May 3 was World Press Fredom Day, the government waited an extra day before publishing a ban on a list of people for thoughtcrimes. Index on Censorship has some highlights of the list, many of those banned are unsavoury and undesirable. Guido’s test is simple – do they advocate violence? If not, then just because you disagree with them is no reason to ban them.
Jacqui Smith employs doublethink to say
The government supports freedom of expression, but believes it needs to be exercised responsibly. We will continue to oppose extremism in all its forms.
There is nothing wrong with extremism per se; “extremism in defence of liberty is no vice, moderation in pursuit of justice no virtue”. One woman’s extremist is another man’s progressive radical. By all means keep out known advocates of violence, this measure however is not the thin edge of the wedge, it is the thick end of a jackboot. The American conservative, radio shock-jock* Michael Savage is not going to kill anyone, nor as far as Guido is aware has Savage ever advocated terrorism. If merely loudmouthed shock-jocks can be banned, who will be next?
Martin Bright recently commented that it was “surreal” to see Guido supporting Index on Censorship, the liberal leaning, free speech pressure group. Not sure why he said that, in Guido’s lifetime freedom of speech has been much more cherished on the right than the left. Anyway, self-preservation is always a personal priority…
*Iain Dale is a conservative, radio shock-jock nowadays.