What Are They Playing At? (Part 2)


00129072Senator Lorraine Higgins and Pat Rabbitte TD

Further to Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins’ controversial proposed  bill to combat criticism cyberbullying.

Former Labour communications minister Pat Rabbitte has published his own bill , The Public Electronic Communications Networks (Improper Use) Act 2015, which proposes:

“On convicting a person for an offence [sending ‘grossly offensive’ messages], the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed for the offence, order any apparatus, equipment or other thing used in the course of committing the offence to be forfeited to the State.”

That’s your tablet that is.

Mark Malone writes:

… imagine you send a tweet sugggesting Pat Rabbitte was a bit of a hypocrite condemning political organisations with links to paramilitaries who murdered people, given his own political history. Granted that might be hard to fit into 140 characters, but imagine it was possible for the sake of an example.

And say Pat Rabbitte was a litigious sort of character who didn’t want to be publicly associated with any of the murders, bank robberies or lots of stuff the Official IRA was involved in when he was member of the Workers Party, the political wing of the OIRA.

I guess you’d be into a couple of tweets now, something that might be construed by Rabbitte and his expensive legal team and barristers as “persistent and without legitimate cause”.

It probably might not matter that you feel it important to public discourse that many younger people ought know that that a former minister – responsible for promoting austerity and a gagging law – was once a member of a politico-paramilitary organisation that murdered people.

You might even infer that the Stalinist tendencies embodied in WP/OIRA back in the day could be found in a bill that seeks to quash public online political dissent today by actually making it illegal to be a political nuisance.

So you are taken to court and found guilty. Say your day job was a graphic designer, or architect or any other job that requires a laptop and/or mobile phone and access to the net. Your ability to earn a wage (or get donations) relies on these things. Rabbitte’s bill allows for a judge to remove that wage earning ability by seizing the tools of your trade….

More here: 8 Reasons Why We Need To Stop These Labour Censorship Law (Mark Malone, Soundmigration)

Previously: What Are They Playing At

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

19 thoughts on “What Are They Playing At? (Part 2)

  1. Jonotti

    If Ivana Bacik, Rabbitte and Higgins are involved in something, then it’s generally so that it will benefit themselves personally. They’d be better trying to fix the Irish Water gravyboat.

      1. Jonotti

        She’s one of the proposers of this piece of legislation. She did a press photo with Higgins and some other Labour idiot outside the dail the other day to promote this piece of legislation. BS covered it.

  2. Mr. T.

    “Say your day job was a graphic designer, or architect or any other job that requires a laptop”

    That’s the least of what’s wrong with all this.

    It’s the stuff of the USSR, the DDR, North Korea. It’s a shocking affront to free speech.

    It’s the thought Police.

    1. Jonotti

      It’s the Labour Party, personified by its chattering class wing (Bacik), it’s ex-WP wing (Rabbitte) and its ‘never going to get elected, despite trying for over a decade, wing (Higgins).

  3. Mr. T.

    My suspicion is that this bill is being pushed by international interests, simply using Ireland as a test case. Higgins has probably been chosen as the member of Oireachtas to table it, a mere courier.

    This is very serious stuff but most people are too stupid to see what’s happening, all too busy reading about Kim Kardasian’s arse.

    1. scottser

      you are not allowed to say anything bad about kim kardashian’s @rse, stupid law or no.

  4. Socky

    Surely this is unconstitutional under Art. 45.
    And the Financial Secretary of the Labour Party cum Attorney General is very proactive on making sure the Labour party don’t vote on, never mind pass, any laws that might, just maybe, be unconstitutional.

    So we should be grand. Sure Pat’s too busy bottling it on the broadcasting charge to be worrying about silly little Section 31 renewal proposals like this.

    1. Mr. T.

      When you study history, politics and economics, it makes perfect sense. This is the kind of thing that goes on every f*cking day.

  5. JimmytheHead

    Dirty little rat, hes the exact type that would be badgering every intern on his floor about how the feck do you attach a PDF thats too big to send in an email…

  6. phil

    Anyone get the impression that Pat is a bit cranky about something , and its all of us he is cranky at. God, I hope he is re-elected , I dont even want to think what he will do to us if that dont happen…

    Remember him shouting at Pat Carey on RtePT a few yrs ago, I was sitting on the couch and stopped chewing for a minute…

    1. Kieran NYC

      He sounds constantly worn out and sick of it all. He should do himself a favor and just retire.

  7. Sancho

    Free speech is very important except when you hurt someone’s feelings. Then, the rights of the person with the hurt feelings should override the right to free speech.

  8. Drogg

    Fupp this poo, Higgins is a fupping moron that nobody wants to elect and Pat is a naughtybag. #freespeech

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