Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Spirit and the Sky

After yesterday's incident with the Sky engineer, I decided that I needed to do some background reading and research. Forewarned is forearmed.

In the UK there are a number of laws protecting people from harassment including the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Both because the term is used in common English, and because where the term is defined by law, the law varies by jurisdiction, it is difficult to provide any exact definition that is accepted everywhere.

In some cultures, for instance, simply stating a political opinion can be seen as unwarranted and a deliberate attempt to intimidate — in a totalitarian society any such statement could be interpreted as an attempt to involve someone in rebel activity or implicate them in same, with the implication that if they refuse, they are putting their own life in danger.

More usually, some label such as "anti-social" or related to treason is used to label such behaviour — it being treated as an offense against the state not the person. This resembles the use of psychiatry to imprison dissidents which is common in many countries.

Clearly, from the above, Gill has a case that we can use to build a story. It looks like Sky doesn't have a leg to stand on. I think I might have to use some of my redundancy package in order to keep a lawyer on a retainer. Journalism sometimes skates on thin ice legally.

Meanwhile, the public transport vs atheism story has been snowballing in the blogosphere....check out this view from an atheist, this view from a Christian and this view from a bus driver.

Interesting times.

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