Salman Rushdie to Judith Collins - Freedom of Speech

Mark Hubbard's picture
Submitted by Mark Hubbard on Tue, 2012-03-27 19:11

Here's a very good speech about the freedom of expression delivered by writer Salman Rushdie to the 'India Today Conclave 2012'; an event in which cricketer, turned politician, now scumbag, Imran Khan, refused to appear due to Rushdie's presence, because this would be an "immeasurable hurt" to Islam. The whole speech is pretty damned good, mainly concerned with freedom of expression issues arising from Rushdie's Satanic Verses and the fatwa this earned him from Muslim clerics, and pinpointing just where the real 'immeasurable hurt' is with Islam. But, freedom is freedom, the concepts apply universally, and I hope Judith Collins reads this section:

This word, freedom. It's a beautiful sounding word, isn't it? Who would be against freedom? It's a word everyone would automatically be "for", one would think. A free society is one in which a thousand flowers bloom, in which a thousand and one voices speak. And what a simple and grand idea that seems. It's like that copper goddess standing in the harbour, enlightening the world.

But in our time, many essential freedoms are in danger of defeat and not only in totalitarian or authoritarian states. Here in India also, a combination of religious fanaticism, political opportunism and, I have to say, public apathy is damaging that freedom upon which all other freedoms depend: the freedom of expression.

In fact every politician, 90% of voters, and all political and economic commentators need to refresh themselves with these principles, and take note of the warning. Judith Collins just legislated away a major 'essential freedom': the right of a journalist to protect a source.

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If it died...

Marcus's picture already was killed ten years ago under Tony Blair who was the one who bought in the "incitement to racial hatred" law.

An ex-lawyer, it is surprising how close Tony Hitler came to making the UK a fascist nirvana with compulsory ID cards, anti-social behaviour orders, detention without trial, making it illegal to protest outside parliament and starting a national database to keep tabs on the entire population.

No wonder it is taking a lot of time and pain to reverse a lot of the shit he and nazi Labour dumped on us. Hopefully it's not too late.

The light of free speech is

Richard Wiig's picture

The light of free speech is well and truly out in the UK.

the right of a journalist to

gregster's picture

the right of a journalist to protect a source

What does it say I wonder about anonymous sources?

Does it say that repeating anonymous information will be criminal?

If so bloggers' Tiplines will be hit.

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