Lib Dem baiting ban in Queen’s Speech

Deputy Prime Minister vows to tackle seriously offensive jibes

Ed and Wallace..or Wallace and Ed

Following the recent high profile arrests for inciting racial hatred online and on public transport, Nick Clegg has vowed to extend police powers to cover excessive politically aggressive insults and related obscenities.

Many Members have taken a great deal of abuse, especially via Twitter, due to their respective political positions, but until now it’s been generally considered fair play.

This will change under the Safety of Public Office Bill announced today, which would make a criminal offence of certain aggravating statements and general abuse. Nick Clegg said today:

“For too long politicians have been degraded. Taking up public office shouldn’t mean having to contend with such abuse on a daily basis and this Bill recognises that.”

Some would argue that with expenses-gate, cuts to the public sector while indulging the rich, wholesale manifesto sell-outs for power and deficit denial among countless other issues, politicians largely had it coming.

Mr Clegg disagrees:

“There’s a difference between legitimate complaint and defamatory abuse. As we tell our children, constructive criticism is to be applauded, outright insults and unscrupulous negativity should not be rewarded.”

It’s unclear how far-reaching the legislation will be and this has yet to be decided. Some commentators are suggesting it should include all sustained abusive language, including swearing and unpleasant tones. Others feel there should be exemptions for traditional political chants, like ‘Tory b@stards’ and similar intellectual retorts.

Critics of the proposed Act suggest it will be hard to legally define insults,  saying it could be argued statements like ‘Lib Dem wets’ should be covered under the Act, where others may deem it factual.

Unusually straying for his combative position of late, the Leader of the Opposition came out in support of the proposal. Having suffered greatly at the hands of online bullies compared him to Nick Park’s Wallace, Ed Miliband backed the government saying:

“I’m not made of plasticine – I’m human and I have feelings too.”

Olympics could include Qatada

Home Office plans for hate preacher deportation to feature in Olympics celebration

After this week’s botched attempt at deporting Abu Qatada unravels further, Home Secretary Theresa May has attempted to stay ahead of the curve by announcing that if the reviled hate preacher managed to avoid deportation until the summer that his deportation would feature in the Games.

The details of the Olympics opening ceremony have largely been kept under wraps, but it now seems clear that one person could at least feature. Home Office officials suggested a live video feed could be shown through the big screens within and outside of the stadiums detailing Qatada’s progress to Heathrow and beyond:

“We fully anticipate ‘this scumbag and his murderous mates’ will have been deported by the commencement of the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

“However, the Home Office has been running through various options for every contingency including the possibility of issuing all ticket holders with a box of eggs to pelt the car containing Qatada as it does a circle of shame around the event.”

The Home Office say they are welcoming submissions from the wider general public as they intend to make the 2012 Olympics some to remember for all corners of British society:

”We want to make sure it won’t just be British citizens fleeing the country for the Olympics.”


Right-winger wanted for BBC’s D-G role

The BBC looks for a change of focus for 2012.

The formal selection process got underway this week as the BBC began to advertise the position of Director General. The selection process will continue for several months before the chosen candidate is announced before the end of the year.

The process itself will be different to what has gone before as the BBC have decided to seek out a candidate with particular political views. Candidates must be able to be an ‘inspirational leader’ and somewhat right of centre on the political spectrum.

Critics to this new stance suggest it will dangerously unbalance the neutral standard, but current director Mark Thompson was defiantly supportive of the move. He said:

“In the BBC I joined 30 years ago there was, in much of current affairs, in terms of people’s personal politics, which were quite vocal, a massive bias to the left.”

He suggested that attracting a few more Tories may broaden the range of BBC News beyond copying headlines and themes directly from the Guardian.

While the Conservatives were largely supportive, the Labour leader Ed Miliband was unsurpisingly shocked by the measures, stating that:

“This represents the greatest challenge yet to the established consensus on a number of issues. Some people believe it is to be the end of the world in 2012: it certainly will be the end of the road of trust for the BBC.”

Users’ ‘internet record’ given by Government

Government to issue monthly ‘health breakdowns’ to all UK internet users

Recently proposed surveillance measures could be used as health advice, David Cameron suggested today. The government could issue a summary of websites visited, statistics and recommendations for each household in the UK.

The Prime Minister is in discussions with senior MPs and policy advisers about organising a monthly e-mail to citizens regarding their internet use and advice on improving their internet habits.

Combatting extreme pornography and youngsters’ radicalisation via the net seem to be the aim. As David Cameron said today:

‘We don’t want to get to the position where the State tells you what you can and cannot do on the Internet.

‘As the government already intends to access all your information anyway, it could be helpful to send a monthly summary of the types of website people visit to each registered e-mail address, with useful hints on how to access the Internet in a more healthy manner.

‘Charts showing the percentage of time spent viewing hardcore pornography compared with more wholesome viewing, like re-runs of BBC Parliament or Jamie Oliver’s website and a traffic light system illustrating their presumed terror risk – things like that.’

Critics of the system mention civil liberties and a right to privacy. The Government however believes the risk of terrorism and similar is more important.

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