Like legitimising the demonisation of muslims that you've been insidiously supporting for ages.
Like dropping bombs on people who can't fight back and you'll never have to meet.
I recognise that there IS such a thing as a just war, and that the ISIS (or whatever they're called this week) probably is as near to a just war as we're going to get. But I don't think any of our politicians are doing this for just reasons* and I have too many family and friends in the forces to EVER celebrate going to war. Ever.
So if you're going to do gung ho cheering for this, do me a favour? Don't do it in front of me, or I will find it very difficult to remain civil.
*and I include the leadership of the Lib Dems in this. We appear to have found yet another untapped reserve of people who were clinging on to supporting us to piss off. YAY!
The other thing that will happen at PWG is that we will consider our OWN amendments. There are several motions that I have an eye on for some minor tweaking (and probably some of the things I am thinking of will be accepted as drafting amendments by the submitters of the motion) but there is ONE motion in particular that I think has the potential to be as controversial as Floella Benjamin's motion on
Heartbreakingly, that is the Crime motion which has had Julian Huppert's name applied to it. After the farrago over DRIP I am less surprised than I might have been, but it's still depressing to see him put his name to something so chock full of sneaky legalese, hidden authoritarianism, and puritanical attitudes. My problems with this motion are so many and varied that I am actually considering doing a full speech against it, rather than trying to amend it. But what do YOU guys think I should do?
In response to the bloody awful Crime motion, Jennie should:
Speak against the motion at conference
try to get lots of amendments submitted
do a line-by-line fisking of the thing on her blog
despair at the damn thing being accepted in it's current form
none of the above
ETA: I should say that I am not against SOME of the proposals in this motion, and that's what makes it so frustrating. I'd really love to vote for some of them. But there's not enough there for me to want to support the motion as a whole.
What Free Speech is:Free Speech means that you are free to say whatever you like, and so is everybody else.
Free Speech only works if everyone has it. If one person is free to say what they like but others are prevented from doing so then it's not really free.
What Free Speech isn't:Free Speech means that you are free to say whatever you like: it does not mean that anyone else has to listen.
Free speech means that you are free to say whatever you like: it does not mean that anybody else has to give you a platform for your speech. Example: Internet forums and blog comment sections can have whatever moderation rules they like and this does not infringe upon your right to free speech in the slightest. You are perfectly free to go and set up your own website; nobody else's website has to give you room.
Free Speech does NOT mean that you are free to say whatever you like without there being any consequences. Example: If you say something racist, it is perfectly reasonable for people to conclude that you are racist. This is not them "shutting down debate" or repressing you. This is also where legal restrictions on free speech cut in. You are free to break those laws: but you must expect there to be consequences. If the laws are unjust then that is something to campaign about.
Free Speech does NOT mean that you are free to say whatever you like and once you have said it that is the end of the matter and nobody is allowed to argue with you. Example: If you make a factual error, nobody is infringing upon your right to free speech or your right to hold an erroneous opinion by telling you that you have made a factual error. They are merely engaging in their own right to free speech by telling you this.
The Basic Thing To Remember is:Freedom of speech cuts both ways; it only works if everyone has it. You are free to speak, but others are free to respond. Then you can respond to them in turn. And then we have conversation. Or possibly debate. Or possibly bloody great blazing row.
Previous Posts in This Series:
Coming Soon (not necessarily in this order):
- The Liberal approach to Education, and why Education is fundamental to Liberalism
- Non-Conformity, and why celebrating it rather than just tolerating it matters to Liberals
- Why Liberalism is Intrinsically feminist, anti-racist, pro-LGBT+-rights, etc.
- The Liberal Approach to the Elimination of Poverty
- The Rule of Law, or why Liberalism is not Anarchism
- Bodily Autonomy and Consent: not just about sex.
- Weatherwaxian Liberalism: "Treating People As Things" as a Root of Social Evil
- Solving The UNIT Dating Controversy: or why Liberalism Appeals to Geeks and Why Most of Us Are Obsessed With Scifi
Today is the first time I have ever been on a train that hit a person.
Bradford Interchange's platforms are all bay platforms, so I usually try to sit as close to the driver's cab as possible, to minimise the number of people I have to squeeze past when I get off the train. Today I was sitting at the nearest table to the drivers' cab. I was playing a game on my phone, and intermittently glancing at twitter and email. There had been a lot of emails in the morning because of an administrative error causing problems for one of my members who is attending Lib Dem Conference next month. I was checking to see if things were getting sorted out. I wasn't really paying attention to the train. The train just was.
Then there was a noise like crump and the train jerked. I think I swore. I looked across at the two girls sitting at the table across the aisle from me and was about to say
what the hell was THAT?when a human body described a graceful arc past the window we were all three looking at.
Suddenly talking seemed a bit pointless.
The train pulled up and stopped for a while then took us in to Bradford. I texted someone I knew was in Bradford, because I needed a friendly face. As I got off the train I tried not to look at the dent on the front of it, but I couldn't help myself. It wasn't that big a dent, really. Not for a human life. There was a dead pigeon too, stuck to the rubbery bit which I don't know the name of on the front of the train.
The person I texted met me at the entrance to BDI and gave me copious hugs. They were very necessary hugs. He's a good hugger anyway, but today those hugs were especially appreciated. When you've witnessed a thing like that, any form of human contact is good, just to confirm that you're still alive and that people care about you.
And then I went to work. Because you've got to carry on, haven't you?
I have since heard that the incident was a fatality. I hope that the person who was hit is at rest, and that their family are coping, and that the driver of the train is OK, because Cthulhu knows that's got to be a horrible thing to happen to you at work.
I have the urge to contact everybody that I love and tell them all that I love them and how valuable they are to me, but that's impractical and they'd probably just call me a soppy bugger anyway.
I'll say one more thing. The next time I am umming and ahing about doing something, and the person who has asked me to do it says to me
Oh go on, you could get hit by a train/bus tomorrow...I'm going to have some pretty mixed feelings about that. Life is short, and should be grabbed with both hands; this is an idea I am fully on board with, and today has renewed my determination to do just that. But every time someone says that now, I am going to see a train window, and a horizontal human body curving past it in slow motion...
*Not that I have a crush on a train driver. Nope. Not me O:-)
**often enough that I can usually tell when Tim or Lindsay is the one manning the twitter account, because those two are the ones I talk to most often.
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