Norm has already linked to Polly Toynbee's forthright op-ed on the religious hatred bill. Her view of the clause that will supposedly safeguard free expression among artists is also worth checking out:
It would not protect Rowan Atkinson's sketch showing men bowed down praying in a mosque with the voiceover intoning: "And the search goes on for the Ayatollah Khomeini's contact lens." Many were insulted. It would not protect Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses", let alone Christ in nappies on the cross in "Jerry Springer - the Opera". Nor would it stop "Behzti" being closed down by angry Sikh mobs. Police who failed to protect free theatre will feel the benefit of the doubt tip towards religious sensitivities. Of course these writers were reckless about causing offence: that is what artists recklessly do.
ORDER, ORDER: Good news from the House of Commons:
The government has suffered two shock defeats over attempts to overturn Lords changes to the controversial Racial and Religious Hatred Bill.