It’s difficult to remember a time in our history when free speech as been under threat as much as it is now. This week saw ‘far-right’ journalists being detained when wanting to visit the UK, but with no credible reasons given at the airport.
The most concerning aspect is that the police continue to let in jihadists and fail to protect our young, as we have now seen in Telford where the latest child grooming scandal has surfaced. They seem more interested in making a fuss over a couple of people who share different views. In the spirit of John Stuart Mill, if we disagree with others, unless they are calling for violence, we should challenge them to debate, not lock them up.
Facebook is becoming a beast and is also threatening our right to free speech. Today the Britain First page was taken down despite having 2 million followers; this has happened to many other groups where the company has exercised its power in an undemocratic way. Twitter banned Milo Yiannopolous, and even Gerard Batten, the leader of UKIP. YouTube has deleted our videos. This boundary is being slowly pushed under our noses and it will continue to be moved until more of us speak out about it.
London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan issued a statement suggesting that “Britain First is a vile and hate-fuelled group,” he said. “Their sick intentions to incite hatred within our society via social media are reprehensible, and Facebook’s decision to remove their content is welcome.”
Whether that statement in itself has weight, this is the man who has made it perfectly clear that he does not want the US President to visit the UK by using social media. This is clearly an affront to our liberal principles as the British nation. Khan acts like a university student union, wanting to “no platform” anyone with an alternate view. This just shows how insecure he is. Should he have his account removed for inciting hatred to Donald Trump?
It is a very dangerous path to go down and while the left may mock and laugh, thay need to understand it will be them next. As the saying goes, “I may not agree with what you say, but i’ll defend your right to say it”. We must all unite to protect our fundamental rights otherwise all of our voices and thoughts will be taken. I’ll leave you with this quote from German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller to provoke thought.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”