Free Speech

Why Safe Spaces Are Definitely No Laughing Matter!

Alan Grant | Posted 26.11.2015 | UK Politics
Alan Grant

I've had a terrific view of the free speech versus regulated speech on campuses controversy because I'm chronologically proximate enough to student cu...

I Don't Want to Hear the Lord's Prayer in the Cinema

Bob Morgan | Posted 23.11.2015 | UK
Bob Morgan

The Church of England is threatening to take legal action against the company who place adverts in UK cinemas because they have declined to show an advert featuring the Lord's Prayer.

We Should Cherish the Burning of Cameron's Pig-Gate Effigy

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 06.11.2015 | UK Politics
Ioan Marc Jones

The bonfire night in Lewes is just another example of Britain's innate ability to mock our leaders - and other leaders - with utter abandon. It is a crucial part of British culture. It reminds us that we live in a country where we cherish our ability to exercise freedom of expression and we are creative in the forms we exercise.

No-Platform's Benevolent Mask Isn't Just Slipping, It's Shattering

David Browne | Posted 29.10.2015 | UK Universities & Education
David Browne

If our Dear Leaders want to argue that they have a unique right to not hear views that offend them - a right which they will not extend to their opponents, and indeed cannot or else all speech would stop - then they should at least be honest about it, rather than deceiving your audience by pretending that (legal) free speech has not been replaced by speech subject to conditions...

The Pros and Cons of This Germaine Greer Issue Getting Media Attention

Payton Quinn | Posted 28.10.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Payton Quinn

At its core, this has always been about consideration for trans lives, trans issues and trans voices. Despite the other conversations it has also sparked about the power of activism, the evolution of its methods with the rise of social media, the role of universities in preserving free speech and the boundaries and limitation of free expression, I am glad that we are able to have these debates about inclusivity but I really wish that more trans women were being given the opportunity to speak right now.

Germaine Greer Had No Right to Speak at Cardiff University

Andrew Doyle | Posted 26.10.2015 | UK Comedy
Andrew Doyle

Next year we hope to disinvite more people than ever before. We've already invited a number of controversial speakers for 2016 so that we can ask them not to turn up.

The Campus Censors Are More Dangerous Than You Think

Alan Grant | Posted 26.10.2015 | UK Politics
Alan Grant

Heavyweight feminist intellectual Germaine Greer has recently attracted the ire of the Thought Police for her comments about transgender people. At ti...

No Platform: Community Approved Thought Has no Place on Campus

Liz Cookman | Posted 25.10.2015 | UK
Liz Cookman

The theory of safe space is that people of all identities and backgrounds have the freedom to express themselves in an environment that is tolerant - great. However, the current, rigorous enforcement of the concept is beginning to sound a lot like censorship.

A Group Of Students Really Don't Want 'Dangerous' Germaine Greer To Speak At Cardiff University

The Huffington Post UK | Lucy Sherriff | Posted 23.10.2015 | UK Universities & Education

Students are urging their university to cancel a lecture featuring prominent feminist Germaine Greer, as they say she is dangerous and transphobic. ...

Prevent Is a Free Speech Issue, So Opponents Should Not Ally With the NUS

David Browne | Posted 23.10.2015 | UK Universities & Education
David Browne

This week, the NUS finished its current "Students Not Suspects" tour which was allegedly aimed at fighting the Government's new Prevent strategy to deal with extremism, particularly the threat of Islamist extremism. While the Prevent strategy certainly has its flaws, the NUS's diagnosis is woefully misguided...

Yiannopoulos Should Not Be Banned From Bristol, He Should Be Ignored

Ben Parr | Posted 23.10.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Ben Parr

I think I've done it. You see, the feminist society at Bristol Uni seems to have a problem that they are unable to solve. They are utterly aghast at the University's journalism society inviting a speaker- Milo Yiannopoulos- to give a lecture, because Mr Yiannopoulos has made some pretty offensive, misogynist and ignorant remarks.

No Charity Campaigning = No Progress

John Tizard | Posted 08.10.2015 | UK
John Tizard

Every so often and with seemingly increasing frequency, the siren voices of parts of the media and certain politicians demand that charities cease campaigning. Some of these voices actually go further and demand that the Government passes legislation to silence charities.

Free Speech Is Being Defaced - We Must Fight

Benjamin David | Posted 06.10.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Benjamin David

It is paramount because the fight against free-speech effacement cannot be cast aside - for the murky shadows of free-speech suppression will always be dwelling in the cusps of our democracy.

It Is Not the Job of Student Unions to Police Student Thoughts

David Browne | Posted 05.10.2015 | UK Universities & Education
David Browne

The banning of No Offence at Freshers' Fair (and let's not pretend that this doesn't put it at considerable disadvantage in terms of distributing it and exposing those who wish to read it to the ideas therein) ironically is the perfect showcase for the need for its existence.

Oxford Uni's 'No Offence' Magazine Banned By SU Incase It... 'Causes Offence'

The Huffington Post UK | George Bowden | Posted 02.10.2015 | UK Universities & Education

A student-run magazine at Oxford University entitled 'No Offence' has been banned from appearing at the student union's Fresher's Fair... incase it 'c...

We Must Reject the Demand to Try Charlie Hebdo, and the Narrative That Spawned It

David Browne | Posted 23.09.2015 | UK Universities & Education
David Browne

Last week, Charlie Hebdo magazine contained cartoons featuring Aylan Kurdi's death. The cartoons mocked the atmosphere which had preceded, and indeed ...

Why We Need Katie Hopkins

Sophie Deal | Posted 14.09.2015 | UK Entertainment
Sophie Deal

We've all heard the "if you haven't got something nice to say, don't say it" spiel. But freedom of speech is an important human entitlement and Hopkins is right to voice her thoughts. However awful, at least they give conscientious people the opportunity to undermine her with compassionate, reasoned stances.

Not Content With Blocking Reddit, Russia Tried To Ban Wikipedia

The Huffington Post UK | Thomas Tamblyn | Posted 25.08.2015 | UK Tech

Update: The New York Times reports that Russia has since lifted the ban early this morning after it was discovered that the offending article has now ...

'Draw the Line Here' Mocks the Men in Masks

Robert Sharp | Posted 07.07.2015 | UK Politics
Robert Sharp

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect to this book, therefore, is that the contributors have used their own freedom of expression to defend the free speech rights of others. It is a positive and creative response to a moment of destruction, and should give us cause for hope.

Hacktivism to Balaclava Punk: Protest Must Be Protected in All Its Forms

Thomas Hughes | Posted 22.06.2015 | UK
Thomas Hughes

Protest is increasingly going digital. Whether it is using the internet to organise and report physical acts of protest, using online space as a platform on which to take action, or targeting online infrastructure itself: across the world, people are taking their right to protest online.

No, Ambassador: It's Not 'Meddling' to Call for Free Speech in Saudi Arabia

Robert Sharp | Posted 17.06.2015 | UK
Robert Sharp

As the Badawi case has shown, dissent in Saudi Arabia, as in many countries in the Middle East, is brutally suppressed. Yet Saudi Arabia is in fact a signatory to the Arab Charter on Human Rights in 2009, a document that guarantees the right to freedom of expression. Campaigners are asking Saudi Arabia to adhere to the standards it has set for itself.

Ignorance Is Not Strength: We Need to Stop Being Scared of Debate

Charlie Simpson | Posted 19.05.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Charlie Simpson

There is a growing problem in politics today. In both the left and the right there are those so self-righteous they will either refuse to engage in debate or try and prevent you from doing so. Often these are important causes that get hijacked by this oppressive minority.

Singapore Teenager Convicted Over Image Of Margaret Thatcher In Compromising Position

The Huffington Post UK | Lucy Sherriff | Posted 14.05.2015 | UK Universities & Education

A teenager has been convicted of distributing an image showing Singapore's former prime minister in a compromising position with Margaret Thatcher. ...

As an Extremist, I'd Rather We Didn't Pass This Anti-extremism Bill

James Moran | Posted 13.05.2015 | UK Politics
James Moran

As this government takes its first tentative steps into the light, like a cute little faun that believes in cackhanded anti-constitutional remedies to specific problems, it has made its first priority clear. Getting all the stuff the Lib Dems stopped back in motion again.

Charlie Hebdo and PEN: When Free Speech Is Cheaper Than a Gala Dinner for Some

John Sargeant | Posted 28.06.2015 | UK
John Sargeant

The arrogance of those staying away is breathtaking. PEN exists to speak out for writers who are persecuted and threatened. As Salman Rushdie said, he hopes no one ever goes after the writers staying away. Still, it is easier to piss on dead cartoonists than to stand up to ISIS who crucify and behead.