Freedom of Speech | A Request for Parliamentary Representation in A Recent Case
Hello. I am writing to you to request representation on a recent violation and overreach by the UK government. The case is concerning a person known as Markus Meechan. He has suffered an ordeal in which he was raked through the legal system for telling a joke that was at the expense of Nazis and poked fun at them.
From this case, Meechan was arrested and is pending sentencing.
I and thousands of others, including prominent figures in comedy believe this country was founded on the principles of freedom of speech and freedom to discuss ideas as a means of advancing social progress.
However, with such restrictive laws in place, such as recent Hate Speech legislation, it strikes me that England, Scotland and all other countries in the UK have more laws restricting speech than they do supporting one’s right to speak freely and openly. The result of which is evident in this case: A man who told a joke at the expense of Nazis being accused of making light of the holocaust.
I ask you, is it against the law to joke, now? And do we get the chance to make jokes any longer, considering that the act of doing so can get us landed as speakers of hate speech and our right to speak can be revoked.
Humour is the life blood of society and humanity. Without it, we risk stagnation and destruction by the harshness of reality. Humour is also a way of lightening the societal load so to speak; to joke is to make life a little easier, a parody is created of difficult subjects and that can be attacked.
Monty Python in the famous Hitler In England sketch made fun of Nazism, and were not convicted of any crime what so ever. Charlie Chaplin did so too in The Great Dictator. How is it, that in the twenty first century we are restricted in terms of what we can say about terrible ideas, simply because of offense?
Offense is a valuable thing, and to cause offense is not to destroy, but to create in someone a difference of opinion. It is through vehement offense that society has shaped to be the way it is, or was: a free democratic state with a heavy desire to protect freedom of speech.
I simply would like this topic brought up in parliament as there is so little discussion in the government about this topic.
Regardless of if you think Nazi jokes are distasteful, I am sure you can agree that restricting them and indeed all jokes and speech is contrary to the values of this country.
Our grandfathers and their grandfathers didn’t die at the hands of dictatorial regimes, in bloody wars against genuine fascistic, totalitarian enemies of the country simply to generate new ways in the distant future to censor and silence citizens.
Freedom of speech must be preserved. Without it, what hope can civilisation stand of developing, progressing and growing? This topic requires further discussion on a parliamentary level, I believe and any help towards gaining that discussion would be greatly appreciated by all of society in the longer term.
Note: It is important to write to your MP. Without your pressure, MPs will quite happily sit on their arses and do nothing. Their job is to represent you. You pay them to do so, so make them earn their wage. Write to your MP today about the situation.