Throwing Punches…Nick Clegg slams politicians like David Cameron who proclaim free speech yet seek to constrain it

Posted: 20 January, 2015 in UK Government Censorship
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Read more UK Government Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

nick clegg Nick Clegg has spoken of the irony of politicians who defend free speech and press freedom yet advocate a huge encroachment on the freedom of all British citizens.

In a key passage from his speech at the Journalists’ Charity, Clegg said:

The irony appears to be lost on some politicians who say in one breath that they will defend freedom of expression and then in the next advocate a huge encroachment on the freedom of all British citizens.

Let me be really clear , we have every right to invade the privacy of terrorists and those we think want to do us harm, but we should not equate that with invading the privacy of every single person in the UK. They are not the same thing.

The so-called snoopers’ charter is not targeted. It’s not proportionate. It’s not harmless. It would be a new and dramatic shift in the relationship between the state and the individual.

People who blithely say they are happy for their communications to be open to scrutiny because they have ‘nothing to hide’ have failed to grasp something fundamental about open democratic societies:

We do not make ourselves safer by making ourselves less free. Free speech means bad ideas can be exposed and good ones promoted.

But how is the marketplace of ideas supposed to work if law-abiding people can’t communicate freely about our ideas with others, free from surveillance?

How can we test our assumptions about the world and discover new ideas if our web browsing is being monitored? Free speech and privacy therefore go hand in hand.

Roy Greenslade of the Guardian noted: I am surprised that this speech has not been given greater media coverage and I’m grateful to the report on the News Media Association for bringing it to my attention.

David Cameron And right on cue, David Cameron has spouted off about the right for British people to offend religions.This is the same politician that has presided over a police regime where people are regularly being jailed for trivial bad jokes on twitter.

This is the same politician that has championed the PC lynch mob in its crusade to destroy people’s lives over minor PC transgressions.

This is the same politician that has brought in new censorship decrees without consulting the people or parliament that has destroyed the British adult internet industry.

This is the same politician that has championed shoddy internet filtering that simply isn’t fit for purpose.

This the same politician that wants to strip away every last vestige of people’s privacy and to leave them prey to hackers, scammers and criminals.

Cameron has been speaking to CBS News about the right to publish material that was offensive to some. He rightfully disagreed with a comment made by Pope Francis, who warned that people who mock religion are asking for a punch. He said:

I think in a free society, there is a right to cause offence about someone’s religion. I’m a Christian – if someone says something offensive about Jesus, I might find that offensive, but in a free society I don’t have a right to, sort of, wreak my vengeance on them.

All would have been well and good if he hadn’t already created/interpreted laws that have seen people jailed and punished for offending religions.

He also said as long as publications acted within the law, they had the right to publish any material, even if it was offensive to some. But then again the leaders of Russia, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and North Korea could all make the same statement. It all rather depends on how repressive the law is.

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