Farewell Freedom Of Speech

In my previous post at the end of last month (here) I told how we, the GayMarriageNoThanks.com (here) campaign team, planned to display ‘Sophie’ posters on billboards across London ahead of the third reading of the same-sex marriage Bill in the House of Lords on 8th July. The purpose of the poster was to draw urgent attention to the issue of children: at the heart of marriage for most people and, with the honourable exception of a very few parliamentarians (here), kids have been entirely ignored in the gay marriage debate.

EvidenceShowsThe ensuing Sophie story shines a small but penetrating light on the declining democracy in which we now live:

We tried first to book space for her with two of the major billboard companies, Clear Channel UK (here) and Primesight (here). They both examined the artwork and declined our business, the latter informing us it was “due to the content” which was “too contentious”.

This was ludicrous. Of course Sophie was contentious – how could she not be? She brought a specific, relevant and legitimate viewpoint about a highly contentious issue that was currently being discussed in the mother of parliaments and democracy just down the road, and we wanted to exercise our right as citizens to influence that discussion.

So we took Sophie along to the Advertising Standards Authority or rather to its associate, the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), which offers ‘authoritative advice’ on the UK’s advertising rules (here). In the light of their guidance we amended the statement along the bottom of the poster from ‘FACT:’ to ‘Evidence shows…’ and set about finding a new billboard company.CAPlogo(To clarify: CAP in no way endorsed or approved our poster, and they make it clear that advertisers are not to imply any such endorsement or approval. We listened carefully to their advice some of which we accepted, but the responsibility for the poster remained entirely ours.)

A colleague in Scotland had used AdTRAILERS (here) mobile billboards in the past so on Sunday 7th July, the day before the third reading, Sophie found herself being driven around Westminster and central London on one of their trucks. Response to her was both positive and very negative, and in Trafalgar Square some hostile gay marriage supporters shouted obscenities and ripped part of the poster from one side of the truck.

But much worse was to come. Early the following morning as the day of the Lord’s debate dawned I took a call from AdTRAILERS. Their staff member was apologetic but informed me they were cancelling the contract with immediate effect. The company had received “horrific” and “frightening” threats to the driver, the staff and the company, and for their own safety’s sake they could not allow the truck to go out again. “I have known nothing like it in ten years – it’s violent stuff,” said the shocked representative.

We subsequently received an email from the company cancelling the contract because of “threats” and “offensive complaints” and offering a refund. We asked them to report the intimidation to the police and supply us with the relevant crime numbers, but they declined. Fear of reprisals – to persons and business – by the gay marriage supporters paralysed the company who simply wished the matter would go away.

RainbowFlagThus Sophie’s campaign was derailed after just one day. She had been silenced by gay marriage bullies.

No doubt her antagonists crowed about their ‘victory’. But more thoughtful observers may pause to reflect on the implications for our society. The silencing of legitimate public debate through violent threats and fear are the hallmarks of autocracies and tyrannies.

The UK is not yet Putin’s Russia or Taleban-controlled Pakistan. But inch by inch our free speech is being closed down, our liberties are being curtailed and our democratic space is shrinking. So maybe, just maybe, we are on the way.

8 thoughts on “Farewell Freedom Of Speech

  1. You are wrong about Putin’s Russia (last paragraph). He stands up for Christian values as Russian Orthodox officials will tell you.

  2. The permissive society of the 60s has grown into the compulsive society of the decadent. Tolerance of the immoral has become the intolerance of the moral. It is up to the lovers of our democratic freedoms to reverse our moral decline through a Christian renewal. Without it anarchy will disfigure our cities followed by a police state.

  3. The behaviour by these bullying thugs constitutes a number of criminal offences and really should have been reported to the Police.I would assume that the Police would take action as they are required. However any failure on their part to act could be taken through the appropriate complaints procedures.

  4. And what if those good men and women are SILENCED by an increasingly authoritarian system?
    We are now living in a homosexual dictatorship. They have infiltrated the education system with the blessing of Tony blair’s government and totally brainwashed the younger generation. No dissent is tolerated. Children and teachers are severely punished for refusing to go along with the LGBT extremist agenda. Any disagreement is instantly labelled “homophobia”.
    Homosexuals control the schools, the universities, the newspapers, the TV channels, the political parties, the police, the health service, the professional bodies such as the BMA and the Law Society, and they increasingly control the christian churches. They control the EU and the UN which both have pro-LGBT policies.
    LGBT nonsense is churned out as fact on all the media daily non-stop and any other viewpoint has become unacceptable.
    The resistance of people like yourselves has not been effective. You have been weak and unsuccessful. You need to look at yourselves and ask why. Ask what you can do to change yourselves to become stronger.

  5. Yes these threats should certainly have been reported to the police.
    But it is likely that the police would say they could do nothing because of Blairite legislation about “hate-speech”. Anything the homo-extremists don’t like is “hate-speech” and therefore can be censored.

  6. There is an amendment to Public Order law backed by the present government,of whom I am not a supporter,making it clear that expressing views in support of traditional marriage does not constitute a criminal offence.
    I digress a little but in this debate about the Gaystapo we need to bear in mind that both the US Surgeon General’s Report in the 90’s and the ONS Survey in our own country of fairly recent origin showed the proportion of men who are homosexual at 1.5%. These figures arose from huge samples.
    Press reports and other sources indicate to me that not all are active and refrain from the sin of sodomy.A friend of mine, a former Confessor when I was living up country, without discussing anyone individually told me that many homosexual Christians wish to obey the plain teaching of Holy Scripture and abstain from this sin.Certainly there are gay men who do not believe in same sex marriage.
    What we are facing here is a small but very strong and vociferous Lobby Group allied with the aggresive secular liberal political elite. Yes,of course we must resist, and speak up for the truth, as Christians have had to do in many times and different situations throughout the history of the Church.
    In the Sermon on the Mount it seems to me that we are called to be involved in society as a whole which by definition includes politics.
    I strongly believe that Christians should be actively involved in politics.

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