Friday, 10 July 2009

Keeping Our Streets Safe From All Menaces...

It seems council officials never rest, in their ceaseless desire to find something to harass shopkeepers for.

After the flashback-inducing mannikin and the parish magazine unfunny joke scandal comes the fake newspaper advert insurrection:
Crawley Girl Gives Birth to Pitbull,” may not have appeared on any Argus A-boards but its appearance outside one newsagents has sparked a row.

John O'Sullivan, who owns Candy Box in Carfax, Horsham, decided to add some cheer to the street with a set of spoof headlines for the West Sussex Candy Times.

But he says he has been warned by council officials and police that he will be taken to court unless he stops putting them on display outside his shop.
There's a law against spoof news headlines now?

Well, I suppose that makes sense. After all, the real headlines can give them a run for their money these days...
Mr O'Sullivan, 34, said: “I just wanted to make people laugh because life is so miserable at the moment.

“The Crawley Girl Gives Birth to Pitbull bill apparently caused a lot of offence with five complaints but a lot more people have come in and said how much they liked it.

“Another which is said to have caused some offence was 'MPs: What a load of ...' and I blacked out the last word with a box.

“That's when the council came and gave me a warning that they were offensive. It says I have to stop and if I don't I will be prosecuted.”
When did 'giving offense' become a crime? When did we debate it in Parliament?

When did we decide to put this power in the hands of the kind of humourless busybodies that infest councils?
Mr O'Sullivan says he was also paid a visit by a PCSO and a police officer on two separate occasions, each giving their own warning.
Because there's nothing better for them to do.

A fact that hasn't escaped the good burghers of Horsham:
Mr O'Sullivan has said customers to his sweet shop have complained to him about the police finding the time to warn him when there are other more pressing issues to deal with in the community.
Roll on elected local police chiefs...

17 comments:

Von Spreuth. said...

There is only one answer in cases like this;

"You want it removed take me to fucking court arsehole", and lets see how far they get.

Von Brandenburg-Preußen.

Von Spreuth said...

Roll on elected local police chiefs...

(Missed this one).

And what gives you more confidence in THEM than in "elected" politicians?

Von Brandenburg-Preußen.

Chalcedon said...

There is no law saying you can't offend anyone. Many comedians on TV are offensive to some people, be they alternatively unfunny or mocking the week or checking out the news. He should tell them to take him to court and opt for a jury trial. Just watch the bastards back off at mach 3 if he did.

Nick von Mises said...

Can you get the names of the complainants these days? In a bygone era the justice system was based on the defendant having the right to know his accuser

Umbongo said...

NvM

In pre-history (ie before the 60s) the police often acted after somebody (often, but not always, a police informer) "laid an information" with the police. This was sufficient to get the police to act but the person who "laid the information" was not revealed to the (alleged) miscreant. Of course, in those days, the police usually acted with common sense. Anybody complaining that they were offended by a mannequin in combat fatigues of an obviously "humorous" notice would be told to piss off and not waste police time.

Umbongo said...

'or obviously "humourous"' not "of obviously . . "

Rob said...

PCSO? What a surprise. The blackshirts of neo-puritanism.

James Higham said...

There's no reference to fun in any Act of Parliament. Nor in any council action, one suspects.

Anonymous said...

So, if I get offended by one of those 'car-crushing' ads to persude me to pay my road tax, or those radio ads that, in a creepy, menacing voice, state "we know where you live and we're coming to get you" while trying to persuade me to cheerfully pay my telly tax or not cheat on benefits, then all I have to do is complain to Mr Plod and he and his pals will get them stopped then?


Kevin B

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'm very offended by Électricité de France (EDF) waving a green Union Flag over the London Olympics to bolster their renewable energy credentials, (based largely on importing their own nuclear generated power from France).

Gonna ban that for me, Mr Plod?

Von Spreuth said...

Chalcedon said...

There is no law saying you can't offend anyone


You are not QUITE paying attention, are you?

Have you failed to read the last, I don't know hoe many bloody years, posts regarding "P.C"?

Or have you difficulty in relating the two?

Von Brandenburg-Preußen.

JuliaM said...

"There is only one answer in cases like this.."

And that's why they are so keen to ensure we are all compliant and conditioned to obey authority. Without that, what could they do?

"...what gives you more confidence in THEM than in "elected" politicians?"

It seems to work well across the water, and gives them at least a partial reason to want to please the people they serve, who can reject them in favour of someone else if they don't.

"There is no law saying you can't offend anyone. "

Indeed. But that hasn't stopped the idea that no one should ever be offended from spreading. Sadly...

"In a bygone era the justice system was based on the defendant having the right to know his accuser"

I doubt it. Allowing anonymous complaints was the first step on this long road, I fear...

JuliaM said...

"Anybody complaining that they were offended by a mannequin in combat fatigues of an obviously "humorous" notice would be told to piss off and not waste police time."

We need to get back to that. Quickly!

"...then all I have to do is complain to Mr Plod and he and his pals will get them stopped then?"

If only...

patently said...

The latest on display reads: “Candy Box Owner Threatened with Arrest over Funny Boards”.

I like that one the best.

But, yes, Von thingy is right in his first post; this is what Courts are for. They are not just there to send the guilty down, they are also there to allow the innocent to tell the little Hitlers of this world to f**k right off.

JuliaM said...

"I like that one the best."

Mmmm, me too!

And yes, not enough people choose their day in court.

blueknight said...

The common theme that runs through this is that the Police/Council wardens/PCSOs etc are too keen to take the side of the complainant, even if the 'offender' has not committed any offence in law.
This may have its roots in the idea that a 'racist incident' is a racist incident if anyone thinks it is. Now anything can be 'threatening behaviour' if the complainant thinks it is.
We have had the straw dummy arrested at the road side, the dummy in fatigues and now this.
The law may be an ass, but this is not even the law

JuliaM said...

"This may have its roots in the idea that a 'racist incident' is a racist incident if anyone thinks it is. Now anything can be 'threatening behaviour' if the complainant thinks it is."

Yes, it's undoubtedly spread from that first error of judgement.