ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for January 26th, 2010

The Knock At The Door.

with 3 comments

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a writer, maybe a journalist, a trade unionist, a community activist, a plain letter writer or just a normal person

Imagine that you express your views on politicians and people in the public domain in a vigorous fashion.

Nothing offensive, no swearing, no abuse, just factual comment, backed up by evidence and a few pointed questions.

Suppose you do that.

You write letters, you make comment on society or life, would you expect a knock on your door while you’re still in your night-clothes?

Of course, not.

Still less would you expect to find Policemen knocking on your door questioning you about your writings.

That is unless you lived in a Fascist or Stalinist State.

The Policemen knocking at the door was always dreaded by citizens of those repressive regimes.

Citizens knew they had to watch their words.

They knew they could not express their contempt for their leaders or those in authority. They knew an unguarded word could lead them to a camp or Gulag. So the citizens of these awful regimes do, and have, tended to censor themselves, to be extra careful what they say and what they write, lest Policemen come knocking at their door.

And why should the Police become involved?

They shouldn’t be, unless it is a criminal matter, or there is criminal intent and activity.

The State should not intervened to control legitimate criticism, or intellectual discussions and political activities will become stifled as a result.

We do not want the days of self-censorship and stupefying debate to return, that should not happen in modern democracies.

We should not fear the knock at the door, as Seismic Shock experienced.

Written by modernityblog

26/01/2010 at 23:16

Blogging, The Principle, Rev. Sizer And The Police.

with 8 comments

After my exchange with Roger Pearse I began to think that people looking in from the outside might not see the issues as clear as some of us, given our own closeness to these questions.

Firstly, I would like to point out that this is a point of principle for me.

I do not believe that bloggers who are conducting legitimate criticism or debate, with no criminal matters connected, should be the subject of State monitoring or visits by the Police.

I do not believe that the Police have any justifiable role in political criticism of blogs.

Of course, if there had been any criminal action or intent that might be another matter, but it is clear to anyone who wants to review Seismic Shock’s old blog that isn’t the case.

Granted, much of Seismic Shock’s criticism is rather pointed and relates to Rev. Sizer’s questionable political judgements and activities.

I am fairly sure that Rev. Sizer was extremely annoyed that someone took the time to analyse his views, point out the intellectual inconsistencies and point out how Rev. Sizer should think before linking up with some of these dubious characters.

But annoyance is not a criminal offence.

Even, as much as I might dislike Rev. Sizer’s views **I** would not want the police to question him over them.

In my view, Rev. Sizer is entitled to hold as many, or as few, obnoxious and detestable opinions as he wants, I would not like the State or the Police to question him, merely because of his views.

But by the same token, I think it is proper to debate the contents of Rev. Sizer’s views, as he makes them public.

I would recommend that readers peruse the remaining cached articles from Seismic Shock’s old blogspot.

Just click on the underlined cached link on the right-hand side of each article. [Or put, site:seismicshock.blogspot.com Stephen Sizer into Google and it will display the relevant posts.]

Please make your own minds up.

I don’t think that any of the criticism was too harsh, which is why I’m happy to repeat them here, to make the point that if Rev. Sizer wishes to attack Seismic Shock then he can take me on too, for I too am Seismic Shock!