"We've never had full freedom of speech in the UK, there have always been restrictions and repercussions if you decide to engage mouth before brain e.g. libel."
I am categorically NOT talking about things like libel and slander, which are civil matters, not criminal. I am also not referring to things like incitement to violence, or actual, genuine hate speech.
I'm referring to the fact that, just as an example, you can be slapped with a fine, or even a prison sentence, and end up with a criminal record for criticising a religion for its stance on things like homosexuality.
A more specific example is Count Dankula and his dog. The prank was in very poor taste, but it was a joke nevertheless, and no way should that have resulted in a fine and criminal record. There are plenty of people who are far more liberal than I am who agree on that point.