Visitors Now:
Total Visits:
Total Stories:
Profile image
By FIRE-Foundation for Individual Rights In Education
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

‘So to Speak’ Podcast: Brendan O’Neill on the Fight for Free Speech Overseas

Thursday, October 20, 2016 6:50
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

“How do you make the case for freedom of speech these days?,” asks Brendan O’Neill in the latest episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast.

The question is a serious one for O’Neill. As the editor of the online British current-affairs magazine spiked, he is on the front lines every day fighting to preserve free speech and a free press in a legal environment that doesn’t have a First Amendment.

O’Neill says that in the United States, “instead of having the argument out about why this form of censorship is really bad and why free speech is incredibly important, there can be a kind of reliance on the First Amendment to do that job for you.”

He doesn’t get that luxury in the United Kingdom.

In a part of the world that just last year imprisoned a man for four months for singing a controversial song before a soccer match, O’Neill says that there are many laws that can land people in hot water for speaking their minds. For example, he says that England has among the worst libel laws in Europe.

And he would know, too. His previous employer, Living Marxism (later rebranded as LM), shut down in 2000 after losing a notorious libel lawsuit.

In England, unlike the United States, the libel laws are greatly weighted in favor of the person who sues, says O’Neill, who notes that about 80 percent of libel actions go in favor of the person suing. As a result, he regularly considers the libel laws when editing content for spiked.

“It’s a rich man’s law, which is used to silence criticism, and political views, and difficult, awkward views that people don’t like,” he says.

spiked counts as part of its mission the defense of “freedom of speech with no ifs and buts” because, as O’Neill says, “as soon as you give an inch on freedom of speech, they will take a mile.”

But, despite the United Kingdom’s countervailing laws, O’Neill says that the argument in favor of freedom of speech “still has real purchase and real power.” And until those censorship laws are struck down and threats to free speech are extinguished, O’Neill says spiked will keep making those arguments.

You can subscribe and listen to So to Speak on iTunes and Stitcher, or download episodes directly from SoundCloud.

Stay up to date with So to Speak on the show’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and subscribe to the show’s newsletter at sotospeakpodcast.com.

Have ideas for future shows? Email us at sotospeak@thefire.org.

Have questions you want us to answer during an upcoming show? Call them into our voicemail inbox at 215-315-0100.

The post ‘So to Speak’ Podcast: Brendan O’Neill on the Fight for Free Speech Overseas appeared first on FIRE.

Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories

Register

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.