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A Heretic's Manifesto: Essays on the Unsayable

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Just a few days after the massacre it was back to depicting Muhammad, this time holding a ‘Je suis Charlie’ sign with a tear running down his face. Another author of the resolution, Sophie in ’t Veld, a long-time anti-Hungarian zealot, has claimed that the European Parliament is ‘not entirely powerless’ to ensure that it gets its way. Our elites have become convinced of some very strange and destructive ideas, meanwhile the space for ordinary people to dissent is shrinking.

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As an article in Politico notes, ‘even the primary authors’ of the resolution have ‘conceded there’s no obvious legal route to stop the presidency in its tracks’. The government also employed an artificial-intelligence firm to ‘scour social-media sites’ for wrongthink. Transgender interviewees complain about their identity becoming a ‘debate’, while refusing even to acknowledge that gender self-identification means the end of single-sex spaces. Lilburne positively revelled in the hurtfulness of his words to the priests and politicians who encountered them.Nevertheless, the resolution itself, and the discussion it has provoked in Brussels and beyond, mark an important escalation in the EU’s long-running culture war against Hungary. That metaphor of violence – punching – should induce shame in everyone who uses it given the real, barbaric violence the Charlie Hebdo staff suffered for their blasphemies. But that pain is incomparable to the pain of the physical ambush of the Charlie Hebdo offices, and the pain of the grief and sorrow those deaths will have caused. Opponents of the Hungarian government also fear that it could set an example for other dissident voices and parties in Europe to follow.

The war on disinformation is really a war on dissent - spiked

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Safe Spaces recreate the state of childhood, complete with colouring books and ice cream, speaking to how determinedly some long to retreat from the adult world of hurtful chatter and brickbats. They discuss the Voice to Parliament referendum in Australia, the latest on Rishi Sunak’s crusade against smoking, and Labour’s plan to criminalise misgendering. We need to stop responding to their painting of speech as a dangerous, disorientating force by defensively pleading that words don’t wound because they’re just words.

The war hero who outed himself as a war criminal - spiked

Tyndale’s Bibles were smuggled on ships to England, hidden in cargos of grain and among other merchandise, ready to be spirited among the people by his sympathisers. As for Charlie Hebdo, the most admirable thing about that magazine is its willingness to offend, to hurt. Indeed, the heretics mentioned above knew very well that their speech was hurtful, that it would feel deeply unsettling and even threatening to many who heard it, and yet they continued to speak.More than anything else, Gender Wars shows how the fight for a sex-based definition of womanhood has become a fight for reality over fantasy. Let’s be clear: the libel law’s elevation of individual reputation over public freedom is illiberal and regressive. To see that, one need only observe the furious reaction of the elites to the swinish multitude’s rejection of the European Union in the 2016 referendum, which was a rejection of the idea that commissions in Brussels should have the right to draw up our laws despite not having our free consent to do so. As feminist campaigner Julie Bindel makes clear in the documentary: ‘The word woman is already taken.

Gender Wars: why the trans lobby hates debate - spiked

It implicitly instructs us to suspend thought and analysis and instead let the wisdom of the more learned, of today’s secular shepherds, wash over us. The judge – Justice Anthony Besanko at the Federal Court in Sydney – found that four of the six allegations of murder made against Roberts-Smith were ‘substantially true’. Those in the 21st century who claim to feel bruised and bloodied by words should take some time to read up on the heretics of history, and even the heretics of today. Surely we defend speech precisely because it contains so much extraordinary energy, because it can be a ‘blizzard’, because it does wound. So on some campuses, free speech is defended, but in the name of civil dialogue, and the consequence is not that different to when free speech is controlled in the name of avoiding harm or offence – that is, colour and daring are discouraged, in preference for the soothing hug of free civility, or therapeutic censure.We should say the opposite: the fact that speech is powerful is all the justification we need to let it be free, everywhere and always. Some defenders of free speech end up, no doubt unwittingly, playing the same game as their opponents, by arguing that the heat and fury does indeed have to be drained from society every now and then. As if speech were a small thing, almost an insignificant thing, more likely to contain calming qualities than upsetting ones, more likely to help us overcome conflict rather than stir it up, more likely to offer a balm to your soul than to stab at it as a knife might stab at your body.

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