.

In fairness, I should add that Mr. McAlpine was also arrested for causing distress to members of the public more generally, and not just to the aggrieved gay copper. No member of the public actually complained, but, as Constable Adams pointed out, Mr. McAlpine was talking “in a loud voice” that might theoretically have been “overheard by others.” And we can’t have that, can we? So he was fingerprinted, DNA-sampled, and tossed in the cells for seven hours.

When you accept that the state has the right to criminalize Holocaust denial, you are conceding an awful lot. I don’t just mean on the specific point: The Weimar Republic was a veritable proto-Trudeaupia of “hate speech” laws. In the 15 years before the Nazis came to power, there were over 200 prosecutions for “anti-Semitic speech” in Germany—and a fat lot of good it did. But more important than the practical uselessness of such laws is the assumption you’re making: You’re accepting that the state, in ruling one opinion out of bounds, will be content to stop there.

As is now clear, it isn’t. Restrictions on freedom of speech undermine the foundations of justice, including the bedrock principle: equality before the law. When it comes to free expression, Britain, Canada, Australia, and Europe are ever less lands of laws and instead lands of men—and women, straights and gays, Muslims and infidels—whose rights before the law vary according to which combination of these various identity groups they belong to.

If a Muslim says that Islam is opposed to homosexuality, Scotland Yard will investigate him for homophobia; but if a gay says that Islam is opposed to homosexuality, Scotland Yard will investigate him for Islamophobia.

Two men say exactly the same thing and they’re investigated for different hate crimes. On the other hand, they could have sung “Kung Fu Fighting” back and forth to each other all day long and it wouldn’t have been a crime unless a couple of Chinese passersby walked in the room.

I don’t even dare comment on some of the arrests of bloggers in the UK recently, I should add. 

Read the whole thing


How giving a beating has replaced discussion online

The internet has always been a rough place.  People feel anonymous, and feel able to behave in ways that they would not dream of doing offline.  Because it’s “only words”, people used to think that it didn’t matter.  Accidental rudeness is easy online, where there is no body language.  But as long as the internet has existed, the practice of “trolling” has left behind some very upset and hurt people. 

There has always been malice online; but more commonly those online were generally from the same background, generally with a certain degree of civilised upbringing.  The really nasty, cold, deliberate, calculated attacks, designed and intended to cause pain to the victim, were a rarity.  

In recent years this has changed.  Group lynchings online have become far more common, as access to the web has extended enormously, and the age of some of those contributing has dropped.  Those desperately sad cases of teenagers driven to suicide online in Facebook should tell us that something horrible is happening.  It happens when the pleasure of online interaction is deliberately twisted, like a knife, so that logging on becomes a worry, not a pleasure.  I have seen this kind of murderous attack in Wikipedia myself, and it doubtless goes on far more than I know about.

I have seen, over the last year or two, increasing evidence that this technique is being deployed intentionally.  I have started to think of it under a specific name: giving someone an internet beating. 

We need to wake up, and realise that we’re not in Kansas any more.  The technique is used because it works.  The object is to give so much pain to the victim that he or she stops using the web, leaves the forum, dares never speak about the subject again.  It’s organised, premeditated, and not different in intent, nor in any important respect from getting a gang of people together with sticks for the same purpose.  The main difference is that the victim can’t call the police.

Today I read on the eChurch blog of an internet beating is being handed out to Stacy, a young Catholic mother, who complained that she couldn’t even go to the park with her toddlers without being confronted by a pair of gays who had decided that a public park in front of the children was the place to fondle each other.   As she rightly observed, such conduct was a public statement, and a provocative, spiteful one.  It was made in the knowledge that a lot of people there would object, and was designed to insult, to swagger, to say “we can do this and you can’t do a thing about it”.   She naturally did not want such displays in a public park — paid for by us all — in front of her toddlers.  And who would?

What happened next was sickening.   She was handed a cyber-beating.  The comments on the post promptly filled up with vitriolic hate and abuse, intermixed with the usual poisonous types who aid and comfort these cyber-thugs by blaming the victim for “provoking” the assault, expressed in fake-polite terms but with exactly the same agenda.  Any attempt at rational discussion was drowned.  Apparently she even received death threats.  When this was reported, the beaters promptly blamed her for this too.  Bullying always blames the victim, so this was classic.

eChurch blog adds:

I knew nothing of this post until I noted comments arriving on one of Stacy’s posts that I’d linked to, entitled: Self-Injury and the Sacraments.

I was truly bewildered as to the ferocity, quantity and nature of the comments on the self-injury post, until one commenter pointed me to Stacy’s original post, in which she’d closed comments.

Well, talk about quantity and ferocity of comments, I’d seen nothing until Stacy posted her recent blog, a few hours ago, entitled: You duped me, O LORD.

There are currently a whopping 328 comments!

It transpires that news has spread onto a prominent atheist forum and the hoards had simply hopped across to vent their spleen.

Lisa Graas has now jumped into the fray and blogged in defense of Stacy.

Good for Lisa.  If you saw someone being given a beating, and you had the power to come to their aid, wouldn’t you do so?  It could be you being beaten and stabbed.  It has been me, recently, and nothing depressed me more than the refusal of others to help. 

Stacy had a perfect right to object to public homosexual behaviour — I share her sentiments completely, as does most of the population of this world.  If gays object to being hated, don’t be hateful, don’t parade your vice in front of people you know might well object.   Do to others as you would like them to do to you.  It’s really that simple.

Is it accidental that it is atheists and gays doing this?  I fear it is not.  Since these creeps apparently want to stifle criticism, let us tell it like it is.

It is entirely in keeping with my experience of atheists online that they should be active in this vile pursuit.  A rational person would ask just why disbelief in God involved endorsement of a hideous vice.  Logically there is no connection, of course.  Except that, in reality, their atheism is merely hatred of Christians, and the atheist will endorse whatever the Christians are opposed to; indeed will try to force, by violence, the Christian to endure.  There have been and are decent atheists.  There are a great number who are murderous vermin.

Nor is it a marvel that this is a “gay rights” issue.  From this pressure group I have come to expect no less than the most atrocious bigotry.  This, if you remember, is a practice that was detestable to almost everyone, that was legalised under the pretence that “what two people do in private is their own business”.    The determination by this lobby to silence any criticism, any discussion other than warmest approval, has brought to Britain the first arrests of clergy on religious grounds since the corrupt and brutal persecutions of the Restoration period. 

Everyone opposed to such violence — call it what it is — should support Stacy.  We must not let her fight our battle unaided.  And we should support her without resorting to weasel words like “I don’t agree with what she says but she should have the right to say it.”  To say this is to compromise with the intimidators, to tell them you’re afraid that they will attack you too.  Let’s not.  Let’s give these thugs the finger, and endorse heartily someone who had the courage to stand up for what they believe in.

I shall, of course, be moderating comments on this post.  

UPDATE: The first four hate comments duly arrived overnight!


Christians in Britain may have rights after all, announce thought police

Curious Presbyterian has some interesting news for us, which might otherwise go unnoticed. 

He reports — from the Daily Mail, for the BBC has ignored it — that the Orwellian-sounding “Equalities and Human Rights Commission” has executed something of a U-turn — or at least a zigzag — on the question of whether “human rights” legislation might actually protect Christians. 

Non-UK readers may not know of this body.  It is an official body which was created by the previous Labour government by merging all sorts of bodies charged with ensuring that special interest groups got special legal protection.  Legislation was passed making it an offence for people to express certain views — it hardly matters what –, and to ensure that those holding those views were punished more severely by the courts than those not doing so.

All this was very bad, and a clear violation of the principle of equality before the law.  It seems as if the EHRC was created to advance the dogma of one side of the political spectrum by intimidating speech by the other.  Anything of the kind is objectionable. 

But the legislation went further, and encouraged pressure groups to recruit informers to act as agents provocateurs.  Notoriously the body started funding legal attacks on Christians, mostly isolated and poor, by well-organised and well-connected gay groups. 

Nor was this accidental.  The legislation was intended to go further still, but did not pass before the election.  It was part of a climate of opinion, deliberately created by certain members of the last government.  In a country where no-one can afford to go to law, a government minister was heard to boast that the churches would have to hire lawyers.  The harassment was intended, therefore, rather than an accidental effect.  The name of the body was, no doubt, a conscious nod to the Canadian “Human Rights Commissions”, of evil reputation.

Here’s what the Mail said:

In a major U-turn, the Equality and Human Rights Commission declared that judges should not have backed employers who pursued Christians for wearing crosses or for refusing to give sex therapy to gay couples.

. . . Just seven months ago it had championed the cause of civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy in their successful bid to sue Christian hoteliers who had refused them a double room.

He includes the following acute comment by Nick Donnelly:

It’s under a month since Trevor Philips, head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), claimed that so-called ‘Christian activists’ were exaggerating claims of persecution in the UK.  So how to make sense of this unexpected U-turn?

I suspect a number of developments have forced the EHRC’s hand – the decision of the EU Human Rights Court that there was merit in Christian’s claims of religious discrimination; the recent revelations of meetings between government ministers and Church of England bishops to discuss new laws to protect religious freedoms and the government’s general suspicion of the EHRC.

This analysis is undoubtedly correct.  A new government, looking for cost savings, will certainly look hard at a body set up by its political opponents to harry those who would, in general, be supporters of the new  government.  And so they should. 

After the election, the EHRC lay low, waiting to see what would happen.  But on June 20th, less than a month ago, as I reported, the EHRC was gearing up for the fight once more.  Its chairman made clear that the Christians were for the lion.  He could hardly keep his contempt out of his voice.  It was like listening to a KGB minister for religious cults; and uncannily reminiscent of Orwell’s “Ministry of Love”.

Thankfully Teresa May, the new Home Secretary, has clearly decided that these people need sorting out. 

England needs no thought police, Mrs May.  We don’t want inquisitors on the rates.  May I encourage you, then, to FIRE THEM ALL.


More thought police in Britain

Another day, another sinister story.  It seems that mainstream conservative British magazine “The Spectator” is being ‘investigated’ — harassed, rather — by the police for a blog post.

The threat to British liberty.

It’s a funny old world. I have now been contacted by two journalists informing me that Bedfordshire Police are investigating The Spectator. Why? Because of the Melanie Philips blog where she referred to the “moral depravity” of “the Arabs” who killed the Fogel family in Israel. CoffeeHousers can judge for themselves if they agree or disagree with her language and views – but should this be illegal?

The Guardian has written this story up, claiming The Spectator is being investigated by the Press Complaints Commission. This is untrue. The PCC tell me that a complaint has been lodged, but that’s as far as it has gone.

And guess who informed against them?

1) Inayat Bunglawala, chair of Muslims4UK, gets angry about what he reads on Melanie’s blog.
2) Complains to the PCC.
3) Complains to the police.
4) Phones up The Guardian and says “The PCC are investigating The Spectator!! Story!! Police too!!
5) The Guardian duly writes it all up, on its website.
6) The Independent follows up The Guardian.

I don’t blame the police.  The police have no choice but to “investigate” a complaint from a Moslem, or a gay, or a Jew, or some other legally privileged group.  They’d be terrified not to.  Failing to follow up on “hate crime” (such a loaded phrase, redolent of the Stasi) would be grounds for career termination.  Blame Tony Blair and those who passed these laws.  Blame, above all, those in power who profit from them.  These laws are the creation of the political left.

Until the political left  feel threatened by the process they have created, they will continue to create and strengthen such laws.  For this is about power, and it all — at the moment — gives power to the dirtiest elements of the political left, and gives them the power to silence those they dislike. 

(Thanks to Curious Presbyterian for this one)


Cracking down on crime online — or on freedom?

I apologise for all the free speech items today!  It’s not what I want to blog about. 

However today seems to be a write-off, as far as other subjects are concerned.  So let me finish the series of free speech-related  posts with another news item. 

This evening I learn that five people have been arrested by police in the Midlands for taking part in the “Anonymous” group of online hackers, who have been performing DDOS revenge attacks on sites like Paypal which removed support for Wikileaks.  Quite properly so, of course — they were engaged in online crime.  The story is here, and in many other places.  But it is the Financial Times which grasps the real implications and reports it properly.

Global police moves against ‘hacktivists’

An online “hacktivist” group that brought down the websites of perceived opponents of Wikileaks  has itself become the target of an international police crackdown.

The London Metropolitan Police arrested five men in connection with a recent spate of attacks by Anonymous, behind last month’s revenge assault on the websites of a number of organisations that had severed links with WikiLeaks.

In the US, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it executed “more than 40” search warrants on Thursday to gather evidence likely to lead to arrests.

The FBI said it was working on the case along with the UK, “authorities in the Netherlands, Germany and France”.  …

Now I have little sympathy for Assange, nor his supporters.  What Assange was doing was espionage, and he knew it.  DDOS attacks on Paypal were criminal, and those doing them knew it. 

But as I predicted on Dec. 4, the Wikileaks attack on the US is bad for free speech.  The collateral damage from this affair is that all of us are getting a little bit less free.  I am sorry to find myself proven right.

For some things areintolerable to any government, however supportive of free speech it might ordinarily be.  It doesn’t matter what sort of politician you are, you don’t want this sort of thing to happen.  You will make sure it does not happen.  And if taking control of the internet is what it requires, you will take control of the internet.  And in a situation like this, who will oppose you?  No responsible politician opposes matters of national security.  And people have died, remember, because of all this. 

As I wrote then, what Assange did was give politicians a cast iron excuse to take control of the web, and to create the mechanisms to locate and arrest people for online activity.  “Anonymous”, with its evidently criminal activity, simply helped reinforce the perception that politicians had to act. 

Today we see global police forces, coordinating to track down people for what they are doing online.  That never happened before.  It could not have happened before.  It’s probably taken a couple of months of international negotiations.  But who, with all these DDOS attacks going on, could oppose the request?

Does it make anyone reading this feel good, to learn that the police are now geared up internationally to arrest people on the web?  It makes me feel sick. 

Because once these mechanisms for control exist, they will get used for other things.  After 9/11, legislation was passed to make it possible to lock up terror suspects, and rightly so.  But those laws have almost entirely been used for other purposes, as a quick way to arrest and deport people who are in no sense terror suspects.  So it will be here.  We’re watching those mechanisms being created, this very evening.

Giving money and power to the government is like giving money and cars to teenage boys, as P.J.O’Rourke once wrote.  It isn’t going to be good.  Bye-bye online freedom. 

It means that the freedom we have all enjoyed online is diminished sensibly.  It was never possible to track us down, and never worth the trouble, or the cost to invest in infrastructure.  But Mr Assange has given western governments just the incentive they needed to make every form of online tracking legal and technically possible.  And it’s happening right now.


More gay interference with free speech in Britain

I hardly thought, when I wrote one of my rare political posts a couple of hours ago, on the attacks on Christians by gay groups, that I would feel obliged to write another this evening.  But so I must.  For another attempt at politically-motivated censorship has been put into effect this evening.

From the BBC I learn that two men have been charged with the crime of inciting ‘homophobia’ (the latter term invented by gay pressure groups).  Reading between the lines, as one has to do in unfree nations with media censorship, their offence was to express an opinion that homosexuality in wrong in leaflets handed out outside a mosque.  Unusually the men are Moslems.

The law, passed only in March 2010, is an evil piece of work.  Even those determined to do wrong are ashamed to say honestly what they intend, and so the act is weasel-worded.  The charge is “inciting hatred” — because who could be in favour of “hate”? — but of course the real offence, the real action criminalised, is to express opposition to homosexuality.  That makes the issue one of censorship.  For there is no suggesting that they were “inciting violence“; they were merely leafleting in favour of an opinion.

The BBC report is here:

It is the first such prosecution since laws outlawing homophobia came into force in March 2010.

Razwan Javed, 30, and Kabir Ahmed, 27, will appear before magistrates on Friday.

The charges relate to a leaflet, The Death Penalty?, which was distributed outside the Jamia Mosque in Derby in July last year.

The leaflets were also posted through letterboxes in the city.

Mr Javed and Mr Ahmed have both been charged with distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Note how full of weasel-words the charge is.   I wish I had a copy of the leaflet.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Sue Hemming said: “This is the first ever prosecution for this offence and it is the result of close working between the Crown Prosecution Service and Derbyshire Police.

“Following complaints from the public, Derbyshire Police mounted a thorough investigation.

“We have carefully reviewed the evidence provided by the police and are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge these men.”

It sounds to me rather like a show-trial, designed to create law and intimidate others. 

The language used suggests to me that the police and CPS think that this is dubiously legal, and that the act of Parliament is unconstitutional and probably contrary to European “Human Rights” law.  For Moslems, notoriously, themselves have all sorts of rights denied to the rest of us.  It would be interested to learn who precisely authorised this action, who was asked, who decided, and so forth.  But, in Britain today, it is useless to ask such questions. 

I wonder how many Moslems at that mosque come from oppressive regimes where you aren’t allowed to express an opinion?  They must feel right at home.

Some readers may not be familiar with the concept of “lawfare”, the acquiring of power by means of abuse of the legal system, backed by corrupt laws designed to facilitate such abuse.  It has been documented by Ezra Levant, himself a victim.  If you are not, please familiarise yourself with it.   It is, sadly, a common tactic in our day.  Both this and the action against the Christians seem to be examples.

Now begins an interesting discussion.  In politically correct poker, being Moslem gives you points; but so does being gay.  The long-mooted question of which gives you more points will now be decided.

It will also be interesting to see if Moslem groups decide to override this nasty process by an appeal to arms. 


Why the Wikileaks attack on the US is bad news for free speech

Wikileaks was once a reputable website which published things that the powerful and corrupt — especially third-world states and nastier corporations — would rather we did not see.  At that time I believe it was run by a group of people, some of them Chinese dissidents.  I don’t know who this Julian Assange might be, but I believe he took over the site some time ago.

The first warning that something was wrong was when Wikileaks published the membership list of the British National Party.  This small political party is the UK party opposed to immigration.  It has been targeted for violence, much of it evidently with the concurrence of the establishment and the police, and is currently being forced out of existence by an abuse of the legal process.  Far from being powerful, its members have to take their lives and livelihoods in their hands in order to belong.  And Wikileaks denounced them, Vichy-style, to the powerful, the police, and the media.  It matters nothing here what the BNP is; but to betray the abused to the abuser, to hand over those afraid to speak to those who would punish them for so doing, this was a betrayal of the whole purpose of the site, which was to deal with attempts to suppress free speech by the powerful. 

Now we have the current scandal.  I have not been able to understand how any of us benefit by the betrayal of Afghans who have assisted our forces to the Taliban.  Making it difficult for the US to conduct diplomacy, forcing it to use force rather than talking … who benefits?  Only those corrupt and hateful regimes which hate us all too.

But Assange has done the world a far greater injury, one that will last far longer than this five days sensation.   For he has found a way to force the liberal democracies to create the means to control what appears on the internet.  He has made it a matter of national security, he has made it essential for governments to have to power to take down websites on little or no notice, and for them to have the power to bring to justice those who post on them.  The Chinese will love it!  So will the big corporations, who whisper in the ears of legislators.

Yesterday I read that domain name hosting companies were refusing to point to the Wikileaks IP address.  Today I read that Paypal has withdrawn it’s support for donations to Wikileaks.  Well and good… except that here is another precedent.  For who believes that any of this did not happen with state pressure?

No-one, in London or Washington, however inclined to freedom of speech, will be able to deny any demands that national security requires this site to be silenced, whatever it takes.  It won’t be politically possible.  And once the deed has happened, what then? 

What happens then, is that the security services on both sides of the Atlantic have a brand-new method of censorship.  And it will be used.  It will be developed.  Policies will be created.  Laws will be passed.  A whole apparatus of control will come into existence.  How can it not, unless the US is run by people heedless of their own convenience? 

Generations to come will not remember the name of Julian Assange.  But he has done more than anyone to make the internet a place where the free speech that we have all relied on will become a memory, and to create corporate control of the internet. 

It is, indeed, a  bitter Christmas present for the world. 


UK internet to be controlled by police

A curious story here at political blogger Guido Fawkes.  He says that Nominet, the controller of the .uk domain, has decided to take down any site, if the police make a request for it to be taken down.   Apparently they will do so without any requirement for a court order.

The impetus behind this is to deal with sites run by organised crime.  But the implications are wider, and Guido is right to be alarmed.

The British press is subject to the D-notice system.  This is a group of senior security figures, who advise the press when to suppress some story prejudicial to national security.  It is a civilised system, and certainly every nation needs to ensure that the media do not give aid and comfort to enemies in time of war. 

The recent actions of Wikileaks highlight why such a system is needed.  Nothing is gained by betraying the secret communications of your diplomats to your enemies.

But surely we don’t want the police deciding who may and may not run a website?


What they will not allow you to see online

Jona Lendering writes about censorship in the Netherlands.

The Dutch Royal Library is currently making available online all newspapers from the Second World War, which includes Nazi propaganda. Now the Dutch department of Justice has advised the library not to make digital versions of these publications, because it is possible that the Public Prosecutor might accuse the Royal Library of distributing publications that incite hatred.

Jona rightly excoriates this nonsense.   What need to  fear “Nazis” if you adopt Nazi policies, supposedly to prevent them?  

UPDATE: All of which nonsense led me to muse on black shirts and the like, and thence to P. G. Wodehouse, “The code of the Woosters”, p.54 of the Vintage paperback (1990) where Gussie Fink-Nottle explains to Bertie Wooster about a fellow guest at the house party.

‘Don’t you ever read the papers?  Roderick Spode is the founder and head of the Saviours of Britain, a Fascist organisation better known as the Black Shorts.  His general idea, if he doesn’t get knocked on the head with a bottle in one of the frequent brawls in which he and his followers indulge, is to make  himself a Dictator.’

‘Well I’m blowed!’

I was astounded at my keenness of perception.  The moment I had set eyes on Spode, if you remember, I had said to myself, ‘What ho! A Dictator!’ and a Dictator he had proved to be.  I couldn’t have made a better shot, if I had been one of those detectives who see a chap walking along the street and deduce that he is a retired manufacturer of poppet valves named Robinson with rheumatism in one arm, living at Clapham.

‘Well I’m dashed!  I thought he was something of that sort.  That chin … Those eyes … And, for the matter of that, that moustache.  By the way, when you say “shorts” you mean “shirts”, of course.’

‘No.  By the time Spode formed his association there were no shirts left.  He and his adherents wear black shorts.’

‘Footer bags, you mean?’


‘How perfectly foul.’


‘Bare knees?’

‘Bare knees.’




Religious persecution in Britain today

I happened to see this item, which succintly highlights why Christians in the UK are in trouble.  The writer omits to mention the attempt by the last government to make any statement about homosexuality other than warmest approval liable to prosecution.  Attempts to introduce a free speech clause were repeatedly voted down.  A government minister gloated that the churches had better start hiring lawyers — in a country where no-one other than the privileged can afford to go to law.