David Aaronovitch is a British journalist who writes for The Times and the chairman of Index on Censorship. This was a group originally set up in the 1970s to provide support for dissident writers in the Soviet Union. Its been vastly expanded since then to be a global defender of free speech.
For Aaronovitch it all boils down to asking yourself this when youre tempted to bite your tongue … Is the desire to stop somebody saying something or to punish them for something theyve said? Is it really absolutely essential? Generally the answer will be no … unless youre a despot or a dictator.
In this conversation Aaronovitch chats with Simon Longstaff from the St James Ethics Centre. They mull over the jailing of the Al Jazeera journalists in Cairo, the dumping of the Sydney Opera Company soprano for some ugly postings on Facebook by her husband, Uthman Badar and the honour killing fiasco in Sydney and the stepping down of the CEO of Mozilla in the US for some privately held views on gay marriage.
Aaronovitch is terrific in this discussion and you may find your own prejudices being challenged by his arguments.