On Tue 13 Mar at 10:50am Melted snowman wrote:
People keep telling me about how Lewes has been a very free thinking place through history. Why don't we establish a new tradition and have a speakers corner or at least a place where people can have their 5mins on a soapbox.
I wonder who would support free speech or is it just a white, male, Anglo-saxon hobbyhorse?
On Tue 13 Mar at 4:08pm Mr Phorbes wrote:
Most of the people of this town detest free speech.
On Tue 13 Mar at 4:26pm Carrot face wrote:
Do you need more of a soapbox than the Lewes forum? I think not.
On Tue 13 Mar at 5:25pm looisian wrote:
Lewes open minded? I think those days are well and truly over.
I think even Tom Paine would be burnt at the stake if he came back.
On Tue 13 Mar at 5:48pm @looisian wrote:
Tom Paine might have been popular with poor Lewesians at the time, but he was persecuted by the rich and powerful, and faced trial in England for his part in the American Revolution. He fled to France to escape arrest. I agree that he would probably not be popular with the Brexit supporting underclass nowadays, but perhaps the more liberal types would embrace him.
On Tue 13 Mar at 10:10pm Traditional liberal wrote:
Free thinking and free speech is being challenged by narrow minded people Lewes, who do not understand that to support such ideals means you have to support the freedoms of those you most disagree with - to paraphrase Tom Paine.
Shame on those like Diversity Lewes who do not understand that diversity of ideas is the most important aspect of democracy.
On Wed 14 Mar at 9:14am @Traditional liberal wrote:
Society is entitled to set limits on free speech, by democratic process and changes in the law, particularly with respect to hate speech and incitement to violence. No liberal should object to the freedom of extremist loonies being curtailed.
On Wed 14 Mar at 12:56pm Traditional liberal wrote:
@@traditional liberal I think you miss the point.
Firstly, your definition and another person’s definition of extremist loony will be two different things. Who are you to determine who is and isn’t worthy of freedom of speech?
Secondly, lots of aspects of freedom (including speech) can be curtailed by democratic means. Hitler rose to power and exacted sweeping changes in law through democratic means.
When you take these two factors into consideration, you quickly come to the conclusion that the only true way of preserving democracy is to give the free right of assembly and speech, no matter how hateful. Law shouldn’t be use to define what a person can and cannot say, but morals and rational debate.
Thirdly, my point about Diversity Lewes is not so much about hate speech whatsoever. More that the prevailing consensus on that group is that unless you agree with them, then you are against them. It is an increasingly common phenomenon in modern liberal circles which completely undermines the activities they aim to achieve.
Lewes has traditionally been a place of tolerance, non-conformism and free speech as the original poster mentioned. The activities of Diversity Lewes and others are trying to create a change in the town where only a very narrow view of the world exists.
On Wed 14 Mar at 4:04pm @Traditional liberal wrote:
I don't claim to be qualified to determine who should or should not enjoy the right to freedom of speech. That's for parliament as representatives of the people, and for the independent judiciary to interpret and enforce any laws created by parliament. You are free to say what ever you like about people and issues that you disapprove of, and society is free to disapprove of your remarks. If you want absolute freedom, you can't remain party of society. Off to jail you go.
On Wed 14 Mar at 5:48pm Traditional liberal wrote:
Again, you’re really missing the point.
Nothing to do with hate speech or going to jail. Little point in explaining again, as it’s covered in my previous post.