Paying the price of free speech

Daily Express|July 11, 2020

Paying the price of free speech
BRITAIN’S BEST-LOVED HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM REFLECT ON THE WEEK’S EVENTS EVERY SATURDAY IN YOUR DAILY EXPRESS
Richard & Judy

“I DISAPPROVE of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” That’s probably the most famous quotation in support of free speech and it’s looking pretty ragged today.

Towering tantrums on Twitter, outrage on Instagram, and seething censure on social media generally mean these days it’s often a case of speak out, then dive for cover.

The scope for public debate has narrowed dramatically. This week more than 150 leading figures signed an open letter passionately defending the need for open, honest discussion. Some of those signatories are themselves recovering from the white heat of blistering criticism for saying what they think, the most obvious being Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

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July 11, 2020