the Disillusioned kid: Return of the Bastard Son
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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Return of the Bastard Son

I trust you all remember Christian Voice? The organisation, which might best be described as the bastard child of Mary Whitehouse and John Ashcroft, were not best pleased when the BBC decided to air Jerry Springer: The Opera and proceeded to barrage the Corporation with a series of protests and a wave of (predominantly automated) emails. Despite the fact that their campaign is unlikely to have done anything but increase interest in the show, the nutjobs who run the organisation have now decided to try and prevent the show going on tour.

It's worth interjecting here that I think those people who claim that freedom of speech is an absolute right are mistaken. Any rights system is neccesarily not axiomatic, that is it will inevitably have contradictions. My right to freedom of speech may in some circumstances conflict with your right to privacy (I can't, for instance, barge into your house, cover the walls with posters extolling the merits of this or that movement and pontificating on the need for a revolution). Similarly my freedom of speech may need to be restricted where it potentially conflicts with my right to life (continuing the analogy above, I would hope that you wouldn't be allowed to incite people to kill me for barging into your house). Nonetheless freedom of speech is an invaluable right and should only be restricted in very limited circumstances. That somebody might be a bit offended isn't in my opinion a good enough reason. Particulalry when those who are offended are nutters like Christian Voice.

Just for the sake of completeness and so that nobody can accuse me of being selective in my targetting, the protests by sections of the Sikh community, which led to the cancellation of Behzti, were similarly stupid. The apparent spread of religious intolerance is a worrying trend, but I'm remain hopeful that it is limited to a relatively small group of extremists. If I'm wrong then we've got a real problem.

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