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Does Britain need a First Amendment to protect free speech? watch

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    Pros: would fully enshrine freedom of speech to stop encroachment/mission creep by the state. Public bodies, like schools and universities, would also have to abide by it. It would in effect be the answer to those concerned about erosion of free speech.

    Cons: inflexible and would restrict the state adapting to the needs of the time. Would probably mean a fair amount of current laws being struck down by the courts. Would give people a greater ability to upset others. May lead to communities who feel more accepted now feeling that they have been opened up to being victimised.

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    I think the current status quo is perfect. We have free speech in this country on the proviso that you don't incite hatred. And so far, those laws have worked very well.

    In other words - you can say what you like, but be polite about it. For me, that is a hallmark of a civilised society. I don't think the US (that we always seem to aspire to) is very civilised at all. It is every man for himself in the US. Society is but a thin, often hypocritical veneer that often breaks down in the US.
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    The US Bill of Rights is a pile of shite and not a good source of inspiration.
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    No. Current situation is fine.
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    No thx
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    Whilst in theory it sounds nice it would be abused by the far right/left and ruined for all. There's a gulf between being able to say what you want without fear of persecution and being a **** about it.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I think the current status quo is perfect. We have free speech in this country on the proviso that you don't incite hatred. And so far, those laws have worked very well.

    In other words - you can say what you like, but be polite about it. For me, that is a hallmark of a civilised society. I don't think the US (that we always seem to aspire to) is very civilised at all. It is every man for himself in the US. Society is but a thin, often hypocritical veneer that often breaks down in the US.

    Not entirely true, but I agree with the notion. Free speech isn’t a hallmark of the British constitution tbh, for example, the media need explicit permission to talk about the Royal Family, so to argue that we can simply say what we want as long as it doesn’t incite hatred isn’t true for the UK.
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    The US model of free speech is probably the best in the world, but isn't perfect. Sadly the UK's isn't so good.

    There are some things I would include in the right. In my opinion, free speech should include the freedom to offend and "spread hate," whatever the latter even means anymore. These concepts are too subjective and therefore too vulnerable to abuse. We essentially end up with: "Your opinions are mean and upsetting, so go to jail." Things such as libel and credible threats are generally clearer, making them easier to restrict fairly.

    When it comes to free speech, I like the analogy of the restaurant critic. A critic can call the food terrible, the service unfriendly and the ambiance unpleasant, because that's his opinion. But he cannot lie and say there was a cockroach in his food, nor can he call for people to burn down the establishment and kill the chef.
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    (Original post by Dandaman1)
    The US model of free speech is probably the best in the world, but isn't perfect. Sadly the UK's isn't so good.

    There are some things I would include in the right. In my opinion, free speech should include the freedom to offend and "spread hate," whatever the latter even means anymore. These concepts are too subjective and therefore too vulnerable to abuse. We essentially end up with: "Your opinions are mean and upsetting, so go to jail." Things such as libel and credible threats are generally clearer, making them easier to restrict fairly.

    When it comes to free speech, I like the analogy of the restaurant critic. A critic can call the food terrible, the service unfriendly and the ambiance unpleasant, because that's his opinion. But he cannot lie and say there was a cockroach in his food, nor can he call for people to burn down the establishment and kill the chef.
    Very good analogy.

    I think people should be allowed to be openly racist, and intolerant without being put in jail. The only problem I have is when there is clear incitement towards hatred directed at individuals.

    I do think that organisations have a right to refuse to employ someone if they are openly racist though. So, as long as people are fine with the consequences of free speech then it doesn't bother me.
 
 
 
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