Monday, August 20, 2007

Free Speech in the UK

In the UK there is a considerably greater range of commonly-expressed opinion than in the US, but one of the things I have noticed since I returned is that legal protections for free speech are rather less than under the US system.

For example "incitement to hatred" charges are used in the UK to prohibit all sorts of speech about racial and religious groups that would be considered protected in the US. In general, I prefer to know who hates me, and hence prefer the US system.

I am not, by the way, a liberal. I would define myself as a Democratic Socialist (in terms of class and welfare politics) with libertarian tendencies (in terms of personal behaviour such as sexual practices, drug use, etc.)


Travis said...

On a discussion forum I am on, the moderator of the forum (who is British) stated that "inciding hatred is a crime". I replied that inciding hatred is not a crime, but inciting violence is a crime. He then informed me about the laws being different in the UK.

I get worried when muslim extremists are able to suppress free speech because they are offended by cartoons and certain guys being knighted.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited to see you've started posting again.