Why we should defend the right to be offensive

A Point of View: Why we should defend the right to be offensive

Free speech can make for uncomfortable listening, argues Roger Scruton, but it needs to be defended even when it gives offence.

To people like me, educated in post-war Britain, free speech has been a firm premise of the British way of life. As John Stuart Mill expressed the point:

“The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

Read on…… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34613855

14 thoughts on “Why we should defend the right to be offensive

  1. Islamophobia doesn’t exist?
    Is that similarly true for all religions?
    Have we been sold a lie over anti-semitism?
    If we have, should we blame the Jews?

    the logical conclusion:
    Roger Scruton is not the antidote, but the definitive proof of Islamophobia.


  2. It is unfortunate that Roger Scruton’s analysis does not apply to RMBC and the Standards Board-which is chaired by the Boy Blunder.
    Showing that a councillor has lied and bullied in council or is guilty of procedural improprieties makes not a scrap of difference if the councillor concerned is a member of the Labour party but ‘offensive’ and ‘insulting’ words allegedly used by an Independent councillor are reasons to invoke the witch hunts which masquerade as “Disciplinary Hearings”.
    It is time Labour councillors grew a pair and stopped blubbing like children: “Please Sir,He called me a nasty name Sir”.
    Freedom of speech and freedom of thought are two our most important rights and RMBC is intent on eroding both of them.


    • I think you are very sad.
      What do you think it is about being persistently unpleasant and personally offensive that you think contributes to a civilised society and is a justification for ‘freedom of speech’?
      When has anyone tried to interfere with your ‘freedom of thought’? Although, given the output, it is difficult to believe much thinking has actually been involved.
      As Obama said in 2008, “it is perfectly possible to disagree without being disagreeable.”
      What’s your problem with this?


  3. This article is absolutely “Spot On”. These “invented” phobias do nothing but destroy our society. They prevent discussion and “gag” opinion. Islamophobia is the word invented to cover up the wrongdoings, abuse of others and simple offensiveness of Islam on British society. Islam is slowly destroying British Society altogether. It’s time this problem was confronted by our Government. Banning the use of the word Islamophobia would be a good place to start!!


  4. @Janet Green
    You have some explaining to do IMV.
    Where is your evidence I am “being persistently unpleasant and personally offensive”? Furthermore who appointed you High Priestess of Morals and Ethics?
    Get off your high horse.


    • The proof of the pudding is in your response, and well-evidenced by your posts elsewhere. Quod erat demonstrandum.

      No-one has appointed me High Priestess of anything. I don’t need to be or want to be. I am just a single citizen who has as much right to be heard as you. And I won’t be bullied by you or anyone else.


  5. You still have not shown where and when I am ‘being persistently unpleasant and personally offensive’ and there is a complete lack of evidence to show I bully people.
    Just because you do not like my responses does not demonstrate bullying on my part.
    You are entitled to your opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts.


  6. Janet, I see no reason for you to accuse Colin of bullying or being persistently unpleasant. He has only stated facts which are absolutely true about RMBC Labour Group. Don’t forget, they are one of the main reasons the rape and abuse of our children was allowed to flourish!


    • I suspect that Mr Tawn’s definition of ‘civilised’ and my understanding differ somewhat.

      A quick search confirms my recollection of his use – as a description of particular individuals – as ‘dim-wit’, ‘prat’, ‘lackey’…………

      Just because I might disagree with Mr Tawn’s views (as reported on this site) on a number of issues, I wouldn’t think it appropriate to describe him in such terms.


  7. @Janet Green
    You may disagree with the words I allegedly used to describe under performing councillors and other politicians but what you have not done is provide any evidence to the contrary they
    were/are not as described.
    dimwit-n. a stupid incompetent person.
    prat-n. an incompetent or ineffectual person:
    lackey-n. A servile follower; a toady.
    Stop defending the indefensible.


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