Brendan O'Neill on Britain's Fading Free Speech



Freedom of speech no longer exists in Britain. The land that gave the world the Magna Carta, the Levellers, and John Stuart Mill—three of the key foundation stones of the modern conception of liberty—is now arresting and even jailing people simply for speaking their minds. Everywhere from the new virtual terrain of the Internet, to the old-fashioned printed press, to simple bikini-clad advertisments, speech is under threat from an unholy marriage of intolerant virtual mobs, censorious social justice warriors, and state institutions keen to censor stuff in order to protect the allegedly fragile public. How long, asks Brendan O'Neill, before the U.S. joins the U.K. at the funeral of free speech?