Could Charlie Hebdo have been published in the UK?

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  • Could Charlie Hebdo have been published in the UK?
  • jota180
    Member

    Interesting piece on the radio this afternoon re this

    Spiked magazine ran the article that spawned the piece
    Well, could it have made it here or are we all far too PC now?

    http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/what-if-icharlie-hebdo-i-had-been-published-in-britain/16443#.VLaYK0T46SN

    bennyboy1
    Member

    UK law would possibly make the publication of today’s edition illegal here.

    The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 inserted Section 4A into the Public Order Act 1986. That part prohibits anyone from causing alarm or distress. Section 4A states:

    (1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he— (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.

    In my legal experience section (b) might do it.

    jambalaya
    Member

    Yes. Its being sold here so it could have been published here. They even showed it on the BBC last night.

    Rockplough
    Member

    The above acts further amended by the Racial and religious hatred act 2006 which states:

    “Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system.”

    I would have thought it would hinge on the questions of 1. Intent and 2. Whether any party was by the legal definition harassed, alarmed, or distressed. Merely ‘offended’ or ‘insulted’ doesn’t qualify.

    jota180
    Member

    Yes. Its being sold here so it could have been published here. They even showed it on the BBC last night.

    But could it survive?
    Is the Spiked scenario a realistic one?

    globalti
    Member

    I don’t know how French law stands on this but having spent a good few years in France I’m not surprised at the strength of the reaction and the support for Charlie; the French have a strong streak of independence and anarchy in their characters, which is why they are always arguing. I’m afraid we British are too staid and too passive; our nearest equivalent is Private Eye, which is civilised and gentlemanly.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    I posted the following in a separate thread before I saw this one and I what I am asking pretty much ties in so her goes:


    So, a number of satirical cartoonists are brutally murdered. These cartoonists are known to have drawn provocative satirical cartoons that some people find offensive.

    People are quite rightly outraged that this attack took place and have stated the long held French tradition of freedom of speech and the right to offend.

    A French comic is then arrested for writing what could be argued is a satirical comment on Facebook for inciting terrorism (his words translated read I’m finally going home,” he wrote. “Know that this evening, as far as I’m concerned, I’m feeling like Charlie Coulibaly”)

    Highly offensive yes but I can’t help feeling that this is just the latest case of Western democracies picking and choosing when to defend free speech and when to supress it.

    A guy threatens to blow up Robin Hood airport and is jailed. The celebratory Twitterati are up in arms saying this was clearly a joke and criminalising people for using Twitter in this manner is an affront to free speech.

    A few months later people are using Twitter to post offensive comments about Liz Kendall and Caroline Criado-Perez for campaigning to get a woman to feature on the new £10 note and the same celebratory Twitterati are up in arms about trolling, bullying and the wrongs of being offensive.

    As another example I am sure the Jewish lobby would go apeshit if similarly satirical cartoons were published criticising the State of Israel and Judaism – oh wait they did when the Guardian publish the cartoon of Mr Netanyahu. And they got an apology for any offense caused.

    So, can I be offensive or not or does it depend on who is making the rules and who is being offensive / offended.

    It seems to me that it is thre intent bit that is ambiguous as only the person making the comment knows whether they intended it to offend or merely offer it as a satricial / comedic observation.

    lemonysam
    Member

    But could it survive?

    It’s not really a meaningful question. It belongs to a tradition which simply doesn’t exist in mainstream british satire.

    Rockplough
    Member

    The Spiked article is obvious clickbait. Of course it could survive. Have you read some of the ‘newspapers’ in this country?

    gobuchul
    Member

    The SPiked article is interesting.

    I don’t think it would of survived in the UK. The main reason being is that it isn’t very funny.

    Lifer
    Member

    dannybgoode – Member
    A guy threatens to blow up Robin Hood airport and is jailed. The celebratory Twitterati are up in arms saying this was clearly a joke and criminalising people for using Twitter in this manner is an affront to free speech.

    And he had his conviction overturned on appeal.

    A few months later people are using Twitter to post offensive comments about Liz Kendall and Caroline Criado-Perez for campaigning to get a woman to feature on the new £10 note and the same celebratory Twitterati are up in arms about trolling, bullying and the wrongs of being offensive.

    You can’t see the difference between the two?

    Edukator
    Member

    It was on the point of bankruptcy in France. Without subsidies many papers would have gone years ago. Like much of the printed press the Internet has taken away readers and in the case of Charlie it was mainly bought by ageing bourgeois 68ers. I used to read it in the local library but haven’t read it since my son was old enough to go on his own.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    dannybgoode

    You are making a reasonable point but this example

    A few months later people are using Twitter to post offensive comments about Liz Kendall and Caroline Criado-Perez for campaigning to get a woman to feature on the new £10 note and the same celebratory Twitterati are up in arms about trolling, bullying and the wrongs of being offensive.

    isn’t a good one. There needs to be a distinction between genuinely threatening behaviour – which this example was and essentially just being a dick online

    A better example would be the bloke who got jailed for a sick post on facebook about the teacher who was killed in Manchester last year. He threatened no one just said something very distasteful on facebook

    Personally as long as you don’t threaten people I think you should be allowed to be as distasteful as you like. Social media can police its users however they like but just being an arsehole should never be a criminal offence. Our jails don’t have the room

    oldboy
    Member

    Private Eye have published quite a few Islamist cartoons over the last year, maybe falling short of referring to the great prophet himself, though. Not entirely relevant to the thread, but thought I’d throw it in.

    Lifer
    Member

    richmtb – Member

    Social media can police its users however they like but just being an arsehole should never be a criminal offence. Our jails don’t have the room

    😆

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Some people were threatening the two ladies concerned but some were just being dicks. I guess the are better examples out there but it still seems that the rules are made up as they go along.

    And no, I don’t see a particular distinction between the bomb guy and some of the posters making comments about the two ladies in the context of free speech, not whether they were being offensive.

    Perhaps Lord Sugar and his fattie comment would be a better example of the righteous contradicting their own arguments.

    Either we have free speech which is defended or not. You can’t argue for one one week and the other the next.

    Edukator
    Member

    Private Eye is incomprehensible unless you know who they are talking about. Charlie can be pretty obtuse but at least you know who they are talking about. The difference reflects the way libel laws are applied which reflects the powers of the courts and the tax inspectors in the two countries.

    jambalaya
    Member

    @danny plenty of cartoons in Charlie of Jews, Catholics etc. the point here is any depiction is seen as unacceptable. I believe the fact Shia Muslims draw ouctures of the Prophets grandson is one reason Sunni ISIS nut jobs murder them

    @Educator one of the ironies of the attack could be that it secures the financial future of the magazine

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    The thing that remains unsayable about Charlie Hebdo and the satirical and dangerous cartoons is:

    It isn’t very funny.

    Edukator
    Member

    Some are funny, some are thought provoking, some provocative, some go whoosh over my head… . I don’t think you are the target audience BigJohn. There are some Dieudonné clips that leave me shaking my head but the audience is shrieking with laughter. some people find Richard Hammond funny but I’d just like to … .

    66deg
    Member

    Martin Rowson says if he did a cartoon of the prophet no UK newspapers would print it.
    https://uk.screen.yahoo.com/factual/self-satire-target-only-people-124907485.html

    oldboy
    Member

    [/quote]Private Eye is incomprehensible unless you know who they are talking about.

    Agreed, you need to be a subscriber to appreciate it. Some of the references go back to Peter Cook’s days: Jammygoldfinger, p94, Brenda et al. It’s still funny, though.

    Wasn’t CH struggling to survive in France until the attack? Now with the French govt and Google bankrolling them for the moment, their sting has been well and truly drawn.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    BigJohn – Member
    The thing that remains unsayable about Charlie Hebdo and the satirical and dangerous cartoons is:

    It isn’t very funny.yip, the beatification of this magazine is ridiculous tbh.

    ninfan
    Member

    The thing that remains unsayable about Charlie Hebdo and the satirical and dangerous cartoons is:
    It isn’t very funny.

    I recall another famously racist and offensive British magazine proudly proclaiming the fact that it wasn’t as funny as it used to be on its own front page!

    How many other magazines have been officially sanctioned by the UN, investigated by anti terrorist police and displayed in the Tate gallery 😆

    mefty
    Member

    I posted a link to the Spiked article a few days ago, it wasn’t met with a much enthusiasm from here! This is the fundamental problem with satire, if people don’t get it and think it is serious then they are offended either on their own behalf or someone else’s. They will argue that the fact that it wasn’t intended to offend is irrelevant because it did and that is all that matters.

    Anyway, Rod Liddle who drew my attention to the spiked article is on blistering form here.

    poly
    Member

    A guy threatens to blow up Robin Hood airport and is jailed.

    He was never jailed. He got fined, and then his conviction was overturned on appeal.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    The thing that remains unsayable about Charlie Hebdo and the satirical and dangerous cartoons is:

    It isn’t very funny

    I don’t think the original intention was to be funny – a thought provoking satirical swipe at an imaginary figurehead yes, but not intended to be directly funny.

    Personally i think this entire charade of appeasement/refusing to show the prophet Mohammed’s image to be farcical, in fact the entire ideology of religion is farcical.

    jambalaya
    Member

    There are some Dieudonné clips that leave me shaking my head but the audience is shrieking with laughter

    I went to see Roy Chubby Brown 20 odd years ago, invited by a friend I had no real idea who he was before and never went again. His material is pretty offensive and yet he’s allowed to perform.

    The fact something is offensive may not be a crime and no amount of offense entitles you to murder people. We don’t have a law against publishing images of the Prophet.

    Viz did ‘curtains for Al Qaida’ and I remember them getting into a spot of bother with ‘the theiving gypsy bastards’.

    grum
    Member

    As mentioned, Viz prints all sorts of offensive stuff and I don’t think I’ve ever hear a call for it to be banned. It is at least sometimes funny though.

    That spiked piece is pretty pathetic but standard ‘PC gone mad’ fare, and as for Rod Liddle – fawning over Farage’s sickening attempts to use these attacks stir up hatred against immigrants…

    Lifer
    Member

    dannybgoode – Member
    And no, I don’t see a particular distinction between the bomb guy and some of the posters making comments about the two ladies in the context of free speech, not whether they were being offensive

    One was a guy using a twitter account with his name not tweeting anyone directly (ie no @robinhoodairport).

    It wasn’t ‘comments’ it was anonymous tweeters directly threatening their targets:

    Sorley, 23, used Twitter to tell Criado-Perez to “f*** off and die you worthless piece of crap” and “go kill yourself”, and said: “Rape is the last of your worries.”

    Nimmo, 25, told Criado-Perez to “shut up bitch” and “Ya not that gd looking to rape u be fine”, followed by: “I will find you [smiley face]” and then the message “rape her nice ass”, Westminster magistrates court heard.

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