A student in Oxford was arrested a few years back for saying that to a Policeman. And what do you suppose happened to a 16 year old for holding up a sign saying “Scientology is a dangerous cult”…?
Arrested. Obviously. On the grounds that it might insult scientologists. Pfft.
The frightening thing isn’t that this kind of nonsense goes on, it’s that nobody’s really surprised about it anymore. This sort of bullshit has become so commonplace that people just roll their eyes and get on with their business.
Not Rowan Atkinson however.
He stood up for sanity, and began a campaign against the ridiculous legislation that allowed this to happen. He claimed that the contentious words part of the 1986 Public Order Act (that was created to prevent people from abusing each other) was being, ironically enough, abused by the Police. And it had created the framework for the UK to develop an ‘outrage industry’.
Thankfully his message made it through, and British Home Secretary Theresa May announced that the contentious words part of the Public Order Act is to be scrapped. Hurrah!
Perhaps the powers that be realised that if you can get arrested for merely the possibility of offending someone, then they were all in some serious shit. Maybe..? No. Probably not.
Anyway, it’s gone now. Hoo fucking ray!
And well done Mr Atkinson. A win for the good guys.
Maybe there’s hope for us all yet.