Last week I told you how, when I was in the United Kingdom reporting on a trial involving Tommy Robinson, the judge in that case stopped the hearing, and demanded to see the journalism licences from the reporters in the room.
(And by the way, that same judge wouldn’t let in the public — even though there were 23 empty chairs in the court — saying she didn’t want the room to be “overfull.”)
And the worst part of this was that the journalists in the room who did in fact have licences — that’s not something we have in Canada or the United States, of course — held them up so proudly, as proof that they were part of the fancy class.
I also told you about how that judge specifically lectured me, that if I didn’t stop tweeting my opinions about the trial — even from outside the courthouse — I could be held in contempt of court. I asked her if there was a tweet in particular that bothered her, and I swear to God, she said the one where I'd joked about how I’d be thrown in a dungeon for tweeting!
But I’ve got another story for you from the UK.
And to my Canadian and American friends who might be sick of hearing about the UK, or about Tommy Robinson, my point is this:
How far away do you think this is from coming to this side of the Atlantic?
Tonight, I'll show you a cell phone video, taken by someone who was mouthing off a bit about Brexit, that if — after over two years of delays and other attempts to undermine the will of the voters — if the government refuses to go through with Brexit on the March 29 deadline, there ought to be an uprising.
I think he’s right of course.
But the police just showed up to his house. I'll also show you a two-minute tape of their interaction, as captured on the bloke’s cell phone.
Now, if someone calls for violence in a credible, imminent way — if someone is saying, "I want someone to attack an MP" — it’s fair for police to stop by, and if circumstances warrant it, arrest him and charge him.
But here, the police say several times that his comments on social media did not rise to that level; that what he said was not illegal.
They also claimed they weren’t there to debate him. Then why were they there?
It’s obvious. To scare him. To let him know he’s being spied on. To take his courage away; to put in the back of his mind that he might be arrested next time.
There is an epidemic of real crime in the UK by the way — knife attacks, acid attacks, rape gangs that entrap and exploit British girls as young as eleven. And of course there are the 23,000 Muslim jihadis the government is trying to track. As in: potential terrorists.
But they send two cops around to talk to a guy about his mean Brexit tweets.
Oh, but that’s not all.
TONIGHT I'll show you a report by the popular Good Morning Britain show, hosted by Piers Morgan:
A journalist has been accused of a hate crime, after she misgendered a trans person on Twitter. Hate crimes have a maximum two-year prison sentence.
(By the way, there are 900 “hate speech” police in the London police force alone...)
Here's the woman who is being investigated:
Had a message from Guildford police tonight about my tweets following an appearance on @GMB with Susie Green and Piers Morgan. Susie Green has reported me for misgendering her daughter.— Caroline Farrow (@CF_Farrow) March 18, 2019
I have pointed out to the police that I am a Catholic journalist/commentator and it is my religious belief that a person cannot change sex. That we are in the middle of a national conversation about what it means to be male and what it means to be female.— Caroline Farrow (@CF_Farrow) March 18, 2019
Nonetheless following my appearance on National Television the CPS have decided I need to be interviewed under caution for misgendering Susie Green’s child.— Caroline Farrow (@CF_Farrow) March 18, 2019
I don’t even remember said tweets! I probably said “he” or “son” or something. 🤷🏼♀️— Caroline Farrow (@CF_Farrow) March 18, 2019
Oh and if I don’t go for an interview about some tweets that allegedly misgendered, I will apparently be arrested. Which is nice. 👍🏻— Caroline Farrow (@CF_Farrow) March 18, 2019
I don't know about you, but it me, all this sounds like Canada, about ten minutes from now, doesn’t it?
However, I always enjoy talking to veteran Edmonton Journal columnist Lorne Gunter for his insights into Alberta politics; he joins me tonight!
FINALLY: Your messages to me!