One day I will get round to reading a biography about Churchill, I think he was an amazing complex straight forward character, the like we will never see again as the spin doctors, media snoopers and negative ranters of today would never see a character such as his back into the limelight [unless it was to ridicule as a celebutard type thang]. But I speak from a very uneducated basis, he undoubtedly had flaws, secrets and made mistakes.
Anyway, I have wanted for some time to write a blog around this particular saying because it does seem that whenever a person says something, and the sayer is someone who has peeved the press, then there are a mountain of reports about being offended etc. While people have unprecedented freedom of speech, they seem to forget we also have the right to not listen, to hold an opposing view and to freely speak that opposing view too.
It really does chap my chompy bits when someone spews forth rage at something trivial they found offensive – recent example being the wanting to remove crosses as war memorial edifices as the cross is strictly a christian symbol [are they going to go after the mathematical + next]. Or that a public place serves bacon sandwiches [and there may be someone in the place who would find that offensive]. Don’t get me started on the ‘adults’ [term used loosely] who breed a dozen children and think they are being targeted by the nasty Mr Government when they cannot have a fourteen bedroomed house, with maid, and money for holidays thrice a year and not have to contribute a days work for it.
Stephen Fry was lambasted for saying ‘It’s now very common to hear people say, “I’m rather offended by that”, as if that gives them certain rights. It’s no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. “I’m offended by that.” Well, so fucking what?’.
I do agree that, where appropriate, respect for others beliefs should occur, if someone wants to place a nativity on public display, then so be it. If someone wants to display light for Diwali, then so be it. BUT, neither side has the right to expect or demand a carpeting of all to follow. Freedom of speech and freedom to practise their religion openly, for the word freedom also say equally.
With freedom comes responsibility, with decisions come consequences and neither of these can be negated. We are each responsible for ourselves, individually and collectively.