George Igler Talks To Erza Levant About Free Speech Under Siege In The UK

By • on September 27, 2012

George Igler

Anyone with a good sense of awareness who is even remotely familiar with modern Britain will testify that it is a country where the most basic of freedoms are under daily assault.  Freedom of expression which is what guarantees all other freedoms, including freedom of religion, is a particular target for the would-be tyrants.

George Igler is the Managing Director of the UK based think-tank Discourse  - The Institute for Free Speech.  In the following video he outlines how the attack on free speech is taking place and how it could also happen in America.  Mr Igler provides a very cogent analysis of the dire situation that the people living in a country that was the cradle of modern democracy.

He indicates how Britain a kind of proving ground for state repression that if successful could be applied to other countries.  He mentions the regular use of prison as a sanction applied to those who ‘say the wrong thing’ – no chance of ‘rehabilitation’ for thought criminals!

He explains that if this clampdown on freedom can occur in the land of Magna Carta then it can also occur in the land of the First Amendment.  David Cameron demonstrated his ignorance of the Magna Carta yesterday during his appearance on the David Letterman show.  Perhaps if President Obama appeared on the show tonight he would demonstrate that he does not understand the First Amendment – his recent statements indicate as much!  The ignorance that Western leaders show with regard to the principles of freedom does not come as a surprise given their apparent predilection for repression and tyranny.

He identifies 3 specific characteristics of societies descending into an anti free speech culture and warms of the very real harm that such a culture creates:

  1. A subtle change in values, with truth no longer counting as a defence
  2. A redefinition of the concept of incitement by applying it to ” – e.g. incitement to religious hatred
  3. A media that cares less about providing more information and the facts and more about restricting information and interpreting events based on feelings and motives

He goes on the highlight how this anti-free speech trend undermines the power of scrutiny which is vital when it comes to truly holding the powerful to account.

The threat to freedom of speech is one of the reasons that we made the Brussels Declaration to Safeguard Individual Liberties and Human Rights at a conference in the European Parliament back in July.  Protecting and preserving freedom of speech is an essential component of the Brussels Process that we are now helping to push forward.