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Friday, 03 March 2006


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Not that I don't agree, David, but how is David Irving's speech less protected than the Danish newspaper's?

It seems to me that both were grossly offensive to someone, not that I agree with violence of any sort. I'm Jewsish so David Irving is no friend of mine!!

Is the protest about attacks on embassies or about free speech? If it's about free speech I don't really see how you can protect one form of offensive expression and not another.

Simon, thanks for your comment and I think we may be at cross purposes. I have no desire to protect one offensive example of free speech more than another. I would like to see both of them defended. We can exclude the usual caveats of slander and shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre, and certainly any speech directly inciting violence against other people(*). Similarly, each society must come to some conclusion on the definition of pornography and the means rerquired to protect children from it. Beyond that, the term 'freedom of speech' cannot, in my view, be finessed. I wish more people would take account of the sensibilities of others before opening their mouths or reaching for their keyboards, but, as my old mother used to say, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride!"

(*) To be clear, it is not just the words but the location/timing that must be taken into account in deciding when, where and what constitutes a direct incitement to violence. To go into an area of one ethnicity and preach your dislike of them is an incitement to general violence, but I am pretty sure it is already covered by existing 'breech of the peace' laws.

Okay, I'll be there. Think I'll bring along a large coolbox filled with ice, gin, Noilly and a cocktail shaker. If you see me, I'll be happy to share a Martini with you.

Let freedom ring!

Well done, Andy, but what a let down if, instead of my being arrested in a gallant fight for freedom, I'm just nicked for 'D & D"!

PS: Don't forget the olives! crack me up!

I might be there as well.

I'll bring the Newkie!

Oh God! What with Andy's dry martinis and Will's 'Newkies', will I ever see Dorset again?

I will e-mail you guys nearer the time and perhaps we can meet up for a jar and a natter.

Huzzah Duffy!

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