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Arrested for telling a bad joke: the Count Dankula story

Mark Meechan arriving at Airdrie Sheriff Court for sentencing in April 2018
Mark Meechan arriving at Airdrie Sheriff Court for sentencing in April 2018 Credit: PA/Andrew Milligan

The Count Dankula “Hitler pug” saga was the shaggy dog story that sparked a national debate about free speech, had comedians at each other’s virtual throats and threatened to burn the internet to the ground. Naturally there were claims of rough justice – alright, “wuff” justice – as the police became involved while the intervention of far-Right campaigner Tommy Robinson was regarded by many as final evidence that the world had gone barking mad. 

Did Scottish YouTube comedian Mark Meechan – aka Count Dankula – have the inkling of the forces he was about to unleash? The furore began in April 2016, when he posted to YouTube a video of an adorable pug giving a Nazi salute. 

“My girlfriend is always...

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