Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Offence offenders

Freedom of speech means the freedom to offend.

However, we live in hyper-sensitive times whereby offence must never be given, views must never be challenged and debate must be censored. The latest "offence" offence comes from Larry Summers, President of Harvard University who suggested "innate differences between men and women" as to why there are so few female Professors of Maths. It was merely a suggestion, a hypothesis to explain an observable fact. Today it cost him his job, despite only 19% of students being against him.

Yesterday's offence offendor was David Irving.

A few weeks back it was Sr Iqbal Sacranie calling homosexuality "unacceptable". Police are still investigating this "crime"

In October it was a bunch of Danes with crayons.

Without question, all four have aired offensive views. Irving's and Sacranie's are particularly unpleasant. But these are not crimes. They are unpleasant views. They should be ignored, ridiculed even, but not punished.