WHEN retired policeman Harry Miller sent out a series of tweets in 2019 criticising the idea of changing gender, the last thing he expected was to be hunted down by cops and dragged through the courts for three years.
But that’s exactly what happened. In January 2019, police turned up to his workplace after an unidentified Twitter user reported him to the force and declared they were there to “check his thinking”.
They then slapped a “non-crime hate incident” on his crime report, claiming he was “showing hatred for the transgender community”.
Now, after a battle in the High Court in 2020 and then a further trip to the Court of Appeal this year, Harry has been vindicated.
The practice of handing down non-crime hate-incident verdicts is based upon guidance from the College of Policing.
On Monday, Court of Appeal judges unanimously ruled against this guidance — saying it unlawfully breached Harry’s human right to freedom of expression.
You don’t have to agree with his views. In fact, I think some of his tweets were crass and unnecessarily provocative.
He was poking the belly of the trans-lobby beast and, unsurprisingly, it came back to bite him.
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But anyone who doesn’t want to live in the cesspit of censorship we’re descending into at light speed should welcome this ruling with open arms. I certainly do.
The judges in the case said that non-crime hate incidents create a “chilling effect” — that they foster a culture of fear around having open debate.
I’d go even further, they are a blight on an already woeful justice system and they should be scrapped.
The problem with non-crime hate incidents is that — as it says on the tin — they’re not even severe enough to qualify as criminal offences.
The ONLY criteria you have to fulfil to have these nonsensical charges logged against your name is to offend someone.
It doesn’t matter what your intentions are — all that matters is that someone PERCEIVES you to be hostile based on characteristics such as race, religion or gender identity.
And, like in Harry’s case, you don’t even have a right to know who your accuser is. As a result, the offence is being exploited by wetwipe wokesters for whom the mere existence of views different to their own induces an aneurysm.
The existence of this law is a godsend for them and a hellish nightmare for those who find themselves treated like hate preachers for expressing mildly controversial opinions.
And to make it worse, as of earlier this year, a Freedom of Information request found that half of the police forces in England and Wales did not even monitor how effective recording these incidents is.
In essence, they are wasting taxpayers’ money investigating and logging things that are not criminal offences and can’t even tell you what on Earth the point of it all is.
It’s utter madness. Following this landmark ruling, I spoke to Harry.
He told me how the force had splashed a QUARTER OF A MILLION pounds pursuing him for the tweets. How his accuser is still being allowed to hide under the cloak of anonymity (or cowardice) and is therefore only known to him as “Mrs B”.
That can’t possibly be right in a civil society. Harry’s win sets a huge precedent for the thousands of people who have had non-crime hate incidents slapped on to them since they were introduced in 2014.
The risks to free speech posed by continuing to log them far outweigh any benefits. Free speech means people will say things you don’t like — and only a naive narcissist would think that silencing people in this way is remotely good for society.
Mollie ‘prettier than ever’
MOLLY-MAE HAGUE, Love Islander and girlfriend of boxer Tommy Fury, said she feels “prettier than ever” after paying thousands to REVERSE years of cosmetic procedures.
This includes having her lip and facial fillers dissolved and getting a set of composite bonding removed from her teeth.
It’s impossible to avoid filler-laden influencers on Instagram.
And the huge spike in young women wanting to get cosmetic procedures is a ticking mental health timebomb that needs to be diffused immediately.
Which is why I think Molly-Mae is incredibly brave to embrace her natural look.
God knows we need an antidote.
Should know bedder
THE new season of the Weakest Link has just kicked off, with dry-witted comic Romesh Ranganathan taking on the infamous role of Anne Robinson.
It wouldn’t be a celebrity entertainment show if you didn’t include at least one brainless, Z-list celeb.
And including someone from The Only Way Is Essex is always a surefire way to fill that slot.
Cue Gemma Collins, the “larger-than-life” ex Towie member who features on the new series and displays her astonishing lack of brain power in tomorrow’s episode.
She is asked by the host how many beds are in a twin hotel room. You’d think, as questions go, it doesn’t get much easier than that.
But, alas, even this is too complicated a matter for the serial reality TV star – worth £2.7million apparently – who blames her ignorance on “only staying in suites and penthouses”.
It’s all right for some. I guess sometimes it really does pay to be thick.
Could you do better?
Complaints for Love Island
TELLY regulator Ofcom has revealed it received a record number of complaints this year.
Love Island, featuring Shannon Singh and Good Morning Britain were the most complained-about shows.
There were over 150,000 complaints – that’s more than DOUBLE the figure for last year. I must say I find it very odd that people go out of their way to file objections about shows they didn’t enjoy.
Mainly because it often has nothing to do with programmes breaking Ofcom rules and regulations, and everything to do with people just taking unnecessary offence when they hear or see something they don’t like.
I have a groundbreaking solution for the army of TV viewers who decided 2021 was the year their offence threshold would suddenly plummet – switch over.
There are literally hundreds of channels available and an endless buffet of series on streaming platforms ready for viewers to consume at the touch of a button.
If you don’t like something, why not try saving yourself the grief, pick up the remote and just flick over to something else?
Boris & co, you blue it
LORD FROST, the Prime Minister’s Brexit Minister (known as Boris’s Brexit Brain) handed in his resignation over the weekend, citing his disillusionment with the “current direction of travel” on Brexit.
Oh, and also the Government’s Covid restrictions, green agenda and eye-wateringly high taxes it is burdening ordinary people and businesses with.
It doesn’t give me any pleasure to watch the Government I voted for, run by the party I’ve supported since I was a teen, imploding.
Yet I can’t help but feel it’s exactly what this Government deserves.
Lord Frost speaks for small-c conservatives, like me, all over the country. People who vote Tory because we want the government to keep the hell out of our lives, to tax us less and to not press ahead with wild, untested policy agendas (*cough* net zero).
Sadly, those of us who voted blue in 2019 and were hoping for a proper Conservative government have been monumentally failed.
We’ve ended up with a disastrous, hypocrisy-ridden, incompetent closet socialist Government instead.
Made it to middle classes
I MAY have finally finished my initiation into the middle classes this weekend – I went out and, for the first time, bought a REAL Christmas tree.
Growing up working class, my family never considered getting one.
Why fork out for a real tree that will last one Christmas when you can grab a reusable plastic one for less than half the price? Those bloody middle-class folks just love to show off, I thought.
Forget the North/South divide – the authentic v plastic tree debate is the nation’s real class rift.
And as someone who now identifies as a pretentious middle class person, I can reveal that, yes: Real trees are definitely better.
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