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It has long been argued that free speech is dead in Britain. Now it appears that free thought is dead too. Nicholas Brock from Maidenhead was arrested in September 2019, and in March this year he was convicted of terrorist offences.
He was sentenced late last month, but although his case was reported by mainstream websites including the BBC, it has only now begun to attract serious attention from people concerned with saving what little freedom is left, including by the man behind Crimebodge.
The photograph at the top of this page is one of several released by the police, and would be regarded by some people as chilling, until perhaps they were informed that although in his fifties, Brock still lived with his mother. So what was his crime? He had in his possession, copies of four books including:
The Anarchist Cookbook
A manual about knife-fighting.
Although one may question the wisdom of mounting any kind of gun on a bedroom wall in this country – even a deactivated or toy one – none of Brock’s possessions were illegal per se – contrary to a BBC report – yet he was told by Judge Peter Lodder QC: “It is clear from the wide range of other material found on your computer and your hard drive that you are a right-wing extremist” adding “Your enthusiasm for this repulsive and toxic ideology is demonstrated by the graphic, racist, Islamophobic and white supremacist iconography which you have stored”.
Again, these are all thought crimes. The Anarchist Cookbook was published in 1971, and can be downloaded from a number of websites. Likewise, Mein Kampf is perfectly legal to own. These and many other books that fall into the category of political propaganda and combat manuals are held by research libraries, indeed, the largest collection of Nazi literature in Britain if not the world is probably held by the Wiener Library, which can hardly be accused of being sympathetic to National Socialism in any way, manner, shape or form.
Brock also had footage of the March 2019 mosque massacre at Christchurch, New Zealand. How many news agencies and other outlets, how many ordinary YouTubers including Moslems, have this footage?
What will be prosecuted next, the possession of horror films? Will a man who owns a few documentaries about Ted Bundy, John Gacy and the Grim Sleeper be charged with preparing acts of serial murder?
Brock’s weird collecting obsession appears to have come to the attention of the authorities when he was convicted of racially aggravated harassment in 2017, which sounds thematic but on closer inspection was clearly of a personal nature. He also had convictions for theft and burglary as a teenager – ie in the last Millennium.
There is no mention of Brock appealing his conviction, but it shouldn’t be ruled out. Take a gander at the Terrorism Act, 2000, note in particular how widely and vaguely it is drafted, then ask yourself if you couldn’t fall foul of it in some way.