England Shows They’re Coming for Free Speech


It is critical we understand that there are powerful factions in the United States who want this to be our reality, here, too:

Free speech has come under increasing pressure in the United Kingdom. National “hate speech” laws have made the public discussion of issues like gay marriage, the transgender movement, and even tradition religious beliefs a potential criminal offense. Pro-life advocates have voiced concern that opposition to abortion, or even speaking in favor of life, is being treated as outside of acceptable public discourse.

Actions like those taken by local governments in Lambeth and Ealing effectively brand pro-life views as anti-social and their expression harassment, pro-life advocates say. Should courts continue to uphold those decisions, many fear the creeping criminalization of opposition to abortion.

The latest incident involved an informational booth at a government-run fair in Lambeth County.  The pro-life group’s materials appear to have been consciously inoffensive, and yet the local government shut it down without warning or explanation.

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This is the direction in which a society heads when government becomes available as a means of restricting speech that some find objectionable.  Whatever ideological (let’s face it, religious) view a faction wishes to impose, it need only rephrase to be “hate” or “intolerant.”  Thus it becomes intolerant hate merely to suggest, for example, that society should have structures to link childbirth to marriage while it becomes tolerant love to see people driven from their jobs for disagreeing with progressive dogma.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    It is unfortunate that members of democracies tend to believe that suppression of free speech is exclusively the action of dictators. The desire to suppress opposing views is ingrained in human nature, dictators simply channel that desire to their own purposes. It is well to remember that our republic was only ten years old when we moved to suppress free speech with the Alien and Sedition Act.

    It is only a matter of time before what we label as “hate speech” becomes a crime. Whatever happened to “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? More to the point, as we become comfortable with restricting speech, we move towards the elimination of free speech. Crime is sometimes defined as an “offense to the peace and dignity of the state”. Speech need only slide into “disturbing the peace” to be a crime. What politicians would not desire to constrain the speech of those that would speak against them?