Garton-Ash on free expression

The Guardian carries a piece by Timothy Garton-Ash about the various threats to freedom of expression prevalent today. From scaredy-cat self-censorship to threats of bloody revenge, “the struggle to defend free expression is defining our age”.

Too many recent responses in such cases – from the Rushdie affair onward – have had this backhanded syntax: “Of course I defend his/her freedom of expression, but…” The Voltaire principle gets it the right way round: first the dissent, but then the unconditional solidarity. Now we are all called upon to play our part. The future of freedom depends on words prevailing over knives.

5 Responses to “Garton-Ash on free expression”

  1. Neil Hoskins says:

    Today’s “Jesus and Mo” had me nearly wetting my pants:
    It’s this kind of thing that keeps me sane.

  2. Monitor says:

    Jesus and Mo do indeed rock.

  3. Andy Gilmour says:

    Maybe this is the Grauniad’s attempt to seem balanced…or at least slightly less cringing…?

  4. I must admit, the theguardian (as it appears to be called now) has been slowly backtracking from its “all Muslims are fluffy and lovely and the big nasty West must stop bothering them with opinions and logic” stance for a while now. Hopefully this article marks a definite return to the principles of old-fashioned liberalism, rather than the modern pick-and-choose-who-gets-free-speech type they’ve been practicing over the last couple of years.

  5. Ricky Smith says:

    The Guardian’s regular “Face to Faith” column never fails to wind me up. Those with high blood pressure should avoid reading it