0 thoughts on “Thought Crime HR 1955 Just Passed

  1. This is an interesting video and recent events in New Zealand, where the authorities attempted to use the Terrorism Suppression Act to stop “threats’ by anarchists, Maori activists, ecologists and peace activists (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0711/S00120.htm), seem to indicate that the definition of terror is becoming important as a replacement for the ‘red scare’ in an attempt to maintain the political status quo (Chomsky and Herman, Propaganda Model).
    However, the video should consider the meaning of ‘or’ as much as ‘force’. In R v Federal Steam Navigation [1974] 1 WLR 505, the legislation in question made the owner ‘or’ master of a ship liable for accidents. Yet, the judgment was that the legislators intended both the owner ‘and’ master to be liable. Therefore, ‘or’ meant ‘and’. So, the legislation could be read to mean ‘force and violence’.
    Also, Abrahams v Cavey [1968] 1 QB 479 involved a person who was at a political event in a church and misbehaved – he heckled members of the government. The legislation made it an offense to indulge in ‘riotous, violent or indecent behaviour’. The man was charged with indecent behaviour and his lawyers argued that he had not done anything sexual and therefore could not have been indecent – as sexual misconduct was the connotation of the word ‘indecent’. He was found guilty because the word was associated/ linked to ‘violent or riotous’ in the legislation and therefore had a connotation closer to ‘creating a disturbance’. So, the association of ‘force’ with ‘violence’ in the 1955 legislation in the video may indicate a connotation of physical violence or something akin to threatening with an intent to cause physical harm. It seems a big stretch to associate logic or thought with violence, as the video states.

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