UK – The slow eradication of free speech and thought

Evgeny Lebedev

Evgeny Lebedev

Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of the Evening Standard and The Independent newspapers in the UK, writes of the eradication of free speech and free thought in his blog. In ‘Against the new conformism: A new spirit of conformism and political correctness is stifling our culture and the eccentrics within it’, Lebdev likens the current trend in the UK to the past repressive Soviet regimes of his native land, “But I come to it as a Russian, which makes it uncomfortably familiar”.

Opinions and free-thinking have become something of a taboo in modern British society, with the seeds of conformism being planted in the early 1980s and growing during the period of New Labour.

The voice of dissent has been quietened through successive legal measures, and the indoctrination of political correctness has replaced common decency and respect, stifling the natural evolution of humanity.

“Every day I come across countless examples of this suffocating tendency. After the expenses crisis, politicians I speak to are more afraid than ever of saying what they really think, lest some newspaper or potential voter howls with indignation. Health and safety fanaticism — which is not some conspiracy of tabloid invention but an actual onslaught of regulation and bureaucracy on our daily lives — is part of the same thing. In science, the elevation of the precautionary principle — “better safe than sorry”, whatever that means — to an exalted status within public policy is inhibiting experimentation and the discovery of knowledge”.

We live in a world where a generation has not been taught the importance of having opinions. They have not been taught how to express them and listen to the opinions of others as part of the learning process.

Our society has become one of stunted robots who will accept the way things are and see little opportunity to change or challenge it. They comply, and the more they comply the less they think, and the less they think the more they comply. A never ending circle of dumbness ensues where the concept of challenging the world becomes lost.

“All human progress is driven by those who are prepared to say the unsaid and think the unthinkable”

You can read Evgeny Lebedev’s blog at The Independent website.


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