This piece was promoted by a comment on a previous piece about free speech.
I would be interested to hear your views on whether you think the Free Speech Crusade has a bit of an image problem at the moment. I’m referring to all the free speech banners being waved at this weekend’s ‘Football Lads Alliance’ March in London. Not much digging is required before you discover this lot are a load of knuckle dragging far right racists. Yet again, as per the recent ‘Nazi Pug’ business there’s a direct link between the issues you raise and infamous chancer ‘Tommy Robinson’.
Now this is not an attack on the poster of this comment but it is a rebuttal of the malaise that current liberals and “the left” seem to have with what free speech actually is.
Or Freeze Peach as some unfunny, condescending twats have taken to calling it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
This comment perfectly encapsulates the general patronisation that the issue of free speech has reached with some on the political left (of which I still count myself a part of).
The points in this comment are:
Image Problem – Image would suggest ownership. No one owns free speech and that is the main point, it is for anyone and everyone. To wish to attach an image to it is nefarious and rather transparent, as the rest of the comment goes on to nail home.
Crusade – this, on its own is not a terrible descriptor but taken with the other points in the comment the referencing to a religious (and as some would undoubtedly suggest, racial) war is not lost. That religion is still one of the biggest opponents of free speech should be noted.
Football Lads Alliance March – this is inaccurate, see further points.
Not much digging – well indeed not much at all if, as I suspect you probably just read a few headlines (which were actually changed) from the failed Independent and failing Guardian newspaper websites and they will simply confirm your own bias.
Far-right racists – they were there, most types of people were there but hey just focus on one fraction of the attendees.
Tommy Robinson – see also, Football Lads Alliance March. Basically this whole comment could have been condensed to:
“Tommy Robinson (whatever his real name is, ho ho ho ) was there and therefore this free speech thing is only a thing so racists can insult Muslims.”
That the march was reported as being a gathering of the “alt-right” or even “far-right” was enough evidence of the general lack of comprehension that some have about the actual event. But that labelling has a purpose and that is to undermine free speech.
What currently sums up the attitude to this event and the chastisement of free speech in general is the treatment of Vanity Von Glow.
Because merely being a drag queen and appearing at this event can see you shunned by the apparent liberal and free thinking sections of society. You do have to wonder whose knuckles are actually dragging on the ground.
In other related news, subject to a 3 month public consultation, the Sentencing Council for England and Wales has drafted changes to public order offences, including anyone perceived as targeting online a “protected characteristics” including “race; sex; disability; age; sexual orientation; religion or belief; pregnancy and maternity; and gender reassignment.”
One final point; if we are going to do the “guilt by association” trope, then allow me to introduce you to Richard Spencer. Who is, even in my mind, far-right in the true sense of the word and more importantly a white supremacist. This is what he had to say about the lefty-maligned “Day of Freedom”
So for me, if I’m being accused of guilty by association then let it be with Tommy Robinson, a Nazi pug and a drag queen; the rest of you can bunk up with with your actual fascist bedfellows.
Thanks for reading.
No I don’t know what is going on with the font.