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So The Police Rang Me Up. About A Tweet...

Tweet: ’We are coming for you.’

Scary, right? Threatening? Causing alarm or distress, contrary to the Malicious Communications Act? Hate crime, even?

Sussex Police certainly thought so: they rang me up to issue ‘words of advice’ about it.

Let’s hear that again: the police rang me up, about a tweet.

Look a little more closely at this, and we see a fascinating microcosm of the entire ‘Labour antisemitism crisis’ fraud. Apologies for the detail, but that’s where the action is.

The tweet begins with an address: ‘Attention Jew-hate scammers’. This is my shorthand for the more long-winded ‘those who would propagate the fraudulent “Labour antisemitism crisis” narrative’. The word ‘scam’ has come to be used to describe this fraud, thus those who do it are ‘scammers’. ‘Jew-hate’ does not mean exactly the same thing as the more cumbersome ‘antisemitism’, but it suffices. The tweet, thus, addresses anyone who propagates this fraud.

It goes on to say: ‘You try it [ = ‘the scam’] on here [ = ‘on Twitter’], you will be confronted, and you will lose, publicly.’

No more than a statement of fact: the scammers cannot win debates, because reality is simply against them, and the evidence of fraud is overwhelming and unarguable. They lose, every time.

It then says, ‘There are more and more of us all the time, we are informed, we are organised…’: again, nothing more than the plain truth. #ItWasAScam is growing every day, we have relevant and accurate information, and we are increasingly able to operate as a debating team on Twitter. All true. ‘We are organised…’

Wait for it…

‘…and we are coming for you’.

Panic! Set your hair on fire, they’re coming for the Jews! Call the police…

Now hold on a minute. ‘We are coming for you’* in the context of Twitter debates* is a threat? How, to whom?

First, those addressed are carefully specified - ‘Jew-hate scammers’ = ‘those who would propagate the fraudulent “Labour antisemitism crisis” narrative’. That means anyone who does it. It doesn’t mean Jews. It means what it says, ‘scammers’.

Second, what on earth can ‘coming for you’ with the declared intention of presenting information to you on Twitter possibly mean except what it says: that we will debate you?

How is that causing ‘alarm and distress’, and to whom?

How can being presented with publicly available information about a political dispute on Twitter be ‘threatening’?

How does a tweet about a political information campaign translate into a threat of mob violence against Jews?

But of course none of that matters in the slightest, because Sussex Police started to get complaints. People claimed to believe I was ‘threatening’ them physically, such that they were caused alarm and distress and were thus moved to call for police protection from me.

Now. All any Sussex Police officer had to do was read the tweet and understand what it meant. They could then explain to the complainants that, they might not like it, it might make them angry, but it was perfectly lawful, was not abusive or insulting or threatening, did not mention ‘Jews’ at any point, and was obviously a reference to a long-running political campaign on Twitter, #ItWasAScam, and not a ‘threat’ of an angry mob attacking Jews.

But they didn’t do that. What they did instead was ring me up and issue ‘words of advice’ in relation to the Malicious Communications Act, which is now on my file. (I’ve lodged a complaint about all of this.)

So what do we see? We see ‘evidence’ that is plainly wrenched out of context and wholly misleading, we see a histrionic over-reaction to a perfectly innocent event, we see a fraudulent accusation of antisemitism, we see an immediate and furious demand for action, and we see that action take place.

The scam, in miniature, over just a few hours.

If I were putting it formally, I’d say we saw an improper police attempt to curtail my Article10 rights of free expression because of unjustified and inaccurate protests about a lawful tweet. But I think it can be said far more simply than that: they screamed loud enough, and they got heard. That’s how the scam has operated from the outset, and that’s how it’s continuing to operate.

Make of this what you will, but free speech is only free as long as we demand it is, and if we don’t defend it, we lose it.

Attack my free speech and guess what? I’m coming for you.

(On Twitter.)


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