I was stuck in traffic for 7 1/2 hours today… During that time I listened to two different versions of PWEI’s Ich Bin Ein Auslander. One of them starts with the quote : This White People’s Committee is not embarrassed to admit that we endorse and seek the execution of all homosexuals, the negroes, … blacks, the hispanics, and Chinese…  The other has the following verse : If they come to ethnically cleanse me ; Will you speak out? Will you defend me? ; Freedom of expression doesn’t make it alright ; Trampled underfoot by the rise of the right.

This by coincidence fits in rather well with a theme about potential censorship in the UK.

UK Copyright Extension in Exchange for Censorship? To be fair David Cameron is only suggesting what might be done and has made it very plain that it is not a proposal of censorship. Even so – for the government to be discussing what speech is and isn’t acceptable…

UK Proposal To Restrict Internet Pornography Sparks Row. Mostly the complaints are from the BDSM crowd but, apart from the obvious free speech issue this is obviously pointless as such sites will just end up being hosted abroad. Of course then you could do a Great Firewall job and start censoring which sites people can see…

‘Internet jihadist’ jailed for 10 years. People jailed for creating websites.

Men jailed for “inciting murder“.

I’m very much in the “Best answer to bad speech is more speech” (although I can find out who said that) but there are obvious exceptions (the old “fire the theater”, etc). It seems, as always, that people will take any available excuse to try and stop people even talking about things that disagree with their worldview.

Interestingly I was listening to Any Answers on the way home where the audience was made up of school kids. One of which asked whether we should be speaking to Hamas. Poly Toynbee reminded people of the days when Mrs Thatcher had banned Gerry Adams from even speaking on TV and his words had to be said by an actor. Yet, obviously, we only got to the mostly peacful state we’re in now by sitting down and talking with the terrorists…

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