So he is saying that free speech should be allowed. Thus to enable people to put forward certain points of view that are currently deemed to be intolerant and unspeakable in today's controlled media discourse. All well and good, but what came across clearly from Atkinson's speech was that he sees himself and no doubt his friends the liberal 'intelligentsia', chattering classes, as being on the 'tolerant' side of the fence and therefore anyone who puts forward one of these unspeakable arguments for open debate has an 'intolerant' opinion from the outset. In other words he regards anyone as intolerant if they don't share the same views as himself. This means that he has already decided in his own mind who the intolerant one is before the 'allowable' free speech discussion has even commenced. Very 'fair' of him indeed!!So, essentially what he is saying is that free speech should be allowed because he and people who share his so called 'liberal tolerant' views are so undeniably right, correct, 'tolerant' and fair minded that once the so called 'intolerant' views are aired it will be, according to him, instantly clear that his own views being the so called 'tolerant' ones will win out in any rational debate. Even when neo-liberals such as Atkinson attempt to advocate free speech for all they inevitably demonstrate their own intolerance.
With respect my understanding was the opposite. His well educated, softly spoken friends, were indeed showing their gross intolerance, 'if one thought about what they said for more than five seconds'. My reading of it was that Rowan loathed the hypocracy of intolerant tolerance, or tolerance only for the point of view of the liberal orthodoxy.
I watched Atkinson's speech again after i sent my original, hastily posted message and I realised that, as you say, he was arguing in favour of free speech despite the 'intolerant tolerance' hypocrite's of the liberal orthodoxy. However, i still stand by the fact that i feel he comes across as though he is arguing for free speech from the position of being on the so called 'acceptable' allowable side - the liberal orthodoxy. This, i think, is demonstrated when he states that, "the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech." The term 'hateful' or 'hate' speech is undoubtedly, a term used to suppress legitimate free speech and debate by the politically correct left liberal orthodoxy. For instance, from the point of view of anyone who questions the validity of the liberal orthodoxy, it is an accepted fact that the liberal orthodoxy would class anyone who questions the rationality of an ever increasing multi-cultural Britain as being the purveyor of hateful speech. For Atkinson to say that free speech should be used as the strongest 'weapon' against hateful speech suggests to me that he unquestioningly accepts the liberal orthodoxy view of what any so called hate speech is and he wishes to use his free speech to crush it.Also Atkinson says that it is only as a result of his high media profile that he has been allowed the privilege of unsuppressed free speech. But, i think if anyone in a high media profile was to utter an unmentionable or unallowable politically incorrect statement such as Dr David Starkey did after the London riots they would rarely, if ever, be seen again on the mainstream media.
Post a Comment