Burning poppies.

Burning poppies.

“A man has been arrested after an image of a burning poppy and obscenities were posted on a social networking site.

The 19-year-old, from Canterbury, was detained on Sunday night on suspicion of making malicious telecommunications.

Kent Police said he was arrested at about 20:45 GMT and would be interviewed by officers on Monday.”

I don’t understand.

Malicious telecommunications? What does that mean. So I had a look.

Malicious Communications Act 1988

“Offence of sending letters etc. with intent to cause distress or anxiety.

(1)Any person who sends to another person—
(a)a [F1letter, electronic communication or article of any description] which conveys—
(i)a message which is indecent or grossly offensive;
(ii)a threat; or
(iii)information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender; or
(b)any [F2article or electronic communication] which is, in whole or part, of an indecent or grossly offensive nature,”

s guilty of an offence if his purpose, or one of his purposes, in sending it is that it should, so far as falling within paragraph (a) or (b) above, cause distress or anxiety to the recipient or to any other person to whom he intends that it or its contents or nature should be communicated.”


So why was this man arrested?

Was it percieved as a threat?

or was it grossly offensive?

offensive to who?
threat to who?
distressing to who?

Remembrance rituals, such as Rememberance day are forms of Civil religion.

Civil religion are a cluster of beliefs which determine national values and identity, supported by rituals, and which are not neccessarily formulations of particular faith.

It provides unity, sacred events, spaces and rituals, that transcend differences, in order to unite and cement the nation.

It helps us understand the past, our history, our achievements, our rights and our wrongs.

It helps nations get through times of grief and disaster. It acts as an aid to memory and remembrance, a support a validation.

When we ask what does it mean to be British, it is Civil Religion that holds the answers.

And the greatest symbol of Civil Religion in the UK is the poppy.

It is something sacred.

It encapsulates ideals, values, regrets, loss, hope, love.

It encapsulates what it means to be British.

When one burns a poppy, it as if one is burning all of that, as if one is sticking two fingers up to “Britishness” to the shared values and ideals that have existed to cement our communities.

It is rubbishing the memories, and the love, and the hope.

So is it offensive? or is it a threat?

Well I am guessing it is grossly offensive, and is something that could cause anxiety and distress.

However the internet is full of those things.
Trolls on tribute sites,
cyber bullies,

Why do they not get arrested?

The answer is simply because the things they attack are not deemed to be sacred enough.

Teenage girls are not seen as sacred.
Dead children are not seen as sacred.
Victims of tragedies are not seen as sacred.

They may be sacred to their famileis and firends, but not to the wider society.

The wider society doesn’t deem them important enough. representative enough. They don’t hold their hopes and values in these people.

and then we come to “that film”

“innocence of Muslims”

Was it grossly offensive? yes
Did it cause distress and anxiety? yes

But all everyone was talking abuot was free speech, freedom of expression and so on and so forth.

So what can we conclude from all this?

We can conclude that the state determines what is sacred.

That the state does not care what is important to minorities.

It does not view individuals and minorities with importance.

It want’s to control our actions, so that only state sanctioned activities, and standards are given approval and validation.

Wow, subhanAllah.

I got all that from a burnt poppy….

If I didn’t know the poppy was burnt,
If i didn’t know the man was arrested,

then what then?


Posted on 12/11/2012, in politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Part of the problem lies in the truly antiquated laws in many Western nations’ legal codes. They have NO idea how to handle anything online. The US press is filled with stories of companies ducking taxes by selling only over the Net, people committing suicide due to bullying while the bully (or bullies) goes free, even of pedophilia and child pornography going uncharged. The legal system needs to get “hip” to the new electronic media.
    Case in point? Only a couple months ago, did a court post a ruling on stealing automobiles using their online services like OnStar. They had to fall back on a law written to penalise people stealing PCs from their offices back in the early 90s! Nobody knew whether the crime was auto theft, computer hacking, or invasion of privacy, and thus argued long and labouriously for charges under each one of those three. If only our courts could be upgraded as fast as the hardware and software they’re trying to regulate.
    To touch on this particular subject, the Anglo-American psyche gets very touchy at times of war, yet allows far greater liberties when they themselves are not fighting. Yes, a double-standard – definitely. (Then again, if you’ve witnessed either the UK or US in a nationwide election, you can see it isn’t just war that gets people over-sensitive!)

    • hmm but in this case the man was arrested for putting a picture of a burning policy on social media sites, so it doesn’t seem that the laws are antiquated, it seems they pick and choose when to use them?

      They decide what is worthy of being offensive, or distressing.

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