Friday, November 13, 2009

Labour: Still Not Big On Free Speech.

I see the government remains as authoritarian and contemptuous of freedom now as it has been for the last ten years:

Ministers have admitted defeat in their efforts to remove a "free speech" defence from new laws against inciting homophobic hatred.

MPs have voted four times to scrap it but it has been repeatedly overturned in the Lords, who again last night voted by 179 to 135 to keep it.

Supporters of the bill argued that it was intended to target rare and extreme cases, but as we have all too frequently seen the intended target of a bill is something of a distraction. In fact the police have been used to harass people for their views on the matter even in the absence of any actual law and it is difficult to see how that could fail to get worse if there was such a law.

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