By Rachael Tearney.

If we lose our free speech we lose everything, says Rachael Tearney.

There’s a very real problem with the people’s representation in Great Britain.

We have perhaps the most sophisticated democracy on earth and yet at present we feel ignored, overruled and anything but heard.

Maintaining our freedom is an ongoing task. It is not an assured fact that Britain will always be a free country. The onus is on us.

However, in order to remain free and in some cases restore freedom, we owe it to ourselves to understand what freedom is and make sure the next generation understands too. You cannot defend and protect something if you can’t define it and you don’t know its value.

Great Britain has a literary heritage of epic proportions. From the very earliest Christian writings of the monks and the huge undertaking of Alfred The Great, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which gives us so much of our early British Christian history, all the way to Noel Coward and JK Rowling.

And of course, in between lie the two great masters: Shakespeare and Dickens. As Shakespeare so eloquently put it we now find ourselves “in a pickle” as our right to speak is “hanging by a thread” as we enter this “brave new world” of oppression.

It is time for us to give short shrift (yep, him too) to the word herders. If we can not speak freely, we cannot think freely.

William Shakespeare, the Chandos Portrait, 1610. Image courtesy WikiCommons/National Portrait Gallery

History teaches us lessons, if we care to learn them. Marxist theory has been present in the world now for well over a hundred years. In that time, it has been adopted by many radicals and reformers, those who profess to know exactly how to run society in the perfect way. At face value, Marxism sells a lie; equality.

This fallacy was illustrated so brilliantly by Margaret Thatcher in her 1975 conference speech, where she stated:

“We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else, however much the Socialists may pretend otherwise.”

To be perfectly clear, it is easy to convince people, especially the young, that equality is fair. However, for equality to be fair, we all must be exactly the same. This is the only way to ensure true equality.

Of course, we are not all the same. Although we are all human, we are all, every one of us, individual and unique. The only way then to achieve equality is to enforce it: we must surrender our individuality to ensure equality. That is oppression.

As a free country, we must protect the individual and our birthright of uniqueness.

The most basic rule is free speech. If we are to protect our god given uniqueness we must be able to speak freely, say whatever we wish to say, whether it offends or not because as unique individuals no one persons right to not hear certain words, is any greater than another’s.

Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street. Photo: Creative Commons PDM 1.0 DEED

If, as a society, we are faced with huge existential problems but certain words are denied us, how can we solve those problems? When we can’t say what we want, what we think and persuasion, deliberation and argument are all denied – the only path open to us is force and consequently, oppression. 

Margaret Thatcher also said:

“I love argument, I love debate, I don’t expect anyone to just sit there and agree with me.”

In a democracy, free speech enables us to reach a consensus; without it, we have tyranny. Or put another way; without free expression of ideas, we are no longer unique or free, we are prisoners.

This brings me to the second point: prisoners of whom? The law makers – the law makers are our government. We elected them, we gave them a mandate to govern according to what we want. If we allow MPs to pass Bills which limit our freedom to speak and express our uniqueness we imprison ourselves. 

Ask a young person to define Conservatism and I’ll wager you’ll be met with silence.

Ay, there’s the rub (another Shakespearian phrase invention). If they can’t define it, how will they vote for it? 

I mentioned the law makers, the MPs. There is no need for hate speech laws, they oppress us. The other thing Shakespeare was pretty good at, was insults.  If he were here now, he might say, the language oppressors are ‘cream faced loons’ (Macbeth) – ‘unfit for any place but hell’ (Richard III) and that those who wish to silence us have a ‘brain as dry as a remainder biscuit after a voyage.’ (As You Like It).

It is our duty to help the younger generation to understand that Conservatism is about freedom; to speak, to think, to own property, to keep more of the money you earn and to take our individual responsibility in society and not expect the ‘state’ to manage everything for us. 

We must talk down the blinking idiots (him again) on the Left. We have to be cruel to be kind (you guessed it) and sometimes, say things people don’t want to hear, for the greater good and to keep our freedom, one must always, ‘to thine own self be true.’ – Hamlet.

Follow Rachel at @WritesRachael


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