I say a hearty "Thank You!" to all the MPs who showed sufficient respect for freedom of speech to disembowel Tony Blair's attempt to effectively criminalize criticism of, and derision towards, one set of ideas - and superstitious ideas, at that.
The government has suffered two shock defeats over attempts to overturn Lords changes to the controversial Racial and Religious Hatred Bill.
In a blow to Tony Blair's authority MPs voted by 288 votes to 278 to back a key Lords amendment to the bill.
Shadow attorney general Dominic Grieve said the defeats were "a victory for Parliament". He branded the bill a "foolish manifesto commitment" introduced to "appease" some minority groups, and which had "threatened freedom of speech".I guess this means I'm still free for the moment to say that Actually Existing Islam - as opposed to the peace-loving, hand-holding, Ideal Islam practiced only on newspaper op-ed pages and by a marginal few liberals living mostly in Europe and the Americas - is a barbaric, savage monstrosity of a belief-system whose worldwide triumph would mean the death of everything that is most appealing about the West today, as well as the literal death of millions of Jews, women, gays, athiests, pork-eaters, irreverent humorists and whoever else offends the ever-so-delicate sensibilities of the bloodthirsty primitives who adhere to this idiotic religion. Freedom of speech means being able to say precisely the sort of thing I've just said, not just the liberty to only utter words which don't grate on the ears of subscribers to any superstition who happen to be numerous enough and violence-prone enough to intimidate everyone else into silence: Muslims who find this state of affairs intolerable are free to pack their bags and head to any of the numerous despotisms in which they constitute a majority.
Mr Grieve said in multicultural Britain people had to accept that freedom of speech may mean people could be offensive to them, as well as vice versa.
He said: "This (bill) was completely contrary to our national tradition of free speech."
The Commons confrontation followed a series of defeats inflicted on the bill by peers in a bid to safeguard freedom of speech.
The peers said only "threatening words" should be banned by the bill, not those which are only abusive or insulting.
They also called for the offence to be intentional and specified that proselytising, discussion, criticism, insult, abuse and ridicule of religion, belief or religious practice would not be an offence.