Monthly Archives: May 2018

The ever narrowing range of permitted opinion in England

Robert Henderson

On 14 May 2018 Jeremy Bedford-Turner  known as Jez Turner was convicted at Southwark Crown Court in London of inciting racial hatred during a speech he gave in 2015 outside Downing Street. He was sentenced to 12 months, six of which will be served in prison and the rest on licence.

In his speech   Mr Bedford-Turner attacked Jewish influence, most particularly, the  Met Police’s support for and enablement of  a  Jewish organisation  known as the Shomrim run by a charity called the Community Security Trust (CST). This  organisation   has astonishing  support from the Met Police including the use of police cars and the wearing of uniforms which look very similar to those worn by police officers.

Did Mr Bedford-Turner have a chance of acquittal?  He  had a jury trial so  that gave him some chance of an acquittal. Had it been a trial without a jury he would almost certainly have had  none. After decades of ever more ruthlessly enforced political correctness  judges in England all  subscribe to  the wonders of diversity multiracial game without thinking  and, consequently, it  is very difficult to imagine a judge sitting on his own daring to find a defendant accused of racism  not guilty.

But even with a jury the odds were heavily against a not guilty verdict. In the minds of jurors must be the fear of being called a racist, a fear  which has been so successfully inculcated in the general population that  it produces an automated reflex of panic and terror when faced with the possibility of the label being  stuck on them. Any juror faced with a case such as this must have it in the back of their minds  that to return a not guilty verdict would be to risk being called a racist. There is also the sheer shock factor of hearing politically incorrect views being unashamedly spoken. As it was the jury was out for less than two hours and returned a unanimous verdict of  guilty. (For the record there were two black women and one black man on the jury plus one other man who may have been a Turk.  The rest were white).

The Crown Prosecution Service  (CPS) initially  refused to prosecute Mr Bedford-Turner  because the case  did not meet their evidential standard for a prosecution.  The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism  (CAA)  then threatened the CPS with a judicial review of their decision not to prosecute. Faced with that the CPS caved in and prosecuted Mr Bedford-Turner. Running a judicial review is very expensive.  The fact that  the CAA managed to get the CPS  to prosecute  by starting the process to have a judicial review  effectively created two tiers of justice, one  for the rich and one  for the poor.

I  shall be writing a fuller account of the trial later but I can say unequivocally that the judge, David Tomlinson,  showed his bias against Mr Bedford-Turner  from the word go in both his actions and manner.

He began by refusing a request by Mr Bedford-Turner’s barrister to put  questions to prospective jurors to discover if any of them were members of the CAA or the  CST.  The judge’s explanation was that he valued the principle of  random selection. In a place such as London that is always likely to throw up a jury which through its diverse composition is likely to hinder any defendant charged with inciting racial hatred.

During this passage of the hearing the judge  also said with great distaste that it was shocking that such an organisation as the CAA needed to exist but that was the way of the world.

Tomlinson  also intervened on a number of occasions when Mr Bedford-Turner was being cross-examined. These  interventions were not to elucidate Mr Bedford-Turner’s  testimony for either the judge or the jury,   but were   attempts to contradict the defendant  using an aggressive tone and manner. This behaviour was highly questionable because in effect the judge  kept on  taking over the prosecution counsel’s cross-examination.  ( If I had been prosecution counsel I would have been more than a little put out  because Tomlinson’s interjections suggested that prosecution counsel was not making a good job of the cross-examination. )

The  other thing to note was the way both judge and prosecuting counsel accepted opinion as fact and were seemingly oblivious to what they were doing, namely,  enforcing the politically correct  view of the world. For example, prosecuting counsel thought nothing of citing a case DPP v Collins 2006 on the question of what is grossly offensive,  viz:

“It is for the trial court to determine as a question of fact whether a message is grossly offensive.  In making this determination the standards of an open and just multi-racial society are to be applied”

That may reasonably be translated as whatever political correctness  decrees.

The prosecution have to justify their position that the words are grossly offensive but they do not have to show anyone was grossly offended. This seems mad to the lay person,  but there are many crimes which rely on actions carried out before any harm is done, for example, preparations for committing terrorist acts and conspiracies. The real problem with this type of charge is that it allows a high degree of subjectivity in making the value judgement of what is grossly offensive.

Later in the proceedings the judge decided that although the educated classes would not be affected by  words written or spoken by Mr Beford-Turner and his ilk, the uneducated classes  might well be  prey to such blandishments . (I kid you not).

Little media coverage

The other striking thing about this trial is the paucity of media comment.  One might have thought the mainstream media would have jumped all over the matter  but the only mainstream press  with a representative attending the trial was the Press Association. Why? Well, I suspect it was because although the politically correct wanted the prosecution and a guilty verdict they did not want the politically incorrect nature of much of the evidence to come before the public’s eyes.

There was also a very curious incident on day one of the trial. The acoustics in the public gallery  were poor and I was unable to catch the name of the prosecuting counsel. After the hearing was adjourned for the day I asked the barrister in question what his name was explaining that I had not been able to catch it during the hearing. He refused to give me his name. This struck me as very odd indeed because the trial was not being held in camera so his name was public knowledge – it is Louis Malby QC. On the second day of the trial a Press Association journalist also refused to give me his name. Could it be that those involved with a trial which drove a coach and horses through the notion of free expression  are ashamed of being part of  it?

Where does all this leave us?

What has been made very clear in this trial (and that of the trial of Alison Chabloz) is that we have an elite  which is hell bent on squeezing the range of permitted opinion ever more tightly into a politically correct shape.

The reality is cases such as that of  Mr Bedford-Turner are show trials pure and simple. They are show trials because there is only one permissible  result, that is,  guilty.  The evidence is irrelevant.

The intention of the British  elite  – political, academic and the mainstream media – is to ruthlessly reduce what is permitted to be written or spoken until politically incorrect  ideas are, if not entirely eradicated , driven underground or held only by those without power. This was what Orwell envisaged with NewSpeak,  a  language so altered and stripped of important meaning that people could no longer rebel because they lacked the language with which to do it.

Free expression is essential to democracy and political freedom. Take it away and oppression soon fills the void. It also has a general cultural value

Britain and the West in general are rapidly losing that essential freedom. We desperately need to fight to save it.

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