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Jo Brand - Hate Speech vs Free Speech

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Jo Brand has had some backlash for saying on a Radio 4 Panel show that she fantasises about throwing battery acid (instead of milkshakes) on 'unpleasant' politicians.

 

Farage says that in the current political climate this is inciting violence, and so is hate speech. Others, such as Victoria Coren Mitchell (who hosted the panel show) says it was clearly a joke, and she has a right to free speech. 

 

So, hate speech or free speech? 

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Posted (edited)

It's a difficult one. 

I wished Brand hadn't said what she said. I think in the current climate of attacks on politicians it was unwise.

However in this current climate when there is a rise in hate crimes against gays and ethnic minorities, I think all in public life should moderate what they say. I note that Farage, only a few days ago defended Widdicombe's put down of gay people, and Farage (unwisely IMO) stood in front of a poster full of Syrians fleeing violence in the Brexit campaign as if the Syrians were heading for Britain.

I suppose Brand has always had edgy comedy that's her USP....And Farage does complain about snowflakes....

Edited by Mister M

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12 minutes ago, Robin-H said:

Jo Brand has had some backlash for saying on a Radio 4 Panel show that she fantasises about throwing battery acid (instead of milkshakes) on 'unpleasant' politicians.

 

Farage says that in the current political climate this is inciting violence, and so is hate speech. Others, such as Victoria Coren Mitchell (who hosted the panel show) says it was clearly a joke, and she has a right to free speech. 

 

So, hate speech or free speech? 

Im no fan of Brand but id say free speech. Now if it had said "Go out and fulfil my fantasy of throwing battery acid at people" then that is hate speech in my view.

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9 minutes ago, Mister M said:

It's a difficult one. 

I wished Brand hadn't said what she said. I think in the current climate of attacks on politicians it was unwise.

However in this current climate when there is a rise in hate crimes against gays and ethnic minorities, I think all in public life should moderate what they say. I note that Farage, only a few days ago defended Widdicombe's put down of gay people, and Farage (unwisely IMO) stood in front of a poster full of Syrians fleeing violence in the Brexit campaign as if the Syrians were heading for Britain.

I suppose Brand has always had edgy comedy that's her USP....And Farage does complain about snowflakes....

Danny Baker was fired pretty quickly after making a poorly judged joke. 

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2 minutes ago, Robin-H said:

Danny Baker was fired pretty quickly after making a poorly judged joke. 

Perhaps the BBC felt that the 'jokes' were of a different nature. One made a slur against a race of people, one was an unpleasant jibe against an unpleasant person.

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Just now, Mister M said:

Perhaps the BBC felt that the 'jokes' were of a different nature. One made a slur against a race of people, one was an unpleasant jibe against an unpleasant person.

The context made it clear it was with regards to politicians, but she didn't single a specific person out (I'm not sure if it would have been worse if she had or not).

 

 

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I doubt if it will influence a nutter, not many listen to radio 4 after the Archers. 

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If it’s the news quiz - which I haven’t listened to for a while - it could be quite close to the knuckle, I recall one panelist calling Theresa May a skanky ho and it didn’t make headlines.  It’s free speech and given the audience, it’s a radio 4 panel show after all, are unlikely to start chucking acid at people, so really nowt to worry about. That said if a right of centre comic - which are a rare spot on the news quiz - made a gag about chucking acid on st jez, I suspect the outrage might be different.

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2 minutes ago, tinfoilhat said:

If it’s the news quiz - which I haven’t listened to for a while - it could be quite close to the knuckle, I recall one panelist calling Theresa May a skanky ho and it didn’t make headlines.  It’s free speech and given the audience, it’s a radio 4 panel show after all, are unlikely to start chucking acid at people, so really nowt to worry about. That said if a right of centre comic - which are a rare spot on the news quiz - made a gag about chucking acid on st jez, I suspect the outrage might be different.

To be fair there aren't too many right of centre comics in Britain!

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2 minutes ago, tinfoilhat said:

If it’s the news quiz - which I haven’t listened to for a while - it could be quite close to the knuckle, I recall one panelist calling Theresa May a skanky ho and it didn’t make headlines.  It’s free speech and given the audience, it’s a radio 4 panel show after all, are unlikely to start chucking acid at people, so really nowt to worry about. That said if a right of centre comic - which are a rare spot on the news quiz - made a gag about chucking acid on st jez, I suspect the outrage might be different.

I think the double standards are the problem.

 

I think people have the right to be offensive, and hate speech laws should only restrict the most egregious language that is clearly intended to incite people to commit violent acts.

 

When Mark Meecham was arrested and convicted for posting a joke video on YouTube (training his pug to do a Nazi salute) the judge said that ‘context and intent were irrelevant’, and so it didn’t matter that he intended it as a joke. If that’s the case, then the joke defence falls down (wrongly in my opinion). 

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46 minutes ago, Mister M said:

Perhaps the BBC felt that the 'jokes' were of a different nature. One made a slur against a race of people, one was an unpleasant jibe against an unpleasant person.

Perhaps the BBC are yet again favouring the left wing of the political divide.

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