'Alas for those that never sing,
but die with all their music inside them'
This week I watched Keith Allen's film ' Unlawful Killing' about the death of Princess Diana. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon it although I've been interested in the way the Royal family have been desperately trying to silence free speech with recent issues over letters to MPs and documentaries being cancelled. The film played into the hands of my love of conspiracy theories and my fierce republican sentiments.
I say 'fierce' republican sentiments at a time when freedom of speech is very topical following the terrible Charlie Hebdo murders in France. I 'fiercely' believe anyone should be able to say anything they want to in a free and democratic society (if I was in Saudi Arabia I would get 100 lashes just for the opening paragraph of this blog that is vaguely anti royal).
Let's explore this further...for example if a I were to state the belief that:
'I believe all women should be subservient to men'
That is blatantly sexist and should be easily ridiculed and no danger to society at large (some could justifiably claim that women are still very much subservient to men as the demeaning Page 3 debate is only just being resolved by a supposedly grown up society!)
But if my ramblings were taken as influential or, worse still, as the words of a prophet (praise be to god) would I then be guilty of inciting people in the direction of domestic violence? And could I then attract interest from the law and be arrested for stating my views?
Freedom of speech??
Surely we have to be allowed to state any views no matter how hateful, no matter how bigoted (there are laws that cannot be transgressed regarding discrimination or threats to murder etc). We must leave it to society and trust in people to democratically and sensibly reject the most outrageous views on offer and denounce them with coherent and cogent arguments about peace , love and understanding.
After all the nationalist bigots who advocate all migrants should be denied entry or returned home are in one sense advocating murder because it is known that for some asylum seekers a return home is tantamount to a death sentence..........and if we take a world view and you are unlucky enough to live in desperate conditions in developing countries then why on earth wouldn't you want to live in a more affluent society that offered better quality of life because of an accident of birth???
The life expectancy in Japan is 85 years for a man and 87.3 years for a woman
In Sierra Leone (pre ebola outbreak) it is 37 years for a man and 39 years for a woman.
Human beings have always migrated and will always migrate it's part of the human condition (says the Englishman in Nantgarw!)
It's not rocket science is it?
Talking life expectancy and health as we are......if we cherish the NHS (and I'm talking about the original premise of a comprehensive and free service that meets everyone's needs and there is no pernicious private profit milking an apartheid health care system) then surely we should be working towards every country having one and investing world energy in that rather than a multi trillion pound arms industry......everyone's health needs around the world should get equal treatment shouldn't they?
While we're on private let's throw in schools too! Surely a grown up society should not allow people to buy educational privilege that so divides a society. Shouldn't there be a comprehensive model on offer around the world that is free to everyone? Those Labour politicians who send their children to private schools are hypocrites however it gets dressed up...Let's set the bar high on principles and accept there will be occasions when we struggle to maintain ourselves...the bar should still be high on any society with integrity.
In Spain yesterday and in Greece last month people are on the move to end corruption and privilege that is sucking the marrow from every nation's health.
Some would sneer and say this is the politics of envy....but people want equality don't they? A level playing field, a bit of common sense, a bit of collective action....
Liberty, equality, fraternity....
So we're back to the Royals and women and religion. Back to divisions and beliefs that separate and can advocate subservience, inequality and death.
I'm not sure if these are 'fierce' views or just food for thought.....I'm not trying to incite religious or class war...but as I write Wales Online have just this minute rung me on a Sunday afternoon to ask about a councillor who has given the view that library closures are a middle class issue .......it is a view I would vigorously rebut.....libraries need to be there for everyone...like the health service, police and schools....run by professional librarians who can save the world with reading...
Knowledge is power
Je suis Charlie
Nous sommes dans le meme bateau
ps have a look at Keith Allen's film Unlawful Killing it's on Youtube...see what you think.......