FREE SPEECH COMES AT A PRICE (2nd Summer School Poem)
The rise of 'identity politics' groups, including some
feminists, with their inane policies of 'no platforming'
are a threat to democracy and free speech.
There are those who recall times when,
In a debate, the speaker's aim;
Was to invite one's foe and then,
Demolish each imprudent claim.
Today, the 'happening in-thing'
Is banning them from all debate;
And 'winning' by 'no platforming',
The opposition's candidate.
They should invite him to these spats,
And kick his dogma in the nuts;
But these disgusting fraidy-cats,
Quite simply haven't got the guts!
Refusing to debate does not,
Show truth resides upon their side;
And one is left to wonder what,
These big girl's blouses have to hide?
By playing the 'ban free speech' game,
(A rather foolish stratagem)
Some others will demand the same,
Of autocratic fools like them.
And then these clots will look askance
And act if shaken to the core;
Then puzzled by their stupid stance,
When thought police are at the door.
By then, of course, it's far too late,
Dictatorships come creeping slow;
By then they've sealed the people's fate,
With no direction else to go.
That's how the worm begins to turn,
So every fool, back to your school; (1)
Free speech is something you will learn,
Is only free when free to all.
(1) Students have a tendency to shout down or 'no platform'
those they've been instructed to disagree with—more mature
citizens haven't the same excuse for such juvenile behaviour.
© Richard Layton