Two hundred and fifty years ago, Great Britain bequeathed to us our notions of due process and free speech.  That country, however, no longer exists.  Instead, we have a country that is demanding that Russell Brand, who has been accused of alleged sexual wrongdoing that occurred decades ago (charges he denies), must be deplatformed from Rumble, a site built upon free speech.  Fortunately, Rumble is standing strong.

Russell Brand has admitted that he was a sex and drug addict.  Then he cleaned up his act.  I don’t doubt that he did regrettable things during his years of debauchery, although whether he did anything illegal or even outside the bell curve of a sex-saturated society has never been examined in a law court of law.

During those same years of debauchery, Brand was an out-and-proud leftist, as well as an edgy (very edgy) comedian.  Now, though, during his years of clean living, Brand has become something of a libertarian, talking to people like Tucker Carlson and Ben Shapiro because he stood against COVID and vaccine madness.

Given that Brand has been red-pilled and is becoming redder by the day, many conservatives think it’s not a coincidence that he has suddenly been accused of sexual wrongdoing dating back a couple of decades.  Regarding the specific accusations, I haven’t read the details, and, frankly, I’m not interested.

The fact is that I’m very suspicious of charges floating up after decades.  The “he said, she said” dynamic that bedevils many sex crimes is multiplied by the passage of time.  That’s why we have statutes of limitations.  Indeed, much as I think Joe Biden is capable of sex crimes, the only reason I believed Tara Reade’s allegations was because her mother called Larry King and discussed the issue when it happened.

So far as I know, there is no contemporaneous evidence supporting the new charges against Brand.  He vigorously denies them.  The women making the accusations have not testified under oath, there’s been no discovery, and there’s been no formal trial (the due process part of “due process”).

Nevertheless, with remarkable speed, Brand found himself deplatformed and de-personed.  YouTube demonetized him.  The BBC, an über-left outlet, removed some of his material from its online archives and podcasts.  His agent publisher fired him, and his shows have been “postponed.”

Well, one expects that from the tech tyrants, the BBC, and the entertainment industry.  All of them have been champing at the bit to disavow someone who left the plantation.  It’s a whole different level of problem when the absence of any proof or process doesn’t bother the British Parliament.  Instead, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the House of Commons wrote to Chris Pavlovski, Rumble’s CEO, asking that the site demonetize and, by implication, censor Brand:

The letter acknowledges in its opening sentence that there is no proof that Brand misbehaved.  There are only “allegations.”  The same letter, from Dame Caroline Dinenage, the committee’s chair and, believe it or not, a conservative M.P., says the committee is “concerned that he may be able to profit from his content on the platform.”  In other words, based on allegations of long-past crimes, the British Parliament would like to see someone deprived of his income.  (And yes, I assume that Brand is rich, but it’s the principle of the thing.)  The committee’s sole concern is that “creators are not able to use the platform to undermine the welfare of victims of inappropriate and potentially illegal behaviour.”  As far as I know, there aren’t victims.  There are only accusers who have managed to survive for decades without talking.  After a fair trial (something increasingly unlikely in the third decade of the 21st century), we can revisit whether there are actual victims.

To his great credit, Pavlovski wrote a polite “stick it up your derrière” letter in response:

I especially love this bit:

We regard it as deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the UK Parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or to earn a living from doing so. Singling out an individual and demanding his ban is even more disturbing given the absence of any connection between the allegations and his content on Rumble. We don’t agree with the behavior of many Rumble creators, but we refuse to penalize them for actions that have nothing to do with our platform.

That’s exactly right.  The final sentence — “We emphatically reject the UK Parliament’s demands” — is something that would have made America’s Founders proud.

It’s deeply disturbing that a government would try to destroy an individual based on new allegations of ancient crimes.  What’s sad about this action is that it was Britain that bequeathed to us our fundamental concerns with free speech (the First Amendment) and due process (the Fifth Amendment).  George Orwell saw it coming, but that doesn’t mean we have to be happy that it’s here.

This article was first published in American Thinker