Understanding free speech

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  • People may be worried to declare thoughts on issues such as same-sex marriage. Photograph David Skinner

    People may be worried to declare thoughts on issues such as same-sex marriage. Photograph David Skinner


Dear Sir,

The “right to know” is a sham against what is really going on — a witch-hunt, more like it.

To try to find out who has the nerve to have an opinion and give support anonymously to a cause they believe in is constantly threatened today regarding same-sex marriage.

This bodes very badly for the future, whereby people will be hesitant to have an opinion, let alone financially support and be known for that opinion because of the retribution that can ensue.

Which, as history sadly tells us, will surely follow — and that their anonymity cannot be protected, which could be a fearful price to pay.

This bodes very badly for the future, for “free speech” is the hallmark of any democracy.

If people are afraid to declare their thoughts and feelings, we only have to look back in history to see what price they had to pay to turn that around.

We should teach our schoolchildren to debate. A debating society course should be an essential inclusion into the curriculum, so that they learn there are always two sides to an opinion, or even more. It is to be hoped they will then learn to extend the courtesy of listening respectfully to another’s point of view. This will help them to understand the entitlement of free speech as they get older.

DIANA WILLIAMS

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Published Sep 5, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 5, 2017 at 7:00 am)

Understanding free speech

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