Saturday, April 08, 2017

Beyond Labour's Ken

Lord knows there are enough reasons to censure Red Ken Livingstone,for his past support and financial ties with the IRA,his Soviet links in the pre 89 era when leader of the now defunct GLC,his hobnobbing with militant extremist groups of various stripes including the evil PLO but the latest furore over his off colour remarks about Hitler and Zionism for which he has a lot of past form and which is beginning to look like an unhealthy idee fixe are part of a worrying trend in our culture at large of punishing and proscribing people who hold and express controversial views or what are perceived and characterised as such.

To conflate action with the expression of views is a totalitarian practice which has no part whatsoever in a free society that values or should do free speech which is either unfettered or not free speech at all.The whole emergence of the totalitarian concept of hate crime and hate speech -thought crime effectively, is a sinister development and coupled with the repressive anti free speech movement which has swept across universities across the whole of the West is a timely reminder of how the war for freedom and liberty of which free speech is a vital and integral part is never fully won and has to be constantly re fought if liberty is to be maintained - the price of freedom is indeed,eternal vigilance.

The real test of advocates of free speech is when they have to defend amoral toerags like Livingstone,but it is a price well worth paying.

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