Do British academics care about free speech?

Freedom of expression is essential for rule of law and economic development, but is increasingly challenged by those who want to be insulated from the views of others in ‘safe spaces’ or the like. So how can academics, ICAEW and others who want to act in the long term public interest best make the case for free speech?

It seems to me that the University of Chicago does a pretty good job in its Statement on Principles of Free Expression but I would appreciate your thoughts.  In particular, is the US really making the running in this field, or is there a home grown alternative?

Of course, if you are a ‘safe placer’ yourself and don’t agree with the premise, please feel free to say so – I may be surprised, but I won’t be offended.

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  • I do agree!  The essence of a liberal democracy is that people are free to hold diverse opinions.  Indeed, many of the social changes that are seen to have benefitted in UK in last 50 years have only been possible because minority groups have been able to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy.  This is a sign of the health and well being of our liberal democracy.  It REALLY concerns me when people or groups which challenge a prevailing orthodoxy are vilified or denied a platform to express those views.  

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