Announcement

Collapse

Civics 101 Guidelines

Want to argue about politics? Healthcare reform? Taxes? Governments? You've come to the right place!

Try to keep it civil though. The rules still apply here.
See more
See less

He is your "liege lord" and any public dissent can lead to your arrest

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • He is your "liege lord" and any public dissent can lead to your arrest

    The article in yesterday's Guardian newspaper by Zoe Williams ends with her commenting that, as figureheads go, she is reasonably happy with Charles, but what she discusses is quite interesting in the way those with Republican sentiments are being silenced. This curbing of publicly expressing a different point of view and the right to free speech reflects a dangerous risk for civil liberties in the UK.

    N.B. I have edited the opening sentence as it contains an offensive [to some] word!

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...tting-arrested

    A woman in Edinburgh was arrested at the weekend for holding a sign that said: “*** imperialism, abolish monarchy.” In Oxford, an even milder protest resulted in the arrest of Symon Hill. He emerged from church as the proclamation for King Charles III was being read, and called out: “Who elected him?” There is a question mark over how disruptive that was, in the great scheme of things, but it was enough for the police to arrest and handcuff him, later to de-arrest him on the understanding that he would be questioned in the future. Hill says that, at the time, they told him they were acting under the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act (2022), though they later described it as a potential public order offence.

    I know all this only because I follow Hill on Twitter, but is it wise to admit that? Who knows how far the powers of the new act extend? The police sure as hell don’t seem to.

    I will truncate the obligatory sentiments (it is sad when anyone dies; respect must be paid to such a peerless sense of duty), on the understanding that you know all that because you are not a robot. For now, let us just pause to consider British republicanism, which used to be a perfectly acceptable position, quite within the range of polite debate, and definitely not something you could be arrested for.

    This is going back a while, to before the death of Diana, which was arguably the trigger for our modern royalist absolutism. It is all a bit of a paradox. That tragedy at the time looked as though it might start a wider conversation: what do we expect of this family? Do we want them to emote or be stoical, open or reserved, human or superhuman – and is it reasonable to ask for all those things at once? In the end, the opposite happened: all conversation was steadily closed down, to bring us to now when, if you voice anything but blank-faced adoration, you could get a brick through your window.

    Before all that, there were distinct strains of republicanism. There was a mild, wonky, Lib Dem-ish faction who liked all the royals personally, but felt that if we were ever going to get the constitutional reform we so richly deserved, we couldn’t very well leave the pinnacle undisturbed. It was as a Lib Dem (later president of her university Lib Dem group) in 1994 that Liz Truss said: “That people, because of the family they’re born into, should be able to be the head of state of our country? I think that’s disgraceful.” She was clearly playing to the crowd, but she had actually, and not uncharacteristically, got the wrong crowd. She was voicing centre-left anti-royalism, which disapproved of the institution because it wasn’t democratic or meritocratic. These kind of republicans talked a lot about how on earth Prince Charles got into Cambridge with two A-levels.

    The left-left republicanism was different, and centred on the inequality that was not just iterated but celebrated by the royal spectacle. What kind of a country could watch someone on a golden throne, wearing 20m quid on their head alone, and think that was a good thing? There was a nascent, allied de-colonialist case: how can we atone for our imperial past while its beneficiaries-in-chief are still so visibly benefiting? Nobody really listened to them, though.

    Finally, the intellectuals – not necessarily left, centre or right, just aesthetic – who thought the royals made us look a bit silly. Pomp without ballast, ceremony without meaning: would it not be better if we all grew up a bit? That royalism is a bit childish is possibly now the most unsayable thing. I can’t emphasise enough how respectable that position once was. I had a question about it in my general studies A-level: “The existence of a monarch infantilises the people. Discuss.”

    Personally, I’m pretty happy about King Charles, even if I have yet to say those words out loud without adding “spaniel”. He is a committed environmentalist at a point when the government is full of climate change deniers. Sure, I would rather not be relying on a figurehead as change-maker, but I’d take him over any other.

    "It ain't necessarily so
    The things that you're liable
    To read in the Bible
    It ain't necessarily so
    ."

    Sportin' Life
    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

  • #2
    This morning I watched a recorded tweet from LBC (a talk radio show in the UK), with the presenter Andrew Marr speaking to someone who was removed for a blank sign:

    https://twitter.com/LBC/status/15694...dmrDjycFvEC_cA

    I'm not sure how to imbed twitter videos, if I work it out I'll amend my post.

    But yeah, republican sentiment is essentially being quashed at the moment.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
      The article in yesterday's Guardian newspaper by Zoe Williams ends with her commenting that, as figureheads go, she is reasonably happy with Charles, but what she discusses is quite interesting in the way those with Republican sentiments are being silenced. This curbing of publicly expressing a different point of view and the right to free speech reflects a dangerous risk for civil liberties in the UK.

      N.B. I have edited the opening sentence as it contains an offensive [to some] word!

      https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...tting-arrested

      A woman in Edinburgh was arrested at the weekend for holding a sign that said: “*** imperialism, abolish monarchy.” In Oxford, an even milder protest resulted in the arrest of Symon Hill. He emerged from church as the proclamation for King Charles III was being read, and called out: “Who elected him?” There is a question mark over how disruptive that was, in the great scheme of things, but it was enough for the police to arrest and handcuff him, later to de-arrest him on the understanding that he would be questioned in the future. Hill says that, at the time, they told him they were acting under the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act (2022), though they later described it as a potential public order offence.

      I know all this only because I follow Hill on Twitter, but is it wise to admit that? Who knows how far the powers of the new act extend? The police sure as hell don’t seem to.

      I will truncate the obligatory sentiments (it is sad when anyone dies; respect must be paid to such a peerless sense of duty), on the understanding that you know all that because you are not a robot. For now, let us just pause to consider British republicanism, which used to be a perfectly acceptable position, quite within the range of polite debate, and definitely not something you could be arrested for.

      This is going back a while, to before the death of Diana, which was arguably the trigger for our modern royalist absolutism. It is all a bit of a paradox. That tragedy at the time looked as though it might start a wider conversation: what do we expect of this family? Do we want them to emote or be stoical, open or reserved, human or superhuman – and is it reasonable to ask for all those things at once? In the end, the opposite happened: all conversation was steadily closed down, to bring us to now when, if you voice anything but blank-faced adoration, you could get a brick through your window.

      Before all that, there were distinct strains of republicanism. There was a mild, wonky, Lib Dem-ish faction who liked all the royals personally, but felt that if we were ever going to get the constitutional reform we so richly deserved, we couldn’t very well leave the pinnacle undisturbed. It was as a Lib Dem (later president of her university Lib Dem group) in 1994 that Liz Truss said: “That people, because of the family they’re born into, should be able to be the head of state of our country? I think that’s disgraceful.” She was clearly playing to the crowd, but she had actually, and not uncharacteristically, got the wrong crowd. She was voicing centre-left anti-royalism, which disapproved of the institution because it wasn’t democratic or meritocratic. These kind of republicans talked a lot about how on earth Prince Charles got into Cambridge with two A-levels.

      The left-left republicanism was different, and centred on the inequality that was not just iterated but celebrated by the royal spectacle. What kind of a country could watch someone on a golden throne, wearing 20m quid on their head alone, and think that was a good thing? There was a nascent, allied de-colonialist case: how can we atone for our imperial past while its beneficiaries-in-chief are still so visibly benefiting? Nobody really listened to them, though.

      Finally, the intellectuals – not necessarily left, centre or right, just aesthetic – who thought the royals made us look a bit silly. Pomp without ballast, ceremony without meaning: would it not be better if we all grew up a bit? That royalism is a bit childish is possibly now the most unsayable thing. I can’t emphasise enough how respectable that position once was. I had a question about it in my general studies A-level: “The existence of a monarch infantilises the people. Discuss.”

      Personally, I’m pretty happy about King Charles, even if I have yet to say those words out loud without adding “spaniel”. He is a committed environmentalist at a point when the government is full of climate change deniers. Sure, I would rather not be relying on a figurehead as change-maker, but I’d take him over any other.
      Free speech is increasingly becoming a quaint anachronism so it should hardly come to anyone's surprise when it gets suppressed now.

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by EvoUK View Post
        This morning I watched a recorded tweet from LBC (a talk radio show in the UK), with the presenter Andrew Marr speaking to someone who was removed for a blank sign:

        https://twitter.com/LBC/status/15694...dmrDjycFvEC_cA

        I'm not sure how to imbed twitter videos, if I work it out I'll amend my post.

        But yeah, republican sentiment is essentially being quashed at the moment.
        What interesting points made by Mr Powlesland. Theoretically, it should be the job of the police to prevent monarchists from becoming violent not to prevent him [or anyone else] from expressing their opinion. That seems to have been tossed aside in the current atmosphere by over-zealous police officers.

        Another [tangential] episode with over-zealous policing was reported here https://eastangliabylines.co.uk/what...sitive-result/ concerning the unlawful arrest of a young protester at the hustings for Truss and Sunak near Norwich earlier last week. Again I have blanked out a word that might cause offence.

        Ciurlik-Rittenbaum was driven to Aylsham police station, where she reports indecision on the part of the police. “What do we do now?” one officer asked his colleagues. “After detaining her we can’t just let her go.” She was told she had been arrested but not detained, on the suspicion of potentially causing a breach of the peace.

        According to Ciurlik-Rittenbaum: “They threatened that if I didn’t give my full name and address, that was a criminal offence and they would hold me overnight. I later found out from Netpol (The Network for Police Monitoring) that this is b******t it’s not a criminal offence.

        “When I asked to use my phone call for advice, the custody desk sergeant told me I had not been detained, so my rights in that respect had not kicked in. When I called Green and Black Cross (an organisation helping with legal matters arising from protests) once I’d been released and told them about that, they said you can’t be arrested and not detained.”


        In that episode a Tory party member allegedly waved a finger in the face of Sophie Ciurlik-Rittenbaum, shouting: “You didn’t have a vote!”. If that did indeed occur, it was the duty of the police to intervene against that Tory party member. Not arrest the protestor who, while she did verbally react, had not started the incident.





        "It ain't necessarily so
        The things that you're liable
        To read in the Bible
        It ain't necessarily so
        ."

        Sportin' Life
        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

        Comment


        • #5
          The British Public Order act seems to become a fascist catch-all law that they use to quash any speech they don't like. It is the law they use to arrest Christians for preaching against homosexuality from the bible in public, calling it "hate speech"

          So I suppose "Not My King" and such protests are "hate speech" against the monarchy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sparko View Post
            The British Public Order act seems to become a fascist catch-all law that they use to quash any speech they don't like. It is the law they use to arrest Christians for preaching against homosexuality from the bible in public, calling it "hate speech"

            So I suppose "Not My King" and such protests are "hate speech" against the monarchy.
            Not hate speech but apparently the potential to cause public disorder. I wonder if Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park has been closed down for the duration?
            "It ain't necessarily so
            The things that you're liable
            To read in the Bible
            It ain't necessarily so
            ."

            Sportin' Life
            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
              The British Public Order act seems to become a fascist catch-all law that they use to quash any speech they don't like. It is the law they use to arrest Christians for preaching against homosexuality from the bible in public, calling it "hate speech"

              So I suppose "Not My King" and such protests are "hate speech" against the monarchy.
              In the US, we take a different approach. Instead of arresting people for speech, we leave it to the mob to take actions to punish them in a way that prevents any real appeal, due process, or justice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                In the US, we take a different approach. Instead of arresting people for speech, we leave it to the mob to take actions to punish them in a way that prevents any real appeal, due process, or justice.
                Like the monarchist who attacked a foreign visitor when he dared to pick up a sacred teddy bear that had been left as a votive offering to St Diana of Versace?
                "It ain't necessarily so
                The things that you're liable
                To read in the Bible
                It ain't necessarily so
                ."

                Sportin' Life
                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                  In the US, we take a different approach. Instead of arresting people for speech, we leave it to the mob to take actions to punish them in a way that prevents any real appeal, due process, or justice.
                  We also have the Patriot Act, which allows the government to shut down protestors, label people terrorists, etc. Stupidest thing republicans ever passed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sounds just like Trudeau.


                    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And here is an article by Symon Hill [mentioned in the OP] recounting how he got arrested.

                      https://bright-green.org/2022/09/11/...-king-charles/

                      I had not planned to protest today. To be honest, I’m tired and lacking in energy after not being well lately. And I am not some sort of heroic campaigner who rushes round resisting without rest. I am a lot less energetic and dedicated than some people seem to imagine!

                      I knew that Charles Windsor would be declared “King Charles III” in official ceremonies around the UK today. I had assumed they would be fairly small-scale. Yesterday, a good friend discouraged me from protesting because she was concerned about my health. I reluctantly agreed that she had a point.

                      It was only when I went to church this morning that I learnt that there was not only a proclamation in Oxford but a procession that would start just outside our church. I was feeling sad and angry as I left church and walked past the cordoned off streets and saw the dignitaries and military leaders standing on the steps of Carfax Tower in clothing more suited to the sixteenth century. This, apparently, is how we proclaim a new head of state in twenty-first century Britain.

                      After making slow progress along the pavement, I asked the police how I could get across to the other side as the road was closed off. When I expressed a mild criticism of the royal procession during my question about the road closures, they became defensive and refused to talk with me further. Someone who had heard me came over and challenged my views, but the police told us not to talk to each other. I have no idea on what basis the police stop people with different views having a discussion.

                      I paused briefly to look at a couple of things on my phone, before realising they were about to read out the proclamation. I had previously doubted whether I wanted to stay and hear it, but I was there now. I remained quiet in the first part of the proclamation, concerning the death of Elizabeth. Any death is sad and I would not object to people mourning.

                      It was only when they declared Charles to be “King Charles III” that I called out “Who elected him?” I doubt most of the people in the crowd even heard me. Two or three people near me told me to shut up. I didn’t insult them or attack them personally, but responded by saying that a head of state was being imposed on us without our consent.

                      A security guard appeared, stood right in front of me and told me to be quiet. Two more security guards came along and they tried to push me backwards. As I asked them to give the legal basis for what they were doing, the police came over, more or less moved the security guards out of the way and took hold of me. I was outraged that they were leading me away, but was taken aback when they told me they were arresting me. I have no illusions about the police’s questionable relationship with the law, but I seemed to have been arrested for nothing more than expressing an opinion in public. They gave me confused answers when I asked on what grounds I had been arrested.

                      As the police led me away, I heard people asking them why I was being arrested. Eventually I realised that two men were walking along beside them demanding answers about it. I heard one of them say, “I don’t agree with him but surely he’s got a right to his views? Isn’t this a free country?” (or similar words). These two people – not activists, not anti-monarchy – were giving a fine example of excellent citizenship by speaking up when they saw the police abusing their powers. I have no idea who they were, but their actions really cheered me.

                      Eventually I was handcuffed – I don’t know what sort of threat they thought I posed – and put in the back of a police van. A police officer got in the van and took my details. After lots of conversations on his radio he said I would be de-arrested but that they would want to interview me. I said I would do so only with a lawyer present. After some more radio conversations he told me I would be de-arrested and then contacted to be interviewed at a later date, and possibly charged.

                      I was then driven home in the police van. At this point, I had still not been given a clear answer as to why I had been arrested.

                      At first I was told that the sergeant who had arrested me would know the reason. This was an appalling answer. Eventually, on the way home, I was told that I had been arrested under the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Act 2022 (the outrageous act passed earlier this year) for actions likely to lead to “harassment or distress”.

                      I would be surprised if anyone among the few people who had heard me felt harassed or distressed by encountering an opinion that they may have disagreed with.

                      It took me a while – and a cup of tea, and conversations with people I live with – before I posted on Twitter about what had happened. Most responses were sympathetic and outraged. Some of the more hostile ones accused me of doing all this for the sake of self-promotion. This is impossible: the actions I had taken were unlikely to lead to my arrest and I was very surprised to be arrested.

                      While I am determined to speak out about this unjust arrest, and about the unfairness of monarchy, I would much rather be doing other things today. I would rather not have spent much of the afternoon trying to calm down and stop shaking as I answered media calls, supportive messages and abusive tweets. I would rather not spend tomorrow morning phoning a lawyer. I would much rather get on with all the things I needed to do anyway. This did not happen because of some cunning plan on my part, but because the police abused their powers to arrest someone who voiced some mild opposition to a head of state being appointed undemocratically.

                      What other freedoms can be suppressed in the name of monarchy? Who else will be arrested under the vile Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Act? I am relatively lucky: I will not be sacked from my job as a result of being arrested, or experience some of the consequences that others may face. If fear of arrest deters people from expressing their views, then these vile laws and draconian atmosphere will have significantly reduced free expression and harmed democracy, whether or not people are charged.

                      This isn’t about me. It’s about our freedom to choose our own system of government, to elect our own leaders and to express our own views. I’m not asking you to support me. I’m asking you to support democracy.

                      "It ain't necessarily so
                      The things that you're liable
                      To read in the Bible
                      It ain't necessarily so
                      ."

                      Sportin' Life
                      Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                      Comment

                      Related Threads

                      Collapse

                      Topics Statistics Last Post
                      Started by seer, Today, 07:04 PM
                      4 responses
                      16 views
                      0 likes
                      Last Post seanD
                      by seanD
                       
                      Started by CivilDiscourse, Today, 12:11 PM
                      3 responses
                      29 views
                      0 likes
                      Last Post Cow Poke  
                      Started by rogue06, Today, 08:07 AM
                      3 responses
                      25 views
                      0 likes
                      Last Post Sparko
                      by Sparko
                       
                      Started by Gondwanaland, Yesterday, 07:38 PM
                      23 responses
                      106 views
                      0 likes
                      Last Post mossrose  
                      Started by rogue06, Yesterday, 10:36 AM
                      21 responses
                      89 views
                      0 likes
                      Last Post rogue06
                      by rogue06
                       
                      Working...
                      X