Or write it seems. A blogger and twitter user who has 'issues' with his local council now faces the prospect of being jailed for using an obscene word in reference to unnamed individuals serving on the borough council. He was charged under the Electronic Communications Act - another of Blair's attempts to stifle freedom of expression - which makes it an offence to use obscene language over a telephone or any other electronic medium, including a blog or Twitter.
It does appear to have become something of a witch hunt though. This is not the first time that act has been used to attempt to silence someone opposed to something an elected body is doing or to what individuals on an elected body are engaged in. According to the reports I've read, the accused was originally charged with incitement, harassment and breaching personal privacy. These charges have been dropped, in favour of pursuing the obscenity case, on which he has now been found guilty. While I don't particularly like the use of obscene language I do find it worrying that elected representatives can apparently stifle what does appear to be an honest grievance concerning their behaviour by resorting to law in this manner.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I hold a very low opinion of politicians in general and civil servants in particular. Cases like this simply reinforce my view that they are unscrupulous, conniving and crooked - and, as they make the laws, are perfectly positioned to abuse them to their advantage.
Democracy? It's an illusion.
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