The parrot culture that is British the First Amendment is underrated

British newspapers can legitimately mock parrots and compare them to psychopaths, the press regulator has ruled, after an unsuccessful complaint that the Daily Star misrepresented the emotions of a pet bird.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) rejected the complaint after the tabloid mocked a “pain-loving parrot” which it Photoshopped with a flat cap to look like a violent character from the TV show Peaky Blinders.

Here is enough more, via Michelle Dawson.

Comments

Why isn't it hate speech?

Because the Independent Press Standards Organisation is a trade orgnaization that has zero governmental authority?

looks like next we gonna find out if that frittata
elizabeth warren (harvard1) confabulating sociology narratives about the meaning of a teenagers facial expression is protected speech!
1$50,000/annum!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7316851/Covington-Catholic-kids-sue-Elizabeth-Warren-new-defamation-lawsuit.html

then she gonna re-educate us about our biases!

why isn't it hate speech?

because of John Cleese c. 1939

the night hunting of a psychopathic vampiric killer parrot https://youtu.be/FQRU3zpUHt4?t=175

Britain has become a mockery of a free country. So much for freedom of the press.

Let this be a lesson to all future national founders: get that Constitution in writing.

Every major democracy has libel laws including yours.

You cannot libel/slander/defame an animal or an object in the U.S.

However this is another one of those ever so intriguingly written pieces that conflates several things to create an incorrect impression, including referring to the 1st Amendment in a context where it is meaningless (a trade association can also decide on what standards its members should follow).

The 'press regulator' is not part of the government in any shape or form, after all - 'What is IPSO?
The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is the independent regulator for the newspaper and magazine industry in the UK. We hold newspapers and magazines to account for their actions, protect individual rights, uphold high standards of journalism and help to maintain freedom of expression for the press.

How is IPSO funded?
IPSO is financed by the Regulatory Funding Company (RFC) which is funded by member publications. IPSO carries out its work separately and completely independently from its members.' https://www.ipso.co.uk/what-we-do/

Yes Heedless, because a constitution guarantees rights. Like, North Korea has a constitution. So did Soviet Russia.

So get that constitution as soon as possible, folks.

Are you being deliberately obtuse, or is it just accidental?

If you actually want to preserve the rights of your citizens against the fashions of future generations, right your Constitution down.

If you are a totalitarian dictator, then your incentives of course are different. But you knew that, you are just being a nudnik.

And yet the citizens of Britain, without a written constitution, are among the most free in the world. Sometimes they're less free than citizens of countries with constitutions, and sometime they're more free.

File under: "What the fuck?"

I don't think this is actually complete nonsense. The issue here isn't the parrot, but the reputation of the charity involved, which was (supposedly) being damaged by inaccurate reporting. Not really enough to meet the standards of libel but it seems like possibly a reasonable thing to complain about. Outlets like the Daily Star really aren't all that trustworthy, and there have been similar but more serious issues like this in the past.

Freedom of the press sounds great in theory, and most of the time it is, but when you remember how much fake news there is, all the way from tabloids on up to respectable papers, you realize it isn't quite such a black and white issue.

'but when you remember how much fake news there is, all the way from tabloids on up to respectable papers, you realize it isn't quite such a black and white issue.'

Thankfully, the U.S. does have the 1st Amendment, because when it comes to government regulating speech in the form of the press, it is a black and white issue.

However, the linked information has nothing to do with governmental regulation, but instead concerns a trade body.

The 1st Amendment is not something that just works in theory, it is one of the greatest advances in human political thought. Which likely explains why so many people seem to think it sounds great in theory, but it should not really be allowed in practice without restriction.

Even in the United States, there are defamation laws. Perhaps that's unconstitutional according to your interpretation of the first amendment, but it is a well established part of American law, and I'm personally quite glad.

'Perhaps that's unconstitutional according to your interpretation of the first amendment'

Of course not - but giving an opinion can never be defamatory. And as in all cases of libel/slander/defamation, truth is an absolute defense. What is not fundamentally protected by the 1st Amendment are lies, which seems fine to me.

I do not believe we actually disagree much, then. My point is that much of what the media publishes isn't truthful.

Describing a parrot as "pain-loving" seems more like a statement of fact than opinion, so while the specific details here are ridiculous, in principle it isn't necessarily something the first amendment would protect, if the statement was indeed false. It seems more like a mistake to me than a deliberate lie, so it would be a hard case to win, but not entirely outside the bounds of possibility.

'My point is that much of what the media publishes isn't truthful.'

Who cares?

'Describing a parrot as "pain-loving" seems more like a statement of fact than opinion'

You can describe an animal in absolutely any way you want - there is no legal protection afforded to animals in terms of libel/sklander/defamation.

'but not entirely outside the bounds of possibility'

Actually, entirely outside the bounds of possibility.

Not the parrot, but the people involved. For example if somebody accused a pet store of selling a rabid dog, and it wasn't, that could conceivably count as slander/libel against the owners of the store.

What I'm pointing out is the contradiction here. You say freedom of the press is absolute, but also that truth is the absolute defense against libel charges. But what happens when the press publishes something that isn't true?

You're pretending everything about this is simple and black and white, but it's not.

Are there civil libertarian movements in Europe that try to win constitution-level protections for basic liberties like free speech and press? More generally, are there any European equivalents to our Bill of Rights? I don't mean Orwellian fake "rights", like the right to this or that welfare program, which are actually mandated government powers. I mean genuine, hard-coded limits on government powers. If so, what kinds of things are even majoritarian governments prevented from doing, if not infringing free speech?

There are very few limits on UK parliament - basically, If the parliament says it, that means it's the law, even if parliament previously committed itself to something different - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_sovereignty. Furthermore MPs claim the authority as representatives, not delegates, to disregard the wishes of those who elected them, if they feel it is wise (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Burke#Democracy).

For instance, in 2017 both Labour and Conservative stood on Manifestos supporting a negotiated Brexit, after a referendum in favour of Brexit triggered by the Prime Minister. After a succession of revolts from MPs of both these parties, a negotiated Brexit appears no more likely than a cancelled Brexit or a no deal Brexit - nobody can tell which of these will happen, or when. It is possible that the final decision will hang on the recent by-election loss triggered by an MP fiddling his expenses (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-48720176).

'Are there civil libertarian movements in Europe that try to win constitution-level protections for basic liberties like free speech and press?'

You mean like these people? 'The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is the independent regulator for the newspaper and magazine industry in the UK. We hold newspapers and magazines to account for their actions, protect individual rights, uphold high standards of journalism and help to maintain freedom of expression for the press.'

Admittedly, that is the trade body that is called the 'press regulator' in the article. Almost as if a large number of people are not aware of how the press in the UK differs from the U.S. (a difference that is only in part due to the 1st Amendment).

No, the press regulator does not protect freedom of the press. That's Orwellian. Freedom of the press is protection from press regulators.

Yes, the European Convention on Human Rights, membership of which is a mandatory part of EU membership. In other words the UK only got a Bill of Rights because it acceded to the EU. One of the Brexiteer campaign planks is that the UK has too many rights and should withdraw from both. Presumably so people like Priti Patel can reintroduce the death penalty.

What are the actual hard limits on government powers, even on democratically elected majoritarian governments? Obviously, the European Convention on Human Rights does not protect press freedom in the UK, Article 10 notwithstanding.

'No, the press regulator does not protect freedom of the press. '

Even with links and explanations posted, you seem to miss the fact that the 'press regulator' is a trade body, and has absolutely zero legal authority to 'regulate' the press in any legal fashion.

If you wish to consider trade bodies with no legal authority 'Orwellian' in the pursuit of the interests of the members making up that trade body, well, go ahead. This is the MR comments section.

Misplaced, should be above - but still valid enough.

There's a whole body of common law that sets out the rights of British citizens. Just because it is not in some founding charter because the law evolved gradually, does not mean these do not exist.

There is no argument that British citizens have "too many rights" (though there is often that British non-citizens in Britain do) but that rights should be created by Parliament without constraint, rather than derived from some unchangeable fundamental bill which is supreme to parliamentary law and "interpreted" by a set of judges.

Existing law derived from European law will be grandfathered into UK law, then subject to parliamentary debate and scrutiny, as it should be.

I miss a right protecting free speech, especially as laws restricting speech have been introduced (without any apparent restraint from the EU) and some police forces (especially the Scottish force) have been making threatening noises.

While the UK government has a reasonably good record, the Stormont government in Northern Ireland 1921-1972 inherited the same system of common law and is usually regarded as having abused majoritarian power. A well known example is "In its 50-year history, only one piece of legislation was passed that was introduced by a Nationalist member, The Wild Birds Protection Act"

"One of the Brexiteer campaign planks is that the UK has too many rights"

'Too many regulations subverting their rights' is more like it.

A straight comparison with a common law system vs a constitutional system. In the common law system the court can decide on what is reasonable, which I think we all agree it did in this case. The merits of a common law system vs a constitutional system have been endlessly debated, but it is not absurd to say that the common law system is actually the more libertarian one.

What do promoters of Brexit and talking parrots have in common? Both are blowhards.

There are also blowhards who agitate for a European superstate, even though that’s not what the Brits signed up for when they joined the Common Market in 1973, and that’s not what the voters thought they were getting when they voted to stay in (in 1975).

But hey, at least you pared your comment down so one doesn’t have to read a wall of text.

Why do you delete comments who disagree with you, TC? Don't you like free speech?

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