By Shirley Edwards
October 26, 2015
[These are my views as a woman living in England, on how the culture and spirit of my country has changed over 50 years. Why the country does not feel protected or strong any more, how it has lost, and is losing it values and decency, and how we are daily losing our free speech.]
Love her or hate her, British TV celebrity, and newspaper columnist, Katie Hopkins is gaining the growing reputation of being one of the most outspoken and un-politically correct personalities in the UK today. So much so, she is ruffling everyone’s feathers.
After first being exposed to Katie when she appeared as a contestant on the TV series ‘The Apprentice’, in 2006, the public quickly became accustomed to many of her views and comments as being unfiltered and sometimes extremely insensitive.
Today, comments made via her column in the Sun newspaper, social media ‘Twitter’ and her new TV show, have all been getting her into some deep water along with her fame. In some cases they have reportedly resulted in threats of libel action, petitions for her sacking, and also a police investigation. Still she presses on.
From small inoffensive controversies over criticising children’s names; it is claimed that she has gone on to call dementia patients ‘bed blockers’ and migrants ‘cockroaches’ and ‘feral humans’. In response to a recent interview with the Radio Times, discussing care for the elderly, it is reported that she thought the solution was easy. She is keen on euthanasia vans like ice-cream vans collecting patients.
But if you ask what the difference is between Katie and many other outspoken celebrities; who are very liberal, the answer is very little; other than the rapid speed of fire at which the short, sharp, retorts raise shock, and then controversy. She goes slightly over the edge. She professionally provokes and somewhere along the line, on occasion, some truth slips out.
Today, a lot of TV personalities, and in particular many comedians, follow the same style. They have adopted the same type of outspoken satire. They are allowed to freely and openly say what they like without getting into too much trouble.
Cult celebrity panel shows, ‘Mock the Week’, ‘Celebrity Juice’ ‘Have I got news for you’ and ‘8 out of 10 Cats’ all express the hypocrisy of current affairs. They are allowed to be openly rude and often interject every sentence with as many vulgar words as possible. They then show a certain pride. Saying the F word as often as you can is seen as liberating and brave, rather than weak. The comedian always graciously waits for the applause.
The influence of this type of satire and language has been allowed to change our culture. It is sometimes complained about, but it is rarely silenced. Even though we may not like it, we have kind of made friends with it. It relieves a collective silent frustration by allowing viewers to believe that the truth is being expressed, albeit in part.
Should Katie ever be stopped from expressing her views and is Freedom of Speech really alive and kicking; and where exactly do you draw the line? Will censorship ever apply to mainstream media where it has the greatest of influence? And what about the ordinary man on the street?
Extremist Disruption Orders
Proposed new banning orders (EDO’s) which are being designed under the governments new Counter-Extremism Bill, are already raising concerns in relation to free speech.
The new bill planned by Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May has been primarily introduced as a way to crack down and curb radicalisation by jihadists in the UK, and ease the fear that citizens are allowed to silently feel. But opponents to the bill have already warned that the new banning orders are extremely vague in language, and could also be used against anyone who the government considers to have radical views.
Tory MP, Mark Spencer has already let the cat out of the bag and confirmed those fears. In a Daily Telegraph article he is reported as saying that any teacher who uses their position to teach traditionalist views on marriage are as bad as terrorists and should be punished accordingly.
There were no surprises at his contempt or his comments. These are the attitudes expressed by many people who have been drafted in to the politically correct way of bullying people, under a new set of British values, under the pretext that they are somehow protecting people.
Gagging orders have already applied to most people in the workplace for a very long time for simply having traditionalist views. Prosecuting them, rather than protecting them has now taken the UK further down the road of dictatorship and is creating an animosity, a hatred, where it didn’t once exist.
EDO’s will not be limited to those with traditional views. Under the new proposals anyone who offends someone with an unpopular view or idea, could now find themselves in trouble and even be arrested and labelled extremist or terrorist. According to the organization Defend Free Speech, this means political activists, anti-religious groups and any type of campaigner; or even anyone who innocently posts or expresses an opposing view on social media like Twitter or Facebook could be labelled.
In this instance, the more Human Way to Do as advertised by Microsoft 10 with facial recognition as your password, may also mean that Cortana is not the personal help or friend that you may hope and wish for.
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
Under the new legislation it is proposed that Ofcom (The Office of Communications) will be given a strengthened role to take action against channels which broadcast extremist views on the UK’s Television and Radio channels.
In the early 1960’s one of the great pioneers of the age against mainstream media and social liberalism in the UK had been Mary Whitehouse. She was another character who was either loved or hated.
In 1964 Mary founded the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association from where she criticised the BBC for its portrayal of sex, violence and bad language, which she believed was opening the door to permissiveness and changing the face of British values.
Some of the TV programmes she criticised would seem extremely tame in comparison to what is being broadcast today, but what has become apparent to most people of my generation is that the overall mockery that Mary Whitehouse endured was uncalled for. She was relentlessly bullied and made an object of fun for being ‘traditional’ and sadly she was bullied more often for being ‘right’.
She sincerely wanted to protect children. Some people now call her a visionary who could see another agenda, which had nothing to do with freedom, but had everything to do with destroying lives.
was right about the ‘programming’ which would lead to
promiscuity and the ultimate damage of young people and the destruction
of the family.
With censorship of sexually explicit programmes now having been almost non-existent for almost 50 years, people have lost their faith in regulating bodies like Ofcom, but do believe they would be kept busy by people complaining about speech.
The Cost of Silence
Overcoming fear and anger and learning to speak up is very difficult if you have always be silenced or made to think that your views don’t mean anything. We often hear that words can seriously hurt or damage another, but similarly just one word, or one brief sentence when spoken in truth, can help another.
Let us always keep those options open…..
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” - George Orwell
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” - Benjamin Franklin
"The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing" - Edmund Burke
"Truth is hate to those who hate the truth" - Paul Walter
vans that come to your home': Katie Hopkins reveals what she would
do if she ruled the world... and says there are 'too many' old people
taking up hospital beds.
2 - Katie Hopkins
3 - MP: use anti-terror powers on Christian teachers who say gay marriage is ‘wrong’
4 - What are EDO's?
5 - Counter-Extremism Bill - National Security Council meeting.
© 2015 Shirley Edwards - All Rights Reserve
Shirley Edwards was born and lives in Great Britain. She has always worked in administration, but has also taught and studied complimentary health. In administrative roles, she has worked within The Church of England. She also worked for some years as a volunteer within the hospice movement.
Shirley has an interest in all health issues, loves the British countryside, and enjoys writing. She is thankful for talk radio and loves listening.
Shirley has always been concerned about the loss of freedoms in her country, and also the demise of America, a country she loves for the original reasons on which it was founded. She believes in the Pursuit of Genuine Happiness.