Monday, 23 March 2015

Free Speech in the Sunday Telegraph

I was reading some newspaper articles about Islamists in the UK using the pretext of free speech in order to spread their hate-filled message and subvert democracy. Free speech is sacrosanct, except when it is used as a Trojan Horse to subvert the very free speech it takes advantage of. Free speech is not a black or white issue - there are many ifs and buts to all that is sacred. Free speech is only binary when used within a society that is itself committed to free speech.

Talking of free speech, yesterday I decided to change from our usual Sunday Times (which is bought more out of habit - and the Culture magazine - than political leanings) to something a bit different. What I'm after is a Sunday paper with few adverts, an absence of political standpoint, a total lack of celebrity tittle-tattle, no fashion items, lots of news and a bit of independent analysis. Given the foregoing, why I went for the Sunday Telegraph is a mystery even to me, but that's what I chose from the newsagent's pile - I must have suffered a brainstorm.

I forgot that one of the columnists in the Sunday Telegraph is that utter fool Christopher Booker (he was doing his usual global warming denial thing yesterday). He rejects that asbestos is dangerous, citing a paper by an academic whose academic qualifications have since proven to be faked. If he's so convinced asbestos is not dangerous, I'd like to see him put his health where his mouth is and immerse himself in the stuff for a few weeks (although he's now probably too old for it to have much effect before he kicks the bucket from natural causes anyway). That said, I have no problem with him peddling his fallacious views, as he's not interested in using them to stifle free speech.


  1. Yes it is a shame that the Sunday Citizen is no longer published ( the old Co-op Sunday paper) I used to thoroughly enjoy it in my youth. I tend to think that the Internet, social media and the rest has contributed more to free speech - for good or for bad - than any political philosophy.

  2. I like to buy a copy of the Daily Star. It reminds me how much misery there is in the world. For its readers.