Anywhere the hard left go, thuggery and bullying follow. If we do not tackle this issue now it will very quickly become normalised.
Last week a talk at the University of the West of England (UWE) by Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg was stormed by a group of protestors calling themselves the “anti fascists”. Striking that though claiming to be against bigotry, they felt the need to dress in balaclava’s, hurling abuse, intimidating attendees and in general behaving in a deeply unpleasant manner.
Watching this spectacle the next day it is absolutely clear that these cretins had no interest in challenging Mr Rees-Mogg through reasoned argument. That of course would be too difficult for these numpties. They stormed the event with the explicit aim of silencing a popular conservative voice they disagreed with. And it is worth noting here amidst this no platform nonsense, the students who attended the event had done so voluntarily. Many of whom will not share Jacob’s views.
These “protestors” and their brothers in arms around the country who engage in this type no platforming tactic, through aggression and intimidation, are not just silencing conservative speakers who have something to say, but also robbing those who wish to listen the opportunity to either gain knowledge, or strengthen their own arguments. Debating people in a free and open manner using the privilege afforded to all free speech and then deciding the fate of the nation through the ballot box is precisely how a free society functions.
The alternative is authoritarianism. Unwittingly, and it must be unwittingly because these idiots have about as much wit as a feminist when confronted with facts, these type of protestors share much in common with the worst type of authoritarianism. Whether that be the Islamist theocrats of the middle east who lock women up for daring to oppose the mandatory head scarf or statists of the old eastern bloc who forced hordes of men into slavery under the guise of collectivism. The very thing that they would profess to be fighting against then, is the very thing that they should observe when they look in the mirror.
History should show us all that this is not a trivial issue. It is freedom of speech which protects us from bad ideas. If you cannot express your ideas openly and have them challenged through reasoned debate, you cannot learn, develop and think. This is at the very heart of the success of western civilisation. To quote the philosopher John Mill:
If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
It is the dissident who is the most important person in any society. Human progress lies with the dissident. Men who look at the commonly held views of society, challenge question and innovate. Without people who think differently the status quo, with all of its fault will prevail in perpetuity. Bad ideas remain for generations. It is incumbent on all of us to protect the rights of dissident, whether they hold views the majority of us agree with or not. Yes this means those like Mogg who adhere to the teaching of the catholic church. For if we do not believe in liberty for those we disagree with, we do not believe in liberty at all.