Remember back when Margaret Thatcher died, and socialist Brits took to the streets to celebrate? They held up vile signs mocking and ridiculing her. “DingDongTheWickedWitchIsDead” was a Twitter group in her honor. No one in authority seemed to care. After all, these people had a right to their opinion, right? We wouldn’t want to stoop down to the level of “thought police,” would we?
Not unless the person you joke about is Nelson Mandela. You make one wise crack about him, and there’ll be Hell to pay.
That’s what happened when one British sandwich shop owner made inappropriate comments on a local online newspaper regarding the former South African leader. The Daily Mail reported:
A sandwich shop owner endured eight hours of questioning by police and had his computer seized for three weeks – after making tasteless Nelson Mandela jokes on the internet. Neil Phillips, who runs Crumbs in Rugeley, Staffordshire, says he was also finger-printed and DNA-swabbed after officers received complaints about what he insists were harmless gags.
In one online post, the 44-year-old wrote: ‘My PC takes so long to shut down I’ve decided to call it Nelson Mandela.’ [Gasp!]
Mr Phillips was arrested at his home on September 10 and was taken to a police station where he was quizzed about the postings on the Rugeley Soap Box website.
He said: “It was an awful experience. I was fingerprinted, they took DNA and my computer… It was a couple of jokes, Bernard Manning type. There was no hatred. You can question the taste, but they’re not hateful. I told the police they got plenty of ‘likes.’ What happened to freedom of speech?… I think they over-reacted massively. Those jokes are out there, anyway… When they took my computer, I thought, ‘What the hell are they looking for?’ To be questioned would have been over the top, never mind arrested.”
Where were these thought police when their own former Prime Minister Thatcher was being burned in effigy? Well, they had freedom of speech, which apparently covers burning certain political figures in effigy. Unless it’s a communist like Nelson Mandela, in which case, citizens all over the world must bow to him or be thrown into the fiery furnace.