Thursday, July 19, 2007

Freedom of Speech

I'm not sure how important freedom of speech is to this country. Recent developments would suggest not greatly- massive curtailing of protests has occured, to protect politicians from someone shouting out about how the war in Iraq is wrong outside Parliament... sadly he is rather correct, but never mind.

We also have the curious notion of hate speech, which I am deeply uncomfortable with. I understand that not all speech is free. If I tell someone who I believe is highly likely to kill someone if I am to order him to do so, then I am certainly culpable. But what if I'm shouting at a protest? I am a reactionary hothead, calling for the death of danish cartoonists. Yes, it's possible there are people in the crowd who might take me on my word, but do they really need it? I am not in a position of authority- I am a guy with a placard. A dick with a placard certainly, but one who deserves three years in jail? I am not comfortable with that, not comfortable at all.

How far do we go with this exactly? If I shout in a storm of rage that I'm going to kill someone, will I be sent to jail? As far as I can tell, there doesn't seem to be anything to suggest these three were actually going to carry out their threats, all they had done was shout it out. I don't think this is a great development, and certainly does not help us fight terrorism. Perhaps they WILL be willing to kill once released.....


Post a Comment

<< Home