Tolerate Assaults on the Truths You Hold Dear

Today, the online magazine spiked launched Free Speech Now!, a brand new campaign for ‘unfettered’ freedom of speech, with no ifs and no buts.

The editor of spiked, Brendan O’Neill, says:

‘”Every man should think what he likes and say what he thinks.” It is 350 years since Spinoza wrote those profound words. And yet every man (and woman) is still not at liberty to think what he or she likes, far less say it. It is for this reason that, today, spiked is kicking off a transatlantic online magazine and real-world campaign called Free Speech Now! – to put the case for unfettered freedom of thought and speech.’

‘Freedom of speech is in a bad way’, says O’Neill. ‘Ours is an age in which a pastor, in Sweden, can be sent to jail for preaching to his own flock in his own church that homosexuality is a sin. In which British football fans can be arrested for referring to themselves as Yids. In which those who too stingingly criticise the Islamic ritual slaughter of animals can be convicted of committing a hate crime.’

‘This new illiberalism commits the double offence of shutting up those who have something to say and shutting down the critical faculties of everyone else, discouraging debate in favour of promoting only those ideas that small groups of people have predetermined to be good, right, scientifically or politically correct, and safe for the little people to consume.’

The Free Speech Now! campaign is necessary challenge to this new illiberalism. Combining an online hub, providing free-speech lovers with the sharpest, most insightful articles, interviews and podcasts around, with plans for a series of live events in the US and Europe, Free Speech Now! will mount a vital defence of this most important of liberties.

O’Neill says:

‘We need a renewed commitment to the freedoms of thought and speech, and one which is consistent – which defends these freedoms not only for writers and the right-on, but also for so-called deniers, for the politically weird, for those who are offensive or outrageous. For it is only by having unfettered freedom of speech that we can guarantee an open and lively public sphere in which bad claims or ideas might be intellectually beaten, and the truth, arrived at.’

View Free Speech Now! here:

Media Release

14 Responses to Tolerate Assaults on the Truths You Hold Dear

  1. Neville April 3, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    The major problem with the PC nonsense over the last 40 years ( at least) is the lack of a forum to discuss or try to discredit the truly wierd and whacky ideas of the totalitarian left.

    Perhaps this may be a new start who knows? Just think if the warmist extremists told the populace in 1990 there was nothing we could do AT ALL to reduce co2 emissions for thousands of years?
    We could have just saved the 100s of billions $ and instead carried out more research into a cancer cure or REAL cheap alternative energy or better crop research or eradication of malaria or a cheap alternative for indoor cooking for the planet’s poorest people or a cure for aids etc etc.

  2. Hasbeen April 3, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    Don’t be so silly Neville, you’ve still got this entirely wrong.

    Global warming has nothing to do with the well being of the planet, or the peasantry. It is a push by the elites to stop these meaningless hordes consuming any resources. The elites can’t stand this rabble consuming the good things of the earth, which may one day be wanted by those elites.

    They know damn well that in the next few hundred years we are more likely to be in an ice age, than the fires of hell. None of this has anything to do with the whole scam, the objective is to get control of the billions, & stop them having it so good.

    Peasants with homes, cars, & flying all over the place for god sake, this must be stopped.

    It almost worked too. Pity the planet did not help, by going into a cooling phase. Then of course they made a few mistakes too. Like teaching the peasants to read, the better to serve them, then the damn internet. With clever people on blogs telling the truth, & peasants who could read, the basis of their defeat was in place.

    So mate the last thing they want is to save peasants lives with better health care, or cheap energy, there are more than enough of them now. However if you could come up with a good scheme for keeping the peasantry in it’s place, you have your ticket to the elites, otherwise forget it. The current system is transferring wealth from the peasants to the elites, so things aren’t too bad.

  3. hunter April 3, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    I never thought I would see the need for such a magazine in the West, much less applaud the boldness of those who would start such an effort. Yet here we are, giving rightful accolades to these brave souls, and hoping that their idea of true liberalism and tolerance would take root.

  4. Gasbo April 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    It is no good just sitting in church(life) waiting for the preacher to tell you what is true,you have to find that out for yourself.
    If you want to know what is being taught go out and learn it whether it be what causes the weather or what a wether is (sorry the chance to get all three into the one sentence was too much).

    There is a scripture that is just as relevant to learning about life as it is to learning about God.

    If any of you lack WISDOM let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not;and it shall be given him.
    But let him ask in faith,nothing wavering,for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

  5. cohenite April 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    One of the most repugnant results of S18C is its use by groups who want to suppress freedom such as Muslims suing people for using the Koran to prove Islam is a repressive ideology.

    The same with members of the left generally; freedom of speech only applies to them what are our betters. Hypocrites!

  6. Debbie April 3, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    OT. . . but enjoyed your column in The Land today Jen.

  7. Beth Cooper April 4, 2014 at 1:17 am #

    Flashback …

    It’s still about Plato up on the hill,
    interpreting the shadows on the cave wall.
    presenting a back-to-the-golden-age-manifesto:
    Listen serfs, only philosopher kings, and I am one,
    select advisory councils are others, are able to
    interpret those shadows on the wall (with
    97 % probability. ) WE will tell you what
    you need to know and what you can say.

  8. Glen Michel April 5, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    Parmenides appeals also;a likely quote”wolves don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep” maybe not.

  9. spangled drongo April 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    This is such a necessary discussion and the more the subject is aired the better we all understand it.

    And how we need to understand it!

    Andrew Bolt’s case is enough to make any rational person groan and he and others are now really speaking up:

  10. jennifer April 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm #


    I am concerned that too few Australians understand the subject.

    Indeed not enough people have their prejudices challenged, and when they do, too often simply respond by claiming they are offended. Furthermore too many middle class Australians are of the opinion that the ABC does a good job because, they will claim, most people don’t have an adequate moral compass… and thus need to be told what to think and say.


    Your poem is so relevant… It’s still about Plato up on the hill!

  11. Robert JM April 6, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    I don’t believe in the fundamental right to unrestricted free speech.
    Instead I believe in the right of the individual to do as the please as long as those actions don’t interfere with the rights of another individual.

    Free speech is an extension of this principle and it effective means a individual has the right to speak against any group or organisation but not to do the same against an individual.

  12. DaveW April 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    I’m afraid that I don’t understand the Australian concept of free speech. I know that I must be very careful about what I say about any politically powerful group or I will be punished, but I find that hard to reconcile with ‘free speech’. I know I can say anything I want about ‘rich old white men’ and have nothing to fear (I learned this on the ABC). I can probably get away with rubbishing ‘white men’ and probably ‘men’, but maybe not ‘old men’. Probably it is open season on ‘the rich’, as long as they are not members of any protected group. I can slag the bloody seppos all I want and probably the poms, at least if they are rich, old white poms, but all other nationalities are protected unless they are ROWMs.

    Is this pretty much the gist of Australian free speech?

  13. Johnathan Wilkes April 6, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    @Robert JM

    I believe in the right of the individual to do as the please as long as those actions don’t interfere with the rights of another individual.

    These days that’s a tall order, that’s why we have so many rules and regulations, ppl don’t use common sense any more they run to the authorities for remedies instead. And they are only too pleased to oblige by creating even more regulations.

    Your idea about free speech is a bit wish·y-wash·y, I agree, don’t denigrate someone for being black, white or whatever colour, but not being able to tell someone, who for all practical purposes is white but claims black status, is a bit rich.
    Given that the person may have 98% of one ancestry and only 2% of the other.

    Specially when claiming such status brings with it certain benefits not available to others, outside of that group.

    And this is precisely what started this discussion about free speech.

  14. hunter April 7, 2014 at 12:30 am #

    What we call PC in the US is a movement that has a basic tenet that the favored person has the right to not be offended; that the favored person gets to define when they are offended. Another tenet is that as long as you agree with the favored person, you are free to say what you please until the favored person changes their mind about you or what they want you to think and say.

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