Monday 5 November 2007

Free as in speech

Ed Husain has just said on the PM programme that one of the key reasons that the UK has still got a terrorism problem was "irresponsible unlimited liberalism" that was insistent on giving everyone a voice.
If I was having problems before identifying myself as a liberal then now I stand here holding my hand aloft to say "Aye count me in with the irresponsible unlimited liberals." Of the many freedoms the people of this country have lost or is threatened with loosing, free speech has to be pretty close to the top of the list of those important to defend.
It is a subject that is already lighting up the British blogging community given how strong a position a Libel plaintiff is in under English law and how quickly UK ISPs have to roll over when the lawyers knock on their door to protect their business.
In all this talk about how the Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor will implement their review on Governance, with any options like a written constitution or a bill of rights are brought up, free speech must be a key plank of the rules about how our society operates.
I leave you with something that summarises my position wonderfully Evelyn Beatrice Hall paraphrasing Voltaire:
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it

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