Thursday, February 09, 2006

That Infamous German Sense of Humor

Just when you thought it was safe to start praising Europeans vis a vis freedom of speech:

GERMAN cops will use sweeping powers to collar England fans doing Basil Fawlty-style Hitler impressions at the World Cup.
Yobs will be instantly banged up for TWO WEEKS if they goose-step like John Cleese in his most famous Fawlty Towers scene.

And hard core louts who give Nazi salutes — like the one jokingly made by Michael Barrymore in Celebrity Big Brother — could be hauled before a judge within 24 hours.

If convicted of inciting hatred they will face jail terms of up to THREE YEARS.

Wearing joke German helmets or any offensive insignia will also result in a stretch behind bars.


sonia said...

When reading stories like these, one wonders if the famed "free speech" in the West isn't just a myth. We might be more like Middle Eastern dictatorships than we think. The only difference is that there are different types of speeches being banned (there, it's Mahommet pictures, nudity, etc., here it's racism, insensitivity and the Holocaust)...

Jack said...

I think "myth" might be a bit harsh, but freedom in general is a value that is in constant need of defense. Also, I would make a distinction among various parties of "the West". Europe is often less supportive of freedom of speech than the "Anglosphere" but both are better than the Mid-East (with the exception of Israel).