Sunday 15 March 2009

Freedom of speech and fairweather libertarians

I find myself arguing elsewhere on the bloggosphere in defence of the protesters who came close to getting their heads kicked in by a baying mob for daring to picket a troop parade. On top of the smug satisfaction of a number of supposed libertarians, who see something positive in the crowd's reaction, such protesters are facing a new law to prohibit similar displays proposed by none other than 'liberty's champion' David Davis MP.**

I will make the same argument that I made when Nick Griffin and David Irving appeared at the Oxford Union to the fury of the placard-wavers outside. Freedom of speech is for everyone. It is the right to express unpopular views that needs defending. Let people say what they want, let there be free debate, let all arguments be held up to the light of reason. This way we may learn something, our own staid views may be challenged and we, as a society, can progress.

**Correction. It is proposed by somebody else, called David Davies MP


Trooper Thompson said...

I hadn't noticed your swearing until you drew it to my attention.

Rational debate has to be taken when the chance arises, like food on a journey.

Peter Risdon said...

I think you've missed the point. I don't disagree with what you say. The disagreement id over something entirely different which I think you'd be naive to overlook.

Sometimes political movements have to be fought. I'm afraid that's a fact. Not silenced, fought.

Trooper Thompson said...

While you rale against the islamo-fascists, the state is nicking what's left of our freedom, and you're giving them cover.

Peter Risdon said...

No, the relationship between these two things is different to that. By buying off groups the government stays in power without being supported. Government courting of Muslim extremists, which has started up again under Brown, is a way of buying votes from Mosques, where MPs go in the build up to elections to discuss what those votes will buy. The encouragement of postal voting in the last two elections was a part of this strategy, because ballots could be taken from women and delivered as part of the deal.

Other sections in society are bought in other ways, usually by being offered directly or in kind other people's money.

Even if these two things were not connected, government tyranny and islamofascism, it would be possible to attack both. But they are related. It's actually necessary to attack both.

Trooper Thompson said...

Thanks for dropping by, by the way! You're always welcome, and your moniker buys you a lot of grace.

Peter Risdon said...

I think the protection of the law should also extend to people born into Muslim families in this country. The last few years of being feted in the media and unchallenged in the streets has made matters worse, I'm keen to see both change.

Thanks for your hospitality, TT.

Trooper Thompson said...

I certainly agree with you with regard to protecting people from 'honour killings' and murder for 'apostacy'. The corrosive influence of 'multiculturalism', group identity politics, so-called hate-crime laws etc has hindered criticism and opposition to such things, by giving 'left cover'.

But I would still stress that the real problem is the cancer of growing state power.