Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why don't you voluntarily fuck off?

I'm a bit late on this but it seems that this kind of bullshit just won't go away.
A voluntary code of conduct for bloggers and internet commentators is supported by almost half of all internet users, a survey has claimed.

The researchers said 46 per cent of web users believe bloggers should agree to a set of guidelines which reflected the laws on defamation, intellectual property rights and incitement.

Four per cent strongly opposed the suggestion and 15 per cent had no opinion.

Well, fuck me ragged: a whole bunch of people who use the internet think that gagging free speech is a good thing.

Well, you can count me—like The Englishman and Longrider (both of whom are worth reading)—amongst the 4% who strenuously fucking object to this. I cannot make this any clearer than I did last time, so I'll spell it out.

Fuck. Off.

Quite apart from the survey's suspect provenance—it was funded by a law firm, surprise sur-fucking-prise—we don't need a "voluntary code" that reflects "the laws on defamation, intellectual property rights and incitement" because, you see, we already have an involuntary code: it's called "The Law" and we are subject to it as much as any other publishers are.

As we all know, British libel law is a fucking joke anyway; Britain has now become a haven for "libel tourists" and, as many people have pointed out, we have no Constitution protecting our right to free speech in this country (meaning, of course, that we don't have that right at all).

Plus, naturally, the media have presented this report in a thoroughly disingenuous way: head over to Ministry of Truth for the full evisceration...


Tom Paine said...

One slight quibble. In the English Common Law tradition, your rights do not derive from law. Laws are essentially negative; they are restrictions by the state on your otherwise absolute freedom. English Common Law does not give you a bullshit "right to life"; it simply limits others' rights to kill you. Therefore the US Constitution, the best ever devised and perhaps the highest expression of Common Law thinking, consists mainly of restrictions on what the state can do and of balances between the powers of different elements of the state designed to prevent government from getting out of hand. Once you accept that you need the state to give you rights, you are lost. What the state can give, it is entitled to take away.

Geoff said...

Where the hell do I sign up to be part of the 4% who think this is bullshit?

And who are the 15% who were too retarded to have an opinion? Were they Amish or in sheltered accommodation with nice comfy padded cells?

Twenty Major said...

What a load of absolute horse cunt.

Just surprised this wasn't a Daily Mail story.

Letters From A Tory said...

Who are these mystery 'internet users' who answered this stupid survey?

FlipC said...

As Tom Paine points out above we have freedom of speech unless taken away from us. This is one of the problems we have trying to integrate certain European Directives into English Law, how can we be 'given' "freedom of expression" when we've always had it?

Remember things like "You have the right to remain silent" isn't conferring any rights to you it's reminding you of the rights you already possess.

Anonymous said...

How come we never get invited on these survays and even knowing about them,my anwser would be fcuk off and die anyway but it would be nice to be asked.

Guido Fawkes said...

Fuck 'em.

Gladiatrix said...

Dear DK

Your right to freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the Human Rights Act. Both these documents form part of our Constitution.

TheFatBigot said...

Oh dear, someone has committed the classic paux pas that the Human Rights Act preserves rights. Naughty Gladiatrix. The Human Rights Act, and the Convention it incorporates, does not preserve rights, it grants them.

There is a simple test. If you feel your right to do something is being infringed you can challenge the infringer in the courts. In the old days you used to have to prove that the infringer breached statutory law or an established principle of common law, or (in quite exceptional cases) you could persuade the judge, in effect, to create a new common law rule. The reason you had to establish that a specific law had been breached was that the "infringer" was entitled to do anything he wanted unless the law proscribed it.

Now you just need to establish that one of your rights, of woolly definition, has been infringed. Unless the "infringer" can point to a specific legal provision authorising his action he will be liable.

The presumption has changed; no longer is anything allowed unless specifically proscribed even if it has caused harm to another, instead the mere fact that one person has harmed another gives rise to a presumption of wrongdoing.

Our rights are not now inherent and to be altered by The State only where it has good cause to do so, they are a gift from the government. A gift for which we must be grateful in the same way that we must be grateful for that part of our income which the government allows us to retain so that we can piss it up against the wall if we so choose - where it can join the rest of our income that the governmental bladder has excreted.