Freedom of speech is a human right, and the foundation upon which democracy is built. Any restriction of freedom of speech is a restriction upon democracy. We must defend democracy using its own mechanisms, through explaining and exemplifying its merits rather than through the heavy-handed and arbitrary silencing of its critics.
Vile thugs have attacked the home of a UKIP Kent county councillor, smearing obscene political hate slogans all over the walls of his garage last weekend. The attack occured in the Thanet South parliamentary constituency where Nigel Farage is standing, and may be part of a cowardly attempt to intimidate political campaigners in advance of the May elections.
We would rather believe Jihadi John was always evil. He always wanted to behead people. Bomb others. Burn innocents. To argue otherwise is to be an apologist for terrorism, it makes you "part of the problem". And thus the parameters of discussion are severely constrained; a large chunk of freedom of expression is eroded by baseless stigma.
The reaction from the Charity Commission on these cases was in my eyes exemplary. Not only did it act swiftly to remove a charity that should have never been on their register in the first place but it also was quick to reassure the public on social media and elsewhere that the programme did 'not reflect the vast majority of charities that are properly run by honest trustees'.