Sunday, 7 December 2014
How much are we denied free speech?
Censorship has been with us in one form or another throughout history, but in the is country we have become used to the idea of free speech as a basic human right (from which all others inevitably flow) and subject only to libel laws in the main.
Nevertheless censorship and suppression of free speech still persists in many forms in society and a new You Gov poll tells us that a third of Britons feel they are denied free speech, particularly in the workplace.
The issues that worry people the most are Immigration, religion, moral and ethical issues and party political preferences which is rather a worry. Of course they are not talking about imposing ones opinions on those around them, particularly if dealing with the general public, but simply being afraid to express a view.
A rather unhealthy state of affairs, but not an unfamiliar one as we have seen the growth of censorship in our universities whereby these so-called "safe spaces" are created to avoid the poor things of being subject to listen to views that may differ from their own and hence "oppress" them.
Then of course there is the social pressure from the left which precludes any discussion about immigration as its all "racist" and of course the "religion of peace" is beyond criticism as any critique is automatically "Islamophobic", not that such logic is ever afforded to any other group or religion in society.
Jews are "fair game" to many of the anti-imperialist brigade. And gay rights or women's rights cannot be raised if it offends..... (add "victim" of choice here).
Even in trade union, well especially some trade unions like my own the PCS censorship abounds on their Face Book page and if admin don't delete your views you'll be shouted down or complained about by some harridan or another like the one who insisted my post on supporting the Kurds was taken down.
Her reason? I'm a near fascist, apparently.
The post was taken down, though I dispute who was really the "near fascist" in this instance. When challenged our intrepid comrade was not ashamed.
So long as only her views are allowed, she and others like her are happy.
No wonder people back off from expressing themselves. The biggest censors are on the left, not the right, not even the state these days.
Interestingly the You Gov poll tells us 17% of respondents were afraid they'd be abused verbally.
Got that right!
The point is to stand up to these bullies, because that's all they are.
Expressing a concern about immigration levels is not inherently racist and we could never have an open borders policy like some of the comrades want, so there's always going to be the need for controls of one sort or another.
As for Islam? It's just another bloody religion. Nobody talks about "christianophobia" (if there even is such a word) and it's subject to open criticism and satire.
The difference is nobody threatens to chop your bleeding head off.
Which in itself says a lot.
Nothing and no body of thought, theological or otherwise can be above criticism or even ridicule if necessary.
The day that happens democracy dies.
Stand up for free speech!