Free speech fundamentalism
Now, Spiked’s Brendan O'Neill defends the free speech of Orhan Pamuk, someone who speaks out against the denial of genocide, as well as that of David Irving, who actively promotes the denial of genocide. My instinct is to take pleasure in
“a racist crank, an historian whom no one outside of small fascist sects takes seriously. He denies the facts of the Holocaust, once claiming that 'more women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in
But I’m afraid that basically Spiked are right:
But why go to any effort to defend this scum?
They are also right to say that, “as someone who uses England's illiberal and undemocratic libel laws to try to punish his critics - including Deborah Lipstadt, author of Denying the Holocaust, in a case he lost in 2000 - Irving is not in a good position to complain about being robbed of his right to free speech.” But this is the thing about liberal free speech fundamentalists – they end up as apologists and useful idiots for the most illiberal of people (as Chomsky was for Faurisson).
On Pamuk, O’Neil asks what gives the British state the moral high ground to criticise
On one level, this is right. The Racial and Religious Hatred Bill and the glorification of terrorism law do make a mockery of any idea of freedom of thought and should be vigorously opposed. But they hardly compare to making it illegal to denigrate Turkishness or to mention the genocide in Armenia – yet another case of silly liberal moral equivalence.
You will by now have noticed the rhetorical device which characterises the Spiked house style, as the non plus ultra of liberal infoolectualism. Who is