The forerunner of the Defend Free Speech campaign was called “Reform Section 5”. This speech by Rowan Atkinson at the launch event in Parliament in 2012 should be heard by every politician, journalist and campaigner before they start calling for laws to silence those they regard as ‘extremists’.
“I have a cunning plan, grow some thick skin, stop looking to be offended, and end political correctness.” Baldrick
“Just because you’re offended it doesn’t mean that you’re right.” : Ricky Gervais
“Without freedom of speech, there is no modern world, just a barbaric one.” — Ai Weiwei
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” C.S. Lewis
This is why he wasn’t knighted — his views are incompatible with the agenda of those in power (whereas woke bum actors who can’t shine his shoes as an artist receive commendations and knighthoods left, right and center).
“When people FEAR their Governments, there is TYRANNY AND FASCISM, When Governments FEAR THE PEOPLE, there is . . . DEMOCRACY . . . “
“I might not agree with everything you have to say, but I will defend your right, to the death, to say it.”