Vice News is losing their s*** over defenders of free speech.
In a bizarre piece lamenting a new coalition of “far-right” figures rallying around the right to freedom of expression, journalist James Poulter pouts: The “far-right” is “uniting to defend their right to spout bulls*** to whoever will listen.”
Here’s the heading and sub-heading of the insane piece (notice free speech is in scare quotes):
The Far Right Are Uniting Around Their Right to ‘Free Speech’
AKA spreading a load of racist bullshit.
Of course, even if these “far-right” figures, or anyone else for that matter, wanted to spread subjectively-deemed “racist garbage,” that, too, should be protected from government censorship and punishment if you actually believe in freedom of expression. A wild concept, I know.
Poulter goes on to identify Tommy Robinson, Martin Sellner, Brittany Pettibone, and Lauren Southern as the “far-right” subjects of his scorn. For their controversial speech, Sellner and Pettibone were deported from the U.K. and Southern was stopped from entering the country under the Terrorism Act. Robinson subsequently held a rally in celebration of free speech at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park.
After acknowledging these instances and the stream of censorship occurring on college campuses, Poulter mocks the notion that freedom of speech is under attack at all.
“All of these incidents, combined with the disruption of some talks at universities, have convinced the far-right that their right to free speech is under attack. Robinson even released a video claiming, in characteristically understated manner, that he ‘won’t be around for much longer,'” he writes.
“The far-right have nothing if not a persecution complex, so all of this is giving them something to unite around,” the journalist complained.
This view and mocking attitude is seriously dangerous. The U.K. is clamping down on the freedom of expression in Orwellian fashion. On Tuesday, a British court found a YouTube personality dubbed Count Dankula guilty of being “grossly offensive” over a joke. He’s now facing jail time.
Just because Poulter happens to disagree with the speech being punished at the moment, what will happen if the tide turns and language he agrees with becomes the target of attack? This is the whole problem with censorship in the first place. Such shallow thinking from leftists is tragically ubiquitous.
Alas, Poulter does get one thing right: the move to censor speech is only helping the speakers’ cause:
The British state may have banned Sellner, Pettibone and Southern from the UK, thinking it would decrease inter-communal tensions. But the move may have backfired: thanks to the internet, none of the trio need to physically be in the country for their words and actions to have an impact on our society. The Robinson-UKIP-FLA-GI coalition may have been forming anyway, but the government’s ban looks like it’s accelerated the process.