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High Court London warns of Orwellian Thought Police as it upholds freedom of speech

High Court London warns of Orwellian Thought Police as it upholds freedom of speech
Harry miller who was hounded by police for views he expressed on twitter vindicated by London High Court

A High court judge in London , Justice Julian Knowles has likened the behaviour of Police in Humberside to the Gestapo for hounding a local Businessman over views he expressed on his Twitter account which offended a Transgender woman . 

In January 2019 , Harry Miller , a businessman and former police officer from Lincolnshire was reported to Police by a Transgender woman (Mrs B) who came accross tweets posted by Mr Miller which were critical of transgender issues . Mrs B reported the tweets to Humberside Police as ‘transphobic’ . The messages were recorded by Humberside Police as a ‘non-crime hate incident’. Later , A Police officer (PC Gul) called to Mr Miller’s place of work to interrogate him about them . Mr Miller wasn't present and subsequently spoke to PC Gul over the phone where Mr Miller was warned he could face criminal prosecution if he continued expressing those views . In a witness statement to the Court Mr Miller described the phone call with PC Gul.. "I asked for, and received, confirmation that neither the verse, nor any of the other alleged 30 tweets, were criminal. I then asked PC Gul why he was wasting my time. PC Gul said ‘I need to check your thinking’ ".

Mr Miller subsequently took High Court Proceedings against Humberside Police claiming their actions interfered with his right under Article 10(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights to express himself freely . The Article provides that .. "Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers" 

In his court ruling Justice Julian Knowles said the police's actions "had a chilling effect" on Mr Miller's right to freedom of expression and likened the police actions to that of the Gestapo ...
 
The effect of the police turning up at his place of work because of his political opinions must not be underestimated. To do so would be to undervalue a cardinal democratic freedom. In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society. Warning the Claimant that in unspecified circumstances he might find himself being prosecuted for exercising his right to freedom of expression on Twitter had the capacity to impede and deter him from expressing himself on transgender issues. In other words, the police’s actions, taken as a whole, had a chilling effect on his right to freedom of expression. That is an interference for the purposes of Article 10(1). Overall, given the importance of not restricting legitimate political debate, I conclude that Mrs B’s upset did not justify the police’s actions towards Mr Miller including turning up at his workplace and then warning him about criminal prosecution, thereby interfering with his Article 10(1) rights 

Throughout his judement , Justice Julian Knowles made reference to quotations of interest regarding freedom of expression including one from English philosopher John Stuart Mill who wrote ... "If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind" . Also referenced by the Judge was George Orwell's unpublished introduction to Animal Farm (1945) in which Orwell wrote ... "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear" . Also referenced was Orwell's Novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four" in which a secret police hunt down and punish "thoughtcrime" in a superstate called Oceania .


Justice Knowles was also critical of Mrs B who reported Mr Miller to police .. 
 
I hesitate to be overly critical of Mrs B, given she has not given evidence, but I consider it fair to say that her reaction to Mr Miller’s tweets was, at times, at the outer margins of rationality. For example, her suggestion that Mr Miller would have been anti Semitic eighty years ago had no proper basis and represents an extreme mindset on her behalf. Equally, her statement that if Mr Miller wins this case, transgender people will have to ‘kiss their rights goodbye’ was simply wrong. The Equality Act 2010 will remain in force. The evidence of Professor Stock shows that Mr Miller is far from alone in a debate which is complex and multi-faceted. Mrs B profoundly disagrees with his views, but such is the nature of free speech in a democracy. Professor Stock’s evidence demonstrates how quickly some involved in the transgender debate are prepared to accuse others with whom they disagree of showing hatred, or as being transphobic when they are not, but simply hold a different view. Mrs B’s evidence would tend to confirm Professor Stock’s evidence 


The Full transcript of the Court Ruling is available here - https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/miller-v-college-of-police-judgment.pdf 

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full credit to Harry Miller for taking this matter to court and to the judge for defending freedom of speech . We have the same kind of whingers like MrsB here , I wont name any names but they dont like anyone to disagree with them or express a different point of view and would be only to happy to phone the police because they didn't like someones tweet or whatever thus wasting valuable police time and resources . I personally believe that a Man is a Man and a Woman is a Woman and thats final , others can disagree but rest assured , I wont be phoning any police
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great victory for free speech . there's an excellent interview with miller here -
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Good input Justme,The Bull and Fionnuala. Free Speech,dialogue,
conversation,interaction,freedom of expression,debate,argument, lateral
thinking,outside the box,exploration,creative ideas, yes the list is
endless,better than smoldering bitterly in silence or being too scared
To Have The Courage Of Your Convictions, EVEN WHEN PEOPLE
DISAGREE WITH YOUR COMMENTS..maybe that's why it's free ?   
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Great article & Subject Charlie, Thank You.

It astonishes me to think that humankind has in fact regressed to such a point. In fact free speech once treasured by ALL peoples of all nations, is now somehow a dirty word, a dirty act seen as nothing more than fascist attempts at upsetting the norm!, no matter that the so called norm is something that is being forced down the throats of every nation.

I also can not help wondering if the outcome would have been the same if Mr Miller had in fact NOT been a former Police Officer. Don't get me wrong I admire Mr Miller greatly for his stance, but someone less educated in LAW, might have found themselves feeling under direct threat from the words, "We are just checking your thinking" which was stated to Mr Miller when an Officer phoned him.

We are I am afraid, only a few steps away from total authoritarian societies, where indeed YOUR thinking will be checked, Your words checked and your opinions penalized!. THE GREAT IRONY being that the very same governments, bodies (UN, EU)who are driving such change, ONCE humiliated openly, Mocked even, former Communist leaders and their governments and peoples for the VERY same thing!.
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freedom of expression is the bedrock on which every democratic society operates . But Sadly it is under attack in many western countries today by Neo Communist elements who have considerable power over many political Institutions . We all have a duty to call these people out and stand strong against communism both in Ireland , the UK and wherever we find it . thankfully the Judiciary appear to be aware of the threat
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Hi Bull,

I must admit that I find myself in total agreement with you 99.9% of the time, on this occasion I find myself equally in agreement with your comments here. It is often so easy nowadays to look the other way, to agree for the sake of agreement or to avoid something for avoidance sake.

But like you, I believe that it is the duty of every Irish man and woman to stand against anything and everything that is harmful to our Country, Society, our children, our Police Service (Garda) our education, Judicial & Health care systems & our Constitution to mention but a few.
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its at the stage now where you cant even open your mouth without the "phobic" label being used .

its ridiculous . thinking something doesn't make it ture , I could think I'm a dog ,Should we change all our laws to accommodate my thinking . for example should I require a dog license ?? ... likewise , thinking your the opposite sex doesn't make that true either and it certainly shouldn't be obligatory to agree with someone who thinks they are
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