Standing up for the right to offend
Open season on free speech in divided Britain - Times Online
As our society fragments into more and more special-interest groups – I’m sorry, I mean, as our society blossoms into an ever more vibrant and diverse “rainbow nation” – these competing groups find more and more reasons to feel offended, and to demand that the law protect them from feeling offended again. This is missing a fundamental point about a democratic state: the right to freedom of speech far outweighs the right not to feel offended. As George Orwell said, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”...Our political leaders should toughen up a bit, and encourage some of the electorate to toughen up as well. There’s nothing dumb about freedom of speech.