Some wise words on free speech

Sarah Ditum, writing about Catherine Bennett’s piece on Rod Liddle:

So, there’s no organised effort to get Rod Liddle imprisoned, tortured, fined or even made to sit on the naughty step for what he’s published. Just a strong and widespread feeling that he’d be a disaster in the job. And despite what Bennett suggests, freedom of speech means, exactly, freedom of speech. Not “freedom to edit national newspapers”. And definitely not “freedom from being criticised by anyone who doesn’t have a newspaper column”. Because when Bennett worries that “Public figures will become ever blander in their views” if they continue to be exposed to opposition, what she’s arguing is that public figures should be protected from opposition.

via The Paperhouse guide to free speech « Paperhouse.

One wonders what on earth has happened to Catherine Bennett, who used to be trenchant and clever and now comes across like some watered-down urban Melanie Phillips. this recent column begins “perhaps it’s just age” which seems to me the intellectual equivalent of throwing in the towel and declining any curiosity in anything new.

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