Judge slams police for ‘Gestapo’ investigation of UK man’s tweets critical of transgenderism
LONDON, England, February 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A UK High Court judge ruled today that it was “unlawful” for police to investigate a man for writing tweets critical of men who say they’re ‘women’ and to record it as a “hate incident.”
Mr. Justice Julian Knowles stated that for a member of Humberside Police to go to the workplace of Harry Miller and upbraid him for his political opinions was a “disproportionate interference" with Miller’s freedom of expression.
Last January, Humberside police officers went to Miller’s business to investigate a third-party complaint that Miller had posted “transphobic” tweets. Miller had retweeted a poem that poked at transgenderism which allegedly included the lines, “Your breasts are made of silicone, your vagina goes nowhere.” Miller had also written in a tweet: “I was assigned mammal at birth, but my orientation is fish. Don't mis-species me."
When Miller spoke with Police Constable (PC) Mansoor Gul, he was given a mini-seminar in trans ideology. Gul also informed Miller that although Miller had not committed a crime, his tweets would be recorded as a “hate incident.”
According to the BBC, Knowles said that the impact of the police turning up at Miller’s work "because of his political opinions must not be underestimated".
"To do so would be to undervalue a cardinal democratic freedom,” he continued.
"In this country, we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society."
The BBC reported that the judge acknowledged that Miller denied being prejudiced against “transgender people” and considered himself as taking part in a public debate. He noted also that only one person had complained about Miller’s tweets and that her complaint had been recorded as a hate incident “without any critical scrutiny … or any assessment of whether what she was saying was accurate.”
"The claimants' tweets were lawful and there was not the slightest risk that he would commit a criminal offence by continuing to tweet,” Knowles said.
"I find the combination of the police visiting the claimant's place of work, and their subsequent statements in relation to the possibility of prosecution, were a disproportionate interference with the claimant's right to freedom of expression because of their potential chilling effect."
Miller told LifeSiteNews that he was “absolutely delighted” by the decision.
“It’s a personal vindication after a year-long fight,” he said.
The former police officer said that the case had exposed that Britain has an ideological police force. Miller was particularly pleased that Knowles had made reference to the Soviet, Nazi, and East German secret police to describe what the Humberside constable had done.
“He couldn’t have used a harsher comparison,” Miller said and added that police forces can no longer hide behind College of Police guidelines to behave unlawfully.
“This is a terrible day for the [College of] Police, and a fantastic day for liberty and freedom of speech,” he declared.
Miller said he believes ordinary police officers “hate” having to follow up complaints about tweets. He told LifeSiteNews that he has had many emails from police officers saying so and also that they hoped he would win his challenge to the College of Policing and Humberside Police.
“They’re sick of being used as ideological pawns,” he explained.
It was not a total victory for Miller and his citizens’ rights organization Fair Cop: Knowles rejected Miller’s argument that the College of Policing guidelines on hate crimes are unlawful. The judge decided that they “serve legitimate purposes” and are “not disproportionate.”
Miller disagrees and told LifeSiteNews that he and Fair Cop are going to take the matter further.
“We’re seeking the right to go to the Supreme Court to get the guidance struck down,” he said.
He finds the provisions in the guidance for accepting third-party perceptions of “hatred” with no evidence being necessary “irrational.” Miller added that there have been 87,000 so-called “non-crime crime incidents” recorded.
“It’s Big Brother double speech,” he stated.
CitizenGO UK chief Caroline Farrow told LifeSiteNews that she found the ruling “refreshing.”
“It was refreshing to hear a High Court judge reiterate the principles of free speech which ought to underpin any free and democratic society,” she said.
“Nobody should expect a knock on their door from the police as a result of telling the truth about male and female. While today’s judgment is very welcome, [Miller] should never have been put in the position of having to fight the police in the High Court.”
Farrow said that Fair Cop should be “applauded for its decision to appeal the guidance that led to this situation.”
“The concept of what constitutes a hate incident needs urgent revision,” she added.
Miller told LifeSiteNews that Fair Cop will “fight on.”
“This is no longer about Harry Miller,” he said.
“This is about the [British] people.”