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Do you feel that freedom of speech is becoming restricted in the UK?

Freedom of speech and the right to freedom of expression applies to ideas of all kinds but it comes with responsibilities which can be legitimately restricted.

Freedom of speech—the right to express opinions without government restraint—is a democratic ideal that dates back to ancient Greece.

Governments have an obligation to prohibit hate speech and incitement. And restrictions can also be justified if they protect specific public interest or the rights and reputations of others.

Today, some 150 writers, academics and activists – including authors JK Rowling, Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood – have signed an open letter denouncing the “restriction of debate”.

They say they applaud a recent “needed reckoning” on racial justice, but argue it has fuelled stifling of open debate.

The letter denounces “a vogue for public shaming and ostracism” and “a blinding moral certainty”.

Several signatories have been attacked for comments that caused offence.

“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” says the letter.

It also says: “We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters.

“But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.”

What are your views? Do you feel free to express your opinions? Do you sometimes feel you are stepping on eggshells?  Do you feel your opinions on current issues are valid? Are you comfortable and able to express and articulate your views freely?

Do you feel that freedom of speech is becoming restricted in the UK?

947 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

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Llynfi
7th Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Sometimes it seems certain s people see offence in the most innocent remarks. Forcing people to agree with your lifestyle , sexual preferences etc does not bring true change. Someone once said to me, l know what l think about gay marriage but of course l can’t say it openly. And that is as wrong as the prejudice
Lunanlady
28th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I heard a couple of days ago on the news that I had by midnight to "express my views" on the Scottish Government's plans to bring in quite stringent legislation regarding 'hate speech' as a crime - possibly incurring a seven-year prison sentence. I was appalled and searched ScotGov in order to express my horror that our very socially-aware government here was considering this. The website had hundreds of consultation papers and eventually, I found the right one...432 pages of a PDF file! There was nothing obvious to click on to add my opinion and I lost that chance. So I will express my views here.

I genuinely feel that the whole transgender movement, which is very muddled, has swamped the communal mind. We are bombarded with pseudo-science [apparently I am not a 'woman' but a cisgender female-assigned my societal gender by a midwife in 1962, and I am following my hetero-sexual lifestyle having been indoctrinated, etc...My personal table, which I considered in order and which makes sense to me, has been tipped up and I am being told that to object to this is somehow "transphobic" or some other misnomer "phobia" and that if I express a counter opinion then I am now possibly a 'hater' and someone might knock on my door and arrest me!

My adult daughter, whom I am very close to and proud of, is very much of this new generation and our conversations have become tricky. I am indeed "treading on bloody eggshells" and I am sick to death of it. Yes, I recall my own young generation railing against the paradigm. I remember our contempt for our elders' casual racism or extreme anti-gay views and laws...I get it. But for heaven's sake...I believe that as a woman approaching 60, I have some wisdom on these matters too and my views are valid, polite, considered and not intended to incite hate or bullying or offence...but as folks below have said...I also take offence and have to swallow it and get on with living with my own values [of which I am proud these days]

I am also proud of our Scottish government, but in this matter, they have lost their grit...their integrity, and become overly beholdant to this rather naive movement demanding we accept some pretty extreme views on the actual nature of humanity.

.' just cos.'...' just sayin', (and other new aphorisms I even find myself using these days!)

Yes... let's debate the fundamentals, but how can we debate them if overnight a whole older generation are muted?
Joolsl
25th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
There are some very interesting views here, but I do still believe in freedom of speech, or rather freedom to express a different perspective on a topic.
Certainly there are some that appear to look for offence, when none is intended.
But that said, I am sure many of us are fully aware of how certain words are no longer used as they are now deemed or more accurately recognised as terms that were used in a derogatory way. I have no issue in accepting these changes, think it's part of how we as societies evolve.
What I do think has changed however, is public displays of reasoned debate or exchange of view points. Programmes such as Question Time, Newsnight, Prime Ministers Questions, all appear to show that no one listens but he who shouts louder wins. Plus the media with it's inflammatory headlines encourage the feeling that many are dissatisfied, angry and as a nation we are being manipulated, certainly the media coined the phrase ' Snowflakes" which I personally think is very offensive to our next generation, especially as so much angst would appear to be attached to "labels"
Anyway, I will always ensure I do not offend, and express my views in a measured and courteous manner.
That to me is being British.
Not2grey
24th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I absolutely reserve my right to be offended by what other people say and I defend absolutely there right to offend me . As long as they are not inciting hatred I am quite happy to disagree with other peoples views .
BOOTNECK48
20th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I thought that one of the freedoms we fought for back in 39-45 was that of freedom of speech it seems now that it did'nt include that
viking
21st Jul 2020
0
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One of the basic problems that I have found is that younger people do not , or are not interested in , what happened 39-45, or the terrible price that was paid so that these youngsters could enjoy their freedoms they now have, and some say abuse.
Felix1
20th Jul 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
I am sick of being corrected. I am sick of people changing words and phrases because it might upset someone. What about me? Nobody cares if I am upset at being continually corrected by the younger generation. In fact, I never gave racism or special needs a thought until it was continually brought to my notice. Fed up of it all..
Geoffjarvis
16th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Well said by John in a previous letter. It seems we can't have different opinions , at least not without without being shamed for being wrong. We seem to live in an age of the tyranny of the minority. One person, often with 'tissue thin' skin, is 'offended' and we must all fall into line.
Not least it distracts from the genuine injustices in the world. Many issues get conflated into one big issue and you are called upon to agree with the myriad of opinions contained within.
Irene88
13th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Aren't we supposed to have frre speech in this country?
RetiredJohnB
13th Jul 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Isn’t it time we resurrected the phrase “...can we agree to disagree”?
It’s important that we get to hear different opinions but not that important we are always right.

It appears that the word “argument” as taken on a combative meaning and people are becoming less inclined to accept that sometimes they might be wrong.

Keep arguing, it’s amazing what you can learn.

Keep Safe.
Jb
Wilf
13th Jul 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Brilliant comments and surely "can we agree to disagree," said in a polite way is one of the foundations of a democracy!
Valleyman
13th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Well said John B and Wilf!
kentrix39
12th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Free speech vanished from the UK the day that Hyde Park Corner was declared a no no by the powers that held sway in those days many years ago. We are not a tolerant society, we are so because of the threat of imprisonment or being fined.
We have a very unhappy two last generations frightened to say what they think led by people on television or radio or some other media outlet. who immediately they say anything truthful are immediately pilloried by a load of "snowflakes" and they apologise. We have too much of this lets have say what you mean and if anyone does not like it let them retreat to their "Safe Place" but shut up. Not everyone is a disgusting wimpy person most people would like to say what they think but are afraid of prison time. People should not have to apologise for what they say no matter what it is a fundamental right to have free speech as in America a First Amendment to the constitution.
Time we had a constitution.
Our history is our history if people do not like our history sorry they just have to lump it, I could not care less about any other non English, Scottish or Welsh persons history that is for them to worry about and as slavery still exists in many other countries I advise them to go there and sort it out. Of course they will not as other countries are not as stupid as Britain where we alloe gangs to desecrate our Monuments and town centres
Valleyman
12th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes agreed JeanMark, being a minority is not a problem, differences in our society can only enrich us, and everyone deserves equality. But there is a small grouping who claim to be from, or to support, the minority groups, who are intent on disrupting our society. They have always been there, anarchists and often now called antifa, I'm pretty sure the members of most minorities have little interest in the overthrow of capitalism, and would rather just get on with their own lives.
jeanmark
13th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Valleyman, I agree but one of the problems is people tend to believe the subversive groups and that they represent all those people who are being marginalised. I do not agree with some of the recent actions of vandalism, we can not change history but we can learn from it, and there lies the problem, as many do not appear to learn or even want to learn.

I do agree we may have gone too far with political correctness, but I believe it has evolved as a result of people believing they can say what they want without any thought for the effect it may have others.
SueC62
11th Jul 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
We totally need to remove discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc. Until the recent anti-BLM demos, I really thought we'd moved on from the 70s when, as a young woman, I was called in to the manager's office and told I was damaging my work and personal reputation because I'd been seen in the pub at lunchtime with someone who wasn't white!

Unfortunately though, some enthusiasts do nothing to promote the removal of prejudice by immediately jumping on any comment made in innocence, with vehemence and hatred rather than discussing to educate.
VeraS
10th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I am fed up of snowflakes wanting the world if they cannot get their own way out go the dummies. Where are the unstoppable Brits?
Lionel
10th Jul 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
There's no doubt our day to day use of English has been curbed. Yes, we have the 'snowflake' generation (poor things), and their highly missable childish tantrums. But of more significance are the louder voices but smaller minorities.

I don't believe anything we see and hear from BLM, Gay Rights or any other vocal minority is as important as the underlying fact these minorities are being manipulated by secretive anarchic groups. Their purpose is to sunder the foundations of what otherwise is a very stable population.

Aren't we Brits known for being unshakeable? Known for being stoics? Yet we've been intimidated into living in fear of offending a minority. The next step is manipulation; so easily persuaded to act against our better judgement.

The final step is domination. That's where we are now, living in fear. We're no longer a stable people facing adversity or crisis with the 'British `Bulldog,' attitude. No, we now cower and whimper. Brits are frightened of their own shadow these days.

We're dominated by a faceless enemy. The objective? To make Britain a banana republic. We're nearly there folks unless, of course, you think otherwise.
Valleyman
10th Jul 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
You're absolutely right Lionel. In my memory Blair began the normalisation of shouting "racist" at any one with a view except neo-liberalism. But he, as you know, is only a pawn in the destruction of Britain as a concept. It's worth bearing in mind the vociferous minorities like BLM, SWP, LGBTQ are still minorities. Twitter, and the cowardice of employers has lead to "cancel culture" and the sacking of many people. The power of a few keyboard warriors is totally disproportionate, because of their backers. The mainstream media continues churn out support for people who hate this country. Defund the BBC and let's pray for a return of the stoicism you recognise in us .
Lionel
10th Jul 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
In 1936 a new phrase entered every day English. That year the Spanish Civil War was climaxing. A Spanish general was besieging a city when another general asked him about his tactics. 'I have four columns attacking the city,' the first general said, 'from the north, south, east and west. But it's my fifth column I expect to take the city for me. Where is your fifth column, the other general asked?

'Inside the city.'

And so it is with we Brits. We will not be defeated from outside, no. But a fifth column operating inside and we're without hope. Today we have so many fifth columns the nation doesn't stand a chance unless ...

The Spanish Civil War was a Right Wing Revolution. Is our time coming? I wonder! We're being warned post-Covid there will be a depression greater than seen before. Depression is the seed bed of revolution. Both Germany and Spain post WW1 attest to that.

I'm not forecasting anything, just observing the present through the lens of the past.
Valleyman
11th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I'm afraid you're right Lionel. I think in the near future we will have an extreme right wing leader. Could always be an extreme left wing leader I suppose. So Stalin v Hitler, Mao v Franco, take your pick. But yes destruction from within, fuelled to eruption by the Great Depression of 2020/2021, will be the root of a very different politics. It's a shame we lost the BBC to wokeness at this time. The corporation could have been the voice of mature reason. Instead it's a swaggering clown with child-like views. Defund the BBC by the way. I'd been more interested in watching your Youtube channel if you ever had one!
Lionel
11th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Extreme Left or extreme Right? What's the difference? These two extremes are the meeting point on the political circle.

The next depression will be but one element of a very different order. We must consider looming famine caused by locust swarms and industrialised agriculture. Drinking water shortages in the western world caused by over population and pollution. Mass sickness of many kinds, untreatable because of antibiotic resistance and the power offered corporates by drug pricing and supply ... I could go on. Any coming depression will seem luxurious when this can of worms is opened.

I can only ask you to believe I'm an optimist and not at all pessimistic.

Youtube? No, not for me. Good for a little nostalgia now and then but little else of any consequence.
jeanmark
11th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Valleyman, the reason these minorities groups have become so vociferous is they continue to try and be accepted in society but society continues to treat them as different - of course they are only minorities so why give into to their ridiculous demands to be treated as equal, But then I'm a woman so know nothing about discrimination.....
misterblueskye
10th Jul 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
We now have the rise of the snowflake, can’t say a word out of place in case it offends them.
musicalyouth
9th Jul 2020
15
Thanks for voting!
I think that this debate is one of the most important that Silversurfers has hosted...There is a huge gulf between freedom of speech and slinging insults at people, freedom of speech went into decline at the time the 'politically correct' lobby reared its unbridled head, Everybody is entitled to an opinion, and everyone has a right to disagree..but it has now become the case that, decent people are being hounded and vilified, for speaking their thoughts....I certainly don't agree with every thing I read and occasionally I will defend a viewpoint...and suprise myself at what I discover I do believe or disagree with.I have discovered how much I have matured over the course of my life, and where at one time I was rigid in my beliefs..now I have learned to be flexible...people should be allowed to catagorise themselves in whichever way the see fit...the multiplicity of gender definitions make me laugh but to every Ying there is a Yang...so I'll go with the flow,...Yes we have to protect freedom of speech....but we must condemn blatant cruelty ...good strong debate and interchange of ideas is one of the most important social tools that we have as human beings, keep the channels open and we grow, close them and we go into decline.
Billythequiche
10th Jul 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Well said. I was beginning to think that I was a minority of 1.
jeanmark
10th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Well said musical youth, a nice balanced response to the debate.
CaroleAH
9th Jul 2020
12
Thanks for voting!
According to Ricky Gervais just because you are offended doesn’t mean you are right! I agree whole-heatedly with that. There are expressions that I used long ago that I wouldn’t dream of saying now - I even had a black cat called Sooty . I agree with so many of the comments on here and have given thumbs up to many. Interesting that my red thumb isn’t working on the odd comment which I have disagreed with . My daughter sent me a WhatsApp photo of a man slouched over his desk saying “Good morning all. WTF are we offended by today!” ( excuse the language - not one of my usual expressions!!!) and I think that about sums it up.
CaroleAH
9th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Whole-heartedly not heatedly!!!
misterblueskye
10th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Billythequiche
9th Jul 2020
12
Thanks for voting!
It's not even a question any more, but nobody does anything about it. We seem to be at the mercy of tiny groups with big voices, "celebrities" looking for a bandwagon to play on and leaders who are too timid to act.
At the risk of alienating some people, I believe the following to be true: political correctness and virtue signalling are the most socially evil trends today.
ALL people have the right to voice their opinion and to peaceful protest if ignored. They do NOT have the right to attempt to censor or silence conflicting views. They do not have the right break the law and abuse the law enforcers. They do NOT have the right to claim that they cannot be held to account because they identify as different.
There was any amount of handwringing when the depravities in Rotherham and Rochdale emerged despite the fear of being branded racist. Has anything changed? I think not.
It is beyond reason when we do not know how to describe someone who is not obviously white or someone who is not obviously of one gender or another for fear of causing offence. Even worse, we can be punished for "misgendering" when we have no idea what their wishes are. If we say that we wish our wives, mothers, daughters could use the "Ladies" in the knowledge that no men, or others identifying as women, will invade their sanctuary, we will be branded "transphobic" and denied our right to voice our opinions.
With the BBC no longer trusted as an impartial reporter of the news and our centres of learning censoring who can speak and what can be said, open debate has almost disappeared.
Until those with grievances about equality rid themselves of the parasites who use them for nefarious purposes, they are denying themselves sympathetic support.
I will risk one more question. At the start of the first Test of the year, a fist in a single black glove was raised. What would the reaction have been if it had been an open hand, palm down?
CaroleAH
9th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I agree with you, Billythequiche! Eloquently expressed - well done
musicalyouth
9th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Billythequiche, CaroleAH...good views..
Billythequiche
10th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Thank you, I hoped I would not offend Silversurfers.
Gillruss
11th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I agree Billythequi he, well said.
DesF
14th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
yes, thinking about it you've said it all. Well done.
Billythequiche
14th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Thought I was getting paranoid as well as grumpy.
Joan Fraser
9th Jul 2020
10
Thanks for voting!
Never in my life have I been homophobic, racist, bigoted, or of the belief that I am better (or worse) than anyone else..........
I advocate for people with disabilities, I contribute in time or money when I can, to causes and marginalised communities or groups.
Yet, nowadays if I pass comment or inadvertendly use an outmoded term of description or recognition I am a bigot, a homophobe, racist or discriminatory.......
.NO I AM NOT!!!!! What I am, is sick of people telling me what and how to think, How I should evaluate and make decisions, or being restricted from using my own sense of fairness and understanding
ElisabethR
8th Jul 2020
11
Thanks for voting!
Don't know how it happened so quickly.......... And it seems you can say what you like if you are not white. Makes me really sad...... Always been part of a diverse group and now feel restrained in what I say.
I read what is going on in the papers and can scarce take it in. People losing their jobs because they are too white......... Change history because some don't want it?...... J k Rowling vilified for saying a transgender man can never be a woman....... People being afraid to say what they think because of the abuse they will receive... Ban films and books.....????????
Love social media but now I too am nervous of what I have written here.
I have been shielding for 14 weeks..... Think I may just stay here.
jeanmark
10th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Like you ElisabethR, I have been shielding and I have now been confined to my house for 114 days, I have no intention of staying this way after my release on Aug 1st and, if I offend someone for being old, white and heterosexual, that will be their problem not mine!!
ElisabethR
11th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes I do feel very much the same way. Have decided I must carry on as if I was normal....... You decide what my normal is at your peril........... I am so tired of being told how to think and act.
jeanmark
11th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
ElisabethR, I've been told how to think and act since a very young child and haven't obliged yet, as to normal, I'm still trying to identify what that actually is!!!!
Valleyman
8th Jul 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
p.s. strip Harry and Meghan of their titles!
ElisabethR
8th Jul 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Think it won't be long before that happens. They are another pair that need to be aware of history as well. All my life I have carried a soapbox but should I put it away now?
Lionel
8th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Bluebell2
9th Jul 2020
-1
Thanks for voting!
but allow Andrew to keep his, and live in his vast mansion at the expense of the taxpayer. Such warped values!
Valleyman
8th Jul 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
Naz Shah (Labour M.P.) said victims of the grooming gangs should 'shut their mouths for the sake of diversity.'
https://metro.co.uk/2017/08/23/mp-shares-tweet-saying-abuse-victims-should-shut-their-mouths-for-good-of-diversity-6872181/
Welcome to Britain 2020.
The main stream media are laughably biased. The free speech Youtubers are being deleted at a rate of knots. Who is left? Talk Radio is still good. Apart from that there is literally nobody.
I know in my bones that the British people are good and fair. Our values are undoubtedly under attack. BBC i-player, which we are forced to pay for, is particularly nasty. Everybody on here, understandably, dances around the terms for fear of comeback. But, we will endure. Our belief in democracy and free speech, and valuing everyone as an individual, will, I believe, save us from further division.
Lelbelle54
8th Jul 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
The freedom to do anything is currently curbed in a very cloaked way. Confused, yes, brainwashed, yes, steadily, steadily we are being worn down and manipulated to the "Nth" degree. Covid is the disguise, it is very sad and worrying. Try to listen to your gut folks, if it doesn't feel right, it almost certainly isn't right.
eric1
8th Jul 2020
16
Thanks for voting!
Freedom of speech in the UK has been on a steady decline sice the late sixties, Homesexuality was rightly legalised in 1967, everyone should be able to live their life how they want to, but slowly and surely those of us who welcomed the change of law back then, now have to sit and watch it flaunted on our TV sets, I was sat with my three year old Grandson at 7.10 pm one evening when two lads in a popular soap were in bed kissing, My Grandson asked if they were allowed to do that, it shouldn't be like that today, what happened to the 9.00pm watershed? My point is that if we complain about it we are immediately labelled 'homophobic', there is no argument or discussion, that is it, no more to say. It is the same with the BLM movement, as soon as we are outraged at the things they get up to - like - damaging statues etc we are labelled racist, so yes, we have lost the freedom of speech in our own country, yet others have gained it.
SueFo
8th Jul 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
I fully agree with what the well known authors have to say. We should not be afraid to speak openly about controversial topics for fear of being shamed. All opinions should be valued.
Wilf
8th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
No I do not feel Freedom of Speech in the UK is restricted. This is the country that first had Speakers Corner in Londons Hyde park and for decades other countries citizens have talked about it. The UK is at least as free as any other country. I cannot think of another country where there is more freedom?
ElisabethR
8th Jul 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
Ha try standing at Speakers Corner and tell people they are being misled.... BlM is a nasty Marxist organisation dedicated to bringing down this and every other democracy. Your free speech would still be ok? Yod would be arrested for hate speech at the moment.
Bluebell2
9th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
There is a vast difference between the BLM organisation and the BLM movement., it is a mistake to think they are the same. Most of the people marching for human rights have no affiliation with the organisation.
jeanmark
9th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I totally agree Bluebell2 and it saddens me that people are confusing the two, resulting in the true message being missed.
ElisabethR
11th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Might be useful to hear more from the young actress who organised the first BlM March and silent protest in Hyde Park because of G. F's appalling death. She has since walked away............ There are not two BlM organisations.
Better to go down the All Lives Matter and resuming the mentoring and encouraging of education for All underprivileged youngsters no matter their colour. Remember there is a whole layer of underprivileged white youngsters as well.
drinkysu
8th Jul 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
We should be allowed to disagree without it being interpreted as hatred. It creates resentment to feel unable to comment and is counterproductive to creating equality.
Havering
8th Jul 2020
9
Thanks for voting!
Freedom of speech is important, if some people find criticism upsetting and hard to deal with or are offended easily, perhaps they need to look further within themselves at why they find it difficult to build or remain resilient, i'd say they are lacking in the ability to grow and move on with their lives. PC is already used as tool to manipulate, destroy and to avoid the truth in our community
EthelB
8th Jul 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
People are very aware as to what they want to say incase in is politically incorrect. The English language is been destroyed
Bluebell2
8th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Do you mean 'being'? Rather ironic that your complaint is written so poorly. I assume you mean you should be free to say whatever you wish - well, you are! If someone else has a different opinion and argues with you, they are exercising THEIR freedom of speech. Or is freedom only extended to those who agree with you?
Wilf
8th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Freedom is for everyone to express their opinions...in my humble opinion!!!
jeanmark
8th Jul 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I agree with you Wilf, unless someones 'opinion' is stated purely to cause pain and suffering to another. Then I believe you should keep such a thought to yourself. Free speech shouldn't be an excuse for expressing hatred etc. just because you can. But of course, that is just my opinion!!
Wilf
8th Jul 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
I agree Jean there is no place or excuse for "hate speech" but its fine to express your political opinion (in my opinion) so people can debate which must be the essence of a free democracy
Gillruss
11th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I disagreed with BLM demonstrations taking place during a pandemic....I was told I was racist, and that I was wrong to have that opinion.
jeanmark
11th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Gillruss, I agree it was too high a risk to have the demonstration during a pandemic, but feelings and anger were running high. It was wrong for someone to accuse you if being racist, but that is their problem not yours. That doesn't alter the fact the BLM movement is important and the message shouldn't be lost because a few individuals object to someones opinion. Maybe you should have pointed out that an opinion can not be wrong just because it different from theirs!
Rosedeb
8th Jul 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
I am all for people whatever their race or gender being able to express themselves and being treated with respect and equality, but I totally agree with JK Rowling's comments about people who menstrate are they not called women? I also would be very uneasy about some transgender people being allowed in to womans toilets, it is too easy to abuse the situation by unscrupulous people.
Every one deserves the right to feel secure and the cases of people identifying with a particular gender using this as a way to abuse others is unacceptable.
I am a woman and am proud of that fact and don't need or want some politically correct zealot defining my identity for me.
EllisAardvaark
8th Jul 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
Fed up with people acting like 3 year olds and having a tantrum when someone doesn't agree with them. People seems incapable of having a balanced point of view any more!
Bluebell2
8th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
But isn't that what you are doing? Are only people who agree with you allowed to speak?
Ian123
8th Jul 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Long gone have the days on official forms to select the option “ White English “
If I was born in Germany I would be a German, France I would be French, England I am now British.

Thought Police already branding me a racist?

The minority’s rule, not being satisfied with that they insist on pushing their agendas into the educational system.

I am expecting to see the Albert Docks in Liverpool to be demolished any time soon due to its links to slavery.

ALL lives matter, and racism is hideous.

I wonder how long it will be before we are ostracised for the origins of our birth?
EllisAardvaark
8th Jul 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
Getting that way already. I was accused of having privilege on Facebook last week, despite coming from a working class background with Irish immigrants, miners and farm labourers in my recent genealogy. I found the comment offensive as the "ethnic" person who made it went purely on the fact that I'm white!
Ian123
8th Jul 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
About 30 years ago I went on a racial diversity course.

I was gobsmacked to find out that the Irish were classed as an ethnic minority!

Speechless!
Bluebell2
8th Jul 2020
-1
Thanks for voting!
What are you talking about?

Slavery was abolished in England in 1834, Albert Docks didn't open till 1846. Even if it was built by slaves, with money from slavery, there is a massive difference between statues elevating and honouring slave traders and the buildings associated with them.

Great Britain is England, Scotland and Wales combined, if you don't like being British, consider moving somewhere else.
Bluebell2
8th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Considering that the Irish were subjugated by English forces, and many were run off their lands and were very much oppressed, that isn't far from the truth.

Aren't you old enough to remember signs saying 'No Blacks, no Irish, no dogs'?
EllisAardvaark
8th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Ridiculous isn’t it!
EllisAardvaark
8th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
My Grandad suffered that when he first came over.
Ian123
8th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Have you been overdosing on debating pills again?
Bluebell2
9th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Oh I see, YOUR freedom of speech matters, but mine doesn't? Right!
Carobyloch
8th Jul 2020
9
Thanks for voting!
My view is very simple (and possibly old fashioned in todays world) :
Freedom - did we not fight and die in 2 World Wars for this - this FREEDOM ......
and does this Freedom not also include FREEDOM OF SPEECH in the very country we fought and died for - or are we not now entitled to Freedom of Speech in our own Country ???
Supersabre
8th Jul 2020
9
Thanks for voting!
There seems to be freedom of speech for some, but don't speak anything different or you must be " phobic". With people losing their jobs, book collections being " de colonised" , the similarities to Germany in the 1930 's is quite alarming.
bob scott
8th Jul 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
What happens in a few centuries down the line, how boring life will be when we have wiped out all the cultures of the world, there is nothing more exciting than to hear another language being spoken, or the taste and smells of exotic food. there too many wishing to take over the world and put us all in the same big melting pot, there was a reason we were put on this earth to be different but with a coming together, dialect's within the UK. are all but gone, the language of a village or a County, I love the sound of these whether from the North, East, South or West. Overseas is a grander version. I fear the new language will be an on line vision with no Ebb nor Flow, no high notes no low notes or that of hard or soft, all the things that create boredom from living, in other words interaction, sometime un- palatable other times of love. all known as free speech. Bob Scott.
Wilf
8th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I do tend to agree by 2,200 at this rate life will be a dull as dishwater with not different cultures at all.
Mari50
8th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
We are losing our right to so called 'free speech'. Everything has to be politically correct just in case someone does not like what you say. I was advised not to join a club because I was too young. In age I wasn' t but in the way I act I was. I told soneone who wanted me to sue foe ageism. I basically told this person that I took it as a compliment and still do.
If people have to mouth off about political correctness rhen they should look at themselves. Everyone is different and I believe that, if what is said is not abusive, then what is the problem. People should be allowed to express their thoughts without being accused of all sorts if what they are saying is non offensive.
CarolR627
8th Jul 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
One is almost afraid to have thoughts these days, just in case big brother is eavesdroppin
Retiredyorkie
8th Jul 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Freedom of speech - forgot what that was !!!

No such thing anymore -
HappyHippie
8th Jul 2020
11
Thanks for voting!
seems the UK has been bound and gagged since everyone is trying to stay politically correct in case we upset some non UK born folk...
CedarW
8th Jul 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
It seems that some people's "offence" is given more weight than other's. Every citizen should have the same rights, and most of us are strong enough to accept that other people may have criticisms that may or may not be correct, we need to look at them and see if there is any substance to the complaints and maybe we'll grow from them!
.
blackbeard
8th Jul 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
It seems now that we have do more now of what we were told as youngsters "think before you speak"

Surely as we grow older we have the right to speak freely. Most of us would have left home to gain some freedom

How life has changed
Margaret Hart
8th Jul 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
I don’t think we have any freedom of speech in England? Every time we get any group complaining about anything or working towards what the majority of the people don’t want after a very footy time it is the majority who are told not to speak out.
against what they want. I didn’t used to be prejudiced against any organisation other than things like the Klu Klux Klan Or terrorist organisation but since all the trouble over that black criminal being killed by a policeman although what he did was wrong they should not of made a martyr of - Stephen Lawrence would have been a far better choice and instead of Black Lives matter they should have had all lives matter. When the Gays wanted to be made legal as soon as they got that it went on and on until they could eventually get married and have children even though it changes the natural world altogether and one care what affect it might have on the rest of the world and or their children. Other people are bound to get annoyed that the ordinary way of life was being turned upstaged down. Everybody has a right to their own opinion not to the change the world as we’ve always known it.

world beyond recognition,
MaureenG46
8th Jul 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
I enjoy nothing more than a lively debate. Doesn’t matter what it’s about. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
ElisabethR
8th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes Maureen but it's only a debate now if you agree with the loudest vociferous group..... No matter how small they are.
PaulJohn1
8th Jul 2020
12
Thanks for voting!
The easiest way to start an argument is to express an opinion- any opinion, on anything. Much of this is fuelled by the (anti) social media where anyone can be “offended”.
There is a disturbing trend to call for apologies for events that happened centuries ago. These are meaningless are distract from taking action to correct present inequalities. Where do we stop - should Norway/Denmark apologise for the Vikings?
Incredible Kath
8th Jul 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
I believe in the freedom of speech, but I don't think it gives you the right to be abusive, spread lies, be racist, sexist, homophobic etc! Say what you think, backed up with knowledge not hate! Freedom of speech shouldn't give you the right just to be nasty to whoever you please!
CarmelnRayCave
8th Jul 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
There is an illiberal minority trying to suppress free speech,who
Are trying to shame people who have a view contrary to their own.We live in a democracy which was hard fought for.
Unfortunately they seem to be given the platform to impose their opinions on the majority,who for the most part are very sensible,now known as the silent majority.
Kezziedog
8th Jul 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Best keep mouth shut for fear of “offending someone “

Sad .
PatB2
8th Jul 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
There is so little tolerance of others nowadays. Some people, (including University students "no platforming" people whose views may differ from theirs instead of engaging in debate) seem afraid to debate different ideas and seek to enforce their restrictive views on everyone. If you don't happen to know the latest "in" words you are accused of racism or other prejudice. They should read 1984 to see the perils of "newspeak" and Big Brother controlling ideas!
Munsterlander
8th Jul 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
We have had freedom of speech for a long time in the UK. I must say I do not think it has changed one iota. I still say what I think.
DeborahR19
8th Jul 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
The views of the majority in this country are being deliberately stifled and warped by the media, while the ‘rights’ of certain groups are promoted relentlessly. I am so sad because I love England, it’s culture and those who embrace it but apparently this is no longer politically correct and I am made to feel guilty if I say this☹️☹️☹️ Free speech is dying rapidly, it has to be their view or no view ☹️☹️☹️
poempoet
8th Jul 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
We are all individuals, we all have our own thoughts and beliefs so I wish people would stop telling us to zip it if we say something they don't agree with. The world is becoming a meaner place.
Joe90
8th Jul 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
For a long time, I have felt a little warey of expressing an opinion on a number of matters (as I'm sure have many). There appears to be a vociferous minority drowning out the less vociferous majority. One is made to feel like an outcast if you don't concur with the sentiments that are expressed the loudest and longest.
No doubt there is a justification with a lot of things some people have to complain about, but definitely not all.
Debate should be allowed from both sides of the fence, without one of the contributors being made to feel that they are obliged to agree.
swaneldo
8th Jul 2020
12
Thanks for voting!
There are people out there who just sit waiting to be offended and could start a fight in an empty room! I'm utterly sick of the miserable beggars who suck all the joy out of having a chat and a laugh with a bit of harmless banter. If you look to be offended by every little thing, then you will definitely be offended. If you ignore any perceived slight and move on, then you'll have a much happier and joyous life. Everything today revolves around 'ists' and 'isms' and has to have a label and a category. If some stopped highlighting everything as a problem and bleating about how very special they are, things would be a lot easier. We need to just realise that we are a world of millions of imperfect, different, wonderful human beings - each and every one of us - end of. Let's embrace how interesting all our differences, looks, lifestyles and quirks are and just get on with life without these continual immature hissy fits from the tedious and bored minority.
PatB2
8th Jul 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I so agree wth you. Any public debate seems to be hijacked by people with extreme, hardline views.
AndrewM4
8th Jul 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
i could not wait to vote,there is no free speech anymore,you have to follow "am i allowed to say that probably not"
the BBC exemplifies all that is wrong,their view is the only one that is allowed,this is why the BBC will find that their audience will refuse to fund the "revenue stream" obtained by putting the viewers under "duress" by their enforcement company
Marley444
8th Jul 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
I must say, that in recent weeks there have been a few heated debates in our household, and I quite often feel it is better just not to express my views and keep quiet to avoid tension. I don't know if it is a generation thing, as when we grew up, times were so different. I try to be 'woke' as much as I can in this new era, but sometimes I feel that my views are compromised. I often wonder what my grandmother, who was very opinionated, would say!
swaneldo
8th Jul 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Oh Marley - stop being woke and enjoy yourself! Life's too short.
Marley444
8th Jul 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
😀 thanks for your permission swaneldo 😀
swaneldo
8th Jul 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
ElisabethR
8th Jul 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
What exactly is woke? Seems to me it applies to anyone who only acknowledges their own opinion has any value.
MrsPat
8th Jul 2020
9
Thanks for voting!
To be honest I have felt this for some time. You have to be careful about what you say as it could offend anybody. Gone are the days of a good old open chat.

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