It shouldn’t need saying but let’s say it anyway – freedom of speech is the cornerstone of democracy. Without free speech, there is no democracy. I’ll explain why this is.
The word democracy stems from the Greek “demos kratos” which translates as ‘the will of the people’. The first question therefore is: how can we know the will of the people if the people cannot speak freely to express it?
In practical terms, democracy works like this. A person stands for election, publicly states their policies, and the people vote based upon them. When several people compete in an election, they all present their policies, and the listeners choose to vote for the policies they prefer. Whoever gets the most votes wins and then implements the policies. That’s it in simple terms.
Free speech is essential if this is to work. The second question then: how can the voters choose if the candidate is not allowed to speak freely in the presentation of their policies?
It is true that some people will put forward policies that will not be well received by decent fair-minded people. But all that is required is for the people to vote for someone other than the one they disapprove of. What is not required is the shut-down of the disapproved-of candidate. The problem here is deciding who chooses what is acceptable policy and what isn’t? The only fair way to conduct ourselves is to let everyone speak and let the voters decide.
The reality is that what is deemed acceptable (or isn’t) is entirely subjective. What some people find attractive, others will reject outright. So who decides? The majority. That’s how democracy works.
The same applies to so-called ‘offensive’ speech. Who determines what is offensive and what isn’t? Again, the reality is that offence is subjective. What some find offensive won’t bother others, and vice versa. Therefore, if all speech that caused offense were to be prohibited, all speech would be prohibited.
If someone ‘calls the shots’ about what is prohibited or otherwise, that person exercises extreme control and imposes their subjective view on an entire society. That’s tyranny, not democracy.
This is however what is currently taking place in the United Kingdom. It isn’t a person that is controlling speech, but a movement. The movement being the uber-Left i.e. communism, socialism, Marxism. In modern society, this movement has taken it upon itself to decide who may be heard and who may not be heard in public debate.
It exerts this control through smears, lies, threats, and public humiliation and bullying. One area over which it has exerted this control is on the topic of immigration. If a political candidate expresses a desire to reduce or better control immigration, for whatever reason, they are denounced by the left-wing as “racist” or “fascist”. Most decent people reject these concepts and so are likely to reject the candidate. Furthermore, if they do not reject this candidate, they will find themselves labeled “racist” or “fascist” and because of the influence of left-wing bullying in society, they will fear the loss of their job and livelihood. The left-wing movement is known to threaten businesses and companies with the label of “racist” or “fascist” unless they agree to fire employees that have been similarly labeled. It is a vicious circle of lies, and it gives supreme control over public debate to the left-wing movement.
In effect therefore, free speech does not currently exist in the UK. It has been replaced by a left-wing filter; only speech agreed by the left-wing lobby is permitted to make it to the public stage.
This has been facilitated by government after government. Methods include the introduction of so-called ‘hate speech’ that criminalises certain opinions. Labeling the views of political opponents “hate” is a tactic as old as tyranny itself. We are experiencing it again today. Express concerns about migration? Hate. Concerned about pumping hormones in to children at the behest of the extremist transgender lobby? Hate. Express concerns about cultural or religious practices that enormously harmful to women or children? Hate. That’s where we are in Britain today.
So what must we do to restore free speech? The first step is to acknowledge the realities I’ve outlined above. “Hate speech” is merely free speech that the left-wing lobby does not approve of. That’s the starting point. We must then repeal all hate speech laws, and that is For Britain’s policy.
Secondly, we must actively protect our right to speak. As it stands, our only protector is Parliament, so this begs the question: when it is Parliament that is prohibiting our free speech, what will protect us from Parliament? A written, codified and legally supreme constitution is the answer.
The United States has a written, codified, federal constitution that applies to every state, county, and city in the country. The effect of it is that no government at local or state level may enact laws that contradict the US Constitution. The first amendment of the constitution guarantees freedom of speech. Therefore, no state or local government can enact laws that infringe upon free speech. Such laws would be struck down as unconstitutional. Crucially, the US Supreme Court has declared that so-called “hate speech” is indeed protected by the constitution. We need the same here in the UK.
The people of Britain must have our fundamental rights restored and protected, not just for ourselves, but for generations to come. That’s why For Britain proposes a US-like constitution to provide just those protections. The law as it stands does not protect us, and hasn’t protected us from onslaught by Parliament.
We must take stock and start afresh, and re-instate our ancient liberties for a new age.