Thank you for this insightful piece! As an American, I wouldn’t know whether this is the case or not, but it appears to me that the U.K.’s counter-terrorism strategy has spawned a culture of caution that might help to explain certain recent events, such as the prosecution of Mark Meechan. If we take the escalator analogy from the parliamentary report you cited and apply it to Meechan’s case, one possible conclusion you could draw is that the government has come to view offensive comedy as a stepping stone towards the normalization of the ideological object of the joke.

In other words, maybe they think that if you can bring yourself to laugh at Nazi jokes, you don’t take Nazism seriously enough or understand the threat it poses, which in turn makes you a potential future Nazi (or some other brand of extremist).

Then again, I could be completely off base. I’m just sort of thinking out loud right now.

Outer space enthusiast. Japanese history junkie. I write about politics, culture, and mental illness. Disagreement is a precursor to progress.

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