The Establishment – whichever one there is at any time – has been determined to beat back the threat of free speech ever since John Wilkes got away with it. This also being around the time that the English won the Second English Civil War and set up the country like it should be, with that First Amendment. And haven’t people being trying to kick back at that all these years?
All this about hate speech, extremism and being nasty to people is just the latest excuse:
Extremists mockingly steer around existing laws to glorify the murderous actions of terrorists such as the 9/11 hijackers or Brenton Tarrant who murdered 51 Muslims in 2019. These laws allow neo-Nazis and others to intentionally stir up racial hatred against Jews by promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories, as long as they avoid being threatening, insulting or abusive.
While some neo-Nazi and Islamist groups are banned under terrorism proscription laws, there are many that continue to disseminate extremist ideology but stop short of the definition of terrorism. There is a clear gap in our laws. Extremists not only create a climate conducive to terrorism, hate crime and violence, but they also seek to erode and destroy our democratic freedoms, as protected by the Human Rights Act 1998. Islamists radicalise and recruit youngsters to support a repressive theocratic caliphate undermining our democratic freedoms. Neo-fascists radicalise others to support all non-white British citizens being deported, even if they happen to be the chancellor or home secretary.
Previous attempts to legislate were dropped because they failed to define “extremist” activity or to guarantee the protection of freedom of expression or religion. Such rights must be protected. This can be achieved by setting a high legal bar based on: intent, evidence of serious or persistent behaviour, promoting a supremacist ideology, and activity that creates a climate conducive to terrorism, hate crime and violence contrary to the Human Rights Act.
So, here’s a thing. Which such things are defined as violence to the Human Rights Act will vary of course. Those who advocate the dictatorship of the proletariat? Are we going to lock up every communist? Be fun to get 90% of academia inside, sure, but not wholly productive. Equally, I’m bourgeois, pretty sure you are too. There are people out there who advocated the abolition of the bourgeoise as a class. That’s you and me dancing with the piano wire. Commies again – and they’re really not going to prosecute people for reading Marx now. Even though the Communist Manifesto would fall under the rules described above.
So it’s not going to work in detail. But it’s also not going to work in concept either. For all of these varied views – let’s make soap out of Jews, invade Poland, kill the bourgeois, invade Poland (for the commies did it too), kick out the darkies, the essential Aryanness of our race (have the fools never bothered to work out what an Aryan is nor where they come from?) are all the recommendations of pinheads.
And free speech does mean – if it is to mean anything – the liberty to be, and to prove it by opening our mouths, a pinhead.
Think on it a moment, if to be an idiot is a crime we’re all in trouble.
And to borrow from John Wilkes in one of his more memorable phrases – “‘N’you c’n fuck off, Mateys”