Shaddup You Face – Short Story

This short story was written for the regular forum competition I write for. The topic was ‘Alternative History Wikipedia: Up to 2000 words creating a wiki-style entry for a famous person from history but rewriting their lives.’

It’s not something I have tried before and ones I have read tend to need the reader to actually know about the person to see where fact becomes fiction. I thought I’d try a different take on it.

As ever you can download this as a PDF for ease of reading: Shaddup You Face

Please leave comments on how you think I did here or on Twitter @paulblakeauthor

Shaddap You Face

KH

Katie Olivia Hopkins (born 13 February 1975) is an English media personality. She first came to notice in 2007 as a reality television contestant and later became a columnist for British newspapers, initially The Sun (from October 2013)[1] and later the MailOnline (from autumn 2015 until 2017).[2]

Hopkins has been accused of racism by journalists, advocacy groups and politicians for her comments about migrants. Her role as a presenter for the radio station LBC was terminated in May 2017 following her comments on Twitter about the Manchester Arena bombing.[3][4]

In 2016, Mail Online was forced to pay £150,000 to a Muslim family whom Hopkins had falsely accused of extremist links. In a 2017 libel case, Hopkins was required to pay £24,000 in damages and £107,000 in legal costs to the writer Jack Monroe after making defamatory remarks on Twitter. Later in 2017, Mail Online was forced to pay substantial damages and legal costs to a teacher about whom Hopkins had made false claims. A day before, in late November, it had become known Hopkins’ contract with the media outlet had not been renewed.[5] Her final column was published on 5 October 2017.[6] She joined the Canadian far-right website The Rebel Media in January 2018.[7]  She continued to court controversy and in November 2018 it was revealed that she had accepted money from the Russian government to stir up the British population [8] to induce civil war. Following these revelations Hopkins was the first British citizen to be subject to the 2019 Gagging Order for hate speech and sedition.

 

Gag

The 2019 Gagging Order was a controversial measure brought in by the British Government to limit the growing rise in hate speech and sedition of the masses [1]. It is not to be confused with the term Gag Order (or super-injunction) which is designed to limit or restrict information or comment being made public.

Background [edit]

The 2019 Gagging Order was an Order introduced by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It officially became law on 24th April 2019 after an unprecedented rise in hate speech reports and the Cambridge Academia scandal [2]. It is said that the increase in hate speech came after Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins visited Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London on the 18th March 2018. Race crime and violence soared after the event [3] and online became a battle of colour, race and religion.

Passage [edit]

The United Kingdom Parliament, after a heated debate, decided to vote on whether to introduce a new Order to drastically reduce the spread of hate messages throughout the country. The vote was taken on 23rd November 2018 and the motion was passed 410 to 220. 20 MP’s abstained on the vote. Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, said after the vote, ‘This is an important result in the battle against hate of all kinds. I welcome this result and look forward to seeing the people of our country getting on with each other, like the Hippalectryons and Odontotyrannos did in Ancient Greece.’ [4] Jeremy Corbyn, the Opposition Leader, said, ‘[The Order] is a tyrannical device that belongs in the Dark Ages, just like most of the Conservative Party’s policies.’ [5]

Controversy [edit]

The Order was highly controversial and criticised both domestically and internationally, from groups both on the right and left of the political spectrum. A 50,000 strong protest march was organised for the day after the vote was passed [6]. The march erupted in violence, resulting in five days of riots which caused an estimated £150m worth of damage to businesses and properties in London, and an estimated £3b worth of lost trade [7]. The riots finally ended when the Government brought in the Army to police the streets and imposed a curfew of 8pm.

The Order was discussed in the United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights. The United Kingdom had sanctions imposed on it for the breach of Human Rights.

The First Gagging Order [edit]

The First Gagging Order was given to Katie Hopkins due to a tweet she posted on Twitter, and later deleted which said ‘All White Britons should rise up against the Blacks and Muslims and take Our Country Back.’ [8] She was arrested for Hate Speech and at her trial in May 2019 she justified the tweet by saying that it was posted as ‘a satirical take on the words of the United States President and was not meant to cause offence’ [10]. She continued ‘that she had hoped that Britons would have been intelligent enough to see the nuance’.

On May 15th 2019 She was sentenced to five years Gagging.

The Gagging Process [edit]

There were two proposed methods of Gagging.

The first method ‘Drug Induced Gagging’ was equivalent to the chemical castration process where the ‘patient’ was curbed of their propensity towards spouting hate speech via selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs which changed the brain’s chemical makeup.

The second method ‘Electronic Behaviour Control’ where the patient was Gagged by having an electronic behaviour chip inserted into the amygdala of the brain. The chip controlled the electrical impulses in the brain to deaden emotional highs and lows. The outcome of this method was that the patient was far less likely to think extreme thoughts, or take extreme actions. A secondary action of the Electronic Behaviour Control was that it curbed all criminal behaviour. Researchers at the Department of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania, who had previously determined that certain kinds of criminals had deformities in the amygdala [11], tested the chip in patients who displayed psychopathic behaviour and noted a dramatic change in behaviour. This research made the Electronic Behaviour Control the preferred method for the Gagging Order and Katie Hopkins was fitted with a chip on 10th December 2019, coincidentally the International Awareness Day of Human Rights [12].

Based on the research by the University of Pennsylvania, on 20th February 2020 the United Kingdom government expanded the Gagging Order program to reduce the prison population [13]. Fitting prisoners with an Electronic Behaviour chip who wanted an early release on their sentence. Only prisoners with a history of sexual or violent crimes were eligible for the program.

Notable Gagged Persons [edit]

Nigel Farage, ex-MEP and Leader of UKIP was gagged on 1st April 2021 for equating Jews with Rats [14]. He was sentenced to 3 years.

Tommy Robinson, Founder of the English Defence League and wannabe journalist, was gagged on 15th July 2019 for including the phrase ‘Kill all Muslims’ on a Youtube video [15]. He was sentenced to 10 years.

JK Rowling, Author of the Harry Potter series of books, was gagged on 10th September 2020 for retweeting a post which depicted all Brexiters as a ‘wall of gammon’ [16]. She was sentenced to one week.

The End of the Gagging Order [edit]

The Order was rescinded on 30th June 2022 after the 2022 General Election. Labour won the Election with 56% of the vote [17]. Leader Emily Thornberry said in her victory speech ‘this result is a victory for free speech and an end of the oppression from the Conservative party.’ The Conservative Party came in third behind a resurgent Liberal Democrat party, with 23% of the vote.

Outcomes of the Gagging Order [edit]

In total 264,767 people were served with a Gagging Order in the three years the Order was active, with sentences ranging from 3 days to eleven years. 23,124 were prisoners afforded an early release. [18]

Instances of Hate Crime and Hate Speech drastically decreased while the Order was in operation. When the Order was rescinded these rose to levels around half of what they were before the Order and then decreased as the slogan ‘Sticks and stones make break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ increased in popularity and proponents of Hate Speech and Hate Crimes were no longer given a platform to spread their views, due to a new Order – The 2023 Gagging Order banning them from Social Media, public gatherings, television and radio.

Sanctions against the United Kingdom for the 2019 Gagging Order were lifted on 15th July 2022. [19] The sanctions were estimated to have cost the United Kingdom 25% of GDP. [20]

 

 

 

 

 

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