3 March 2016

Do you think we should ban swearing in public places?

never mind the bollocks

It’s hard to imagine censorship working in this day and age!

Personally I think it’s absurd.

However, Salford City Council have today announced a Public Space Protection Order to cover the Salford Quays area, part of which makes it a criminal offence for anyone to use ‘foul and abusive’ language.

Banning the use of foul or abusive language, as it has been termed, in a place frequented by football fans travelling to and from the game, seems completely unenforceable and an absolute waste of the public sector’s time and energy. Why create another unnecessary distraction?

Whilst it may appease the residents of the expensive accommodation nearby – no doubt the motivation for such legislation into even come to fore – in my opinion these attempts at censorship never end well. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of people shouting expletives through a megaphone in the area!

The council told the Manchester Evening News: “Over 130 local residents responded to the consultation about whether to introduce this order. Of those 76% were in favour of the order and 94% agreed with a ban on causing general disturbance including being abusive to other persons, using foul language, being rowdy and inconsiderate.”

Bundling foul language in with being abusive, being rowdy and causing a general disturbance is a vastly different matter to swearing on its own. I am not surprised that 94% agreed with that ban, but how many would agree with a ban on swearing alone without the other factors?

We certainly need further clarity on that matter. What’s in the list? What classes as ‘foul and abusive language’?

Also, who has created this list? How is the list decided? What is classed as abusive and foul language differs greatly from person to person.

It’s our right to be able to swear. Whilst I agree, there’s a time and a place for every form of communication and something does need to be done to tackle anti-social behaviour, this order is extraordinarily poorly defined.

The council needs to clarify this as soon as possible. If not I may be unintentionally donating a lot of money to Salford City Council whenever I am near Media City!

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