“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.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the newspaper
‘Covid still dangerous and is not like the flu'
COVID is still serious and should not be likened to the flu, says the World Health Organisation
Stand-in keeper can't save day
COMOROS hero Chaker Alhadhur might consider a career change – but he could not stop Cameroon booking a quarter-final date with Gambia.
‘Climate will ruin economy'
By Steph Spyro COP26 president Alok Sharma has warned that climate change is threatening “catastrophic economic damage” post-Covid.
Russia's drills off Irish coast
VLADIMIR Putin is turning up the heat on the West by scheduling navy military drills off the coast of Ireland.
Self-isolating student took own life in halls
Loss…Finn Kitson; left, messages about Covid on window of uni digs
CHAMP'S ON TRIAL
Cleeve run to determine Festival aim
Minister quits over fraud failures…not PM's
A TREASURY minister has resigned from the front bench while speaking at the House of Lords dispatch box.
Cabinet Office probe into leading MP fired over her ‘Muslimness'
BORIS Johnson insists he is taking allegations from a Tory MP that her Muslim faith played a role in being sacked as a junior minister “extremely seriously”.
Vafaei finally gets big break with win after years in exile
BORIS WARNS PUTIN OF ‘PAINFUL AND BLOODY' INVASION
Western leaders hold crisis talks in show of strength against Russia
TWO ERAS TWO ICONS
AN UNBROKEN SPIRIT SEPARATED BY ONE DIGIT AND 45 YEARS
Cancel mob attacking JK haven't got a potion
ANYONE watching the new documentary Return to Hogwarts, celebrating 20 years of the Harry Potter films, would be forgiven for thinking producers may have used a shot of the boy wizard's vanishing potion.
Rowling condemns activists after address leaked online
JK Rowling has said that “three activists” have leaked her address online in a photo posted on Twitter.
I've had so many death threats I could paper the house with them
JK Rowling speaks out after trans activist social media pics reveal home address
She was the penniless single mother who cast a spell on the world and inspired a generation to read. Twenty years since the first ‘Harry Potter’ film, Kathryn Madden examines the life of the chart-topping yet controversial author
THE ROW OVER ROWLING
HER NEW STORY MAY BE DROWNED OUT IN THE OUTRAGE OVER HER TWEETS ON TRANSPEOPLE. HAS J.K. LOST THE PILOT
The Making Of Margaret Atwood
Fame is not new to Margaret Atwood — it’s a by-product of life as a perennially prizewinning, bestselling author.
Search And Rescue
The start of lobster season is the most dangerous day in one of Canada’s most dangerous industries. Air Force and Coast Guard teams put their own lives on the line to watch over the melee of 1,500 vessels holding 5,000 crew.