A Chilling View Of Our Future?

Two former teachers who quit their jobs after posting derogatory comments on Facebook will face court.

Notice that they are referred to as former teachers. After the incident, they were (rightly or wrongly) summoned for the dreaded interview without coffee and persuaded it was not in their best interests to remain as teachers at that school.

And there, the matter should have ended.

But this is the Brave New World of the ConDems, where the greatest threat to our lives is now, apparently, Internet ‘trolls’:

Former Westcott Primary School head teacher Debbie Johnson and Year 6 teacher Nyanza Roberts were charged by police yesterday with an offence under the Communications Act 2003.

Ms Johnson, 48, and Miss Roberts, 25, were first arrested at their east Hull home in early February on suspicion of harassment.

They have now been charged with persistently making use of a public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety.

Wow! That’s an ‘offence’ that’s open to abuse, is it not?

‘Annoyance’ and ‘inconvenience’ are crimes now? Well, I’m annoyed and inconvenienced by travel companies, the local council, the MSM, idiots on Twitter, etc. Can I have them all arrested, or only if they do the annoying and inconveniencing via FaceBook?

And what happened to the ‘threatening letter’ they were originally arrested for? Or is the mail (even when – allegedly – hand-delivered) included in the term ‘public communication network’?

This is definitely going to be one to watch.

11 comments for “A Chilling View Of Our Future?

  1. Mark
    June 22, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Please keep us posted

  2. Pils
    June 22, 2012 at 7:53 am

    I thought that the wording of the offence can’t be right, surely?

    But no it is – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/21/section/127

    And you can get 6 months!

    If only the lie that gadget et all repeat that the police have to investigate an offence if it is reported were true. Think of the fun we then have.

    Every odious politician that persistently makes use of a public communications network to cause annoyance, inconvenience and needless anxiety could be locked up. No need for the lamposts and piano wire then.

  3. June 22, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Yes I’d like to see what happens and the nature of the original “harassment”.

  4. June 22, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Madness. But if restricted to friends how is Facebook a public medium? If it is then any and every use of the web, even one to one email, involves use of a public medium. Expressing any negative opinion of another person is therefore in breach of the statute.

  5. David A. Evans
    June 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Under the rather loose wording of that legislation, will someone please arrest all those tossers in Whitehall & Westminster?


  6. Derek
    June 22, 2012 at 10:39 am

    This is just another example of how our police force has been politicised. If you chritisise the state machinery you will get arested. The police in Hitler’s Germany thought that they were doing the right thing when they arested anyone who chritisised him. This is what can happen with a complient press and weak police leadership. The time may be comming when the population has to stand up and support their hard won freedoms.

    • June 23, 2012 at 6:44 am

      And yet, their #antiwinsor campaign on Twitter, and their objections to elected police commissioners, is based on their belief that the public doesn’t want to see policing politicised.

      They don’t seem to be able to see that it already has been.

  7. graham wood
    June 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

    It all sounds very nasty indeed but would appear to have a parallel with a growing trend on the part of the “Gaystapo” in their militant campaign to censor any criticism or use of free speech in ANY capacity. As cited by Bill Muehlenberg (www.billmuehlenberg.com) and quoted on Anglican Mainstream. Very chilling indeed. I wonder if there is any connection between these?
    “In Canada we now have a “registry of homophobic acts”. I kid you not. And any word at all which in any way says anything against the homosexual agenda will be recorded. If this is not the beginning of the end of free speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, and freedom in general, then I don’t know what is.[…] To say or do anything whatsoever which the militant homosexual lobby finds unacceptable will turn you into a potential criminal, with your name forever placed on this government list. Are you hearing me? Do you fathom the incredibly ugly depth of all this?

    Any conversation. Any article. Any sermon. Any Bible reading. Any discussion. Any debate. Any off-hand remark. Any passing comment. Any joke. Any story. Any book. Any website. Any church. Any teaching. Any conference. Any class. Any seminar. Anything. I repeat: ANYTHING”

  8. Tatty
    June 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Perhaps we should save them the future bother of hunting us all down one by one and hand ourselves in ..en masse…to the nearest police station.

    “Ossifer, I probably offended someone in the last 24 hours. Arrest me.”

    If nothing else it would be a great publicity stunt. 😉

    • June 23, 2012 at 6:43 am


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