Saturday, May 16, 2009
Free Speech in Europe
"But free speech is not about permitting only those voices of which you approve. It is about understanding your own beliefs and the beliefs of those who disagree with you. It is about creating the public space in which truth and falsehood can openly contend for their following. Free speech is critical to all the other freedoms that we enjoy, and the impulse to defend it—and in particular to defend the free speech of those with whom you disagree, of whom you disapprove, or who have been targeted by some mob or faction determined to silence them—is proof of the democratic spirit. The capitulation of our government before the hazy threats of one of its own criminal cronies is a disturbing indication of how things have changed in Britain, and how they are changing on our continent. It would not be correct to say, as it was reputedly said by our then Foreign Secretary (Sir Edward Grey) in 1914, that 'the lamps are going out all over Europe.' But our governments, who have the responsibility to keep those lamps alight, have no guts for the task."
Roger Scruton, from 'Free Speech in Europe'
Posted by Robin Phillips