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gingerjon

They fought and died for our freedom

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Good speech, that, and sums up the American interpretation of freedom of speech. However, under the last government any resemblence the British version may have had to that interpretation was lost. I'd love to see Guardianistas approving of that interpretation of free speech being adopted here. I'd love to see it adopted but the resulting fireworks would be quite a display. Outrage!

Have you tried reading the Guardian. You might find that "Guardianistas" don't believe what you think they believe.

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Sev - you seem to have forgotten the BNP hysteria that there was across the country. We had debates as to whether BNP members should be banned from certain professions. It's not what I would call free speech.

There was a debate about it? And that's not free speech?

Free speech must, by definition, allow for people to argue against it. Hopefully, people arguing that will lose.

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That is exactly the type (if there more than one kind if free speech) that Guardian readers and lefties want. It tends to be right wing publications that get outraged at the drop of a hat.

Well, you've mentioned Guardian readers but right wing publications! So are we talking readers or publications here? I regularly read both the Guardian and Telegraph forums online but I actually read The Times newspaper. I don't even think about reading the tabloids, regardless of their political shade. I find exactly the same sort of outrage! on both the Guardian and Telegraph forums but they just get all outraged about different things. So your Guardianista would throw a wobbler at anyone wanting to preserve a religious tradition, for example, or protest against gay marriage. A Telegraph reader would throw a wobbler at anyone wanting to liberalise immigration or promote birth control to under 16s. (Random examples in all cases - there are loads more that could be applied!) The issues are different but the outrage! is just the same.

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There was a debate about it? And that's not free speech?

Free speech must, by definition, allow for people to argue against it. Hopefully, people arguing that will lose.

The debate is free speech but it is disingenuous that Guardianistas were arguing for the rights of the police / teachers / nurses to be BNP members. Some might have done but it was nothing like Sev suggests.

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The debate is free speech but it is disingenuous that Guardianistas were arguing for the rights of the police / teachers / nurses to be BNP members. Some might have done but it was nothing like Sev suggests.

I rather think the Guardianistas were arguing in favour of locking the lot of them up!

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Well, you've mentioned Guardian readers but right wing publications! So are we talking readers or publications here?

Sorry I've mixed readers and publications. Won't do it again :rolleyes:

FWIW IMO the left are more likely to be on the side of free speech than the right. As we all seemed to agree on, free speech must mean that all views and opinions, no matter how abhorrent you find them, should be able to be legitimately aired.

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So your Guardianista would throw a wobbler at anyone wanting to preserve a religious tradition, for example, or protest against gay marriage. A Telegraph reader would throw a wobbler at anyone wanting to liberalise immigration or promote birth control to under 16s. (Random examples in all cases - there are loads more that could be applied!) The issues are different but the outrage! is just the same.

The Guardianista throwing a wobbler at someone wanting to preserve a religious tradition *is* free speech in action. If the religious traditionalists don't like it, I suggest they wake up a bit and start debating.

Your Telegraph reader is, likewise, perfectly entitled to throw his wobbler at anyone wanting to liberalise immigration if he chooses. But he can't expect to get away with it unchallenged.

It seems to me that a lot of people think free speech is basically the right to say whatever you want without being challenged on it and then they see argument against them as some kind of affront to their basic human rights.

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FWIW IMO the left are more likely to be on the side of free speech than the right. As we all seemed to agree on, free speech must mean that all views and opinions, no matter how abhorrent you find them, should be able to be legitimately aired.

Yes. But it certainly doesn't mean that all views and opinions are equally valid or due the same level of respect.

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Yes. But it certainly doesn't mean that all views and opinions are equally valid or due the same level of respect.

Indeed, and I agree with your comment about views being challenged.

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Indeed, and I agree with your comment about views being challenged.

The trouble with the liberal left and their tradition of "challenging ideas" that they don't like is that they only do this to white conservatives or the white far-right. Other extremists are tolerated on the grounds of "it's their culture" (unless they are Jewish).

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FWIW IMO the left are more likely to be on the side of free speech than the right.

In my view that is not correct and not supportable by any evidence.

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There were millions of German etc soldiers killed in the 1st ww, too.As we approach the centenary of the start of this terrible war, maybe we should spare a thought for those, too and in the name of humanity join with Germany in rememberance.

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There were millions of German etc soldiers killed in the 1st ww, too.As we approach the centenary of the start of this terrible war, maybe we should spare a thought for those, too and in the name of humanity join with Germany in rememberance.

I've been to several German war cemetries. They are particularly moving places - especially those of the conscripted soldiers from the second world war.

There are three names per cross at this cemetry for the German dead of the Battle of the Bulge

wpb7cf581a_0f.jpg

We have fought lots of countries - all but 22 in the world apparently. Should we invite them all over as well?

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The trouble with the liberal left and their tradition of "challenging ideas" that they don't like is that they only do this to white conservatives or the white far-right. Other extremists are tolerated on the grounds of "it's their culture" (unless they are Jewish).

bit of an over geberalisation there NS

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bit of an over geberalisation there NS

True, there are some notable exceptions.

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The trouble with the liberal left and their tradition of "challenging ideas" that they don't like is that they only do this to white conservatives or the white far-right. Other extremists are tolerated on the grounds of "it's their culture" (unless they are Jewish).

That is the beauty of free speech, everyone is free to challenge whatever ideas they choose. However, I strongly disagree with your statement.

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That is the beauty of free speech, everyone is free to challenge whatever ideas they choose. However, I strongly disagree with your statement.

You can if you wish but it doesn't make it any less true.

The trouble with "everyone can challenge whatever statements they choose" is the pretence that this is a level playing field especially when said individuals are in positions of power and expected to be impartial.

The liberal left are far too partial to be some kind of "guardians of free speech".

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The liberal left are far too partial to be some kind of "guardians of free speech".

Yeah, they should just shut up. :rolleyes:

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The trouble with the liberal left and their tradition of "challenging ideas" that they don't like is that they only do this to white conservatives or the white far-right. Other extremists are tolerated on the grounds of "it's their culture" (unless they are Jewish).

What on earth is the "liberal left"?

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Yeah, they should just shut up. :rolleyes:

No, but they should challenge extremism in all its forms when it is their job to do so.

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The liberal left are far too partial to be some kind of "guardians of free speech".

It's just as well that they're not then.

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What on earth is the "liberal left"?

You can be liberal (i.e. supporting social liberties such as democracy, free speech, personal choice) whilst being left wing economically (government ownership of means of production, services etc.). You can also have those left wing economic policies and be totalitarian (no democracy, no freedom of speech etc.) It's easier to be the second of these if you are in power....

The same applies applies on the right. Right wing libertarians in the USA have a very interesting mix of policies that are utterly unacceptable to the Christian right and Republicans in general and they poll at less than 1%.

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Right wing libertarians in the USA have a very interesting mix of policies that are utterly unacceptable to the Christian right and Republicans in general and they poll at less than 1%.

The relative success of the Libertarian Party - although to be honest it strikes me as a non religious protest vote in a lot of cases - is one of the more interesting outcomes of the election. And it is interesting how a lot of people opposed to them on the (by US terms) left assume that they are equivalent to Republicans.

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There were millions of German etc soldiers killed in the 1st ww, too.As we approach the centenary of the start of this terrible war, maybe we should spare a thought for those, too and in the name of humanity join with Germany in rememberance.

At the risk of developing a habit of quoting from things on this thread, there's a very moving moment in Goodbye Mr Chips.when Chips reads a list of school alumni who have been killed in the Great War and includes a former German Master who has died fighting for Germany on the Western Front.

It's not an easy question to answer. Should we remember those who fought for the Nazis? They fought in an evil cause, but they themselves were ordinary men, possibly good men, in a dreadful situation.

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