Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Odd Case of Seismic Shock

For the past few days I've been getting all sorts of suggestions that I blog on the odd case of Seismic Shock. It seems Seismic is a British blogger who doesn't much like people who don't much like Israel. (Sounds like my type of bloke). Last week the police themselves uncovered his identity and had him shut down his blog. I haven't had the time to look into the matter, but in the meantime, the BBC has - and what's more, the BBC fellow doing the reporting is very much on the side of Mr. Shock. The BBC readers, predictably, can think of various reasons why shutting down free speech is fine in this case.

Yet another case, alas, where the Brits don't demonstrate tolerance for free speech. I can't say what's going on over there.

Beyond the e-mails I've been getting and the item on the BBC website, I still haven't had the time to study the full facts of the case. If anyone wishes to enlighten us, the comments section on this blog is not (yet) censored.

In addition, here's a suggestion for all the oppressed Zionists in the United Kingdom, suffering from anti-Jewish agitation and the cruel hand of the Inquisitors: Me, I'm out of range. This allows me not to hide my identity, and certainly not to worry about policemen at my door if I poke fun at nasty clergy. (Though if you believe our homegrown radicals, our police are also cracking down, but that's tosh). So if any of you have got any samizdat materials you'd like to smuggle out to the West (well, east), I'll be glad to serve as a post board. You can find my e-mail address on the lower left of this screen.

(hat tip for the bbc link: rob dwek)


Anonymous said...

shit happens everywhere so i think on your post board ;-)

johannes, vienna

Anonymous said...

I hope for the blogger that the fact that he wrote part of his blog with his work place equipment doesn't give his employer the right to put the thumb screws on him. As a pure free speech issue it sounds strange if you compare it to what is happening in Glasgow right now and where there seems to be no restriction whatsoever http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6997613.ece

Lee Ratner said...

The BBC isn't really as bad as you make it out to be. They might be more critical of Israel than say the New Republic but the often present the Israeli POV and often from somebody who isn't a deliberate straw man. They are also rather pro-free speech on a whole even when they don't agree with it.

Avi said...

I love it when things start to get complicated just like real life without the ideological simplifications for idiots and economists.

You can see the full background here http://www.hurryupharry.org/2010/01/26/introducing-myself-2/

The blogger in question is a third generation Messianic Jew who is opposed to attacks on Zionism. He has also posted a number of items at Harry's Place about Messianic Judaism.

Like I said, life is rarely a clear choice between good and bad but a messy mix of humanity.

Joe in Australia said...

I've posted on that blog, where he used to use the name "Yeze". He's a third-generation Christian, as you say. I don't think he said that his parents or grandparents considered themselves to be "Messianic Jews". My complaint against him is much the same as the one he directs against Reverend Sizer & co: he's not frank about his beliefs. There's a certain oiliness about his theological posts which should, in any event, be reserved for a more appropriate forum than the lefty-liberal politics of hurryupharry.

ModernityBlog said...

Hi Yaacov,

Seismic Shock's ethnicity or background is not really pertinent to this issue, from a political perspective.

I’ll try to summarise it as best I can, having followed his blog for ages I was surprised when he stopped posting.

1. Seismic Shock comments on theology, Christianity, the Far Right and the various crossovers, and in doing so came across Rev. Sizer's work.

2. He wrote a number of critical posts of Rev. Sizer's views.

3. Also of Dr. Anthony Roy’s views.

4. At some point Sizer and McRoy exchanged views and persuaded the Police to intervene.

5. They contend they were harassed by blog posts (a bit unlikely really).

6. Two policeman who interviewed Seismic Shock in his pyjamas, intimidated him into deleting one of his blogs.

I think that's a fair summary.

The question, for me, is should the Police be involved in legitimate criticism between a public figure (Rev. Sizer), who pushes his agenda and someone who writes mild criticism of him, but nothing threatening.

Generally speaking, disputes between people in this arena would be considered civil law, and only when a criminal offence, activity or intent is about to take place with the Police be involved.

There are many Brits who think that the Police involvement was wrong and over the top.

Not only that but it set a dangerous precedence.

That you could have a knock on the door, in the middle of the night, a visit from a policeman, simply because you wrote something critical about the public figure, maybe a politician, someone in the media or the clergy, etc etc

It is a clear freedom of speech issue.

The police, in my view, should not be involved where legitimate political criticism is taking place and there is no criminal activity, intent or action involved.

More information can be found on this thread


Additionally, it should be noted that Rev. Sizer tried to intimidate a second blogger in Australia with the words:

“Stephen Sizer says:
January 16, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Dear Vee,

You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.


See http://modernityblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/twitter-rev-sizer-and-be-reported/

I hope explains things?