Friday, 15 April 2016

THE PROCESS IS THE PUNISHMENT



Typically robust stuff from Mark Steyn on Angela Merkel’s sanctioning of Turkey’s legal action against a satirist for criticising that country’s President Erdogan

“The process is the punishment” was the line that caught my eye. How true this is in Britain and across the West on a whole range of issues today.

We think of the idiot the other week who tweeted of how he had challenged a Muslim woman in Croydon & asked her what she was doing about massacres in Belgium. Unsurprisingly it turned out that she was doing nothing about them. Well why would she be?

The man’s behaviour was crass, but in a free society you don’t deserve to be arrested for crassness - yet he was. One traumatic night in the cells later and all charges were dropped but with the objective achieved.

 He, and others like him, would in future be intimidated into silence by a further lesson in how even a silly Twitter comment can earn you a 4am knock on the door.  

The process is the punishment.

How many street preachers have found themselves hauled into police custody on the most dubious of charges which are then promptly dropped once the miscreant has spent a night in the cells? This is all part of the “chilling effect” on public discourse of which we have been repeatedly warned.    

There are not that many going to gaol as yet, but there don’t need to be. The point at present is to intimidate via the process of arrest, detainment & questioning. That will be more than sufficient penalty to quieten most of the objectors leaving the powers-that-be with only the hard core (like Steyn) to deal with – and they will receive the full treatment.


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