The judge has agreed that his tweets were legitimate.
Mr Justice Knowles said:
The claimant’s tweets were lawful and there was not the slightest risk that he would commit a criminal offence by continuing to tweet.
I find the combination of the police visiting the claimant’s place of work, and their subsequent statements in relation to the possibility of prosecution, were a disproportionate interference with the claimant’s right to freedom of expression because of their potentially chilling effect.
It gets better. He continued:
In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society.
However, the court ruling is unlikely to resolve much because the judge did not accept Miller’s wider challenge against the College of Policing guidelines on ‘hate crime.’
As the BBC reports:
These define a hate incident as “any non-crime incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender”.
So to the question in the heading – how far can one go? I don’t mean in the eyes of the stasi because the answer is not at all.
No, I mean as a reasonable person. For example, I’m not sure I’d draw attention to Bloomberg’s height or Roddick drawing attention to Agassi’s bald pate. They can’t help those.
Now, how about ‘fat broads and horse-faced lesbians’ in the DemRat debate?
‘Horse-faced’ is the questionable one there, the rest they can do something about. Depends, doesn’t it, if she takes care of herself or not? If she does, I’d say the jibe would be out of order.
What of PG Wodehouse’s ‘toothsome fillies’? What of a man described as ‘rotund’?