expression………. It's an interesting phrase isn't it? The right to
express yourself anyway you like without fear of prosecution or
even amended the
constitution to include this right. So there we have it nice and
simple. I have a right to express any opinion I like to whoever I
like. But it's not that simple.
I have no right to
preach racial hatred, for example I will be arrested for abusing
an ethnic minority such as Asians or Indians. I will not sully
the page with the myriad derogatory remarks available for this
purpose. Suffice to say they should really never be spoken by
anyone. Also given the expansion of Europe into the old Soviet states
there has been an influx of eastern Europeans into the old member
Along with them
came the usual racist abuse from people who felt their country
and jobs were threatened. Again we have freedom of speech being
abused by a small but vocal minority. The same situation has
occurred in Briton when the first influx of afro-
Caribbean's arrived. Still the racist
Still the concept
of freedom of expression is being abused.
We still have
freedom of expression except for inciting racial hatred and
I have no right to
incite religious hatred. No right to abuse any one for the
religion they follow. That is fair enough for the majority of
Except these days
there is a big but. In these days of the "War on Terror" and the
insane slaughter in Iraq and Afghanistan
we are faced with
politicians preaching hatred and religious intolerance under the
banner of world peace and democracy. For their own gains and to
defend their little bit of the free world they twist the right to
freedom of expression and dress up their hatred in perfectly
sized sound bites for the pod cast generation.
So freedom of
expression does it depend on who you are and how powerful you
If it is free
should it be subject to status?
So far all we have
dealt with is the vocal freedom of speech. What about the
I have the right
since reaching the age of majority in my country to read and
watch whatever I like. However as we all know this is not the
Its is illegal to
read anything that is likely to be used in acts of terror (see
there is that word again) or anything that is construed as
propaganda for acts of terror. Or anything that incites racial or
religious hatred, this is fair enough for any civilized
But what would
happen if I was redirected to one of these sites by a search
engine? Would I be tarred with the same brush as a suicide bomber
of a member of the Neo- Nazi's? This may be an extreme example
but false imprisonment has happened many times in this
Still freedom of
I have access to
an entire world of information on the internet. A vast array of
web sites to sate every interest and desire no matter how
depraved or obscure the need. Therein lies the problem of course.
If something is unregulated and in the case of the internet
ungovernable given the size of the thing people will take it as
there right to publish whatever they like. Even more depraved
forms of pornography degrading women and children for the sake of
so called entertainment and sexual gratification.
Rightly so most
countries have strict laws governing what pornography is legal to
import and own. Also access to it is strictly controlled outside
of the internet. This is only sensible and proper. However we
come back to the internet again unregulated and unmanageable.
Access to sickening images is shockingly easy through search
engines such as Google. Anyone with a modicum of computer
knowledge can bypass any restrictions imposed and gain access to
sites which are unsuitable to most decent people.
This is before we
get onto the subject of child porn, which the purveyors would
argue is a valid form of expression. The internet allows them a
better means of spreading their sickening disease across the
whole world with little risk of getting caught. Despite many high
profile police clampdowns on pedophile rings there are many
thousands if not millions still at large in the world still
preying on children.
Although we pride
ourselves on allowing freedom of expression in a visual medium
there has to be some regulation and censorship to protect the
most innocent and vulnerable members of our society. Those people
who peddle their sickening filth causing misery and in some cases
even murdering their victims should not be allowed free
expression in any civilized country.
I do not wish to
condemn all pornography as wrong, But wish to express the view
that the concept of freedom of expression should not be literally
applied to pornography.
Still freedom of
As far as the
written word is concerned again in terms of adult entertainment
we have a right if we have reached the legal age of majority to
read whatever we like. This is as stated before a quite
acceptable rule. As long as controls are in place to ensure that
children do not come into contact with anything they
A lot of the
responsibility falls to parents to ensure that they are aware of
the sites their children visit and who they talk to in chat
rooms. It is a common enough rote to ensure that the access PC is
in a common area such as the living room so the parents can
control access and be on hand if they see their children heading
towards anything unsuitable.
Any sane minded
parent would prevent their child from running out across a busy
road or sticking their hand into a fire so why should the
internet be seen as any less dangerous? There are dangers out in
the land of cyberspace, sites and people who will suck in an
innocent child and destroy their innocence for their own
Any adult would
protect a child from being hurt if they are out in the real world
even to extent of being accused of the most heinous crimes
against that child if they for example picked up a crying child
wandering lost round a supermarket. It is just the
maternal/paternal instinct deep within us.
therefore extend this protection to the internet and guard our
children well against the evils that lurk in cyberspace.
I will defend to
the hilt the right to write and publish erotica; it is a natural
expression of our sexual nature. We are after all on this planet
to further the species without the drive to reproduce the human
race wouldn't have got past first principles.
As humans we have
developed the means of expressing ourselves at first with signs
and paintings then slowly vocally and through the written word.
All this time humans have been drawing, writing and talking about
sex. It is the single thing that drives us all deep within our
So how can erotica
be condemned as against freedom of expression when it is just an
extension of an ancient ritual dating back millions of years.
Even cavemen made erotic paintings on the walls of their caves
alongside more mundane paintings of prey animals.
A lot of the
perceived problems stem from a small vocal minority who seem to
think that if they shout loud enough their views will be listened
to and accepted as the norm. The danger is that in the current
climate certainly in America this is very likely to
fundamentalists on both sides of the current conflict seem to be
vying with each other to condemn various parts of society as
unclean, as sinners who are going to be condemned to the fires of
hell for committing sins of the flesh and being unclean both in
body and in thought. For having unnatural sexual relationships,
same sex marriages same sex relationships, children born out of
wedlock condemned to hell from the moment of their birth. Notice
a theme developing?
I do not believe
that God is going to condemn me for doing what comes naturally
and for reading about sex. Sex is given by God to allow us to
reproduce and enable us to make another person feel good
physically. So if the gift of sex was given by God how can the
religious fundamentalists condemn anything to do with it as a
While we are on
the subject how many TV evangelists have been prosecuted for sex
crimes, some involving children and animals?
This is not meant
to be an argument about the existence or otherwise of God. I'm
going to leave that to people who are far more eloquent and
learned than me. What it is meant to be is a statement that
although we claim to have freedom of expression there is an
increasingly vocal minority trying to erode this basic right and
they are using religion to achieve it.
people are Christian or Muslim does not seem to matter these
days. Both sides are condemning themselves and others with equal
hatred and bile. I realise that given the current climate certain
people would expect me to come down on the side of the Christians
being English born and bred and expect me to condemn Muslims as
they are the enemy.
If we allow the
vocal minority to further restrict our basic human right to
express ourselves within the legal and moral guidelines I stated
earlier then the state of affairs George Orwell foretold will
Big Brother will
be watching us, Big Brother will judge you on what you think,
what you wear, what you write, who you have sex with. The erosion
of our freedom is often like a large boulder being worn down by
rain, you don't see it being worn down bit by bit but over many
years the boulder shrinks until nothing is left but sand……
Many millions died
in the 2nd World War to protect our freedom from a
fascist dictator and genocide. Young men gave their lives so I
have the simple right to sit here and type my thoughts without
fear of intimidation or imprisonment.
We have the right
to freedom of expression and we should use that right and protect