A Quick Reminder Of What Freedom Of Speech Means

The PC mob seems not to understand what free speech actually is. Brendan O'Neill puts them right on Spiked Online. 

It means Ross Greer, the Green member of the Scottish parliament for West Scotland, has the right to call Winston Churchill anything he likes …  He should not be restricted from speaking in public and he should not lose his job. We should hope that student officials don’t add him to any kind of blacklist forbidding him from speaking on campus, as they have done with people on the hard right. Greer must be free to rage against Churchill.

It means people on Twitter have the right to like ‘transphobic’ poems, to share ‘transphobic’ poems, and to write ‘transphobic’ poems. Nobody should be censured for expressing scepticism about the trans ideology. … They absolutely should not be questioned by the police, as happened to one tweeter last week after he committed the speechcrime of liking a trans-sceptical poem. Freedom of speech means the police should never, ever involve themselves in matters of expression.

It means Graham Linehan has the right to refer to trans women as ‘he’. It means so-called TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) have the right to ‘deadname’ trans people — that is, use the old male names of people who have since become trans women. No ‘TERF’ should ever be questioned by the police on suspicion of ‘hate crime’ simply for mocking the trans ideology, as has happened in recent months. It means trans people have the right to fling the insult of TERF at anyone they like. It means trans people have the right to protest at ‘TERF’ events, though they should not seek to shut such events down.

Freedom of speech means Tommy Robinson has the right to gather his supporters in public and tell them there are too many Muslims in Britain. And it means radical Islamists have the right to visit campuses and argue that gay sex is disgusting and kafirs are sinful. It means racists have the right to publish their bunkum.

Continue reading @ Spiked Online. 


  1. Would Spiked Online have protected Mein Kampf and Der Sturmer on the grounds of free speech? Free speech (which I mostly defend) does come with responsibilities.

  2. Barry - those responsibilities should never amount to suppressing free speech as a vehicle of opinion.

  3. Anthony

    Yes but when blatant and dangerous untruths about, for example, vaccination are spread the digital behemoths have a responsibility to ensure that they are counteracted with evidence based facts. They also have a responsibility to prevent the undermining of the democratic process by the flooding of fake news during elections by bots from Russian troll factories and data mining by criminal enterprises such as Cambridge Analytica.