Hugo Rifkind: “Of course,” she'll bleat, “we're not against free speech, but...” Stop it. Grow some balls. Yes you are against free speech. Almost all Brits are. It's in our nature. I first realised this a few years ago, watching one of Louis Theroux's many documentaries about rural American Nazis. He was quite charming, this Nazi, but that didn't stop him climbing up on a stage, giving a Hitler salute, and screaming “nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger!”. Blimey, I thought. We wouldn't stand for that at home. And we wouldn't have to. Because we don't have free speech. Good.
Personally I'm quite proud that Britain won't put up with this sort of thing.
Why don't these people realize that banning free speech enables the very overreaching they seemingly deplore? One idiot screaming "nigger!" is unlikely to do much if any damage to very many people. But a government empowered to silence such "hate speech" can oppress millions.
The line between hate speech and strenuous criticism is a thin one. When the government exempts certain persons, classes or ideas from criticism, democracy is threatened.