A businessman in the British country of Wales has been ordered by local police to either face arrest or remove from display a pull-over shirt exhorting citizens to obey the law, as reported by the South Wales Argus.
Matthew Taylor, owner of Taylor’s Printing Shop in Newport, recently displayed in his shop window a custom made shirt stating “Obey our laws, respect our beliefs or get out of our country.” Somehow, the message is in violation of British law and is punishable by arrest, fine and/or imprisonment.
That fact wasn’t lost on Gwent County law enforcement when they ordered Taylor to remove the offending shirt or face arrest under the Orwellian sounding Public Order Act.
Members of Britain’s quasi-police, officially titled Community Support Officers (CSO), reportedly informed Taylor late last week that “someone” in the community reported him because they “felt it was offensive.” Taylor was also warned by the CSOs that his twelve word garment “could be seen to be inciting racial hatred.”
No Such Thing as Bad Publicity…
Since Taylor’s brush with incarceration, the publicity received may actually have the opposite effect the sort-of-police had intended. Taylor maintains a Facebook site for his business and has found that he can sell his law and order shirts via the internet. In a quote that says much more than he may have intended, the entrepreneur stated:
I am not allowed to display it but I am allowed to sell them.
Ever the businessman, Taylor also put the world on notice that his shirt is now on special for a mere £7 ($10.50).
As of yet, the shirts are unavailable outside of Great Britain, but Taylor intends to explore the possibility of selling it world-wide.
Hoping to put the accusation of racism and hatred behind him, Taylor also went on to say:
I feel quite offended being accused of being a racist.
It’s not about race or religion, it’s about what’s happening in our country.