Writing Is on the Wall for Freedom of Speech

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), July 11, 1999 | Go to article overview

Writing Is on the Wall for Freedom of Speech


Byline: NORMAN TEBBIT

GEORGE STAUNTON, a 78-year-old veteran of the Second World War, was arrested while writing graffiti on a wall in Liverpool.

You might think Mr Staunton deserved to be hauled off, like any foulmouthed youngster spraying obscenities on the wall, but it was not like that.

He was putting up posters for the United Kingdom Independence Party, of which he is a supporter but not a member, and to add a bit more spice he wrote on the wall something very, very obscene indeed: 'Don't forget the 1945 war' and 'Free speech for England'.

Turning aside from hunting down murderers, bank robbers and child abusers, the mighty justice system charged him with causing 'racially aggravated criminal damage'.

A little way north of Liverpool, Scottish Nationalists are telling us not to forget the '45 - that is the events of 1745 - and calling for 'Freedom from England'. Nothing racial about that, of course.

Free speech for England? Well, that must be racist. As for the 1945 war, any reference to what the Germans did to England must be racist, mustn't it?

Although, curiously, references to the atrocities committed against the Jews are not.

So if you want to avoid a charge of 'racially aggravated criminal damage' just spray 'No free speech for England' and 'Forget the 1945 war' on a wall.

On this mad island any abuse of the English is acceptable. It is only us who can be racists.

IN this column on April 25 I explained why Nato pilots were bombing refugee columns instead of the Serbian army - they were not allowed to go below 15,000ft. How right I was. Inspection on the ground has uncovered just 13 burnt-out tanks but about 287 badly damaged wood and canvas decoys.

It underlines the case for a proper independent Commission of Inquiry into the war against Serbia - just like the one into the Falklands campaign.

Why it pays to be bad or mad

IF YOU have been denied legal aid recently you will be pleased to know it is not due to a shortage of money.

It's just that Colin Morton, who is in jail for shooting a London cabbie and slitting his throat while robbing him, has a better case than you.

His legal aid solicitor is suing the Prison Service for damages because his bed was not comfortable enough.

And if your children have been denied a grant for university you might actually be rather lucky.

Last week Baroness Blackstone, the Education Minister, told the Lords that a university is paying 300 male homosexual couples [pounds sterling]40 each to engage in anal intercourse and then fill in questionnaires. Baroness Blackstone did not seem to think it was anything to get upset about, as the money comes from 'the private-sector organisation sponsoring it'.

Would you really want your children to go to this university?

I hope that makes you feel better.

Boys betrayed by silence A new victim of New Labour?

SO HEALTH Secretary Dobson thinks once I am dead my body will be a 'national resource' to be recycled into anyone needing a spare part. …

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