Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Chilling wind from abroad

This article (via Instapundit) brings to mind a discussion I had a few weeks ago with my (British and Spanish) flatmates, during which they claimed that in the US there is no real freedom of the press. Oh, the irony! How is it possible that an advanced democracy like the UK should have such draconian defamation laws? Is this what you call freedom of expression: having to be able to prove in a court of law the truth and basis for any statement that may offend anyone - or else risk punishment for defamation and libel?
And while freedom lovers wait for the UK to wise up, such scurrillous attempts to restrict freedom of speech, by plaintiffs who do not want to have to prove they were wronged (by suing in the UK, on "speech" that did not even occur in the UK!) have to be stamped out without mercy.
That does not mean that any and all speech must be acceptable. See this article for a cogent and stimulating argument on why speech that directly incites to and encourages violence should be restricted (through courts - with proof!).

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