I write this piece in the aftermath of a rather sensitive event, but it’s an event that has really triggered me albeit not in the way most people have been triggered.
If you live in the UK then you’ll be very aware of the quite shocking fire at Grenfell Tower on 14th June 2017 that killed seventy-two people and injured seventy-four others. It’s on record as the worst residential fire in the UK since World War Two. Public inquiries and police investigations are still ongoing as everyone fights to learn the truth about the tragedy—and who exactly is to blame for how easily the high-rise went up in flames.
Bonfire Night took place on 5th November, as it does every year in this country, and the nights surrounding it brought us the usual cacophony of fireworks going off all over the place (the less said about that the better) and people warming their hands in front of a fire.
A video soon went viral across the internet of a group of people who decided, for a joke, to make an effigy of Grenfell Tower and burn it on a bonfire in place of the usual effigy of Guy Fawkes (Bonfire Night is a celebration of a failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords in 1605 and Guy Fawkes was the man guarding the gunpowder barrels on the night the plot was uncovered).
As you can probably imagine, the joke went down like a lead balloon with the general public. People were absolutely aghast at this very distasteful joke. Calls for their arrest were made. Some even said they’d go and look for those who burned the effigy and physically harm/kill them. The press got hold of it and the story appeared on websites and in newspapers. In the end, fearing for their lives, the pranksters turned themselves into the police where, according to news sources, they’ve been charged with disturbing public order.
These thugs are getting what they deserve… right? Right?
Actually, no. In my opinion, they’re being punished and persecuted for absolutely no good reason whatsoever and I’ll explain why I think that forthwith.
I believe wholeheartedly in three things: the freedom of thought, speech, and expression. I think a person should be allowed to express what they think without fear of backlash. There are certain sects of society (I’m not naming which sects) that seem to be able to say what they like, when they like, and nothing is ever done about it irrespective of how hateful and inciting their words may be. Then there are other sects that are either shouted down by the public when they speak their mind and/or are met with the full force of the law.
This really concerns me. The fact that this group of idiots, whose only crime was making a joke in poor taste, have been threatened with violence, chastised from every angle, and had the law fall upon them makes me worry about what’s to come in the future.
My mindset is that if you have something to say and simply feel the need to say it then do so. If it offends me, which I seriously doubt it will, then I’ll walk away from that person. My agreement with what they say is not a prerequisite to them saying it. They don’t need my permission to say or do anything. If it doesn’t hurt me or anyone else physically then they have committed no crime. I fervently believe that.
We’ve reached a point in time where suddenly words are worse than violence. There are folk out there actually trying to make others suffer for having an opinion or, in the case of the effigy burners, doing something silly that hasn’t really hurt anyone (other than their precious feelings of course). To cause offence in any way is seen as the scourge of modern man—and people are offended by anything and everything! As a result, things are now being labelled as offensive that aren’t in any way offensive whatsoever to most people. Take the video of the crazy woman who thinks all words with ‘man’ in them need to be banned. Take the people who no longer identify as a certain gender and get annoyed that children are being wrongfully taught gender stereotypes.
The regressive left is starting to lose the plot. They’re actually becoming exactly what they hate the far right for: fascists. They’re eradicating freedoms because these freedoms are allegedly offending minorities. They scream for equality, but only if it means minorities are treated more equally than everyone else. These are the ones who suggest Christmas lights might be offensive to people of a non-Christian persuasion. These are the ones who suggest the English and Great British flags might be offensive to immigrants. What scares me is the fact that these weirdos are being listened to and, in some cases, their droning is being acted upon.
And so, we come back to our effigy-burners. Let me say here that I am in no way advocating their prank. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t clever. It was extremely distasteful. It was also completely harmless! They’ve been charged, as earlier stated, on breaching public order despite the fact they were doing what they did on their own property. According to the law, freedom of expression is permitted so long as it doesn’t encroach on the rights of others not to be offended, even if what you say or do is on your own property. What that tells me is that freedom of expression is not permitted at all because anything can be found offensive depending on the viewpoint of the offended person. Someone could be walking past the house of another and overhear something that offends them. That would officially be harassment and the person who said the ‘offensive’ thing would be in breach of public order. Freedom of thought, speech, and expression is already dead!
Where does this leave us? It leaves us all having to be extremely careful about anything we say or do. It leaves us making sure someone isn’t reading our text messages over our shoulder. It leaves us hurtling towards a 1984-style Orwellian dystopia of order, control, and thought police. We’ve gone beyond appealing for acceptance of all walks of life to demanding nobody says anything that might upset someone else. The law and the suits in charge are backing it all up as well. Why wouldn’t they? Less freedom means we’re easier to control. Well done regressive leftists! Give yourself a pat on the back for screwing everything up!
The arrest of these people represents the start of something big and bad. It’s a dark day for us all here in the UK. It’s another step closer to our every move, word (spoken, written, or typed), and thought being monitored. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…