Oh, duchess! you can find something to offend everyone
Duchess of Cornwall / Image: Wiki
She said that she believed "passionately" in freedom of expression and that no aspect of society should be free of scrutiny. She declared that the right to "question, debate and criticise" everything should be a matter of national pride. She warned that political correctness was becoming " a new form of censorship".
This is a person who had been mauled by the press. Her comments were welcome.
But then she added, "I believe freedom of expression, so long as it doesn't contravene the law, or offend others, to be at the heart of our democratic system."
But that is nonsense. It fails the test of logic, not to mention democratic values.
There has always been someone who has been offended by a Brit's free speech. Once it was princes, church prelates, petty barons, the rich magistrate, the person who believed differently than you about religion or politics or sharing common resources.
Today the persons likely to be offended by free speech and to try to hurt you for freely offering your opinion include politicians, Muslims, movie stars, powerful businessmen and women, the bureaucrats of the EU, your local council, your child's local school, recent immigrants, practicing homosexuals, the police. . .
For heaven's sake, let's be logical. Who decides what is offensive? Who makes the laws that makes some speech illegal? The Church? The Crown? Parliament? The local imam? The Duchess? The EU? How can we possibly preserve free speech if only speech that does not offend can be written or spoken?
No, the only thing is to recognise that free speech is our birthright and belongs to everyone no matter who it offends.
As I think the Duchess recognised, that is why the British developed a sense of humour.