Friday, 9 January 2015

I agree with Nick

The horrific attack in France this week was an attempt to close down our societies, to close down minds, and to close down free expression. It was an assault not just on journalists and cartoonists but on the values of free speech, public dispute and openness which those professions embody. It was an attack on the very heart of an open, liberal society.

Sadly, attacks like these can lead governments, sometimes with the best of intentions, to introduce measures in the name of public safety that undermine the very freedoms we cherish, and which our enemies despise...

...But all governments are capable of trampling on free speech, which is why in 2013 my party forced the repeal of Section 5 of the Public Order Act which criminalised the use of “insulting words” that cause “alarm or distress.” Section 5 was used to arrest demonstrators in Trafalgar Square for wearing T-shirts depicting the Danish cartoons, and to prosecute someone who described scientology as a “dangerous cult.”
Blimey! Nick "Disappointment" Clegg actually uses his platforms in the Torygraph and on LBC radio to makes a good point rather well.

OK, it's wrapped up in some sort of weird, Blairite, content-free wibble ('The way we describe the world is changing. The old labels - East and West; Left and Right; market and state – are increasingly irrelevant in a fluid, globalised world'). As the young people say, what does that even mean?

But, after mentally editing out the meaningless filler, I completely agree with his main point.

Bullies who answer dissent with intimidation rather than argument don't deserve a hearing, whether those bullies are angry sectarians shutting people up with Kalashnikovs or politicians trying to outlaw dissent.
There's altogether too much harping on respect and banning these days. If you can't respect something, you should ban it. If it's not banned, you should respect it. Bullshit. (David Mitchell)