This is always a very interesting area; some people think we should have no restraints on what people can say be that in the press, online or verbally.  Then you have those that think there should be some restraints upon what people can and can’t say because you may offend someone or say something defamatory. 

Now I have thought long and hard about this and tried to work out where I sit on this issue.  There are a few things that I think regulation of free speech is needed but in the most part I think that we should be allowed to say what we like as long as it’s not illegal.

So let me expand on that a little, I don’t think people should be allowed to make racist comments or homophobic comments or things of a similar ilk.  Because they are designed to deliberately offend or upset someone and I would consider them on a par with going up to someone and giving them slap round the face, it’s just not the done thing. 

However if someone wants to insult someone because of what they have done or haven’t done then I don’t have a problem with that, as long as it’s not one of the above then that should be fine.  To call someone a useless buffoon or a stupid idiot should be someone right. 

I don’t think we need to worry about this as if someone says something about you that is untrue and damaging to your caricature we have the deformation laws.  So there is a safety net there to cover you if something is done to you. 

People should have the right to say what they like to who they like, as long as it’s not illegal, but we should not be bending laws to prosecute people for saying what they feel.  We should be allowed to express our opinions as without freedom of speech I couldn’t type this to you now.  People should not be prosecuted for expressing their opinions when they are not racist, or homophobic or inciting hate. 

If we start clamping down on people for what they say and what they believe then we are no better than Russian state under the Soviet Union where people couldn’t say or do what they wanted for fear of being imprisoned.  So we should stand up for our right to speech and not let people oppress us, as if we do where will it stop?


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