London man convicted of crime for sharing video of burning Grenfell Tower model

72 Londoners, most of them people of color, died when Grenfell Tower burned down in 2017. Paul Bussetti shared a video of a racist effigy of Grenfell Tower and its inhabitants being burned on a bonfire. Bussetti today pleaded guilty to a crime for posting this video—after earlier being acquitted and having that acquittal quashed by a high-ranking judge.

The court heard Bussetti handed himself in to police when the footage went viral.

Bussetti is said to have told police: "It was all over the telly and so we thought it was better to tell the truth.

"It was terrible, definitely offensive to people, it was just complete stupidness, one of those stupid moments."

The contemporary mode of of free speech in Britain in a nutshell: reactionary fury at "cancel culture" that is yet weirdly submissive to direct censorship. A good example is Piers Morgan, an ever-fresh turd in the toilet bowl. Two days ago he launched his new show, for example, and his entire pose around it is free speech absolutism plucked directly from U.S. media…

You shouldn't be shamed or vilified or cancelled for having an opinion

… the point of which he simply doesn't understand:

unless you genuinely are spewing hateful bigoted stuff

Quite the asterisk on "free speech" there—and a maze of qualifications and ambiguous conjunctions to boot.

American terms and framings have come to dominate British discussion and understanding of free speech topics. But there's little appreciation there of the civic and legal traditions they're trying to import, and growing ignorance of their own. It's just a bunch of celebrities, politicians and pundits blurting out American culture war nonsense while dragging people into court for tweets.