Wednesday, 27 May 2015
Financial Times thinks we have free speech.
The second paragraph of yesterday’s leading article starts “One of the canards of British political discourse is that no one dares talk frankly about immigration”.
Well first, that’s what is known as a “straw man” argument: that is, attributing an obviously absurd argument to someone, then demolishing the argument, and claiming you’ve demolished or dented your opponent’s case. That is, the idea that “no one” in the whole of the UK dares say what they think on immigration is obviously absurd.
The more important question is whether there a SIGNIFICANT PROPORTION of the population don’t dare say what they think. And indeed it would seem from this survey that about a third of the population don’t think they are free to say what they think on immigration for fear of prosecution or losing their jobs.
And indeed they are right: people HAVE BEEN sacked from their jobs for being members of anti-immigration organisations. Plus the law on “inciting racial hatred” is extremely vague, and doubtless deliberately so. That is, you never quite know what statement about other races or about immigration might land you in trouble. So the best thing to do, especially if you’ve got a well paid job and/or a family to feed is to keep quiet. And the politically correct opponents of free speech only have to prosecute VERY FEW people in order to get the desired result, namely suppressing free speech in general.
The same principle applies to another lot who want to suppress free speech, namely Muslims who want to ban cartoons about Islam: they only need to slit the throat of about one cartoonist every two or three years, and two hundred other cartoonists take note. If the latter cartoonists have a family to support, they might as well play safe and not publish cartoons about Islam.
Hitler and Stalin suppressed free speech and boasted about it. The politically correct and Muslims suppress free speech and then claim they haven’t done so. I’m not sure which is the more odious.