Is there such a thing as Freedom of Speech anymore?

Posted on Jun 5, 2011


In the news lately there have been various stories about injunctions and what we can and cannot say either in newspapers, television or now it seems, social network sites.

Now I’m a UK citizen, born into a democracy but it seems to me as if you can’t say anything without offending anyone these days in case you get sued or in some cases worse. America is known as a place where you have to be careful what you say otherwise you’ll be dragged into court and taken for everything you have, yet they pride themselves as living in the ‘free world,’ albeit one where you keep your head down and do as your told.

I know we in the west are a hell of a lot freer than in the middle east, the far east, etc, but we are still restricted by certain laws on how to behave and more importantly what we can say. I am constantly told that we do have the freedom of speech, that both world wars were fought for it, but as I get older all I see is more and more control on our voices and what we choose to say.

I’m not interested in Footballers and there goings on behind closed doors but who are they or anyone else for that matter to tell us what we can or cannot talk about? An old adage comes to mind, ”You made your bed, now lie in it.’ I’m not saying we should be able to slate whomever we wish, become too liberal where we can cause too much upset or offence as there has to be some rules but the way I see things at the moment, we are in danger of becoming a police state if we tighten the rules too much. Even as I type this I am being very careful with what I say and will do on whatever I blog about in the future.

Is this not a sad way to be? In the realm of fantasy, an author can say what they want within reason as it is fiction, the odd author though has been in trouble, but to anyone else all eyes are watching now.

Television is a medium that is already tight but it does at the same time have a party and say what the hell. This too though will lose it’s freedom soon.

So what’s the point in freedom of speech if we don’t have the voice to speak? Even the people on Speaker’s Corner in London are allegedly well known to be monitored and policed  nowadays which is not right.  So does freedom of speech actually exist? Well in my opinion no it doesn’t. We are taught what we can and can’t say, and if we step out of line, we our punished for it, even if only a small thing nowadays.

So we have our freedom but at a price and in my humble opinion a very heavy one. The law only suits the rich and famous and those that make it, not the average person on the street.

As for mobile phones and other forms of communication, well let’s not get started on that topic shall we as it verges on the lines of paranoia.

As an old work colleague of mine who has now passed and fought in WWII once said, ”I don’t know why I fought a war for…”  It’s these words that always stick in my head every-time the noose tightens around Britain’s neck…

Posted in: Political Rants