Thursday, May 21, 2009

Freedom of speech in Ireland ...

… is in the same kind of danger that it faces in Canada. Remember the hearings held by the Human Rights Tribunals against Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant last year, briefly mentioned here at the time, now recounted in Levant's book Shakedown.

Now Mark Steyn draws our attention to a similar case in Ireland, in a Corner post titled Cockles and Muzzles.

Kevin Myers, my old comrade from my Irish Times and Sunday Telegraph days, is undergoing an experience that sounds very familiar to yours truly.

Last year he wrote a column about Africa dissenting from the approved line that there's nothing wrong with the place that can't be solved by tossing a few more gazillion dollars into the dictators' Swiss bank accounts. It was a strong column and he might reasonably have expected an avalanche of outraged letters to the editor. Instead:
The National Migrant Council reported me to An Garda Siochana [that's Oirish for "the coppers"], demanding a criminal prosecution for incitement to hatred, with a no-jury court, and four years imprisonment the possible outcome. Hans Zomer of Dochas reported me to the National Press Council, on numerous grounds.

It is a sad day indeed when to speak your mind is to risk the wrath of the law, aided by the State-backed auxiliary bodies of intellectual conformism...
Tell me about it. What's at issue here is a sustained attempt to criminalize opinion — or, at any rate, opinion which dissents from liberal dinner-party orthodoxy.

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