Monday, February 27, 2006

on inconsistency and weekends

Another excellent weekend away, leaving me with a mild lack of sleep, but I did my best at university in the first year and I barely had any sleep then. So therefore that must have been the cause.

Britain's views on freedom of speech, are, to be honest, insane. Seriously. Recently Ken Livingstone has been suspended for making some possibly unwise statements to a Jewish reporter... while being harrased randomly. Abu Hamza has been thrown in jail for encouraging violence, Nick Griffi, the head of the BNP is apparently NOT racist, but the Danish cartoons are fine. I love it, I really do, the way we can apparently hold all these conflicing ideas at once and have no problem at it. I suppose maybe people just don't seen the connect between all these things. Do I have an opinion on freedom of speech? Honestly I'm not sure. Generally it's much safer to err in favour of it, simply because the other way can lead to abuses, to people getting censured for saying anything that might be perceived as racist (and it is interesting how sacrosant the holocaust is- I can happily give comparisons to the Rwandan genocide (1 million people dead), without accusations of insensitivity). So I guess generally I favour the free speakers. Should Abu Hamza be thrown in jail though? The argument is, I imagine, that he creates these violent people, that he is behind the spread of violence, and just because he does not not do it does not mean he is not powerful.

And such complex debates is why I avoid organised politics. Heh, seriously I do enjoy the old debates, but I think for tonight I will give it a miss. I might have a serious think about the limits of freedom of speech- but it's something that I do not honestly have an answer to right now. And I'm tired.


At 12:16 am, Blogger Kirbie said...

It's difficult I agree, it's also quite amusing that I read this just after posting my latest post.
I really think you should be able to say whatever you want, but if you're a teacher then it would be entirely wrong to tell the kids in your class to go and steal some milky bars. The same I think is true of Abu Hamza he's welcome to his view that all non-muslims should be destroyed or whatever, but the moment he acts and starts to form a group of people who only meet to hear these things is a different thing entirely.

Basically what i'm saying is he could perhaps express his opinions on tv in a debate where they could be questioned. Preaching them in a position of power to a group of impressionable people is a different matter. I'm quite sure that the same thing would happen quite rightly to a leader of the KKK.

At 2:15 am, Blogger Phil Plasma said...

My guess is that if everyone who had pull spoke in an obfuscatory manner, the freedom of speech could never be questioned, and only occasionally be understood. Hence my blog.


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