Victory for free speech in UK

A remarkable result in the commons today meant the government lost their attempt to overturn the Lords amendments to the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill.

MPs voted by 288 to 278 to back the Lords amendment.

Evan Harris, Lib Dem human rights spokesman said

The government just failed to understand that they can’t take liberties with freedom of expression.

This has showed tonight that we will stand up for freedom of expression.

Crack open a bottle of what you fancy. This is a great day.

(Thanks to Eric in the comments for the tip)

13 Responses to “Victory for free speech in UK”

  1. David says:

    Great day in the morning! Its easy to appreciate the irony here as the demolition of British democracy is prevented by the Lords.

    As a dual British-Australian citizen living in the Antipodes its good to know one of the countries of which I’m a citizen is taking some steps to protect the rights of the people.

    In Australia the situation is much bleaker, with few checks on executive power (the Government controls the Senate, our House of Lords equivalent, so no prospect of humane amendments to legislation). As a result, draconic legislation that includes seven year prison sentences for sedition was passed without the difficulties faced by Blair.)
    At the Irony Party of Australia, an unofficial political organisation that entertains some policies ( that authorities may consider dangerous on our electronic pamphlet (, we’re expecting a knock at the door from the Federal Police any day now.

  2. Andrew Nixon says:

    A list of sensible Labour MPs can be found at:

    My MP, sadly, is not amongst them.

  3. Steve says:

    Do not ce;ebrate too soon they may be able to invoke the Parliment Act to push it through, I believe?

  4. […] David over at Mediawatchwatch is clearly ecstatic. But Martin Sullivan over at IslamophobiaWatch is fuming. Anyone care to explain what this means in practice now? […]

  5. Monitor says:

    fortunately not, Steve. The Parliament Act can only be invoked to overturn Lords opposition to a bill – not Parliament itself.

  6. Andy Gilmour says:



    Just a brief moment of upsurging joy, before we all have to get beack to stemming the tide of irrational supernaturalism.

  7. Andy A says:

    Colin Hart of the Christian Institute says in a news release,

    We give thanks to God that the Government has been defeated in the House of Commons over the Religious Hatred Bill.

    Odd that they never say it was God wot done it when things don’t go there way – but it must have been. Or am I missing something?

  8. Andy A says:

    There’s no wonder Martin Sullivan (and, for that matter, his mate Bob Pitt) at Mediawatch-watch are not happy (see Comment 6 above). If you so much as hint that you might hint that you might just possibly, at some indeterminate time, mention something that remotely looks as if it just could be an itsy-bitsy criticism of Islam, they’re down on you like the proverbial ton of bricks (I can think of something else it resembles a ton of). So it’s as satisfying to see that lot of PC oiks irked as it is to see this ludicrous, preposterous, absurd, silly-billy Bill stripped down to its underpants and rendered next to useless. Well done to all who fought against it!

  9. Andy Gilmour says:

    Sorry, just checked out the list of Labour rebels. Not a single bloody representative from Scotland! Arrrgghh!
    I apologise for the failure of the labour Scots to throw off their thralldom to their religious masters. I thought it was only the Weegie/West Coast mob that were so supine. Mind you, ANYONE who dares suggest the removal of (even the tiniest bit of) state funding from faith schools up here is immediately savaged in the press by assorted Cardinals, etc, and their cronies.

    We’ve got a hotly-contested by-election going on right now (in Dunfermline), and if I get a chance, I’m going to try to spring this issue on any of the candidates I can spot – especially if there’s any of the media hanging around.

    That and the bishops in the house of lords.

    The conservative candidate (Carrie somebody) has already played the “admire-my-moral-rectitude-through-religion” card in her election literature, so it should be interesting to have a go at her for starters. 🙂


    Scottish Andy

  10. Andy A says:

    Some prat in Comment 10 above – oh, it was me! – said, “There’s no wonder Martin Sullivan (and, for that matter, his mate Bob Pitt) at Mediawatch-watch are not happy (see Comment 6 above)”. It should, of course, have referred not to the esteemed and excellent Mediawatch-watch but to the Islamophobia-watch blog. I’ll just go and flagellate myself with a pig’s bladder. Doh!

  11. Craig says:

    Great news, a fantastic day for free speech.