Today I receive with great shock the sad news that Iain Duncan Smith may be confused about that reaction in the Tory party to Boris Johnson’s comments about the Burka. I am devastated Mr. Smith but let me confuse you even more. I agree that Freedom of Speech is a fundamental right that should be protected for all, however with 2 caveats;
- We as a society need to debate/agree to a set of boundaries where this Freedom of Speech becomes a vice to our values and social cohesion and we should be consistent in applying these standards.
- Though we “mostly” agree politicians are humans – a particular breed anyway – as they are in positions of leadership it is incumbent upon them NOT to engage in any form of hate speech or actions that undermine our values and unity as a nation irrespective of the boundaries set in the point above. This should be a duty/responsibility they need to uphold for the term of their service.
Bottom line is that we live in a complex world with competing priorities/objectives so let’s NOT make assumptions based on prejudices rather build consensus based on compromise because we seem to have let our societies and our own values/standards evolve organically rather than develop methodically.