Tuesday, 13 May 2014

My reaction to extraordinary story of police trying to stifle blogger's free speech.

Police have visited a Green Party blogger in Cambridgeshire after a UKIP councillor objected to his Tweets.

 

The Guardian reports that Michael Abberton was invited by the officers to remove criticism of UKIP from social media, though no offence had been committed.

 

Mr Abberton explained that his comments had already been retweeted and he no longer had control over them. The officers, who were reportedly polite and professional, were particularly concerned about the retweet of a faked poster giving 10 reasons to vote for Ukip, such as scrapping paid maternity leave and raising income tax for the poorest 88% of Britons.

 

The Green Party's lead candidate for the Euro elections in the east of England, Rupert Read, said:

 

"Criticism of UKIP is not only legitimate, it is essential! The real election battle now here in the East is between Greens and UKIP. It is very disturbing that the police got in the way of it - and very telling that UKIP tried in an authoritarian manner to get them to do so."

 

Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green party, said:

 

"This police action is both disturbing and surprising. That an apparently general complaint from a political party about not liking what was said about them could have led to a police visit that many would find intimidating is an extremely serious incident that demands immediate investigation. Free speech is a precious right that we must defend."

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/12/police-ask-blogger-remove-legitimate-tweet-ukip

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Police have visited a Green Party blogger in Cambridgeshire after a UKIP councillor objected to his Tweets.

 

The Guardian reports that Michael Abberton was invited by the officers to remove criticism of UKIP from social media, though no offence had been committed.

 

Mr Abberton explained that his comments had already been retweeted and he no longer had control over them. The officers, who were reportedly polite and professional, were particularly concerned about the retweet of a faked poster giving 10 reasons to vote for Ukip, such as scrapping paid maternity leave and raising income tax for the poorest 88% of Britons.

 

The Green Party's lead candidate for the Euro elections in the east of England, Rupert Read, said:

 

"Criticism of UKIP is not only legitimate, it is essential! The real election battle now here in the East is between Greens and UKIP. It is very disturbing that the police got in the way of it - and very telling that UKIP tried in an authoritarian manner to get them to do so."

 

Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green party, said:

 

"This police action is both disturbing and surprising. That an apparently general complaint from a political party about not liking what was said about them could have led to a police visit that many would find intimidating is an extremely serious incident that demands immediate investigation. Free speech is a precious right that we must defend."

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/12/police-ask-blogger-remove-legitimate-tweet-ukip

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