The fight for free speech in wartime


Even more importantly in principled terms, as spiked has always maintained, free speech remains our most important value and the lifeblood of a democratic society. It is what we must fight for in all circumstances. That means insisting on the right to question everything and freedom of expression for all, even including those academics dubbed 'Putin's useful idiots'. Otherwise, how can we decide what we really believe to be true? And how can Western society make any claim to the moral high ground?

Once you abandon that principle, and decide that a new line must be drawn restricting free speech, the question always arises: who do you trust to draw it? Grandstanding government ministers? Unelected judges? Unaccountable Ofcom technocrats? Or Big Tech billionaires and their pet 'fact checkers', soon to be wielding the even-greater new powers to police the truth handed to them by the Tories' Online Safety Bill? No thanks.

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