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Randall Herbert

Another Free Speech Scandal

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A 76-year-old pro-life campaigner has become the latest victim of the steady destruction of freedom of speech under the Blair regime. Edward Atkinson's 'crime' was to send pictures of an aborted baby, and a video of an abortion, to the Chief Executive of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Trust in King's Lynn. At a time when judges are being told by the Government not to jail muggers and burglars, he was sentenced to a month in prison last Friday.

Last week at Swaffham Magistrates Court, Mr. Atkinson was convicted of three counts of sending offensive literature or material to staff at the hospital between January and April this year.

The Norfolk hospital bosses not only informed the police but also struck Mr. Atkinson off the waiting list for a hip transplant. The police in turn referred the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions, and then dragged the nearly crippled devout Catholic from his home when they arrested him and held him on remand for days until he appeared in court.

The decision to prosecute Mr. Atkinson, and his subsequent prison sentence, has cost thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money, and wasted a large amount of police and court time which would have been far better spent dealing with real criminals.

Freedom to campaign

At a certain level, this scandal isn't even about opinions either for or against abortion; it is a simple matter of freedom of speech and the right of every single British citizen to campaign on any issue. For example, the anti-hunting lobby should beware, as distributing pictures of dead foxes could lead to the same result. As should the pro-field sports people, should they decide to press their case with pictures of lambs or chickens mutilated by foxes.

The UK Life League, to which Mr. Atkinson belongs, is described by the media as a 'militant' anti-abortion group, but the truth is that 'militancy' that involves sending pictures which highlight the true horror of late-term abortion in particular cannot possibly harm anybody. The reality is that Ted Atkinson and his fellow campaigners are merely exercising what should be their absolute right to express their views and press their case.

Support

To criminalise such legitimate and entirely peaceful actions exposes the essentially totalitarian nature of the left-liberal 'project'. NU LAbour is opposed to abortion save in exceptional cases where there are serious health issues affecting either mother or child, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape. In all cases we believe that the present time limit is far too high, and we have great sympathy for the non-political campaign to get it reduced and so end the disgusting spectacle of what is in effect child murder.

Ted is likely to be released within about ten days, so readers who wish to express their support, either for his views or simply for his right to campaign effectively for them, should write to:

Edward Atkinson, c/o HMP Norwich, Knox Road, Norwich, NR1 4LU

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It is not surprising. This government have already imprisoned two pensioners who did not pay their council tax. "Debtor's Prison" has returned from Dickensian days. They almost made it a crime to support one belief system over another, e.g. Budhism over Mormanism, Moslem vs. Christian, Hindu vs. Sikh and so forth. All in the name of "religious hatred." Next we will face imprisonment for ridiculing the Miracle Economy.

Its time for them to go.

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He should know better at his age, silly sod. Next time he'll go for the intelligent, not shock, approach, if he lives long enough.

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My personal opinion is that "pro-life"* campaigners are scum.

But the idea that you cannot send a photo of what goes on in a hospital to a hospital chief executive is ludicrous. Free speech is vital. I am unsure about the labour party nowadays, but I can categorically say Tony Blair is about as high in my opinion as Thatcher was 15 years ago.

Take the hint Tony. It's like being back at school and sitting next to a really smelly kid. You bring in deodorent one day and tell him he can keep it if he wants, next day have a chat about how great it is having a shower EVERY morning, third day go in with some soap and wish him a happy birthday ("but it's not my birthday", "keep it anyway"), fourth day ask him to try on a selection of aftershaves and keep the one he likes best. Still the little so and so thinks he's the one human being whose natural body odour is petal and lavendar.

* I hate that expression, religious nut-jobs is better.

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It is not surprising. This government have already imprisoned two pensioners who did not pay their council tax. "Debtor's Prison" has returned from Dickensian days. They almost made it a crime to support one belief system over another, e.g. Budhism over Mormanism, Moslem vs. Christian, Hindu vs. Sikh and so forth. All in the name of "religious hatred." Next we will face imprisonment for ridiculing the Miracle Economy.

Its time for them to go.

Agreed. I think that Labour need to realise that less government is better government.

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My personal opinion is that "pro-life"* campaigners are scum.

But the idea that you cannot send a photo of what goes on in a hospital to a hospital chief executive is ludicrous. Free speech is vital. I am unsure about the labour party nowadays, but I can categorically say Tony Blair is about as high in my opinion as Thatcher was 15 years ago.

Take the hint Tony. It's like being back at school and sitting next to a really smelly kid. You bring in deodorent one day and tell him he can keep it if he wants, next day have a chat about how great it is having a shower EVERY morning, third day go in with some soap and wish him a happy birthday ("but it's not my birthday", "keep it anyway"), fourth day ask him to try on a selection of aftershaves and keep the one he likes best. Still the little so and so thinks he's the one human being whose natural body odour is petal and lavendar.

* I hate that expression, religious nut-jobs is better.

Everyone has a "religion." To some being for the preservation of life is a good thing, to others that are against this belief it is a bad thing. I am not sure if being for life is any less sane than being against it? :blink: Believing that an unborn child is not "life" is a form of religion that holds to the view that "life" begins when the baby is out of the womb and not before. Thus to kill an unborn baby is not a crime because it is not taking a "life". Pity the pregnant mother whose child is killed by a punch in the stomach?

NuLabour need to stand up for individual freedom of belief whether its the relgion of humanism, atheism, agnosticism, wican or anti/pro-life, homophile or homophobe. Beliefs that turn into crimes are another matter--they are the true nut jobs.

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Did this topic mention "freedom of speech" and then go on to say he sent pictures and a video? Where's the speech exactly?

What was this guy's point exactly? If he had sent that sh!t to me and I was in charge I would have kept him on the hip replacement list and made sure they removed his nuts and attached them to his forehead.

What a pr!ck!

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I'm tolerant of everything except intolerance.

Pro-lifers are intolerant of women's rights, I'm intolerant of pro-lifers. Simple.

Pro-lifers are just intolerant of women who have their unborn babies destroyed. Anti-lifers are intolerant of the unborn child's rights. Thus one person's tolerance is another's intolerance depending upon which belief system you follow. I think it is difficult to be fully objective on any issue as we all approach things with pre-suppositons depending on how we were brought up and input from our environment. In the end its all about your religion and how you apply its values to each situation.

Perhaps tolerating the intolerant is the highest form of toleration?

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To continue...

I am not a medical expert, but I do think stopping a pregnancy in the first couple of weeks is the equivalent of taking the pill to prevent pregnancy - much beyond that and we're on a very tricky slope. I hope I never am in a situation where abortion is even an option for anyone close to me.

BUT, that foetus / child has a very hard life without it's mother's full support, and that mother has a very hard life whatever she chooses. I cannot see how forcing the pregnancy to go ahead is a good thing.

I believe that religion should be allowed (reluctantly), but I genuinely feel very sorry for the religious, and the millions that suffer because of them. I would be tempted to ban them from voting and political life. And I'd really appreciate if they could get on with their relationship with God in such a way as I did not know they existed.

I have yet to meet someone who is religious and not a complete hypocrite. I honestly believe I'm a better Christian than half the believers in this country.

God doesn't exist. Get over it.

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Did this topic mention "freedom of speech" and then go on to say he sent pictures and a video? Where's the speech exactly?

What was this guy's point exactly? If he had sent that sh!t to me and I was in charge I would have kept him on the hip replacement list and made sure they removed his nuts and attached them to his forehead.

What a pr!ck!

Exactly. I wonder why the pictures of an aborted baby disturbed him? Doctors see that stuff every day in the normal course of business. Why the big deal? :blink:

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Pro-lifers are just intolerant of women who have their unborn babies destroyed. Anti-lifers are intolerant of the unborn child's rights. Thus one person's tolerance is another's intolerance depending upon which belief system you follow. I think it is difficult to be fully objective on any issue as we all approach things with pre-suppositons depending on how we were brought up and input from our environment. In the end its all about your religion and how you apply its values to each situation.

Perhaps tolerating the intolerant is the highest form of toleration?

That's it, I'm not having you call me an "anti-lifer". I do not see that forcing every potential mother to have every potential child is a good thing. Simple. I think a woman's rights are infinitely higher than her progeny who rely on her for every single thing they have.

Tolerating the intolerant is what meant we waited until 1939 til we started kicking Hitler's sorry Kraut backside, and look where that got 6M religious nut-jobs. Perhaps the highest form of toleration, but also stupid.

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To continue...

I am not a medical expert, but I do think stopping a pregnancy in the first couple of weeks is the equivalent of taking the pill to prevent pregnancy - much beyond that and we're on a very tricky slope. I hope I never am in a situation where abortion is even an option for anyone close to me.

BUT, that foetus / child has a very hard life without it's mother's full support, and that mother has a very hard life whatever she chooses. I cannot see how forcing the pregnancy to go ahead is a good thing.

I believe that religion should be allowed (reluctantly), but I genuinely feel very sorry for the religious, and the millions that suffer because of them. I would be tempted to ban them from voting and political life. And I'd really appreciate if they could get on with their relationship with God in such a way as I did not know they existed.

I have yet to meet someone who is religious and not a complete hypocrite. I honestly believe I'm a better Christian than half the believers in this country.

God doesn't exist. Get over it.

Religious people are all hypocrites because they say they believe in one thing and do another. Religion is a belief system and atheists have a right to be called religious also as their beliefs are as valid as anyone elses in a tolerant society. The hypocrisy comes in when the atheist says to a believer in a different set of values that they are wrong because there is no right or wrong in the atheist's worldview as there is no higher power other than yourself.

The TV ad that is running at the moment is a good example of religious hypocrisy. The Budhist avoids stepping on an ant because he believes al life is scared. Yet he kills hundreds of microbes when he sneezes and destroys the tissue afterwards. A hypocrite? Probably. How about the Moslem or the Christian who eyes up a member of the opposite sex with lust? Hypocrites--absolutely!

How about the person who says they are tolerant but criticizes someone elses beliefs? Hypocite? Certainly.

Bottom line: we are ALL hypocrites because we are all imperfect.

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Actually, one last thing. Whilst I stand by just about everything I have written above, please ignore me. I'm tired and itching for an argument, and certain issues are probably best left... so long as you are not ramming your views down my face.

But I suppose that's it. If I believe abortion is acceptable, and that the consequences for women and society by making it illegal are terrible, then I'll stand up for it. Someone who believes in God and thinks that God thinks abortion is wrong is going to campaign vociferously against it - and I'd have a VERY low opinion of them if they didn't.

I re-read some of my above posts and I come across as a wind-up merchant of TTRTR levels, Not good.

Peace, love, hugs and kisses to all. Back to an essay on compulsory purchase, joy.

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That's it, I'm not having you call me an "anti-lifer". I do not see that forcing every potential mother to have every potential child is a good thing. Simple. I think a woman's rights are infinitely higher than her progeny who rely on her for every single thing they have.

Tolerating the intolerant is what meant we waited until 1939 til we started kicking Hitler's sorry Kraut backside, and look where that got 6M religious nut-jobs. Perhaps the highest form of toleration, but also stupid.

Semantics can get in the way! When the mother is considering abortion there are just 2 choices. The choice is between pro and anti life. Abort and you are agaiinst life in that situation. Not to abort and you are for life in that situation. Neutral is not a good fit when a choice has to be made one way or the other.

From the "pro-lifer's" aspect the right of the unborn child supercedes the mother's right to kill. From the "anti-lifer'" perspective (that is, anti-life in the situation where a choice is being made between killing the baby or preserving him or her) the mother's right to carry on without the inconvenience of a child is paramount.

Convenience vs. death?

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It's impossible to discuss religion with a religious person without feeling like you are at the mad hatters tea party, vis a vis 'they are all mad or I am'.

My position is objectivism. A basic premise of objectivism is the non-existence of any supernatural force. And under objectivism a basic premise does not entertain it's antithesis; it tolerates no tolerance.

Objectivism is described as 'a philosophy for living on Earth'. It has served me well as such.

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Actually, one last thing. Whilst I stand by just about everything I have written above, please ignore me. I'm tired and itching for an argument, and certain issues are probably best left... so long as you are not ramming your views down my face.

But I suppose that's it. If I believe abortion is acceptable, and that the consequences for women and society by making it illegal are terrible, then I'll stand up for it. Someone who believes in God and thinks that God thinks abortion is wrong is going to campaign vociferously against it - and I'd have a VERY low opinion of them if they didn't.

I re-read some of my above posts and I come across as a wind-up merchant of TTRTR levels, Not good.

Peace, love, hugs and kisses to all. Back to an essay on compulsory purchase, joy.

Peace to you also! A god debate is always a good thing so long as we tolerate the intolerable sometimes. I have no toleration for HPI and the misery it has brought therefore I am an intolerant person--I admit it!

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[quote name='Realistbear' date='May 8 2006, 11:37 PM' post='370679'

Bottom line: we are ALL hypocrites because we are all imperfect.

Exactly.

Would that each of us recognised and admitted that.

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Believing that an unborn child is not "life" is a form of religion that holds to the view that "life" begins when the baby is out of the womb and not before.

Actually pro-abortionists and indeed abortion law in the UK does not maintain that '"life" begins when the baby is out of the womb and not before.'

Such a viewpoint simplifies a question which is actually very complicated.

Does life start when an egg meets sperm, when the egg cell starts to divide, when the primitive streak appears, when the nervous system is developed?

Pro-lifers often show images of late abortions which are already illegal in this country.

I am afraid the pro and anti abortion campaigns cannot be so simply divided into those who believe an unborn child is not a valid life and those who do.

I think you are also confusing the words 'belief' and 'religion'.

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When the mother is considering abortion there are just 2 choices. The choice is between pro and anti life.

Convenience vs. death?

When you stick a bleach block in the loo, you are anti-life.

The real issue is, at what point is 'life' worthy of protection? A sperm in my left bollock, or a foetus at 28 weeks? If it's the former, I am the biggest mass murderer in recorded history.

I feel it is better to end an unwanted pregnancy. Better for all lives concerned, potential or otherwise.

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the mother's right to carry on without the inconvenience of a child is paramount.

Convenience vs. death?

This is another very insulting suggestion, that the only cases in which abortion occurs is where the child is simply inconvenient to the daily life of the adult woman. This takes no account of case of rape, incest, underage pregnancy or pregnancy that endangers the life of the mother.

You are simplifying a complex question, again.

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"Religious people are all hypocrites because they say they believe in one thing and do another. "

Yes

"Religion is a belief system and atheists have a right to be called religious also as their beliefs are as valid as anyone elses in a tolerant society. "

If you mean that atheists should have the same rights as religious groups are afforded in a "pro-religious society such as ours then yes. If you mean my rational world view based on science and logic is comparable to a world view based on heresay, myth, lies,and a make believe man in the sky with a beard and a sick sense of humour then no.

"The hypocrisy comes in when the atheist says to a believer in a different set of values that they are wrong because there is no right or wrong in the atheist's worldview as there is no higher power other than yourself. "

I am an atheist. I believe hitting children because they smile at me is wrong. I do not need God to tell me that. I do not see how anyone can think that you cannot have morals just because you don't believe in God. My morals, due to my upbringing, are fairly close to Jesus' teachings as things go. Don't steal, don't kill, don't get jealous, don't cheat on your missus, turn the other cheek where possible, give a bit to the poor, vote for a left wing political party etc.

"How about the person who says they are tolerant but criticizes someone elses beliefs? Hypocite? Certainly."

OK, I am tolerant of eveything execpt intolerance and rank stupidity.

"Bottom line: we are ALL hypocrites because we are all imperfect."

Yes.

One last thing - a very clear memory I have is when our local vicar came to visit my dying mother a few years ago (I was an avowed atheist by then) and he didn't think to ask how she was when she opened the door - he was too busy telling her about his brand new bright yellow convertible mercedes. Unbelievable.

edited for quotation marks

Edited by Father Fred

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Support

To criminalise such legitimate and entirely peaceful actions exposes the essentially totalitarian nature of the left-liberal 'project'. NU LAbour is opposed to abortion save in exceptional cases where there are serious health issues affecting either mother or child, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape. In all cases we believe that the present time limit is far too high, and we have great sympathy for the non-political campaign to get it reduced and so end the disgusting spectacle of what is in effect child murder.

I am intrigued by this statement. Where was this taken from? Or are these your own words, RH?

It seems to be contradictory: on the one hand we have a man convicted for opposing abortion, and on the other a statement that Nu Labour oppose abortion. Do they? I was not aware of this.

Several hundred thousand fetuses are aborted in the UK each year. Imagine what their survival would do for the UK population demographics. In reality most of them wouldn't be conceived if abortion was not so readily available.

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