Friday, 3 July 2015

More on Freedom of Speech

What was that I was saying about freedom of speech?

That's right, I rejected Amnesty International's acceptance that the government is an appropriate authority to define hate speech. 
 Camila Batmanghelidjh (left) attends a ‘big society’ meeting chaired by prime minister David Cameron in 2010. Photograph: Ben Stansall/PA

As if by magic, David Cameron's gang has provided me with evidence. Never mind the slightly mawkish use of Remember Tunisia as their Facebook page's picture (although the lack of context could make this an example of incitement). The Guardian has reported that Kids Company has been forced to remove two of its board in order to secure funding.

As the article makes clear, it is possible that there are issues within the organisation, but founder Camila Batmanghelidjh has expressed concern that her departure is a condition of government support. She has recently articulated a series of complaints against The Conservatives' policies on child support.

The issue is not clear cut: whether the problems in Kids Company are down to her leadership, or part of a campaign to silence her opinions, the debate is open. And one question is whether the government are using their powers to discourage protest.

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