Guido Fawkes, the blogger who issues legal letters on behalf of MPs only because he wants to be like “conan the barbarian” wrote a post a couple of days ago titled ‘Freedom of Speech Includes â€œHate Speechâ€‘ that I didn’t see earlier.
The funny thing is that these so-called defenders of free speech (except, apparently, when they want to issue legal threats) think this is some new argument. It’s not. Perhaps I should reiterate it: people who make homophobic, racist, sexist or even inflammatory statements should not be banned or legislated against. I’ve been for free speech and against banning speech that “offends” various religious, racial, right-wing groups for ages. See here and here and here as quick examples.
But the thing is lefties never actually argue for hate speech to be banned or censored. We just want to register our anger when someone says something offensive. They have the legal right to be offensive and we have the right to complain to advertisers and broadcasters. My legal right to swear at mad libertarians is not being curbed just because I can’t do it on the BBC. In the same way if someone offensive is taken off air they’re not losing their right to free speech but have violated the terms they’re working under.
If people complain to advertisers the next time someone like Jan Moir writes a nasty article – then it’s up to the advertisers to take action if they so choose. But that is not censorship. That is our legal right as citizens to use democratic, economic and other frameworks to punish those people.
But it seems such a simple argument is too difficult to understand, and so the only way such numpties can frame this debate is by pretending that lefties want to ban things. No we don’t. Then he ends with:
You donâ€™t want to end up like Sunny Hundal, a man so right-on as to be a walking parody. Once in a fit of rage, yet so conflicted by political correctness, all he could do was call Guido â€œyou bloody human!â€
.. which is rather amusing. Anyone who knows me I can swear like the Asian version of Samuel L Jackson, and if I was angry with Paul Staines I’d have no problems calling him a drunk-driving, limp-dick, fat, pathetic excuse for a baboon who should have been pulverised by A.A. Gill but escaped by scaring people with his ugly mug. But I don’t ever recall being “in rage” while Guido has been around and am generally quite calm in real life
I didn’t realise he had to resort to making up shit just to make a political point.
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