Do not fund Louise Raw’s crowd-funded attempt to prosecute Jeremy Clarkson

Antifacist activist,” Morning Star contributor, author and historian Dr Louise Raw, is raising money through a Go Fund Me campaign to see what legal action can be taken against Jeremy Clarkson, The Sun, or its editor. As readers will probably know, the reason for this is Clarkson’s 16th December Sun column.

The offending article has now been taken down. Quite rightly it generated thousands of complaints. It was a horrible little piece which should have been strangled at birth.  The Sun’s editor, like Mr Clarkson, should be ashamed of herself for publishing it.

Clarkson’s column

Mr Clarkson accused Harry of being a puppet manipulated by Meghan Markle. He has, said Clarkson, “no more control over what he says or does than Basil Brush.”

That was rude, but it was the next passage that caused the outrage:

Meghan, though, is a different story. I hate her. Not like I hate Nicola Sturgeon or Rose West. I hate her on a cellular level.

At night I’m unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant ‘Shame’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.”

Apparently Mr Clarkson was making a reference to the television series Game of Thrones, though if so it was one that would have been missed by many of his readers including the many who, like me, have never watched a single minute of the drama.

He continued in somewhat milder terms, making a familiar argument: that Meghan Markle’s activities were likely to damage the Royal Family.

Because one day soon, my generation will all be dead, and we will be replaced by a new bunch who are growing up believing that Charles and William and Co are bullies who are waited on hand and foot by slaves, eunuchs and spin doctors.

Unless, of course, when Meghan takes her hand out of the ginger glove puppet, he remembers who he is and gives us ‘the’ truth.

Not hers.”

The Go Fund Me campaign

Dr Raw says that she “has a team of lawyers who have agreed to review the case.”

The Go Fund Me campaign is needed because the lawyers are not working for free.

It has an initial “goal” of raising £15,000. (I thought it was originally £18,000 but either I misread the amount or the team of lawyers has reduced its quotation). It has already raised over £13,000, including a first (anonymous) donation of £3,500 and one of £4,000 from a “Sandra Copeland.” These are quite extraordinary amounts of money for people to be giving merely to explore the possibility of litigation against Clarkson.

The “tentative legal grounds” which are being explored are these:

First, on the civil side – under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Second, on the criminal side – under the provisions of S.4A of the Public Order Act 1986 and under s.127 Communications Act 2003.”

Dr Raw updated the Go Fund Me page yesterday to clarify that they are also considering a claim for “racial harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and racism in the provision of a service.”

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997

Harassment” is a civil wrong (and potentially a crime) under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. It is created by S.1 of the Act and consists of pursuing a “course of conduct” which:

(a) amounts to harassment of another; and

(b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of another.”

There are numerous difficulties with using this provision against Mr Clarkson.

The first is that harassment under the act, racial or otherwise, requires a “course of conduct.” A single newspaper article simply cannot amount to harassment. If there has been such a course of conduct it certainly has not been identified.

Describing the incident as “racial harassment” makes no difference, and in any case the article did not refer to Meghan Markle’s race.

And there is an even more fundamental problem with the tentatively suggested civil action:

S. 3 (1) provides:

An actual or apprehended breach of section 1 (1) may be the subject of a claim in civil proceedings by the person who is or may be the victim of the course of conduct in question. [Emphasis added]

As far as we know, the Duchess of Sussex has not asked Dr Raw to help her bring an action. If the victim of the harassment does not want to litigate the issue, the chances of Dr Raw somehow succeeding on her behalf in a crowd-funded civil action are nil.

On her Go Fund Me page Dr Raw has invited others to contact her if they “felt harassed by the article or Jeremy Clarkson’s recent false denial.”

I’m not entirely sure what Dr Raw means when she refers to Clarkson’s “recent false denial.”  Presumably she means his expression of regret for his article, which was indeed something of a “non-apology apology.” Maybe so, but it makes no difference to the prospects of success of an action for harassment. Nor does it matter how many people say that they felt harassed by the article. The chances of a successful civil action for harassment remain zero.

A Criminal Prosecution?

What then of the chance of a criminal prosecution against Clarkson?

The two possibilities Dr Raw says her legal team are considering are S.4A of the Public Order Act 1986 and S.127 of the Communications Act 2003.

Let’s look at each of these.

S.4A Public Order Act 1986

S.4A of the Public Order Act provides:

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he—

(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.”

S.4A carries a maximum six month prison sentence.

Whilst it is more usually employed to deal with disturbances in the street, subsection (1) (b) does cover written material, although I have never heard of it being used to prosecute the author of a national newspaper article.

The legal obstacles to its use in this case are virtually insuperable.

First: the offence requires proof that a person actually has been caused “harassment, alarm or distress.” Without any evidence from the Duchess of Sussex to that effect any prosecution seems doomed to failure.

Perhaps Dr Raw herself, or some of her funders, might say that they themselves have been distressed by Mr Clarkson’s language? In theory the offence can be committed if abusive writing aimed at one person, in fact causes distress to someone else. But even putting to one side the difficulty of proving that Dr Raw or some of her supporters had in fact been caused sufficient “distress” to justify a criminal prosecution (trivial annoyance or upset is irrelevant, it has to be something which causes “real emotional disturbance or upset,” see R v. DPP [2006] EWHC 1375) it would be extraordinary to bring a prosecution without any evidence from the person who was the subject of the offending article.

Secondly a prosecution under S.4A would require proof that Mr Clarkson intended to cause someone (presumably the Duchess) harassment, alarm or distress. Mere recklessness is insufficient.

Freedom of speech

Thirdly, the words of the section have to be understood in a way that makes them compliant with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Whether you agree with Clarkson or not, his argument that the Duchess’s behaviour is likely to damage the Royal Family, and by implication the institution of the monarchy, was an expression of opinion on a matter of considerable public interest. However unpleasantly expressed, he was making a serious argument.

And feeble as the protection of Article 10 may be compared, for example, to the US First Amendment, both it and the common law do still provide considerable protection for freedom of speech. As Lord Justice Sedley famously put it in Redmond-Bate v. DPP [1999] EWHC Admin 733:

Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.”

Nobody could reasonably take from Clarkson’s article that he was actually encouraging a violent assault on Markle.

In any case, Clarkson is far from alone in the use of highly unpleasant and even violent language when discussing public figures. As Ross Clark rightly pointed out in Thursday’s Daily Mail (and I am well aware that the Daily Mail does not have clean hands when it comes to gutter journalism), nasty though Clarkson’s words were, equally or nastier things have been said or written by left wing comedians, journalists and politicians.

After a milk shake was thrown over Nigel Farage, the comedian Jo Brand said “why bother with a milk shake when you could get some battery acid.” Like Clarkson, it was clear that she was making a tasteless joke. Nobody could reasonably have taken her to be encouraging an acid attack on Mr Farage. Of course she was not prosecuted.

Phillip Pullman “jokingly” said “when I hear the name ‘Boris Johnson’ for some reason the words ‘rope’ and ‘nearest lamp post’ come to mind as well.” Nobody can reasonably suggest that Pullman was encouraging the lynching of Boris Johnson. Of course he was not prosecuted.

Clark gives various other examples. The point is not to encourage such language in public debate, but to point out that in a free society the law has to permit a wide degree of tolerance for cruel language and tasteless jokes. A society in which writers, journalists or politicians are constantly worried that they may be arrested, harassed or even imprisoned because of the risk that they might “distress” readers is not one in which I would want to live. Trading freedom of expression for freedom not to be offended would be a disastrous bargain. Dr Raw seems to consider herself a socialist rather than a liberal, but someone describing themselves as an “anti-fascist” to call for the prosecution of a journalist seems an uncomfortable nod in the direction of, for want of a better word, fascism.

S.127 Communications Act 2003

The final criminal option that Dr Raw’s team is investigating is a prosecution under S.127 of the Communications Act 2003.

Subsection (1) provides:

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he –

(a) Sends by means of a public communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or

(b) causes any such message or matter to be so sent.”

This section has been used successfully to prosecute people for posting “grossly offensive” material online. Examples include the comedian who taught his pug to give a Nazi salute when he said “Gas the Jews,” and posted it doing so on You Tube, and the man who posted a video of the burning of a cardboard model of the Grenfell Tower. The first was convicted (albeit in Scotland, but Scottish law on this offence is identical to English), the second, after various shenanigans, eventually pleaded guilty and received a 10 week suspended prison sentence.

The use of S.127 in such cases has in recent years expanded far beyond its original purpose (in a predecessor to the 2003 Act) of criminalising obscene calls to telephone operators. Perhaps it has expanded too far: certainly those drafting the section would never have dreamt that it could be used to prosecute a newspaper columnist.

It provides the only remotely plausible route to prosecuting Mr Clarkson, or the editor of The Sun. Even so, the prospects of actually convicting Mr Clarkson remain extremely low.

Whether publication in a national newspaper’s online edition amounts to “sending a message by means of a public communications network”; and whether (if it does) Mr Clarkson (as opposed to The Sun, or its editor) can be said to have sent or “caused such a message to be sent” are interesting technical questions which might tempt Dr Raw’s legal team to charge a couple of thousand pounds before answering with confidence. (In my much cheaper and less well-researched view a newspaper’s website is probably not a “public communications network,” but both Twitter and Facebook unquestionably are; so whilst the writing and publishing of the column in The Sun would not be within the ambit of the offence, the posting of it on social media could be).

Ultimately though, even if this technical hurdle is overcome, the wished-for prosecution would come up against similar problems to any other prosecution. Freedom of speech means the freedom to offend Dr Raw and her supporters. The law does not exist to protect the sensitivities of newspaper readers. The fact that the column “was in bad taste, even shockingly bad taste” is not enough: DPP v Bussetti [2021] EWHC 2140 (Admin). Being “offensive” is not enough. It must be “grossly offensive” before the law will consider it criminal. That remains an exceptionally high bar.

And there is yet another problem.


The CPS will not instigate a prosecution unless there has been a police investigation, and the Police, through the Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, have very clearly said that they have no interest in investigating Mr Clarkson.

Any prosecution will have to be brought privately (and presumably paid for by yet more crowd-funding, unless the mysterious Sandra Copeland is willing to bear the whole cost herself).  If the team of lawyers need £15,000 to advise on whether such a prosecution is possible, they will need tens of thousands more actually to undertake a prosecution.

Dr Raw will also have to make provision for paying the costs of Mr Clarkson and The Sun should her attempted prosecution fail.  It will be no good her saying “the crowd-funding has dried up I can’t pay.” She who brings a private prosecution bears the personal risk of paying for it.

When Marcus Ball’s doomed attempt to prosecute Boris Johnson for misconduct in public office crashed and burned he was left with personal debts of over £200,000 – despite having previously raised hundreds of thousands of pounds in crowd funding.  It is sometimes said of architects that no-one is so rich that an architect cannot reduce them to poverty: the same can be said about teams of lawyers, and from what little we know of them it can certainly be said about Dr Raw’s team of lawyers.

The Crown Prosecution Service

It is not particularly difficult to start a prosecution. Once begun, however, even if it is not struck out by the Court at an early stage, the Crown Prosecution Service has the power under S.6 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 to take it over: the most common reason for doing so is to discontinue it. In 2019, for example, of the 49 private prosecutions referred to it, the CPS took over 32 and of these it discontinued all but 3.

The CPS has guidelines on the prosecution of online offences. The guidelines emphasise the need to have the Article 10 right to freedom of expression in mind when deciding whether to bring – or to continue – a prosecution. In the vanishingly improbable event that Dr Raw were to overcome every other hurdle, any prosecution of Mr Clarkson or The Sun could – and almost certainly would – be taken over and discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Money not spent

Any competent lawyer will be bound to advise Dr Raw that she would be exceptionally unwise to bring a case against Mr Clarkson. The chances of success are tiny, the risks are huge. 

It should not cost them £15,000 to tell her that.

So after receiving that advice there should be some money left over. If that happens, Dr Raw says that it will be donated to an (unnamed) domestic violence charity.

Of course there are many very deserving charities helping the victims of domestic violence. Donate to such charities by all means. But if you have any money to spare, why give any of it to Dr Raw’s lawyers first? I am all for giving money to criminal lawyers, but there is no reason to believe that these ones are particularly deserving of your generosity. Why not simply choose your own charity, or your own firm of criminal lawyers, or consider giving it to the Ukrainian armed forces? Whatever you do, even if you are as rich and generous as Sandra Copeland, don’t waste your money by giving it to Dr Raw’s crowd-funder.


I’ve been told by a number of people including the well-respected Liverpool solicitors Levins, and James Olivera-Agnew, assistant secretary to the Criminal Bar Association, that I’m wrong to say something on The Sun’s online edition would not be on a “public communications network.” I can see, now it has been pointed out to me  that whether or not The Sun itself is such a network (which it may well be), in order to be placed on the website it almost certainly has to be sent via one.    I gratefully  accept yhe correction, though it makes little difference to my overall conclusion.

Author: Matthew

I have been a barrister for over 25 years, specialising in crime. You may also have come across some of my articles I have written on legal issues for The Times, Standpoint, Daily Telegraph or Criminal Law & Justice Weekly

43 thoughts on “Do not fund Louise Raw’s crowd-funded attempt to prosecute Jeremy Clarkson”

  1. A very interesting piece – many thanks.
    You say that ‘a newspaper’s website is probably not a “public communications network,” but both Twitter and Facebook unquestionably are; so whilst the writing and publishing of the column in The Sun would not be within the ambit of the offence, the posting of it on social media could be)’. But if the Online Safety Bill is passed in something like its present form, surely anything online that emanates from a ‘recognised news publisher’ is exempt from it? And if Twitter or Facebook refused to carry links to an article that appeared in the Sun, surely it could complain to Ofcom and insist that they carried any links that users posted?

  2. Well, that’s put paid to that. Well said and well done.

    About this quote:-
    “the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical”

    I seem to have no difficulty myself in occasionally penning words that come across to some snowflakes who read them as all four of these. I have little doubt that Mrs Cambridge and Mr Clarkson have the identical low opinion of one other. Their remedies are that they both have access to huge PA systems (so-to-speak) that enable them to slag each other off across the Atlantic Ocean to their hearts’ contents, audibly to the rest of us whether we care to hear their squabbles or not.

    Regarding any mooted harassment claim brought by Her Meganship herself, the doctrine declared and applied in Lawal v Adeyinka [2021] EWHC 2486 (QB) (25 August 2021) was that the British courts had no jurisdiction to hear a harassment claim brought by an overseas claimant against a British defendant, because such international harassment in writing (it was ruled) takes place where the harassed reads the words complained of, not where the harasser published them. (The claimant was Nigerian. The defendant was a British news publisher.) I happen to know about the Lawal case only because I needed to research jurisdiction before recently suing a Scottish energy company for harassment in a court in England over a bogus electricity bill which a business my first defendant had already sold off (unbeknowst to me) was striving to make me pay. Plus, I am presently planning to sue Twitter for harassment unless they respond well to my letter before action, not in California (as Twitter might prefer), but in England (where Twitter might not even bother to defend my claim, mistaken about jurisdiction); and in harassment rather than in contract.

    (I’ll likely get around eventually to blogging about both of the above-mentioned harassment claims, so it might be worth following my blog, to get notified when I do.)

        1. Well it’s only important so long as we remember the roles we’ve assigned the “Sussexes” and “Cambridges” in the absurd psychodrama we are playing as a nation with the “royals”.

          The sooner we become a democracy, with a PR-elected lower house, an elected upper chamber and an elected head of state (like Ireland) the happier as a nation we’ll be.

          Being a typical Brit, hanging (for offences like High Treason) I reserve for really heinous crimes like queue-jumping 😉

          So Meghan can call herself what she likes. What’s in a name? As the bard (almost) said: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (though a rhododendron by any other would be easier to spell….)

  3. I do sometimes wonder about these crowdfunding legal cases.

    It seems open to abuse. If Mr A , who is well off, wants to punish Mr B who has a moderate standards of living, if he creates a crowdfunder (some of these are funded anonymously or by pressure groups in the past) to enable Mr C, who has nothing, to take legal action against him.

    Suppose Mr C loses ; Mr B will still have to have spent money defending the case, and Mr C has nothing to pay off any costs awarded against him. Mr A is on the face of it not involved.

    I always thought in the past that if someone funded another person’s legal action they were deemed to have “joined” the action and thus become liable. (I may be wrong about this)

    But those who happily fund questionable legal cases do not seem to have acquired this liability. Perhaps they should all be J&S liable for costs involved.

    1. @ Paul

      “(I may be wrong about this)”

      It’s complicated, it turns out, my having wondered whether you were right or wrong myself and done a few minutes of research. The following link may help to clarify the situation. It’s to the website of the solicitors who obtained a non-party costs order in each of two cases, The Creative Foundation v Dreamland Leisure Ltd & Others [2016] EWHC 859 (Ch) (“the Creative Foundation”) and JustMahe Inc v Smirnova (unreported).

      Non-party costs orders – A Practical Guide

      1. Thank you Mr Altman for that. Very interesting.

        The issue with respect to Crowdfunding in particular is
        “Generally speaking, where a non-party promotes and funds proceedings by an insolvent company solely or substantially for his own financial benefit, he should be liable for the costs if his claim or defence or appeal fails”

        The problems with crowdfunding is twofold. Firstly there are a significant number of non-parties, potentially hundreds. Secondly, because the numbers are small it can be done anonymously, I believe. There are issues with the main political parties tracking where their funds are from (not allowed foreign funding) because they come out of Paypal or other entities were tracing might be difficult or even beyond UK reach.

        In this specific case (assuming the crowdfunder happened) this isn’t really being done IMO because of the “distress” caused through the article, or to Ms Markle, but because the funders don’t like Jeremy Clarkson. If the Sun printed an article suggesting Mrs Clarkson be treated similarly, the complainants would be perfectly okay with it, and view it as fair comment.

    2. Perhaps the solution, if we had governments that were actually up to, and even interested in, governing properly, is you only should be allowed to sue if you can cover all the costs if you lose, or at least any claims should be limited to what you yourself could pay out.

      There would, of course, be many drawbacks to such a system.

      But it would, at least, prevent gold-digging!

      1. I recently sued an energy company that was harassing me to pay them £50.61 I didn’t owe them. They ended up paying me more than £900, most of which was my legal costs. I couldn’t have afforded to pay into court the legal costs they were willing at first to incur defending my claim. I’m on benefits and my time as a litigant is only costed at £19.00. Their solicitors never got round to sending me a costs projection before I offered to settle my claim. But if my legal costs, calculated at £19 an hour, were over £860, think how much I’d have had to deposit upfront, just to apply to the court for justice as a victim of harassment on the part of a big, rich company.

        1. “Perhaps……”

          “There would, of course, be MANY drawbacks to such a system.”

          “But it would, at least, prevent gold-digging!”

          It wasn’t so much a serious attempt at a solution.

          More an attempt to highlight a problem.

  4. Perhaps a more important discussion is whether “Anti”-facist activist Dr Louise Raw’s (and accomplices such as the anonymous donor, and a “Sandra Copeland”) Go Fund Me campaign to bring a legal action against Jeremy Clarkson, and to prosecute him for daring to exercise free-speech, is in itself harassment of Mr Clarkson.

    A comment on this from our learned host would be most welcome.

    Better still an article on whether such activity by “activists” and “progressive” police and prosecutors amounts to harassment.

    And if it does: why aren’t the powers that be doing anything about it?!

    1. What is abundantly clear to me is that the sooner misogyny is defined as a hate-crime the legally simpler this will be. It is interesting to note that the blogger here, and all those so far commenting, are men. It would be interesting to get the opinions of their female legal colleagues. As a society, either we wrong our hands about articles like Clarksons which to a Clapham omnibus reader like me, are clearly encouraging violence against Meghan Markle, or we sit back and let violence against women continue. Best regards Tim

      1. I love satire and parody.

        I’ll settle for sarcasm if a writer can’t come up with those goods.

        But you’re clearly a master of your craft.

        Like Clarkson, who even when writing “serious” car reviews fills them with humour.

        Or that other master political sketch-writer, whose job it was to lampoon politicians and their lunacies by portrait-penning verbal cartoons.

        So good few seem to appreciate Boris’ “own words” they are forever “quoting” are always jokes at others’ expense.

        And not his own opinions.

        Never mind that he’s actually supporting what they accuse him of attacking!

        But I digress:

        What is abundantly clear to me is that the sooner misANDRY is defined as a hate-crime the legally simpler this will be.

        It is interesting to note that all those so far commenting in support of Megan & Dr Raw are soy-boy beta males who can’t see any other way of “striking” (isn’t that incitement to, if not actual, violence?!) it lucky with the unfairer sex.

        It WOULD be interesting to get the opinions of their lady legal colleagues.

        Though I think we can guess the opinion of femi-stasi activists such as “Doctor” Charlotte Proudpergenderneutraloffspring, or whatever she’s calling herself now.

        And we already know what her reaction would be if you tried being nice to her!

        Yes, as a member of that society, you “wrong” your hands about articles like Clarkson’s which to a Clapham omnibus reader like yourself, are clearly encouraging violence against Meghan Markle.

        Or if he’d said nothing: you’d sit back and whine that silence is violence against women too!

        Continue to amuse us with your Post-Modernist, No-Such-Thing-As-Truth, Oppression-Victimhood-And-Grievance-Studies satires.

        Best regards

        Mr B J Man

      2. @ Tim Bowler

        “What is abundantly clear to me is that the sooner misogyny is defined as a hate-crime the legally simpler this will be.”

        Then you have some explaining (of your abundant clarity) to do, as far as I’m concerned. For (in no particular order), I list the following thoughts 0f my own as to why I think that “defining misogyny as a hate-crime” is an appalling suggestion, which would make nothing at all “legally simpler”, least of all the problem Matthew wrote so clearly about of a certain hopeless appeal for crowd-funding.

        Let Matthew correct me if I am mistaken, but, as far as I know, to the extent that the word “hate-crime” means anything at all at law, it merely means a crime motivated to some extent by a generalised antipathy towards all persons with a protected characteristic, or (at most) to an intersection of two or more characteristics (for example disabled, white, single, Christian men), which is said to “aggravate” the offence. It does not presently mean that any alleged “hate” itself is a criminal offence in its own right, or that anything done because of the hate becomes an offence, even though otherwise it wouldn’t be an offence.

        If there were to be enacted a new, literal “hate-crime” called “misogyny”, a *pure* hate-crime, presumably one in which the actus reus of the crime was not being fond of one particular sex of fellow humans, the mens rea being defined as the said actus reus, the only good reason for not labelling that new crime a “thought crime” in the minds of those who argued for its enactment, would seem to be that some of the public might have read, or heard, of George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eightyfour, which gives the idea of “thought crime” something of a bad name.

        There are problems with defining what the word “misogyny” means in such a way as to make things “legally simple”. Perhaps any sort of preference for the company (or voices heard, or writings read) of men over that of women might suffice, but this wide definition would make it easy to prove misogyny against (for example) any believer in the “sexual orientation” doctrine of the LGBT movement who himself identified as “gay”. That would criminalise a highly privileged minority greatly favoured on the part of the present ruling class.

        Finally, so far as can see, Jeremy Clarkson’s dislike of the duchess isn’t motivated by a general dislike he has of all women, or American women. He probably feels that ladies in general have their uses, even if a few of them spell trouble by all accounts. I gather he’s even in-a-relationship with one of them.

        Some why is [what you said] “abundantly clear” to you, please?

        1. All good points to be sure. But here’s a thought experiment. Look at the number of women killed by men in the UK last year. And then look at the number of men. Look at the number of life threatening comments on social media any woman in the public eye gets. And do the same for men with similar media profiles.

          It is abundantly clear that women are far more at risk from the hands of violent men than are women. Clarksons vile misogynism is part of the problem.

          It may be legally difficult to frame a law. But that we need to stop the violence against women, of which Clarksons article is clearly a part, is abundantly obvious.

          Respectfully, I’d ask you to alk to the women in your life, and see if they see things as you do.

          Well, I think we’ve gone as far as we can on this, best wishes Tim

          1. @Tim Bowler

            “It all depends on whether you were prepared to engage with the point I was making.”

            I took quite a lot of trouble to “engage” substantially with the *first* point of yours I came across, that it was “abundantly clear” (to you) that the sooner misogyny was defined as a hate-crime the “legally simpler” something or other would become. That initial preparedness of mine to engage with a point of yours doesn’t seem to have done me much good so far. Before I waste any more of my time in engaging with any further points of yours, would you mind please explaining why it was clear to you that defining misogyny as a hate-crime (whatever you meant by “misogyny” and “hate-crime”) was a sensible suggestion? That doesn’t seem to me to be an unfair ask on my part.

          2. Not at all good points to be sure.

            But here’s a thought experiment. Look at the real number of women killed by their partners in the UK last year. No, it’s not three a week: it’s rounded up from around 2.4. And that includes lesbians, which are the most violent partnerships.

            While the number of men killed by their female partners are “only” around three per month. Despite men being vastly bigger stronger and more aggressive.

            And that’s the obvious murders. How many “accidental” deaths like like poisonings are really murders?

            And while we’re talking about domestic violence, yes, most child murders are by fathers.

            But that’s because it’s called infanticide when the mothers do it, far more often.

            And the “fathers” who murder “their” children are almost always step fathers who replaced the biological father dumped by the mother for a “better” mate, who then does what comes naturally, and kills the previous mate’s offspring (or rapes them).

            And yes, look at the number of life threatening comments on social media any woman in the public eye gets. And do the same for men with similar media profiles.

            For example after the infamous “so you’re saying” Channel 4 “interview” of Dr Jordan Peterson by Cathy Newman there was a torrent of abuse hurled at Newman.

            Which was analysed in detail.

            Abuse such as you got a Hitch-slapping, she was slapped down by him, her arguments were demolished….

            No wonder she, her employers, and her supporters, all reported her abusers to the police for violent threa…. oh, wait..!

            Meanwhile Peterson received actual threats from her Femi-Stasi supporters!

            Then there was that guy who got investigated by the police for threatening another female activist that he wouldn’t rape her with his worst enemy’s if she was the last woman on earth.

            And when her coven of supporters attacked him in their outrage he back-tracked from his “threat” NOT to rape her and promised he’d try to get drunk enough to attempt to rape her if she really really wanted him to.

            And got accused again!

            It is abundantly clear that “men” like you are virtue signalling social justice warriors desperate to find some way to finally get laid by a feminist.

            Because ordinary ladies aren’t interested!

          3. Dear oh dear, Mr Bowler:

            You mean my comments are getting worse.

            Hardly surprising as I’m re-posting YOUR “arguments”!

          4. The issue for me is that if the article was written about Clarkson himself, all those currently caterwauling would (a) say it was a joke, and the complainants humourless and (b) would likely join in such excrement throwing.

          5. Hello! Woman here. I found the opinions expressed in the article to be distasteful and unnecessary.

            I in no way think they reach the level of a hate crime. I also think trying to prosecute misogyny is a horrible idea.

            It is carceral separatism run amuck. Something that is also known as “radical feminism” (TERFs & SWERFs as the kids would say). You will find many papers and books written by feminists that lay out the many problems with this movement.

            It is socially conservative, not progressive. Over the last 5 decades carceral separatist have aligned more with fringe conservative groups than their own party. They prefer socially and legally punitive measure that are excessive and they have been a large driver of mass incarceration and rights violations.

            Every carceral separatist favored approach over the last several years had eroded collective rights while seeking to obliterate free speech and due process – for everyone but themselves of course.

            Most of their proposals seeks to criminalize one sex. Something that is illegal, and will never happen in a million years no matter how hard they pretend it will.

            Women will be criminalized in turn, and it will set off a fire storm that they ignore (it’s been seen countless times).

            Then you have the other long-standing problem. Many groups/factions of feminists have never been able to agree on definitions for misogyny, along with several other terms. Carceral separatists historically use incredibly broad and expansive definitions that many feminists vehemently disagree with.

            Advocates that do support judicial & police reform cannot support these proposals without undermining their own beliefs.

            Furthermore… crime statistics in several countries repeatedly show us that women and children are at an increased risk of violence at the hands of someone they know. Men are at an increased risk of violence at the hands of strangers.

            Acting as if an opinion piece poses serious risk of violence is absurd. It’s not backed by any relevant data.

  5. Excellent article. Dr Raw may be asinine, money attracts attention and allegations of embezzlement have arisen from far less. Harassment as a charge to hide behind? It seems that everyone is offended by everything. I take comfort in Oliver Wendell Holmes dictum “Nobody has the right to shout Fire in a crowded theatre”, free speech has limits. The Meechan/Count Dankula has an impact, often quoted in relation to denial of the Shoah (R v Chabloz).

    1. Yes, indeed.

      If I remember correctly what little law I learned almost half a century ago, Oliver Wendell Holmes’ aside that: “Nobody has the right to shout Fire in a crowded theatre” is merely a dictum, or opinion, rather than part of the actual ratio decidendi.

      Again, if memory serves, wasn’t that case thrown out by the Supreme Court, as, while free speech might have its limits, those limits were nowhere near the facts at issue.

      As for the Shoa, is denying that 6 million Jews died in it “Holocaust Denial”?

      So what about those Jews that claim the true figure is 6.5 million (insisting that Jewish troops who fell in battle, and Jewish civilians who died in the Blitz, should be counted too)?

      Are they Holocaust deniers?

      And despite the supposed thorough, detailed, and well known, history of the Holocaust, how many know that the Nazis originally used Auschwitz to exterminate (non-Jewish ethnic-)Poles?

      Or that three million non-Jewish Poles were exterminated, as well as three million Jewish-Poles and three million non-Polish Jews?

      And no doubt another three million non-Jewish non-Poles too (gays, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses…, you name it – see also the supposedly “anti”-Semitic Jimmy Carr “His Dark Material” Netflix Special joke – you have to watch the ENTIRE show to “get it”!).

      Strangely while the number of non-Jewish Poles killed has been revised drastically downwards, as has the individual death toll at Auschwitz, and other German death camps in Poland, and so the total toll, the figure for the Shoa remains stubbornly static at six million.

      And anyone that thinks “free” speech allows them to question such doctrinal orthodoxies or dogma soon finds they can be prosecuted for daring to exercise such “rights”, even in countries like the UK, where Holocaust “Denial” supposedly isn’t illegal!

      And while we’re on the subject of Slavs, we culturally mis-appropriated our word “slave” from their name, as they were such a favourite for enslavement by our Black and Brown brethren.

      Not only were vast tracts of the Slavic states stripped for slaves and left economically devastated, Balkan Slavs were still being enslaved by the Ottomans long after emancipation in the United States, officially into the 1900s, unofficially as late as the 1920s.

      And as the Black Economist Thomas Sowell points out:

      More Whites were taken to Africa as slaves than Blacks taken to the United States as slaves.

      But while the British and North Americans (almost all African slaves in the Atlantic Slave Trade went to Hispanic and Latino South and Central AmericaS) paid a high price in blood and treasure to Emancipate slaves in the Americas, and to try to free them, and end slavery in Africa, and the rest of the World, where slavery continues to this day:

      After a short period of freedom they handed over the Slavic states into another half century of slavery under communism.

      Before exploiting them themselves after the fall of the Wall.

      All the better to pay aid, reparations, and other benefits, to supposed victims of African slave-traders (the ones they sold West, even to the South Americas, were the lucky ones).

      But, long story short, try to claim reparations for Slavs and you might as well “Deny” the “Jewish” Holocaust.

      By the way, talking of the Holocaust, if the real figure is six million, the Rwandan kill rate was THREE TIMES that!

      For the doubters out there:

      800,000 in a mere hundred days is a kill-rate of nearly three million a year

      Compared to 6,000,000 in six years

      Achieved using nothing more lethal than an assortment of blunt kitchen utensils, rusty garden implements, and the odd brick, stone, lump of wood, or pointy stick!

      And yes, for the “Deniers” out there, other “estimates” are available.

      And no, the Holocaust wasn’t well documented:

      It was well documented at the start, but even many of those records were lost or destroyed, so we’re left with estimates.

      And doctrine, orthodoxy, and dogma!

  6. I hope Clarkson tells her to “stop coming the raw prawn”.

    His attempt at humour was, to my taste, crass and unfunny but if it was illegal it’s time the law was changed. Anyone who argues that they sincerely believe that he was encouraging people to direct dung at the Duchess is either lying or is too dim to be allowed out in public unaccompanied.

    There you are – that’s My Truth.

    1. Don’t try to deny you were trying to incite Markle’s fans into violently wringing Clarkson’s neck.

      And if you claim you said nothing of the sort: we all know silence is violence too!

        1. Don’t try to distract and deflect from your clear and obvious misogynistic and violent threat against women.

          That Freudian slip tells us all we need to know about you.

          Here’s a thought experiment. Look at the number of women killed by men in the UK last year.

          Look at the number of life threatening comments on social media like yours any woman in the public eye gets.

          It is abundantly clear that women are far more at risk from the hands of violent men like than are women.

          Your vile misogynism is part of the problem!

          It may be legally difficult to frame a law. But that we need to stop the violence against women, of which your comment article is clearly a part, is abundantly obvious!!!

          1. Not while I’m satirising your Post-Modernist, No-Such-Thing-As-Truth, Oppression-Victimhood-And-Grievance-Studies, PC, Woke, Culturally-Marxist, Toxic-Matriarchy, Social-Justice-Warrior, Virtue-Signalling, Femii-Stasi nonsense Mr Bowler!

  7. Thank you Matthew for your expertise, experience and insight on this. When I first saw Dr Raw’s go fund me post, my hackles went up and alarm bells rang within me. Something felt very off about it all, I felt it should have been Meghan who should have done this not Dr Raw, but alas my only experience of the law was from my days many years ago when I worked in the prison service, not the courts or how they’d tackle this situation. So thank you for clarifying things.

    Ordinarily as an anti-fascist myself (I’m of Muslim heritage, Jewish heritage, Creol Heritage and African Heritage) I’d have fully supported such go fund me’s, I have done so in the past only to be disappointed in that nothing came of them and the money given had completely vanished instead. So this time I was dubious when I saw it….

    Not only that but for me there are other factors as to why I’ll not be supporting Dr Raw’s go fund me too. It’s become all to apparent in recent months that she’s closely involved with a group of vile bullying trolls and has even admitted to and expressed her full support of them and has also admitted to being part of their group. These bullying trolls have harassed a lot of people, both right wing and left wing, including doxing, name calling, making vile abelist/transphopbic comments. One of her close friends has even called a group black people the ‘N’ word!!! Yep the ‘N’ word…

    Some of them have even joined in with harassing me.

    Even more shocking is that they call themselves anti-fascist and antifa and are involved with a group called Resiting Hate! From my own perspective and experience of being of heritage, they are far from being anti-fascist by a long shot.

    Something feels very very wrong about Dr Raw’s go fund me, I can’t help but feel concerned that people are being conned.

  8. “that whether or not The Sun itself is such a network (which it may well be), in order to be placed on the website it almost certainly has to be sent via one”

    Not necessarily. It’s equally likely an organisation like News International hosts its own servers which it accesses directly via a private network.

    Now, reading that website involves the transmission of messages – in the form of network data packets, using the public service network (e.g. the broadband system mostly), though whether that’s what it meant by “messages” is questionable.

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