Can we have a discussion about the Right To Offend? Do we have a universal Right To Offend? We clearly have a Right To Offend but it's not a 100% right. We have legal and limits and conventions which prevent us exercising this right too much, too far and too often. Do we have a Responsibility Not To Offend Too Much? Should we have a Responsibility To Not Offend? On the other hand, should people have no Rights To Be Offended? (I could arbitrarily pronounce that I am offended by fish and (after much lobbying through the Guardian newspaper) after securing changes to the law, imprison all fishmongers - "being offended" is so easy these days). The Right To Free Speech means the Right To Hurt Someone's Feelings, the Right To Affront, the Right To Insult, the Right To Humiliate, the Right To Embarrass, the Right To Spite. We do not have an absolute 100% Right To Free Speech. We do have self sensorship (I don't write the word cunt, as so many do on Twitter when Grant Shapps appears on Question Time, for example, because I think it offends, and my family may well see my posts). We actually have a 95% Right To Free Speech or a 100% Right To Nearlyfree Speech. We "restrain our most extreme urges in the interests of harmony of the group" and we either "restrain a little" or "restrain quite a lot". Why do we bang on about "Freedom of Speech" or "Freedom of Expression" and rail against "Self Censorship"? With all the brew (haha) about privacy and freedom and living-togetherism (aka immigration) reshaping the UK's political landscape in electionyear 2015, I'm thinking "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom Of The Press" will balloon (even more) as issues which totally preoccupy us. Which is cool were it not for the fact that they could both be, quite possibly, utterly irrelevant concepts while the real issue is our assumed Right To Offend.
A housing crisis that's lasted for this whole Government is not a crisis - it's a policy. #bbcqt
ANNOUNCEMENT: After careful consideration, the Adams family are pleased to announce that we are upping sticks and relocating to Saudi Arabia. It's been wonderful living in the UK but a new opportunity for Louise to pursue her career as a Street Dancer and for me to take up a post as columnist with the Al Eqtisadiah newspaper were just too good to pass up. I'll be covering US affairs and pets. We'll miss the schools and the lovely Harvest Festivals and those things you do at Christmas with toothpicks stuck in oranges which I never understood. Plane leaves on Saturday and Louise and Katherine have been shopping for dance shoes and burqas today in John Lewis in Reading. Busy pouring all the booze down the sinkhole before we go.
If you stop immigration you can pay for houses. Er, not if immigrants are net contributors to the economy, which they are. #bbcqt
AN OPEN LETTER TO AUSTRALIA FROM ONE BRIT Dear Australia, I know I speak for more than just me, but I just have to say this. There is so much to admire about you. Your directness, your honesty, your confidence, your open mindedness, the way you look forward with optimism and the general gusto with which you seem to embrace life. You seem always to be working hard for things and enjoying things - all at the same time. Perhaps your most redeeming feature is your sense of fun and your sense of humour. You bring this sense of humour to bear in all walks of life and at all times. It makes us smile. It makes us happy. It breaks ice and it brings people closer together. It brings the world together. And it helps us all look at things and commit to things more positively and more optimistically. The events at the Edward VII Hospital are tragic, and we express our unreserved sadness and sympathy for the family and friends of Nurse Jacintha Saldanha. But we are thinking too of Mel Greig, Michael Christian, Rhys Holleran and the teams at Austereo and 2Day FM. We don't know how or when you will come back from this, but we wish you well, wish you strength and wish you a speedy return to healthy normality. Australia, please preserve that sense of humour and lust for life. Don't withdraw from being playful, don't stop playing pranks, don't stop making us laugh, don't stop helping make the world go round. Australia, don't hold back. Australia, don't recoil. Australia, we love you, we thank you and we wish you well.
That was historic. "I voted LibDem and I have no idea why". Awesome. Go girl go!!!! #bbcqt
I actually love Yeo Valley stuff. I'm a superuser. I eat it every day. So I post on their Facebook page about a little problem they have and ... they remove the post without any message or anything. It's a real shame. Brands should embrace active users, surely, not delete them? Link