For weeks now, the Guardian's been publishing stories about Pussy Riot, members of which were charged with "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for shouting anti-govt slogans in a cathedral. This "crime" carries a penalty of up to seven years jail. Most readers (well, all except the right-wing Russian ones) agreed this was a sad reflection on Russian authoritarianism.
This morning, the Guardian publishes, without comment, "Man arrested following racist tweets aimed at Carlton Cole," in which a man has been charged with "racially aggravated public disorder" for sending a tweet the authorities didn't like. This "crime" carries a penalty of up two years jail and/or a fine. This sad reflection on British authoritarianism is unlikely to get the same coverage as Pussy Riot, based on previous examples.
The above might seem irrelevant to NZ, but both Labour and National have people in Parliament who'd be interested in enacting similar laws here. Keep an eye out for them.
May 31 in history
2 hours ago