Sunday, August 12, 2007

One of these days in England


From the Old Country comes an extraordinary story about Channel 4's Dispatches documentary Undercover Mosque. Rather than prosecuting the nasties who were exposed by the programme, the West Midlands Police are trying to have the programme's makers prosecuted for inciting racial hatred.

Also in the Guardian is a piece about Richard Dawkins, TV Evangelist.

Other strange and wonderous things are happening in England. The blueberry has become the nation's favoured fruit and British farmers cannot find enough Eastern Europeans to harvest them. The nation's lawmakers have decided that prostitutes must face re-education or jail. The British are getting fat because of their cars. The nation's academic and creative workers are afflicited by email stress.

However, there is good news. My favouritist web comic in the whole wide web, A Softer World, is being printed in the Guardian, while Steve Bell is on holiday.

Here's Roy Harper:

10 comments:

Diving into the wreck said...

a softerworld is absolutely delightful.

Anonymous said...

Love Steve Bell, though. How are the penguins getting on these days?

Craig Y

Uroskin said...

Re Undercover Mosque, we had a similar issue in Auckland in 2003 when an access TV programme screened an imam spouting deathly threats to gays. The TV station was hauled up before the BSA and found guilty. The imam goes free.
BSA ruling here: http://www.bsa.govt.nz/decisions/2004/2004-001.htm
See also: http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/001086.php

Anonymous said...

I think the problem with the C4 program, which I saw, is that you could probably go into any pentecostal or evangelical church and use similar editing to smear them. They will say things about gays and women for eg that would be beyond the pale in polite society and might be taken as inciting hatred too.

Note the police declined to prosecute, I suspect they were simply firing a blank across the bows of anyone else who thinks of trying something similar.

Dispatches has become a 'don't watch for the sake of your blood pressure' program high on polemics, low on even handed evidence. A documentary series it is not, any more.

Peter
In Sunny, Windy Dundee

Craig Ranapia said...

They will say things about gays and women for eg that would be beyond the pale in polite society and might be taken as inciting hatred too.

Yes they would, Peter, and the only nice thing I'll say about Brian Tamaki is that he may well be a vile, fag-baiting ignoramus - but he'll say it anywhere, any time to anyone and stand by every word of it.

Of course, if Bishop Tamaki feels he has been been reported in an unfair or inaccurate manner he has the same recourse to the Press Council, Broadcasting Standards Authority and the courts as everyone else. What he should never have - and what nobody should have - is faith-based special treatment under the law because they're in a house of worship or claiming some religious title.

Paul said...

What I find disturbing is that this case was investigated as a matter of incitement to racial hatred. So far as I can see, the race of the Muslims involved was not an issue; it was their interpretations of Islam.

Equally troubling is that the Police and the CPS should make a statement condemning the programme. They found no grounds for prosecution, which should have been the end of the matter.

Ofcom, the British TV standards organisation, may be considering an unfairness complaint about the programme. This would be the correct way to deal with complaints about it and resolve questions of misleading editing.

Anonymous said...

Paul said:
"What I find disturbing is that this case was investigated as a matter of incitement to racial hatred. So far as I can see, the race of the Muslims involved was not an issue; it was their interpretations of Islam."

Unfortunately, here in the UK the law has defined moslems as a race after unseemly pressure from various groups. This is because most moslems in the UK are Indian/Pakistani and groups like the BNP use' moslem' as a cypher for 'Paki'. They are being respectable you see.

The problem is that in trying to combat this the police now have a new power they are itching to use. In addition there is now on the statute books a law against incitment to religious hatred. I wanna come home!

"Equally troubling is that the Police and the CPS should make a statement condemning the programme. They found no grounds for prosecution, which should have been the end of the matter.

Ofcom, the British TV standards organisation, may be considering an unfairness complaint about the programme. This would be the correct way to deal with complaints about it and resolve questions of misleading editing."

The police made the statement since it was them who laid the complaint with Ofcom. Of course they could have been terser in their explanation ;-)

Peter
In Dundee

Paul said...

All this and ASBOs as well. I'm staying here.

Anonymous said...

Are the Nats here still planning to introduce ASBOs if they win in 2008, though?

Craig Y

Make Tea Not War said...

That email stress story rings true even in slow old NZ.