History of censorship in Britain

This video from Britain is called Walter Wolfgang – Against Islamophobia.

‘Walter Wolfgang – a Jewish refugee from Nazi anti-semitism in Germany- speaks out against the wave of anti-Muslim racism unleashed by the military disasters in Iraq & Afghanistan’.

From British daily The Morning Star:

The Establishment gag

(Sunday 02 September 2007)

Freedom’s Frontier by Donald Thomas

(John Murray, £30)

GWYN GRIFFITHS looks at the history of censorship in modern Britain.

This often entertaining, impressively detailed book offers much food for thought. Professor Donald Thomas may not offer answers to all the questions that he raises, but he ensures that we are sufficiently well informed to come to intelligent opinions on some delicate and important issues.

Thomas begins with the infamous roughing-up of 82-year-old Walter Wolfgang by new Labour bouncers at the party’s 2005 annual conference. Wolfgang was just one of 426 people stopped and questioned under anti-terrorist legislation in Brighton that week.

Every age has its causes and censorship issues. From religion, with arguments as to what constituted blasphemy in 1841 and still echoed today, to the fate of “obscene” publications later in the same century. As ever, with badly drafted laws, the judiciary made what they would of them and heaven help anyone who came before an unsympathetic judge.

Translations of distinguished French works by Maupassant, Emile Zola‘s La Terre and, more understandably, by the Marquis de Sade, incurred the wrath of the authorities. There were problems, too, for long-forgotten early 20th-century authors such as Elinor Glyn, Hubert Wales and Filson Young.

Also forbidden were stage portrayals of the deity, members of the royal family – dead or alive – and the heads of friendly foreign states. Prosecutions were even brought against those who mocked Hitler in the spring of 1939. A portrayal of John F Kennedy in 1961 was another case in point.

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