THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Who serves whom?
Reflections on the passing of another year

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a liberty-laden New Year

BBC News - Tweets to feminist campaigner Criado-Perez: Two charged.

The Misses Paine and I are off to cruise the Norwegian fjords from tomorrow. Our access to the internet will be patchy. So let me take this - perhaps final - opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, free New Year.
If I am quiet for the rest of 2013 it's not because I am reconciled to authoritarian Britain. I remain bemused that I live in a country where the Crown Prosecution Service deliberates solemnly on whether some words are bad enough to merit prosecution. I am baffled by a prosecutor speaking of a
"high threshold for prosecution"
in the context of opinions expressed or even threats issued on Twitter; a medium with powerful tools to block unwanted messages.
Not everyone in North Korea was killed last week for disagreeing with Kim Jong-un. Many failed to pass his threshold of murderous fury. I am happy for them, but still feel it is wrong for anyone to have been killed; even a major league scumbag like the Supreme Leader's uncle.
Similarly it already seems like a low "threshold" to me that anyone can be prosecuted for expressing a view, however hateful. Even uttering threats should not be a crime. At worst, if threats are reasonably considered to be both serious and plausible (having regard to the fact than someone intending to rape or kill would be pretty damned stupid to announce it) the police should act to deter their authors from carrying them out.
No society in which using words is only lawful if they are approved by authority - even authority derived from a majority view - will long remain free.
Have a great time over the holidays. See you in 2014.


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I wish you and your family a merry Christmas, hope the weather co-operates for maximum enjoyment of the fjords.

And thank you for your efforts this year, keeping us informed and amused (sometimes bemused) at the state of the world.

I raise a toast of tea in my "Tom Paine US Tour 2013" mug. To free speech and un-monitored communication.

“The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.” Tom Paine-as true today as it ever were.

Dick Puddlecote

And a fantastic festive season to you and yours Tom, I look forward to seeing you in a more promising 2014. :)


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! One and all.

"No society in which using words is only lawful if they are approved by authority - even authority derived from a majority view - will long remain free." I agree generally and in principle (in principle ^_^ sounds learned), but the UK has had imperfect freedom by that measure for most of it's history. Blasphemy laws for an example.

Antisthenes., It could be argued that the UK and the West is becoming more authoritarian, more in reaction to and using the excuse of terrorism. I don't think anyone could really disput that the state is becoming in some way smore authoriatarian, possibly as "society" becomes less so.


Merry Christmas to you and your daughters, Tom.


And a very merry one to you and yours! :)


Not just the UK but the west as a whole is becoming more authoritarian and will continue to become more so. The people of the west have inadvertently decided that it should be so by wholeheartedly embracing socialist model based societies. The people wanted and have got wholesale redistribution of wealth and at the same time have abrogated personal responsibility and self-reliance to the state. The west having now become dependency and entitlement societies have made it necessary to hand more roles and power to the state which of course leads to the limiting of choice a keystone of democracy and therefore the rise of more authoritarian government to ensure that what the state chooses for it's citizens is accepted. This state of affairs will not be halted until the whole socialist cycle is played out and ends in the usual disarray when the citizens are fed up with the tyranny and impoverishment that it brings.

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