Skip navigation

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY OWEN JONES IN THE GUARDIAN AND PROMPTLY REMOVED BY EDITORS

“Online abuse must be curbed. But who decides where the line is drawn?”

Unbelievable set of thoughts jumbled together, using of course, Preacher Owen Jones’ favorite word, “must.”

What is abuse?

Would that include McCarthyite false accusations of anti-Semitism which Mr. Jones and his newspaper indulged in for considerable periods?

Would that include the pack of lies told by Tony Blair in his rush to see a million people crushed, lies unchallenged by all of Britain’s press?

I expect respectable sources on the Internet to distinguish themselves by their own words and tone. All intelligent readers are able to distinguish these things.

We require no one to explain – and most certainly not, control – what we may read or see or think about.

That ugly notion goes against three centuries of Enlightenment, and it is in keeping with the philosophies of such ugly, retrograde states as Stalin’s or Mussolini’s or Hitler’s.

It is a complete contradiction of terms for anyone regarding himself as a liberal-minded figure to be saying such things.

Contrary to the advocates of control and repression of free speech, the danger in society is always those who would control and repress. It is not the material they want to repress.

The right to repress is much like the right to jail those you don’t like. Where does it end? It does not. There’s always, always another disliked person or view that “must” be repressed.

Well, as to the author’s “who decides?” all thinking people know the answer to that before the question is asked. No one can decide. Not governments. Not a demonstrably biased press. And certainly not preachers.

I regard an article like this as a form of abuse, but I would never advocate its suppression.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: