hatie speech

Hatie SpeechI really have not known how to react to this story, so over the past twenty-four hours I haven’t – at least in public.

The frankly odious Katie Hopkins (inevitably odious, as is her choice) reserves the right to say what she thinks, under any circumstances, without being dealt with by the police (the bold is mine):

Life is not a beauty pageant and you cannot demand the beauty pageant answer. I don’t want to save the world or negotiate world peace. And I look crap in swim wear. Deal with it.

I just want to continue to have my basic human right to say what I think on Twitter.

If you disagree and your best comeback is that you are going to rape me with a machete – then that is indicative of your lack of intelligence.

But be reassured. I won’t be reporting you to the police. I am holding on to the belief they have better things to do. I suspect you still live at home with your mum and floss your teeth with your toe nails.

If you can’t handle the debate, stay away from Twitter. If you want to scream “Reported!”, be sure to copy @metpoliceuk. You never know, it might make you feel powerful.

Meanwhile, Alex Andreou – in the light of Hopkins’ latest tranche of hate speech – asks the following question, in the circumstances quite reasonably I think:

If indeed the police are still refusing – point blank – to prosecute this sort of language, presumably in the still fairly sacred name of free speech (though the reason may very well lie elsewhere; you never know), perhaps our response should not be to sit upon it nor ignore it at all.  Instead, maybe our response should be quite different: maybe we should republish as widely as possible this content as originally written – without any commentary except a bespoke logo we could devise for the occasion, in order that we might signal our position unequivocally.

What do you think?  Wouldn’t the authorities then feel obliged to prosecute someone?  And if someone was prosecuted, wouldn’t even Hopkins and the Sun eventually get the desserts they deserved?

Now of course the history of Twitter – and social networks more widely – is littered with retweeted cases of social protest where censorious and anti-liberal instincts have attempted to clamp down.

But this is a slightly different matter: this is an example of how privilege – the privilege of a well-to-do and highly visible columnist, writing in the country’s biggest-selling newspaper – regularly transmutes the right to free speech into their own particularly unpleasant brand of hate speech.  Copyrighted; syndicated; published; and deliberately aimed to stir up verbal violence.

And then, of course, brand it is: the Katie Hopkins’ brand; like a carefully-studied designer label in the department store that is the Sun newspaper.

So why not name it and repeat it, ad nauseam – until someone (and then everyone?!) gets duly prosecuted.

Hatie Speech

As indeed they should have been, a long time ago.

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