One of the stock jokes of the 1950s Ealing comedies involved slightly batty people saying things that everyone else, but not they themselves, knew were entirely inconsistent with each other. If events in the last couple of weeks are anything to go by, the Ealing Labour MP Rupa Huq looks set fair to revive this tradition, though this time the cause is deadly serious.

For some time now, pro-life, mainly Christian, protesters have kept vigil outside a Marie Stopes abortion clinic in one of the leafier parts of Ealing in west London. They make clear what they think of the clinic, and in a fairly original way: handing its clients teddy bears and calling them ‘mum’ on the way in, and suggesting the spiritual fate that awaits them as they emerge. The police decline to put a stop to it, on the understandable and commendable basis that the protesters – who incidentally are matched by a cohort of pro-abortion counter-demonstrators offering support to the institution and its customers – are not actually doing anything illegal.


Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq, overtly Muslim but simultaneously a pro-abortion activist, disapproves of the line taken by the protesters. That is her right. Much more dangerously, however, she is now taking steps to have them silenced using the heavy hand of the state. A couple of weeks ago she called for Parliament to ban any demonstrations outside clinics as part of its legislative initiative against domestic violence (!) Having been rightly rebuffed, she changed tack, and is now demanding that Ealing Council exercise municipal powers given to it to prevent gatherings of lager louts and drug dealers to create what she charmingly calls ‘safe spaces’ round all abortion clinics where any protests against them are barred by law.

It’s hard to know where to start. For one thing, it’s worth noting that Dr Huq’s view of freedom of speech is clearly rather selective. She wants to suppress anti-abortion demonstrations, despite having previously defended Bradford MP Naz Shah’s right to send poisonous anti-Semitic tweets and also forcefully asserted her right, as part of an alleged silent majority in Ealing, to demonstrate peacefully in favour of abortion on demand.

For another, rather like the petulant teenager who tells her parents to stop imposing their views on her when what she really means is that they are getting the better of the argument, Dr Huq seeks falsely to characterise the pro-life vigils and protests as a form of violence. The protesters, on this argument, are somehow to be regarded as using force to prevent clients getting into the clinic or compromising their safety. Quite how is not clear, though she does refer engagingly at one point to ‘weaponising rosary beads’ – an idea at which the mind boggles.

Scratch below the surface, moreover, and you find something else which is all too common in the liberal establishment. This is the idea that freedom of speech is all very well, but it must stop where it causes any kind of discomfort or distress to those who don’t share your views. Dr Huq herself lets the cat out of the bag when she says that her aim is to prevent abortion clients feeling ‘uncomfortable accessing services’. The right to abortion, itself controversial, has now apparently morphed into a right to have an abortion with a clear conscience, protected from criticism or adverse comment.

It never seems to strike the worthy Dr Huq that by saying this she seems to be admitting to a profound personal unhappiness with the whole idea of free expression and argument. Outside some university debating chamber, the very point of criticising the morality of what someone else is doing is to make them feel uncomfortable about it. Prevent this, and you are essentially saying that you are happy to allow free speech to those who disagree with you, provided it isn’t effective. Once there is a chance that your opponents may start winning the argument, then it’s open season for you to take steps forcibly to shut them up. That’s what Dr Huq is trying to do with respect to Ealing Council and the Marie Stopes clinic. Whether she will succeed in this remains to be seen: but one fears the omens for free speech are not good.

367 COMMENTS

  1. It’s been like that for a long time, of course. Only yesterday I was describing the intimidatory picket my my University Life Society Freshers’ Week Cheese and Wine Reception – that’d have been 30 years ago this month. And I well remember the threats of violence against David Alton’s bill to restrict late-term abortion.

    One thing that is true: the rosary has been a weapon against the likes of Rupa Huq, as last Saturday’s feast reminds us, and can be again.

    • If you found time during Freshers week to attend a Life Society Cheese and Wine Reception (noble though the idea is) you must have had a very sedate Freshers week compared to everyone else x

    • Wikipedia : Rupa Huq’s father and mother emigrated to Britain in 1962 to enable their children to have better opportunities and education than was available in East Pakistan.
      Where abortion is still illegal.

  2. Let me make a counter-point. Is free speech allowed on here or only supportive views? Here goes. A friend of mine some years ago became pregnant. She was stupid and careless but to have the child would have been extremely difficult and reluctantly she decided on an abortion. It wouldn’t have been my choice but it was hers. The pro-life demonstrators outside the clinic were so loud, and so judgemental, she was dismayed by the attention and began to flee. She was pursued down the road by a man and a woman demanding she ‘repent’ and allow her child to live. Eventually we arranged that she have her abortion in a private clinic. It went against my personal belief but I am unwilling to impose my belief on others. Perhaps this MP has seen similar sights.

    • I think you know the answer.

      If that’s the case with your friend, then I deplore such aggressive behaviour. However, it doesn’t invalidate the premise of the article.

      Too often we have what is loosely called “peaceful” protest in reality being a vehicle to intimidate others.

      • “Too often we have what is loosely called “peaceful” protest in reality being a vehicle to intimidate other”
        Isn’t that Dr Huq’s point?

        • If we have assault or obstruction of the footpath, there are crimes to deal with this. In so far as we have merely speech aimed at shaming people, this ought to be allowed.

          • Shame! Who gives you the right to ‘shame’ anyone? Why does your moral code have superiority? That kind of arrogance makes me angry.

          • The right to shame is inherent in the right to carry on a moral argument about someone’s conduct. Freedom comes in at a later stage, when the person shamed has to decide whether to give way to the shame, or ignore it. That’s a decision whose resolution we can’t physically force on them.

          • No. You have no right to ‘shame’ anyone. You have a right to put a case against what they are doing because you feel strongly. Shame is altogether a different matter. If as a consequence of your careful reasoning someone feels shame that is a different matter again

          • Do I have a right to express to them a case against what they are doing with intent to make them feel shame at doing it? If the answer is Yes I’m not sure whether we actually disagree too much.

          • Perhaps not. Shame may be felt but you have no right to impose it If you argue that in having an abortion I am in the wrong because… and cite good reason, I may feel shame. If I don’t then you may not judge me.

          • Two points here. In making an argument to you which may or may not cause you to feel shame, I’m not imposing anything on you. I’m giving you an occasion, which I hope you will take up, to feel shame. As for judgment, the Biblical “judge not, that ye be not judged” is often misunderstood. It doesn’t mean you can’t criticise, and be judgmental about, conduct. All moral argument worth the name is essentially judgmental about what people do. What I mustn’t do is to say you’re beyond saving or forgiveness. That’s God’s function,not that of anyone on earth.

          • You make good points and I thank you for your courtesy. The Biblical point doesn’t hold though. That was against a set of shared beliefs or values. In the case of abortion there is not a shared belief. The range of views is huge, from those who talk only of a woman’s right to her own body, to those who hold life sacred at all cost. However, abortion is legal and while you may argue against it, or point out alternatives, you have no right to do more than point out. You cannot judge or shame.

          • What about the soldiers who butchered the wounded at the battle of Solferino (the battle where there were no such rules, and which induced Henri Dunant, who was there, to found the Red Cross and press for conventions on warfare)?

          • What about all battles in the past and many now where such things happened? Do you seriously expect to be able to shame a medieval soldier who butchered a wounded opponent? We cannot judge the past by 21st century standards. We can learn from those terrible things (but i don’t see much evidence of it) and make rules for ourselves but judging the past is silly

          • What they were doing was legal as far as their regime was concerned, and you just argued with Devonian_Prof above that sleeping with twelve-year old girls is fine if it is within the laws of a foreign country.

          • “No. You have no right to ‘shame’ anyone.”

            What about rapists or paedophiles? Do we not have a right to shame them? Or child murderers, or arsonists, or terrorists?

            The last part of what you say seems to negate your first assertions.

          • No it doesn’t. The things you list are illegal. Terrorists do not feel shame and no one can shame them because they are impervious to it. Paedophiles are much the same. Prosecute yes, imprison yes, but abortion is NOT illegal so that is where it ends

          • Sorry to be awkward. But does this mean that if I’m in a country where marrying and bedding 12-year-olds is legal I have no moral right to tell husbands who do this rather than waiting for the girl to reach a proper age that they ought to be ashamed of themselves?

          • Correct. You have no moral right. You may believe you have one and I don’t disagree but you’re in another country. To tell someone they should be ashamed of their own culture is arrogance

          • I think I’m going to have to use the barrister’s cop-out when they seriously disagree with the judge, and say “I hear what your Lordship says.” But just one parting shot. In England it was possible for a girl to marry at 12 until, incredibly, 1929. Were pre-1929 reformers who told men that they should be ashamed if they took advantage of this law guilty of arrogance?

          • Clearly this is an emotive subject and I am NOT arguing in favour of girls being married off at an early age. I welcome the news that India is changing the law on rape and child brides. My starting point was saying that anti-abortion protesters do not have the right to humiliate, judge or ‘shame’ (to use your word) women entering an abortion clinic. Of course those opposed to the law have aright to argue against it but that is a different matter. I am delighted that brave men and women in the past campaigned to change the law in favour of girls. However, to go to another country and tell someone they should be ashamed is another matter. That is no different to missionaries who went out and told women in the Pacific islands that baring their breasts was immoral. The argument has wandered off into rather silly examples that are far from the starting point.

          • Slavery was not illegal once upon a time. Was that shameful? Ought slavers to have been shamed? Or were they impervious? And should things have ended there, what with it being legal and all?

            Or what about child labour? Or leaving unmarried mothers to rot in lunatic asylums? Or prostitution?

            Do you really equate legality with morality, or respectability?

            And, actually, the legal status of abortion is not quite as you claim. Abortion is very definitely illegal, except that there are supposedly limited exceptions. (That, of course, is why the Royal Colleges of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and of Midwives – midwives! – have recently joined the campaign to “decriminalise” abortion.) Of course those legal limits are breached more often than not. Several cases of this have recently come to light through investigative reporting, not to the surprise of pro-life campaigners, albeit to no effect, because the law is never enforced. And as you describe your friend’s situation (“she was stupid and careless but to have the child would have been extremely difficult …”) it is hard to see how to abort her child would have been legal, but of course no British abortionist would turn her down – it’s a profitable business, after all. A shameful business.

          • All the things you cite are shameful by 21st century standards. Although the stinking hypocrisy of being ashamed of slavery when there is still so much in the world annoys me. People of their day argued against them and those arguments prevailed. Well done those who did so. Regarding abortion I don’t understand why you doubt the legality of her abortion but you do not have the right to call it or her shameful. That is your moral stance and luckily for you you can impregnate but not have the problem of a pregnancy.

          • Here you are bleating and whining again like a victim with ridiculous arguments that show up your low IQ. You’re hopeless at this sort of thing.

          • I don’t understand your “stinking hypocrisy” point. I thought at first it was aimed at me, but that doesn’t make sense. Could you explain?

          • In respect of grounds for abortion, you can find the text of the Abortion Act here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1967/87/contents There are four legal grounds:

            (a)that the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family; or
            (b)that the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman; or
            (c)that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated; or
            (d)that there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

            Nearly all abortions are done under the first of these citing the mental health of the mother (so-called “social grounds”), many, possibly most, perhaps nearly all, of these are dishonestly reported; I’m afraid that matches the case you describe (“she was stupid and careless but to have the child would have been extremely difficult …”). I’m afraid that’t typical and that the law is very widely abused. I think it’s shameful.

          • It’s a shame she didn’t have the intelligence to have better contraception and it’s a shame she chose to kill another human as being preferable to inconveniencing herself with having to bring up a child.

          • In respect of the nasty but commonplace jibe, “luckily for you you can impregnate but not have the problem of a pregnancy”, it is of course the case that our current shameful lack of protection for unborn children and for their mothers is considered a great advantage by those shameful men who would indeed behave so shamefully and in whose number I am not counted. On the contrary, I think that women should be cared for and that men should take responsibility for their actions, sexual or otherwise.

            I learned that from my father, by the way,

          • It isn’t ‘free speech’ it is action. There has been too much expansion of the meaning as a result of property rights and public spaces, which would not exist if all property and services were private.

          • I absolutely accept that the line between speech and action is a difficult one. In public spaces I’m happy to draw it pragmatically at assaulting people or preventing their reasonable passage over the highway (or park, or whatever), which is roughly what the general law does (though it also criminalises certain forms of conduct causing distress, which I think can be dangerous). As far as showing people teddy-bears is concerned, I think that’s speech.

          • Its action. It’s not difficult. Free speech is the right to say what you think in words. You have that right on private property as long as the owner allows it. By all means have a rally in a field, stadium, hall or, in your own home.

            Public spaces are there for us to carry on our business without intimidation from other members of the public. There might be an argument for active political demonstrations against the Government which is not a private citizen, but beyond that there certainly shouldn’t be.

        • Granted she’s entitled to make her “point”, but It’s her selectivity about what’s allowed to take place, depending on whether she agrees with it or not, that the article is taking issue with.

    • If this is the case, then the protestors probably broke a law which we already have in place and which can be dealt with under existing legislation.

      • But wasn’t and isn’t. Perhaps the MP should call for current legislation to be enforced but I am no lawyer so don’t know the details.

          • If you’d read the article, you would already know that in the case of Ealing it’s because the police have not seen anyone break the law. In the case of your friend, you’ll have to ask that question to your local constabulary.

          • There is no question of ‘if’ so don’t patronise me. If the article is correct? If the police really haven’t seen the law broken? Well, that of course supposes they attend regularly at demonstrations. That is doubtful. More likely they attend from time to time and of course they won’t see anyone doing anything wrong. Really that should be obvious.

          • I don’t understand why you are wasting your life bleating on about it here. If you feel that your local police force has not carried out their duties properly, take it up with them directly.

          • You’re simply being rude. You know full well what I was saying. We are wasting our time discussing this any further

          • “Making sure existing legislation is properly upheld is better than going off producing more legislation.”
            That always used to be our tradition, before the EU and New Labour. Now we seem to have a specific law for every little thing.

        • Actually the conduct you’ve described easily amounts to an offence under s.4a of the Public Order Act, “Threatening or Abusive Words or Behaviour with the intention to cause Harassment, Alarm and Distress”.

    • I would like to also like to offer up an alternative. Maybe we should teach women the consequences of failing to take effective contraception. However, if an ‘accident’ occurs it may be that a full term pregnancy followed by adoption is a more honest approach. I think the narrative in this country is lopsided. I think we should be teaching our young women that their body is precious and special and not to be used lightly for immediate gratification. I think we should also be teaching them that building and nurturing long term relationships and producing children within those relationships are far more rewarding. It seems that most relationship education in schools focuses on how quickly to administer the morning after pill or indeed the cut off time for abortion. Sadly the medical union(BMA) is now advocating 26 weeks cut off. I wonder how many woman would think more deeply if they knew they had the ability to ask to murder their own fully formed child.

      • “I think we should be teaching our young women…” Really? And what about young men? I think we should teach our young women to say, “No.”

        • Yes Sue, we should be teaching our young men. That however, will take me to my most basic belief that mothers, and only mothers, can teach their sons how to respect women. That means staying at home for the first few years and instilling your own values into your children and subsequently leading by example. You see, I believe strongly that women are guided by their mothers and sons are taught respect by their mothers. Their fathers provide the proof of respect by looking after their families and providing safety and strength in morality.

          Years ago when families were important young men who wished to marry their sweethearts were advised to look at her mum. If he liked what her mother had become he would definitely have love and respect for his wife. On the other side of the coin a young woman was advised to watch how her beau treated his mother. If he was respectful and kind she knew he would look after her and treat her well. Unfortunately the state has broken the family and people laugh at the old sayings. But never a truer word……

          If a woman has self respect she will say NO..such a little word with such big meaning. She will only gain that self respect by knowing she has had the right parenting. Unfortunately most woman now are encouraged to leave their small children with strangers whilst they chase a career. Please don’t get me started on woman who ‘need’ to go back to work.

      • Maybe we should teach teenagers about the effect of sexually transmitted diseases and encourage them to think twice about casual sex.

      • Maybe we should teach women the consequences of failing to take effective contraception

        Maybe we should teach such women what the consequences are of “consequence-free” sexual intercourse ?

    • I’ve no problem with them having the right to stand outside a blood transfusion clinic with placards if they want to.

    • You seem to be missing the point here, the JW’s have no such right and no-one is suggesting that they should. They DO have a right to express their frankly batty opinions in public though, and we have the right to ignore or even laugh at them in return.

    • There are alternatives to blood transfusions in the form of blood substitutes. Blood substitutes provide adequate oxygen-carrying capacity and can act as a bridge until bone marrow production compensates for the loss of red cells. Exogenous erythropoietin stimulates red-cell production…

      Unfortunately, we haven’t yet been able to invent child substitutes after an abortion has already taken place. Unless of course you can point us to any?

      • the substitute child is traditionally provided by making the beast with two backs. this is a viable solution for a rape victim who has aborted the rapists child

  3. “her aim is to prevent abortion clients feeling ‘uncomfortable accessing services’”

    If you don’t feel uncomfortable visiting a facility to kill a human life then something’s not right.

  4. Why can’t we set up pro-life counselling clinics where pregnant women can go to learn about the help available to them to keep their babies, or to offer them up for adoption to loving homes? These could be set up in premises adjacent the abortion clinics, and provide a viable alternative for anyone visiting the clinics. These could be staffed by volunteers.

    Or would such a counselling clinic ever get planning permission in today’s climate?

    • The people called protesters even in this article, who run the vigil at Ealing, are in fact a group called The Good Counsel Network who run such a centre, and the reason they are outside abortion clinics isn’t to protest but to let people know that they offer such a service to women who are only going there because they don’t know there is another way, that they can’t reach in other ways. A crisis pregnancy is a time when you really don’t know where to go and I know from experience (although it turned out a false alarm) that the NHS are not going to send you to them, they send you to BPAS or Marie Stopes, who obviously make money out of abortions so have no incentive to dissuade you from having one. Had I been pregnant that time I would have only known that this organisation exists because they were outside of an abortion clinic near my university, so I would have gone to them without having ever considered the abortion referral. Women who want to talk to someone about an alternative to abortion are more than happy to talk to them. Everyone else just walks past and gets their business done. It’s really just all that there is to it.

    • Or the Catholic church could sell them to rich Americans whether the mother wants them to or not. I hear they have great expertise in the matter.

  5. There appears to be some confusion about the definition of free speech and its consequences. A gathering of demonstrators of any kind on public property is an effort to intimidate by force of numbers, there is no agreed place for a discussion to take place, it is purely bullying. If a woman has decided to get an abortion then there should be neither pro, nor anti abortion groups of protestors attempting to shame nor to support her.

    On this forum we have free speech. You can hire a hall and have a debate. You can write letters to the paper, or an MP. You can canvas by leaflet drop, produce a book, or a film. Those are instances of free speech, not demonstrations intended to intimidate by force of numbers, whilst hiding beneath the banner of ‘free speech’.

    • The only confusion about free speech is yours. Intimidation by force of numbers alone has no legal standing, it is a restriction on free speech that you’ve made up. If free speech means anything it means the right to say things other people don’t like to hear.

      We have laws against harassment, intimidation and obstruction. The pro life protestors in Ealing have broken no law; no one has ever been arrested there. The fact that someone may ‘feel’ harassed is not grounds for arrest; I might feel harassed by your comment but it would be tyrannical for me to demand that my feelings should have any weight in law. Any yet you want to restrict other people’s right to free expression on some spurious ground of numbers. I’ve read enough of your posts to know you pretend to be libertarian but you are happy in this instance for the state to intervene to prevent peaceful protest – some libertarian.

      • It isn’t your right to force me to listen to your ideology by standing on the street and proclaiming it by banner, strength of numbers or any other kind of attempt to restrict my choice. If I choose to listen to you by reading something, attending a meeting or any other voluntary kind of listening then that’s fine, otherwise, I reserve the right to punch you right in the nose if you don’t quit trying to force me to listen to you.

        So, now you get the subtle distinction. Free speech is not your right to force me to listen, it’s your right to say whatever you like in the comfort of your own private space, or in a space where other people have accepted that speech voluntarily. If I don’t wish to listen to you, then I don’t attend your meeting, read your book, but your newspaper, or watch your film. However, on a public street we have to accept that it isn’t acceptable to demonstrate, because one action begets another and before long we will have blood.

        I would ban ALL demonstrations on public land regarding people’s personal choices and morals.

        • No one is forcing you to listen to other people’s ideology proclaimed in public; you hear it and choose whether to listen to it.

          Free speech is not about what you can do in a private space, it’s about what you can do in a public space. Your argument that public speech begets bloodshed is precisely the sort of reductionist nonsense one would expect from totalitarian.

          Your final sentence proves you’re not a libertarian but a fascist.

          • I’m neither libertarian nor fascist.

            You should remember 1930s Germany and just how well your free speech definition went back then. I don’t know why you don’t grasp that using a law to intimidate and harangue people is the same kind of unthinking thuggery that has caused bloody revolutions across the globe. I don’t know why you are unable to see it as immoral, rude and violent ? It’s a mystery to me how you can’t. The law allows all kinds of things that I personally refrain from acting upon because I know it’s wrong for me to act that way.

          • I grasp the law. The anti abortion protestors are not intimidating or haranguing anyone; if they were, they would be arrested. Referring to 1930s Germany as a benchmark shows your non existent knowledge of what is happening outside abortion clinics.

            Your enthusiasm for banning public protest shows you’re either a fascist or a communist, whatever you may think you are.

          • You really think protesters outside a public clinic are not intimidating or threatening to a woman wanting an abortion ? I find it intimidating to come across a group of youths crowding the pavement of our local park-especially when they shout at us to “go back to Poland”. Hey, free speech right ?

            Fascists and communists both happily protest on the streets and regularly do so. Seems I don’t quite fit that image doesn’t it ? I would ban them both, unlike you who applauds their actions.

          • If you are intimidated or threatening by a peaceful group of protestors, you are displaying symptoms of paranoia. If someone is shouting ‘go back to Poland’ at you, you’ll find many police officers who will be happy to record it as a hate crime and investigate it.

            I support peaceful public protest, a concept that seem beyond your tiny brain to comprehend.

          • Oh now you are a practising psychiatrist ? I see lots of individuals and groups on the streets whom I wish not to associate with and hence alter course to avoid meeting them. I have no idea if they are peaceful, or not, but if they are waving banners and trying to shame me out of a course of action I have decided upon, then I know for certain they don’t hold the same values as me and hence do not have my best interests in mind.

            You seem to hold a very conflicting view point that one kind of free speech “go home” is a crime, but that trying to exactly the same to a woman wanting a legal abortion is suddenly fine. The youths were being equally peaceful when they shouted “go home” in a public place.

            Anyway, I’ve done arguing with you. The number of pathetic ad hominem aimed at me can’t be ignored. Tiny brain, fascist, communist, paranoia. It’s not the way to persuasively argue. I disagree with you fundamentally and you haven’t managed to persuade me otherwise and I’m not likely to persuade you despite my best efforts.

          • The symptoms of paranoia are well understood and occur in those who might otherwise be sane; may be you suffer from enochlophobia.

            Someone shouting ‘go home’ is clearly making a threat, which may be reportable to the police. No such equivalent statement has been made at the anti abortion; if they had, the police would have taken action. This is the inconvenient truth that blows a hole in your comparison. You clearly have no knowledge of the specific action of the anti abortion but want them banned: fascist and communist are appropriate words for someone with such a knee jerk reaction to the peaceful exercise of free speech.

            My, you’re sensitive. Perhaps you think my statements on this forum are a form of public protest and should be banned?

          • literate3: I agree – three Nuns standing silently in the street doesn’t sound intimidating at all. But that isn’t what the author described: “They make clear what they think of the clinic, and in a fairly original way: handing its clients teddy bears and calling them ‘mum’ on the way in, and suggesting the spiritual fate that awaits them as they emerge.”

            That’s pretty nasty for a woman who is going to be in a bad way emotionally.

          • The number of pathetic ad hominem aimed at me can’t be ignored. Tiny brain, fascist, communist, paranoia. It’s not the way to persuasively argue

            Of course, the expression of a desire to punch people on the nose to repress their free speech is so much more “persuasive”, eh ?

          • We have already seen that you are attempting to redefine free speech into its diametric opposite, AKA broad censorship of anything you might happen to disagree with.

          • How am I censoring your free speech ? It is clearly not in my interest to do so even if I had that power, which I don’t. I wish to hear what you say and to argue in return. What could be more natural. If I don’t want to hear you I can simply block you or log out as can you, but we choose to interact here. I don’t expect you to agree with everything I say and free speech means the freedom to be contradicted.

            I’m only advocating that demonstrations on public streets are nothing to do with free speech, but are clearly actions. Would you like me to demonstrate outside your front gate every day with a group of like minded atheists who gave you anti-Christian symbols and leaflets as you went about your business ? Think about it.

          • How am I censoring your free speech ?

            Like this :

            I’m only advocating that demonstrations on public streets are nothing to do with free speech

          • Not here though and nowhere else ? Even as I disagree with your right to protest I could do little to nothing about it unless I was prepared to stand toe to toe battling on the public highway. I would prefer you considered your action and refrained rather than have to ban the activity. In other words you would grasp that free speech is not action, even when the law permits it.

            In days long past armies would face off against each other and public land. They would chant, make battle roars and clash shields in an attempt to get the other side to route. Sometimes the tactic paid off and sometimes it didn’t. When it didn’t there was savagery, an escalation of what tacitly would be described by you as free speech.

            Would you agree that in the case of Saman Rushdi, the fatwa placed on him is an attempt by a religious authority to stamp on his rights to express himself in the form of a book which people must choose to buy ? This is an attempt to censor the ideas inherent in that book by a religious government to stop other people reading those ideas. That is a clear violation of the right to free speech and Western Governments folded in the face of Islamic anger, hence did not support Mr Rushdis rights to free speech.

          • Western Governments folded in the face of Islamic anger, hence did not support Mr Rushdis rights to free speech

            I cannot recall that any “Western Governments” have executed Mr Rushdie in the name of Islam.

          • They have failed to protect him from the threats of violence from another Government. A threat against one is a threat against all. I know what I would have done.

          • So how exactly would you have prevented these threats by any third parties upon which you have exactly ZERO control ?

            Would you have repressed them by the means of some grotesquely exaggerated military fantasy perhaps ?

          • Certainly. I would not have placated them, made agreements, traded with them for a start. Had we not done so with the USSR communism would have collapsed far sooner than it did. Certainly if we are prepared to threaten war over a worthless hunk of rock called the Falklands, or to oust a dictator that we don’t like but who has never threatened us, then we should consider options against countries that threaten the freedom of our citizens.

          • Yep, straightforward despicable repression of free speech through military violence …

            Straightforward despicable so-called “liberal” SJW cultural-Marxist intolerance and hatred.

          • Your idea of free speech now appears to support fascistic Governments that oppose free speech by threatening to kill a man who wrote a book, for writing a book. I’m confused to how you reached that conclusion.

          • In all cases ? Even when it’s a direct threat to your freedom of speech ? That’s because you have floating concepts and ill defined principles, just like libertarians who declare the non-aggression principle. I ask them ‘ when do you decide that aggression is the only option-is it when someone has cut your throat, nearly cut your throat, got out the knife to cut your throat, or threatened to cut your throat’. Better act as quickly as you can or you won’t have time to give an answer.

          • Bloody typical straightforward category errors — particulars continue to NOT define generals, you twit.

        • You seem to be conjuring up a crowd of angry demonstrators; is that is what there is in Ealing? I didn’t get that impression. Such pro-lifers as I have come across in this country are kind people actuated by religious or altrustic principles, trying to save lives and also do what is best for mothers.

          • No I don’t. I’m of the opinion that people should keep out of the lives of other people on public streets unless those other people specifically choose to engage with them in a private setting. Same goes for pro-abortionists, who also believe they are doing something moral and good. I make no distinction. I would ban objectivists from protesting likewise just so we are clear.

          • And you are entitled to express that opinion, which is what this discussion is about. As for your views about public and private &c. those are opinions too, and of course you may express them too. Practical daily life will never be organized according to anybody’s personal preferences, but thank you for telling us what yours are.

          • There is such a thing called personal principles which should inform you actions. Practical daily life should be lived according to those principles and those principles should be based on existent reality.

            You are at liberty to disagree with me, but you have yet to make an argument for the individual moral principle by which you believe protesting an abortion clinic is an acceptable behaviour. The only thing I hear is that ‘the law allows me’, which is nothing but a feeble evasion of personal integrity which has been used to used as an excuse to perpetrate some of the worst attrocities throughout time.

            Define for me what you think free speech is, then make the argument from fundamental axioms to support it. You will not manage it because you have never thought that hard. Free speech for you is just a dogmatic truth.

            Don’t bother replying.

          • You say “Define for me”, and then “Don’t bother replying”. However, you are right: free speech for me is a dogmatic truth, and should be accepted without any need for hard thought.

          • I’m of the opinion that people should keep out of the lives of other people on public streets unless

            … you personally feel that it’s perfectly OK to engage in acts of violence against them for daring to say publicly what you personally disagree with privately.

          • That’s what they are doing by engaging in intimidating behaviour, by gathering on public streets. There are consequences.

          • Meanwhile back in reality :

            http://www.civilrightsmovement.co.uk/right-freedom-speech.html

            Freedom of Speech Rights
            Freedom of speech and expression are recognised under the European Convention of Human Rights as fundamental human rights. In Britain these rights can be found as early as 1215 in the Magna Carta.
            Everyone has the right to freedom of speech and expression, and has the right to voice their opinions and to freely receive and give out information. Prior to the Human Rights Act, the freedom of expression was permitted as long as the law did not prevent it. But the Human Rights Act now guarantees under the law the rights to freedom of speech and expression.

            The Fundamental Right
            Freedom of speech and expression are extremely important rights; in Britain we have the right to express ourselves without persecution from others. This is not the case in all countries around the world. There are still countries where it is possible to be incarcerated and punished for expressing your own opinion if it goes against government thinking. The right to freedom of speech and expression is the building block of our society. Anyone has the right to express themselves freely without fear of punishment from the government of from other individuals.

          • Yes, excellent, can you define it now ? Its very clear. It is not your right to force your ideas on me, it is purely the right to say whatever you think without censorship by the GOVERNMENT. It is to protect the rights of minorities against the state. It is only Government that has that vested power. Individuals have the right to see and hear what others are saying, but that means a corollary, that they also have the right not to see, or hear that which offends them.

            I think too many people have watched the university snowflakes with their no platforming and safe spaces and are so angry at the clear suppression of speech, that they are rebounding. I understand the anger, I feel it myself, but to fail to discriminate between private universities and public streets is a huge mistake and a costly one for free speech.

          • they also have the right not to see, or hear that which offends them

            bollox to **that** completely asinine notion.

            So what, you’re demanding that you have a “right” to send in your jackbooted totalitarian thought police to repress any public expression of ideas that you dislike ?

            snowflakes with their no platforming

            You are yourself, quite obviously, a no-platforming snowflake.

          • People can make that choice for themselves, it doesn’t take Jack booted thought police to act according to ones own principles. However it does take hard effort to define ones principles in the first place and then to stick rigorously to them, something that most people seem to avoid.

          • it doesn’t take Jack booted thought police to act according to ones own principles

            It does when YOU clearly desire to impose your personal principles onto society as a whole.

          • Well now, that’s absolutely not true unless you count the principle of free speech which proceeds from the basic rights to life, liberty, property and the right to pursue your own happiness if you can.

            They are the only principles on which I stand in the form of a blanket agreement. From those rights springs an objective law and blind justice.

            Anything you personally disagree with there ?

          • I disagree that your presentation of beliefs that you have actively militated against on MULTIPLE occasions can be in any way honest.

          • But they are and as consistent as I’m consciously able to manage within the limits of my own rational capabilities. I’m happy to be proven wrong in order that I can reassess, differentiate and integrate the new information. If I’m not interested in discovering existent reality then I’m a fraud, an evader and wilfully ignorant. Present you arguments rationally and logically and I’m willing to listen and change if required.

        • When somebody speaks to you from the other side of the street they are not forcing you to listen them. What you are really saying is that if somebody tells you something you don’t like hearing then they are forcing you to listen. Unless they are physically restraining you and shouting in your ear then that is clearly not true

          • Ever heard that Corsa going up and down your high street with windows wound down, rap music set to pain and the kind of exhaust note only favoured by those who have a penchant for attracting attention ?

            Did you ever once say ‘hey I didn’t hear it because I wasn’t forced to listen to it’ ?

            See, the entire argument for rights is to prevent men from resorting to the initiation of force. Rights are individual rights and not societies rights. It’s an important difference. It means not the right to do something (positive rights/priviliges), but the right for something NOT to be done to you (negative rights). Free speech is not the right to make people listen to your ideas, it is the right to express your ideas to individuals who have agreed to listen to them.

            I doubt I would have the same arguments presented here if there were a group of Muslim women protesting the lack of Burkas and FGM outside of the local sixth form college ? I doubt there would be much objection to the prevention of a extremist fascist group outside a synagogue ?

          • Why don’t you go and study for a bit. Get a copy of Objectivism the philosophy of Ayn Rand and read it. I don’t think she is a cultural-Marxist SJW by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed Objectivists have been compared to Nietzche, the far right, anarcho-capitalists, and Neo cons. LOL completely incorrectly of course, but certainly a long way from your aim point.

          • “Ayn Rand” and “study” are objective antonyms.

            I don’t think she is a cultural-Marxist SJW by any stretch of the imagination

            So what ?

            My claim is that Nockian is a cultural-Marxist SJW “liberal” ideologue, with totalitarian fascistic tendencies.

        • It isn’t your right to force me to listen to your ideology by standing on the street and proclaiming it by banner, strength of numbers or any other kind of attempt to restrict my choice

          Your choice is not “restricted” by the public expression of ideas that you disagree with for your own radical extremist ideological purposes.

          I reserve the right to punch you right in the nose

          This is the quintessence of so-called “liberalism” — the use of violence to repress opposite opinion.

          because one action begets another and before long we will have blood

          YOU are the only person in here to have actively threatened to make use of violence. Despicably, of course.

          You don’t get to blame others for your own violent urges.

          • I have an equal right not to hear or see unless I choose to do so. It’s pretty simple. When you go out onto the public streets to protest some activity, then you have moved from speech to action. When you blur the line between free speech and action then you will soon have neither. That is because you haven’t defined free speech and you haven’t yet produced a valid argument for it.

            My point, which you seem to have missed completely, is that actions lead to other actions, hence Tommy Robinsons clashes with Antifa and the recent situation in the USA and Europe. These aren’t expressions of free speech, they are direct actions and they create more actions in response which can well be very violent.

          • I have an equal right not to hear or see unless I choose to do so

            So you’re free to go out in public adorned with blinkers and ear plugs, then.

            And ?

            then you have moved from speech to action

            I am not responsible for your very confused ideas about the boundaries between expression and action.

            Hint : violent clashes between such organised hate groups as the antifa and the KKK are actions, not speech.

          • Why this isn’t clear to you is that you have not defined ‘free speech’ and failed to make the argument for it.

            We have a similar situation across universities which are bastions of free speech, but have become populated with students that believe free speech interferes with their fundamental rights and are engaging in suppression of free speech by anyone but themselves. That is what I mean by the blurring of the line between free speech and action. The result is the shutting down of both.

            Fail to define it and you run the risk of losing it. I can’t explain this any more clearly. There is a danger in blurring that line and you can bet there are many just waiting to capitalise on the ending of free speech and there will be no one with the argument to defend it. It’s precious, don’t squander it by failing to define it clearly.

          • you have not defined ‘free speech’

            That is a false statement.

            failed to make the argument for it

            I’m arguing against your rather despicable arguments in favour of using violence to enforce censorship of any and all public expression of ideas that you personally disagree with.

            engaging in suppression of free speech by anyone but themselves

            This is exactly what you are in favour of doing yourself, as you have made explicitly clear on multiple occasions, even just in this very thread.

      • Besides since you all use our terminology, maybe you should note that it covers a bit more than ‘free speech’. What it actually says is, ” […] or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        Here the ruling would be on ‘to peaceably assemble’. Cause I doubt many people are overly afraid of “weaponized Rosary beads”, although you might want to do something about the groups with the machetes.

    • Your definition of free speech seems to equal restricted speech limited to certain Nockian-approved spaces — in other words, your “definition” is the diametric opposite of what the very concept means.

      not demonstrations intended to intimidate by force of numbers

      So I can only assume that you’re radically opposed to “gay pride” marches, anti-Brexit political demonstrations, and public actions by striking workers ?

      • You appear to have no definition, nor an argument in support of free speech.

        I’m opposed to all demonstrations on public streets including those you mentioned and even by Objectivists. There is possibly an argument to be made for demonstrations against the Government, but then we are close to the line between demonstration and open revolt, which is really a break down in democracy and order, as is happening in Venezuela.

        By all means gather in private places like stadiums, fields, or whatever place agrees to hold your protest/rally. A person on strike has the right to withhold his labour, but he does not have the right to demonstrate outside of the business to prevent others working if they choose to. (That’s by objectivist standards and not the current law).

        Public streets are thoroughfares to allow access from one place to another. These streets are paid for through taxation. You have a right to express your opinions, but you don’t have the right to have other tax payers absorb that cost.

        • There is possibly an argument to be made for demonstrations against the Government

          So then exactly as suggested you wish to restrict the public expression of one’s speech to the tiny category of that which Nockian approves of.

          And what of those who disobey, eh ? Send in your jackbooted riot police ?

          It’s just straightforward out-and-out totalitarian censorship.

          • How ? It only applies to public demonstrations on public land. You can action your free speech on any private property which consents. You are free, or you should be free to read whatever you want. However, Amber Rudd and Theresa May seem to believe otherwise because you blurred the distinction and now viewing ‘extremist’ literature is likely to bring with it a prison sentence. See the problem with blurring distinctions yet ?

          • What do you mean “how ?” ???

            If you’re going to try and enforce your political ideology, then the only way that you could do so would be to have a MASSIVE repressive police force and prison system to put every mass demonstrator against your GHASTLY police state into various concentration camps or death camps.

            You know, like in North Korea, or Na. zi Germany, or the Soviet Union where such policies were actually implemented.

          • I think it’s easier if people realise their own stupidity and don’t engage in it. The reason is that eventually an opposing force decides to use their ‘free speech’ to shut down the others free speech and claiming the same sanctity of rights. Two dogs barking eventually gets to biting which involves a police force that should be doing other things. The eventuality is the blurring of speech and action until you have neither. Can’t you grasp that ? This is why I say I would ban it, because it will eventually lead to the kind of state you are envisaging as totalitarian – it’s already underway. People are their own worst enemies and its fruitless to try an reason with them as they just grunt back ‘it’s my right’….well not for long matey.

          • It’s a crux, I can’t deny that. I would be banning something that would eventually lead to a banning anyway. Kind of burn the village to save the village. It would be better if people realised their folly and acted rationally.

        • You appear to have no definition … of free speech

          You are VERY confused — just because you personally are ideologically opposed to the very idea of free speech, does not magically provide that no definition exists.

          Even sodding wikipedia knows !!

          Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.

          • I’ve already pointed out that it’s a half decent definition. Without fear of Government censorship is what it boils down to. However, the woman going to the abortion clinic is not the Government, she holds no power. Basic human empathy should tell you what’s wrong and right here, you don’t need the state to tell you that standing outside an abortion clinic with placards, handing out teddy bears and calling people mum isn’t helpful or nice. It’s intimidation and one day it will be met with an equal and opposite force who won’t stop at mere intimidation.

          • /face-palm/

            Believe it or not, your personal opinions do not define the nature of right and wrong, no matter how “empathetic” you might claim them to be.

          • Then please define those terms. Define good and evil. Define the standard by which you judge them.

            Someone’s pregnancy is their own affair, between them and their doctor. It does not mean do gooder religious busy bodies should be trying too make a traumatic decision even worse by hanging around legal abortion centres looking to shame woman.

            Let’s apply this to the classroom, where some parents are shocked to find their little ones being taught gay rights, sex education and transgenderism. It’s all just free speech right ? What about hard porn being shown on the local high street – are you cool with that kind of free speech ? At what point do you personally draw the line-or is the chaos of anything goes anarchy on the public highway your kind of thing ?

          • YOU are the one who introduced the terms “right” and “wrong” — so you jolly well provide your own definitions first !!!

            And since you asked, YOU define good and evil too, given that YOU introduced those terms as well.

            do gooder religious busy bodies should be trying too make a traumatic decision even worse

            That’s clearly what you’re attempting, matey, not me …

            Let’s apply this to the classroom, where some parents are shocked to find their little ones being taught gay rights, sex education and transgenderism. It’s all just free speech right ?

            Indeed, except that parents are being dragged through the mud for expecting that their own rights of free speech in education to their children are being directly violated.

          • I have done many times. The standard in is a mans life as an end in itself, anything that diminishes it is evil and anything that supports it is good.

            On your final paragraph – exactly. Their right is not to have their children listen to things they regard as offensive. If you agree, then why do you not see that this is the exact same thing being done by a group who thinks their right to free speech overrides others not to hear it ?

          • I have done many times. The standard in is a mans life as an end in itself, anything that diminishes it is evil and anything that supports it is good.

            Pure waffle, so abstract as to be intrinsically meaningless.

            You’ve just displaced the notions of good and evil to “supports” and “diminishes”.

            It’s just relativist mumbo-jumbo.

          • What’s are your axioms ?

            Mans life is not an abstraction, it is an existential absolute. The intrincisism is all on your side as a spiritual mystic believing in revelation as the ultimate source of all knowledge.

          • I thought that your blinkered and indoctrinated attitude would reinforce your indoctrination and blinkeredness into the exact dogmatic attitude that you have demonstrated today.

          • That’s one way of putting it. My dogma then is predicated on the axioms of existence and the consciousness of that existence. I think you will find its very difficult to deny those fundamental axioms when forming any argument – stolen concept fallacy.

            What are your axioms ?

          • The belief that thought must be defined by immovable axioms is the very essence of fascism.

            The Revelation is not a collection of mindless platitudes.

          • You eventually will have to admit to an axiom wether you like it or not.

            Fascism is generally accepted to be the means of production nominally in the hands of private individual, but in essence controlled by the state. It is totalitarian in the same way as socialism because it is a political system that cannot exist without force to make the individual subservient to the state/ government/leader/prolitariat.

            It’s a pity you feel that way. I see religion as anti-life too, but I don’t think all religious people are consciously anti-life, or are a direct threat. Therefore I’m happy to discuss, but that’s up to you if you don’t feel like it, I quite understand, no hard feelings here.

          • Fascism is generally accepted to be the means of production nominally in the hands of private individual, but in essence controlled by the state

            This contradicts my point not in the slightest.

            I see religion as anti-life

            And as already pointed out, you understand religion not in even the mere slightest.

            It is an utterly moronic claim, as previously stated.

            YOU are the one proposing actual anti-life ideologies.

          • I’m struggling to see how you equate the lack of protestors at an abortion clinic with anti-life. I’m sure an explanation will appear shortly though 😉

            Plenty of online material, books, magazine articles, forums, priests, doctors, family, friends, films, literature and groups who can help make the decision-as long as one has the freedom to decide, which of course the pro-birthers want to remove. Funny how you ignore that part of the puzzle to impart freedoms to a potential child over that of the actual existent mother. Of course once the law is changed they care neither about the mother, nor the unwanted child.

          • I’m struggling to see how you equate the lack of protestors at an abortion clinic with anti-life

            Your warped caricatures do not represent what I actually wrote nor think.

            To seek to criminalise the exercise of anti-abortion free speech is implicitly to be pro-abortion therefore anti-life.

            to impart freedoms to a potential child over that of the actual existent mother

            Typical pro-death rhetoric — notably your gratuitous use of “potential” versus “existent”, which is sheer Lefty relativism again.

            There is no “freedom” to commit such manslaughters.

            once the law is changed they care neither about the mother, nor the unwanted child

            A vile and completely unsubstantiated slander, in fact directly contrary to the truth.

          • But I haven’t sought to criminalise free speech pro-birthers. However, it isn’t the right of pro-birthers to force people to listen to them. That’s the corrolary of free speech.

            If pro-birthers want to change the law there is a perfectly good democratic mechanism for doing so. Those people protesting outside abortion centres claim they are ‘helping women’ when really they are trying to shame women, to make the experience so uncomfortable for those going to the clinic that they will prefer not to go.

            There is no ‘manslaughter’ check the law. It is legal to have abortions and has been for many years despite your opposition. Long may it be so. You and your witch doctors can make representations through legal channels if you want, or go live in some backward country with like minded witch doctors.

          • it isn’t the right of pro-birthers to force people to listen to them. That’s the corrolary of free speech.

            No, and no.

            Free speech, or more accurately freedom of expression, means that you have no right to try and enforce your desire upon others to not engage in it.

            And crikey, you CANNOT voice opinions in favour of preventing the exercise of free speech in public places, including if it may be to your personal displeasure, without by definition promoting outright censorship and the abolishing of freedom of expression as such.

            when really they are trying to shame women

            That’s just more Lefty political propaganda, that you would BTW be unable to prove, given that it is based on nothing more than slanders and lies.

            It is legal to have abortions

            It is in fact illegal to do so under UK Law.

            witch doctors

            … and then he wonders why I think he’s an atheist bigot.

          • I don’t wonder, you have said it often enough and it doesn’t concern me. I’ve called you witch doctor because that’s the most apt description for a mystic.

          • Yes, you are.

            You’re just endlessly recycling the same old bollox as if just by mere repetition one would magically become convinced by it.

            Not to mention your grotesque attempts to shoe-horn the opinions of those disagreeing with you, even quite fundamentally, into the limitations of your own blinkered world-view …

          • You are magically convinced all the time, that’s your philosophy, faith free of reason, knowledge free of proof. Magical indeed.

            Thing is you know it, all Mystics do, you cannot justify faith on the level of rational logic so why even try to do so ?

          • You’re assuming that some bollox scenario that you’ve constructed in your mind about those who disagree with you must be true just because you have come up with it — and never mind how many times people tell you it’s bollox having nothing whatsoever to do with their actual objections to your frankly ghastly ideological beliefs.

            This is delusional.

            “You believe in God therefore you are wrong to disagree with what I think” is an asinine and quite cretinous position.

            Enough of this bollox, but I do feel sorry for your blinkered & indoctrinated ideological narrow-mindedness.

          • Don’t build on sand then. If you base your entire philosophy around the notion that proof isn’t necessary-faith. Then how consistent can your principles really be in respect of existent reality ?

            I have no issue with you having faith and being a mystic, that’s your choice, but adhere to that faith rather than prognosticating and moralising to those who don’t share it. The rest of us live on planet earth, we aren’t in Gods waiting room waiting for judgement day, we don’t draw our ethics from divine revelation or our knowledge from some intrinsic ‘knowing’. Therefore, if you don’t like abortion, as a woman, then you owe it to yourself not to have one as a matter of your personal principle, but stop trying to live others lives for them by supporting the kind of intimidation being demonstrated outside abortion clinics.

          • If you base your entire philosophy around the notion that proof isn’t necessary

            oooooh look !!!

            ANOTHER gratuitous and grotesquely exaggerated strawman !!!!

            I have no issue with you having faith

            A blatant lie.

            being a mystic

            Blatant Randian ideological bollox.

            rather than prognosticating and moralising to those who don’t share it

            I don’t know what the F you mean by “prognosticating” ; but as for “moralising” to those who don’t share your ideology, why not just follow your own advice and stop trying to subject people to your totalitarian utopianist cr@p ?

            Or is your ideology just one-way ?

            from some intrinsic ‘knowing’

            You haven’t even the faintest idea what you’re on about.

          • Firstly I’m not on the high street protesting but participating voluntarily in a conversation in a private forum that permits such a discussion, as are you. There is a clear distinction whatever you think of my ideology, or I of yours.

            So down to it.

            What is your ultimate authority ? Isn’t it God, through Gods authority here on earth-the church.

            I don’t have any issue with those who want to have faith as long as they don’t go around initiating force either directly or through proxies. That you are a mystic is fact. That’s the problem with Mystics, they cannot admit to it because it marginalises their entire philosophy. I don’t use it as an insult, but you clearly take it as such.

            My ideology IS one way. Absolutely. It is rational selfishness. That doesn’t mean I’m infallible, I can certainly make errors, but my guide is reason, fact and reality and a competence of mind to accept no other authority but my own. I know best what’s best for me.

            Intrincisism is knowledge that somehow appears in the human mind by revealed divine revelation. Like Gods commandments for instance. Every religion, including the communist collectivist religion has versions of intrinsic knowledge, the origin of which is unknowable, but happily there is always a man who claims to know it.

          • That you are a mystic is fact

            Just more Randian dogma.

            I don’t use it as an insult, but you clearly take it as such

            You have no interest at all, clearly, in what I mean to say ; given your paranoid desire to systematically redefine any and all of it according to your dogmatic creed.

            When I describe something as “bollox” this does NOT mean “insult”, not that I actually expect you to be capable of ever seeing anything outside of your blinkered and mentally confused sub-routines.

            to accept no other authority but my own

            The very definition of the word “idiot” — look it up

            Intrincisism is

            FFS not this bloody “intrinsicism” CRAP again ????!!!???!!?

            I am NOT defined by your moronic ideologies.

          • This :

            John : {3:16} For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that all who believe in him may not perish, but may have eternal life.
            {3:17} For God did not send his Son into the world, in order to judge the world, but in order that the world may be saved through him.
            {3:18} Whoever believes in him is not judged. But whoever does not believe is already judged, because he does not believe in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
            {3:19} And this is the judgment: that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness more than light. For their works were evil.
            {3:20} For everyone who does evil hates the Light and does not go toward the Light, so that his works may not be corrected.

  6. Some anti-abortion protesters have undermined their own cause, honourable as it is, by resorting to violence and abuse. However, it does not appear that those outside Ealing have done so. The notion of “weaponising rosary beads” made me burst out laughing. Perhaps Dr. Huq should become a comedian. People protest, both loudly and silently, outside many different buildings, and there is no reason why an abortion clinic should be any different. If violence is used, then the police must step in and enforce the law. But no one is obliged to offer you a clean conscience, particularly if there are strong moral arguments against what you wish to do.

      • I’d agree with you if there were any foul language in the post (there wasn’t,) but if I want to be told what I am and aren’t allowed to say, I’ll go to the Guardian.

    • I am sorry. We have an automated moderation system which is sometimes over industrious I am afraid. It is designed to spot abusive language /uncivil discourse etc. Could you rephrase your comment and have another go?

      • It seems to want to censor the N word, but not the one that ends in r, but in i. Anyone can then post that word and the other word for that matter as long as they don’t use the word-which is ridiculous as everyone knows what it is anyway.

  7. I frequently walk past the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing.

    The ‘protesters’ are mainly nuns praying with rosary beads in hand. They stand well away from the entrance but do place A4 size colour photos on the pavement of foetuses in various stages of development.

    One weekday lunchtime in August a large group of Ealing Council workers, accompanied by Dr Huq, attempted to drive the nuns away. The situation got quite nasty and the police were called.

  8. As I often write when this topic comes up, I could understand the likes of Huq were she pro capital punishment, however, the attitude seems to be not to execute an adult on the basis the they might not be guilty, but it is acceptable to execute the foetus which is never guilty.

    • Exactly, noix, the pro-death brigade only believe in the killing of undoubtedly-innocent people. The one thing that are NOT is people with any kind of compassion.

      • And I wonder what she thinks about “Israel”, that proxy for a common prejudice in certain quarters.

  9. “worthy”? – there’s one word for people like this, four letters, begins with “E”. Apparently there is not one, nor two, but three organisations in the USA of atheists, agnostics, and other non-theists, who are strongly anti-pro-death – so you don’t need to be Catholic, Christian, or a religious person of any kind, to believe in the value, and valuing, of human life.

  10. “Quite how is not clear, though she does refer engagingly at one point to ‘weaponising rosary beads’ – an idea at which the mind boggles.”

    Delet “rosary beads” and insert “koran” then see what happens.

  11. Mr Tettenborn

    The anti-semitic supporting Rupa Huq MP, seems to have brought into sharp relief the myths surrounding free speech. Some of us may recall reading Milton.

    In his Areopagitica Milton says, “Now you understand of course that when I speak of toleration and free expression I don’t mean Catholics. Them we extirpate.”

    Free speech seems all ways to have been merely a conduit through which arguments flow that are intended to persuade or inspire others to embark upon a course of action, or refrain from doing so.

    One of the questions that this affair has brought up is: what will be permitted or excluded from the zone of free speech?

    Huq does not seem to come to these issues from what I would call classic liberalism. She seems to arrive at a position that encourages the killing of babies in the service of a choice. A choice which in turn depends on the right to life in the first place.

  12. I do hope that Rupa Huq MP, Ealing Council, the Labour Party and Parliament recall the famous words on free speech by Lord Justice Sedley in Redmond-Bate v. Director of Public Prosecutions: Admin 23 July 1999.

    ‘‘Freedom of speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative, provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having. What Speakers’ Corner (where the law applies as fully as anywhere else) demonstrates is the tolerance which is both extended by the law to opinion of every kind and expected by the law in the conduct of those who disagree, even strongly, with what they hear. From the condemnation of Socrates to the persecution of modern writers and journalists, our world has seen too many examples of state control of unofficial ideas. A central purpose of the European Convention on Human Rights has been to set close limits to any such assumed power. We in this country continue to owe a debt to the jury which in 1670 refused to convict the Quakers William Penn and William Mead for preaching ideas which offended against state orthodoxy.”

  13. Freedom of expression and argument is a wonderful thing but I don’t see how it encompasses the kind of snide and bullying emotional assault described by the author here on women trying to get to this clinic.

    The way forward is clear – a massive expansion of early pregnancy testing, genetic analysis and abortion services to ensure that women can terminate pregnancies when necessary within the first few weeks.

    • If you believe that life begins at conception (a perfectly defensible scientific viewpoint), and you believe the right to life is fundamental, then how does earlier abortion help?

      • It doesn’t. If you believe further that every sperm is sacred then you are in even deeper difficulties. Being a nun must be no fun.

          • Sorry. Not a straw man argument – it was a joke.

            Sir Lancelot asked: “If you believe that life begins at conception (a perfectly defensible scientific viewpoint), and you believe the right to life is fundamental, then how does earlier abortion help?”

            And the answer is that it doesn’t help.

    • So for you, the way “forward” is to ensure that the mass killings of the unborn are to be made even more numerous ?

      What a callous and evil notion, and all in the name of nothing other than so-called “consequence-free” s€x …

          • Just trying to voluntarily nudge it back on track, not issue some commandment. The subject is really free speech, then it can sprawl all over the place as it does, but then the subject doesn’t get debated. The question ‘abortion or not’ ? Has been debated to stale mate very recently and will likely end up that way again.

          • Just what moderators are supposed to do but never happens here. It makes for a more focused discussion which, for those who attend frequently dragged out business meetings will understand as a plus.

          • The subject is really free speech

            Not just on your say-so it bloody well isn’t, not when the article specifically states that the deliberate repression of pro-life opinions is being supported by such radical atheist secularist pro-death totalitarian ideologues as yourself.

          • Your choice. That’s a big mouthful. How am I preventing you from your pro-birth right to free speech ?

            I’ve already argued the point of potential to actual in favour of abortion for women who want them in accordance with whatever doctors recommend as the cut off date. There is no way to achieve agreement with a religious pro-birther because their philosophy is irrational faith based. When you show me God and let me hear his word as proof, then we can have a different conversation, but until then reality requires rationality not mystic Hoo Ha to navigate existence. Your axioms will always be based on an unproven deity, whilst mine are on observable existential reality.

          • How am I preventing you from your pro-birth right to free speech ?

            You’re not, thank heavens — but clearly from your posts here, that’s what you desire.

            because their philosophy is irrational faith based

            … quoth the man with the irrational atheism-based ideology.

            When you show me God

            I am not God — please pray to Him for that, not any simple mortal whose power cannot provide it.

            my axioms will always be based on … observable existential reality

            What a load of self-serving, pretentious, self-deluded gibberish !!

          • Not a bit. I have no desire to stop you speaking, nor anyone else, otherwise my desire would be to ultimately stop me speaking would it not ?

            Atheist is really a term used by religious Mystics to imply someone who doesn’t comply with their own beliefs. It’s like climate denier, or capitalist as used by Marxists. Faith is irrational – to believe in something without proof of its existence is to deny ones own mind is competent to know anything.

            Pray to whom ? Man makes things happen for himself, all the praying and wishing won’t bring a single drop of water from the well, it won’t procure the fabric for a building, nor gather wood for a fire. That’s reality.

            State your axioms then. Let’s see what they are. Let’s see the source of your philosophy.

          • Atheist is really a term used by religious Mystics to imply someone who doesn’t comply with their own beliefs

            No it bloody well isn’t — just ask Dorkins for starters !!

            Your “argument” is not well served by these blatant falsehoods.

            Man makes things happen for himself

            So then what is the origin of man, and what is the origin of causality ?

            Your statement is observably incorrect.

            State your axioms then

            http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

          • Dawkins is a materialist collectivist. I don’t agree with him on anything. He is as much a mystic as you are, he just worships a different kind of deity.

            Causality is identity; identity is existence; indentification is consciousness. Causality is the nature of things reacting and interacting.

            As I’m sure you know I don’t require a prime mover. The simple reason is that any prime mover would then require a prime mover- hence infinite regression. The idea that we need a creator fails because that would in turn require a creator. If God is uncreated, there is no reason why the universe can’t be uncreated. Causality is the action of specific entities within the universe, not per se of the universe as a whole.

            First axiom existence exists. Second A consciousness that grasps that existence. Therefore we can say existence is identity; consciousness is identification. It is identity that gives specific entities a specific nature, the interacting and reaction of those natures is causality.m

          • Causality is identity; identity is existence; indentification is consciousness. Causality is the nature of things reacting and interacting

            That does not answer the actual question that I asked — what is its origin ?

            As I’m sure you know I don’t require a prime mover

            I am not responsible for your metaphysical naïveté.

            any prime mover would … require … infinite regression

            I see that you do not understand the question.

            If God is uncreated, there is no reason why the universe can’t be uncreated

            This is irrelevant to the question that I asked.

            What is the origin of axioms ?

          • the origin is existence, that existence implies identity – a thing is a thing with a specific nature. It is the nature of things within the universe to react and interact which implies causality. Existence and identity are axiomatic, irreducible facts. There is no origin of axioms, just as there is no origin of consciousness to grasp existence. It does however have a specific identity, it is what it is, and it has a specific nature, to grasp existence.

            I have to laugh a bit here, because I was having the same conversation with an atheistic friend of mine recently who swears blind that I’m a Christian. So, that you think I’m a cultural Marxist isn’t really that strange. I get it all the time. From my viewpoint, both Marxist and Christian are nearly identical-both are Mystics, one of muscle, the other of spirit. Objectivist have both soul and body as necessary in combination. Both spirit and body, or existence and consciousness as corrolaries of each other in the human being. That neither can be seperated without breaking the unity. Consciousness or spirit cannot exist without the body and the body is no more than a pile of components without the spirit.

          • So what is the origin of existence then ?

            (PS YOU are the one smack bang in the middle of the infinite regression fallacy, not me)

            From my viewpoint, both Marxist and Christian are nearly identical-both are Mystics

            I have already pointed out the deep stupidity of that notion.

          • Existence is an axiom, it exists, no further investigation is possible, nor necessary. How do I know ? because I open my eyes and there it is, peek-a-boo style. That’s my limit, as much as I can know from my senses about existence, it exists and I can grasp it with the only faculty I have to grasp it -sense perception and consciousness. It is pointless then to ask what the origin of existence is, it is like saying asking what is the origin of the origin.

            Existence vs non-existence is the subject I discussed with my atheist friend who declares that space is ‘nothingness’ to which I replied ‘that means non existence, which is to say that you believe there is an existence of non-existence’. Denying the existence of something whilst pointing to its existence is an example of the stolen fallacy.

          • Existence is an axiom

            So you’re not actually going to even try and answer the question then, except by the recitation of your favourite dogmas ? Bloody typical of the sort of dogmatised ideologue that you are …

            Denying the existence of something whilst pointing to its existence

            Cripes, what pole-dancing nonsense !!

          • I have answered the question. Existence IS. We can investigate the nature of the things which are existent but that is all.

            You want an answer to where existence comes from, your answer would be God. So if I ask you where God comes from ? Then I ask you what the origin of God is ? That would be a crazy question right ? You have your axiom God. Is God therefore existent or non-existent ? See, just like my atheist friend-he would basically answer ‘both’.

          • You are asking me to present some beliefs in some totalitarian absolutisms, except that I do not share your silly so-called “objectivist” so-called “philosophies”.

            I have already pointed out to you where you can discover written descriptions of what I believe — this is not constituted of so-called “axioms”, but of principles from classical Catholic ethics and morals.

            Principles are not “axiomatic”, as are the decrees of totalitarian political ideologies such as your own.

          • No, but if you keep moving your concepts higher, or to put it another way, you keep differentiating your concepts to fundamental building blocks that you cannot break down any further. When you are actually standing on the last stones of the foundation-which you called the ‘origin’-then what stones are they ? What is your fundamental origin.

          • The fundamental building blocks are the Acts of Divine Creation by God, that I could not even begin to describe.

            Creation and Reality are not based on “axioms” — these belong to certain kinds of human-devised mental activities only. No “axioms” can define reality.

            Which part of “I do not share your silly so-called “objectivist” so-called “philosophies”” did you fail to comprehend ?

          • Right, so these things that you cannot describe, you have described as acts of God. Yet you have clearly subscribed an ‘action’ to an ‘actor’.

            Now you say ‘reality’ but you don’t define it. How do you know what reality is ? What method do you use to know it ?

            When you say reality and creation aren’t based on axioms, you are saying that those ARE the axioms, that they are fundamental and cannot be reduced further.

            Define creation. Is it not the purposeful rearrangement of matter into new forms ?

          • Now you say ‘reality’ but you don’t define it

            oh good GRIEF that’s the most moronic “objection” I’ve seen in the past month or two …

            When you say reality and creation aren’t based on axioms, you are saying that those ARE the axioms

            I knew you’d produce that logical fallacy …

            Non-axioms, or the outright denial that “axioms” are meaningful to define reality, are not “axioms” by very definition.

            A >< non-A.

            Is it not the purposeful rearrangement of matter into new forms ?

            Please don’t pretend such crass ignorance about the question of the origins.

          • So now you admit reality, which is existence, IS an axiom.
            Beautifully done. We are getting somewhere at last.
            Remember it was you who asked about origins. It was you who produced your own logical fallacy by omission and you fell right in. Good boy.

          • So now you admit reality, which is existence, IS an axiom

            I said the EXACT opposite — A >< non-A

            Your reading skills are not particularly good are they, though that really should come as no surprise given your admiration for the execrable literature of Ayn Rand …

            hmmmmmm, maybe the crass ignorance about the question of the origins is actually genuine ?

            You certainly display crass ignorance about basic Human Rights and the very principles of Law in a democratic Nation State …

          • Your ignorance is shameful.

            Meanwhile, I am unable to provide you with the proper University education that you have so obviously been deprived of.

          • The law of non contradiction is either a dot or a upside down V between the A and -A . I’ve never seen it as >< ? I don't think you are quite as smart as you think you are, that university cost appears poorly spent.

          • I’ve never seen it as ><

            I am not responsible for your personal deficiencies.

            Nor is it an expression of “the law of non contradiction”.

            Again, I have no possibility in here to supplement your ignorances.

          • John : {2:14} And he found, sitting in the temple, sellers of oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers.
            {2:15} And when he had made something like a whip out of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, including the sheep and the oxen. And he poured out the brass coins of the moneychangers, and he overturned their tables.
            {2:16} And to those who were selling doves, he said: “Take these things out of here, and do not make my Father’s house into a house of commerce.”

          • Presumably then it was private property and his dad didn’t want those people on his property. Sounds reasonable.

      • Hello JabbaPapa – thanks for taking sufficient interest to comment.

        My proposal was actually focused on reducing (hopefully eliminating) the need for these dreadful procedures where unborn babies have to be dismembered. At present about 9% of abortions are at over 12 weeks gestation. If we can drive that down to something approaching zero then we can eliminate these operations.

        I appreciate this approach takes a pragmatic line rather than addressing many peoples’ moral concerns. It does seem to me to be medically feasible though given the latest advances in technology.

        I am inferring that you are raising the possibility that the greater availability of services will encourage people to be reckless and to get pregnant more often. I would hope we could address that through better education, but I haven’t any specific proposals beyond that.

        • My proposal was actually focused on reducing (hopefully eliminating) the need for these dreadful procedures where unborn babies have to be dismembered

          Don’t want babies ? Then don’t have sex.

          It is moronic to expect that repeated procreative activities should lead to any absence of procreations.

          • Hello again.

            I agree that not having s_x will lead to not having babies. And there are many people who don’t want to have s_x with anyone. For those people, it is pretty easy to avoid having babies unless they are in a situation where somebody does want to have s_x with them and is in a position to impose their will (more common than either of us would like, I suspect).

            The main difficulty is that there are many people who do want to have s_x but do not want to have babies. This may be in the context of a marriage, for instance – it is for me. That’s why those of us who have no moral objection have come up with ways to interfere with the copulation -> procreation natural course of events.

            We can perhaps include for completeness here the option of non-reproductive s_x (oral etc.). (Let’s call it “recreation”). I don’t know what your attitude is to this but I certainly think it’s a strong candidate – maybe that’s what you meant?

          • there are many people who do want to have s_x but do not want to have babies

            This sort of objectively irrational attitude cannot possibly “justify” the industrialised manslaughters of the unborn.

          • Fair enough.

            Just to clear away the issues here, do you object to ANY intervention i.e. contraception? And do you object to what I called recreation (i.e. non penetrative) s_x?

            Just trying to understand the limits of your concerns.

          • Yes – I see – HPV transmission. It looks like the HPV vaccine is going to eliminate this problem over the next decade or so, which is great news. Would that address your concerns i.e. are they purely health related?

    • What you call emotional assault, some might call effective argument. All moral argument reaches to the emotions.

    • You’re missing out.
      If you want genuinely “snide” and “bullying” comments, I’m told the Guardian pages are the place to go, with a an accompanying track record of shutting down debate if they’re not getting the best of the argument.
      Can’t recall that happening on these pages.

  14. A more comprehensive understanding of free speech gleaned from the Objectivis lexicon.

    Freedom of speech means freedom from interference, suppression or punitive action by the government—and nothing else. It does not mean the right to demand the financial support or the material means to express your views at the expense of other men who may not wish to support you. Freedom of speech includes the freedom not to agree, not to listen and not to support one’s own antagonists. A “right” does not include the material implementation of that right by other men; it includes only the freedom to earn that implementation by one’s own effort. Private citizens cannot use physical force or coercion; they cannot censor or suppress anyone’s views or publications. Only the government can do so. And censorship is a concept that pertains only to governmental action.

    • That’s no “understanding”, it’s a political agenda for the imposition of a centralised Government Agency of the direct repression of free speech as such, and of a thought police dedicated to the alienation of any and all public expression of all opinions antithetical to those of its politburo.

      That you fail to comprehend the intrinsic lie of the political agenda that you have subjected your mind to is extremely displeasing.

      Freedom of speech does NOT include any ‘freedom …not to listen and not to support one’s own antagonists” — it is in fact directly and fundamentally founded upon the exact opposite.

      Private citizens cannot use physical force or coercion; they cannot censor or suppress anyone’s views or publications. Only the government can do so. And censorship is a concept that pertains only to governmental action.

      A straightforwardly fascistic totalitarian proposal.

      • Are you reading through weird glasses. This is not a proposal, it’s pointing out that private citizens don’t have the authority, nor the monopoly of force to censor views and publications. Hence-and you provided the definition yourself-free speech only pertains to Government censorship.

        In the case of nuns outside an abortion clinic it is citizen to citizen. The problem is the rights of those who do not want to observe pictures of foetus and cross a public thoroughfare with protestors are having their rights trampled on by other citizens that believe they have the right to make them provide the material to do so.

        As was pointed out on daily politics, there have been several fracas involving the police who had to intervene – a cost to tax payers and a waste of public resources that could be better used catching criminals, not dealing with idiots who have the sense of dogs.

    • ‘Private citizens cannot use physical force or coercion; they cannot censor or suppress anyone’s views or publications. Only the government can do so. And censorship is a concept that pertains only to governmental action.’

      1. No Magna Carta (1215);
      2. No Reformation;
      3. No English Civil War – certainly no English Bill of Rights (1688);
      4. No Declaration of Independence 4th July 1776.

      Just whose side are you on?

      • He’s not on mine. The government derives its just (remember that modifier) powers from the people, who are sovereign. The government cannot do anything the people cannot do. Anything more de-legitimises the government itself. We said that in 1776, you guys said it back in the mists of Anglo-Saxon times when you elected your kings.

      • If you don’t understand the context you only have to ask.

        The state has the monopoly of on physical force. That does not mean that individuals are unable to use coercion or physical force, but that it is illegal to to so. We live under a common law and have by consent agreed that we will give up our rights to physical force/justice towards our neighbour and have free speech instead. That the state has monopoly on force, means it could, if it so chooses, to apply that force to censorship-unlike a private citizen-hence it is in our interests to ensure that they do not (currently Amber Rudd is promising 15 years in prison for those viewing ‘extremists’ literature).

        The point being made here is that free speech on public streets, as protest, is not free speech at all, but direct action. In the context of the current Governments policies on ‘extremism’ (which could mean anything, but pertains, allegedly to public protest through terrorism only) which could broaden at any time, this kind of action blurs the distinction between free speech and action. When a definition becomes blurred like that, then the state begins to censor free speech as it is currently attempting to do. Government can and does already censor elements of what we can view and say, claiming that they are ‘hate speech’.

        To answer your question, who’s side am I on ? Surely that is clear ? I’m on the side of free speech and not letting the state censor anything, that is why I’m concerned that many here cannot see that street protests against our fellow citizens as blurring the distinction (not the Government here, but protesting private citizens going about their lawful business on public streets). It’s the blurring of the distinction that leads to Governments being able to censor free speech-and you must know this has begun in the universities where speech and ‘micro-aggression’ are now considered one and the same, hence the no platforming and safe spaces. Once it’s accepted that free speech and physical action are the same, then the Government can move to censor both. Remember, what begins in universities almost always goes mainstream.

        • free speech on public streets, as protest, is not free speech at all, but direct action

          A directly false claim, as has already been pointed out to you copiously.

          this kind of action blurs the distinction between free speech and action

          You mistake your own mental confusions for a so-called “blurring” of “distinctions”.

          • Because you continually fail to realise that free speech is NOT shouting in someone’s ear in a public place; free speech is equally the right not to hear, not to listen, not to view and not to see. Rights are negatives, not positives -what can’t be done to you and not what you can do to other people.

            It is ONLY because there are public spaces that this distinction can be blurred, if it were private land you want automatically know that certain things would be welcome and others would not be. Indeed if you insisted on protesting in a private place you would be forcibly removed either by the owners, or the police.

            We all have to interact in a public space and hence the polite thing to do is not to harass anyone, not to make a spectacle, not to litter, not to block or otherwise hinder the passage of your fellow man. Respect people’s privacy and dignity by not trying to draw attention to them, nor yourself. It’s bad enough that we have to suffer these common areas without making things worse.

            I don’t know what more I can say, for me it’s very clear how to act, but I suppose there will always be those who will scream that it tramples on their rights to make an awful racket because they have ‘as much right’ as the next guy and if you don’t like it, well just don’t listen duh!

          • shouting in someone’s ear in a public place

            A gratuitous and grotesquely exaggerated strawman.

            the right not to hear, not to listen, not to view and not to see

            You are entirely free to go about your daily business blindfolded and with your ear plugs in.

            Really though, you just want to radically no-platform everyone you disagree with.

            It’s bad enough that we have to suffer these common areas

            riiiiight, so you’re an all-rounder in your misanthropy then …

          • How would I get anywhere blinded and with ear plugs and why should I need to perform those actions ? Why should I blind and deafen myself so some ignorant thugs can do what they want ?

            Is this sinking in yet ?

            I only value the people that a value, I’m not into brotherly love. If other people can go about their business and let me about mine, without us upsetting each other, then that’s a good day. It’s a bad day when they get in my face and I expect it’s an equally bad day for them if I get in their faces.

          • why should I need to perform those actions ?

            Well, apart from establishing your totalitarian utopia as dictator-for-life, how else could you avoid not seeing or hearing that which you disagree with ?

            hmmmmmm, I suppose you could always hide in your mum’s basement, instead ?

          • Isn’t it actually you who is dictating that I should blind and deafen myself ? That I should have to accept blinding and deafening for living in your utopia ? Where as I’m suggesting that we should respect each other’s privacy and hence no one need be blinded or deafened in the activities of our daily lives on public streets.

          • Isn’t it actually you who is dictating that I should blind and deafen myself ?

            Nope, go out and do whatever the F you want — though I’d advise against going out and punching people on their noses for daring to say in public places that which you personally disapprove of.

            Only a special snowflake could think that free speech somehow required massive censorship and repression.

          • Free speech is the lack of censorship by a Government. Your free for all shouting match in the streets is just anarchy. I won’t engage in it as I have a great deal more self respect than those that think they have a right to such behaviour.

            Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.

          • Your free for all shouting match in the streets

            oooooh look !!!

            ANOTHER gratuitous and grotesquely exaggerated strawman !!!!

          • Mate, you’re the one wishing to be free from exposure to contrary ideas in public places, not me …

            I’m merely pointing out what it would take to achieve that goal.

          • So, just don’t do it and we can all get along just fine. There are a myriad of ways to express opinion without taking to the streets. Let others decide if they wish to hear you, that’s the best option.

          • Let others decide if they wish to hear you

            So just more of the exact opposite of free speech then.

            Your totalitarian ideology is despicable.

          • I’ve said numerous times that free speech is two way. Your freedom of speech is my freedom not to listen and vica versa. Just as your right to be left alone is my right to be left alone. A society works best when all associations are voluntary.

            So, if someone wants to read about abortion options there are an almost inexhaustible source of places to seek it, or to discuss it, or to give speeches about it. No one has to stand on the street outside an abortion clinic, calling people mum, handing out teddy bears, leaflets and parading gruesome pictures of dead foetus. Now go away and learn about politeness and empathy.

          • special bloody snowflake

            Your freedom not to listen involves ear plugs and a violent ideology of censorship

          • Except you appear to have forgotten that it isn’t about me, but about vulnerable women facing an abortion. Your ideology appears to be that of a bully and I detest bullies, particularly the self righteous religious bigots.

          • cripes you bloody hypocrite, no later than yesterday you were claiming that it was all about free speech and had little to do with abortions …

            As for self-righteousness, go and take a good hard look in your bathroom mirror to see what it looks like

          • I’m not the one supporting the bullying of women. You are. I tried explaining free speech to you, but unfortunately your faith seems to have given you a vey dull mind.

          • I’m not the one supporting the bullying of women

            What a JOKE !!!

            You have overtly supported the bullying of women who disagree with your pro-death ideology in order to prevent them exercising their intrinsic human rights to free speech.

            I tried explaining free speech to you

            Your concept of so-called “free speech” amounts to nothing other than grotesque censorship.

  15. I would not want to deny a woman an abortion
    for her own medical well being or if the foetus
    was in some way seriously malformed..

    However abortion has now become an extension
    of contraception where women or couples failed
    to take the necessary precautions…..Tha is not
    what the original legislation was suppose to achieve…!

    Prior to the enactment of abortion legislation there
    we’re unwanted pregnancies and back st. abortion
    but not in the numbers we now see..

    Perhaps people are less carefull, constrained or even
    moral now and don,t care because the liberal lefties
    Say it’s all OK..

    • Medical interventions to save the life of a pregnant woman resulting in the death of her unborn are not technically, nor morally, willful abortions as such — though the mortal sin remains, and requires Confession and Penitence and Forgiveness into Absolution of the Sin.

  16. Hopefully every council in the UK will curb the outrageous excesses of noisy protesters worrying medical staff and harassing visitors outside medical facilities. Imagine the fuss if Jehova’s Witnesses waved placards outside blood donor clinics and forcibly pushed leaflets, riddled with lies and half-truths, into the hands of people choosing to give blood! Would that be tolerated? I think not. I hope local authorities drive these noisome individuals off the streets and redirect such rabble to the surgeries of their local MP, i.e., a specific individual whom should be lobbied in respect to changing the law.

    Let’s take back our streets from all such religious maniacal crazies and allow law-abiding persons to be about their lawful business without being verbally abused and accosted by the overwrought and unstable.

    • You have raised JWs as a straw man. There has never been one incident of a JW protesting outside a blood donor clinic. Not one. Given that these children are human beings, then let us see a better analogy.

      ‘Hopefully every council in the Fatherland will curb the outrageous excesses of noisy protesters worrying concentration camp staff and harassing visitors outside concentration camps . I hope local authorities drive these noisome individuals off the streets and redirect such rabble to the surgeries of their local Gestapo, i.e., a specific individual whom should be lobbied in respect to changing the law.

      ‘Let’s take back our streets from all such Christians and allow law-abiding persons to be about their lawful business without having their consciences disturbed.’

      There. That’s better.

  17. Killings babies is perhaps the greatest sin ever practised by women and the medical profession especially after the latest scientific research that has found babies in the womb feel pain.

    • And others – men: just to be let off the hook one more time.

      It takes the Internet company to relay the request; it takes the clerk in the office to book the appointment; it takes the train driver to transport the baby and mother (behind that the railway clerk to draw up the train schedules); it takes our political representatives to pass, amend or revise laws (the very legislature that passed the Human Rights Act 1998) – we’re all involved. We’re all guilty.

  18. An interesting note on the whole thing that just came into my inbox…

    “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just released their 2018-2022 plan, which unequivocally states that life begins at conception and deserves protection. In the introduction it says,

    “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.”

    The draft mentions conception five times total. The overwhelmingly pro-life stance in the draft is welcome news to many.”

    More at: http://thefederalist.com/2017/10/13/life-begins-at-conception-says-department-hhs/

  19. Ann Coulter got it right when she said that the main beneficiaries of abortion are men aged 18- 35.
    Bottom line:unwanted bastards are overrepresented in the gaols and nuthouses, and being adopted out rarely has a happy ending.
    You can’t legislate for morality, either.

  20. overtly Muslim but simultaneously a pro-abortion activist

    That’s not actually massively uncommon. Islam puts limits on abortion but it isn’t consistently anti-abortion – and certainly not from conception as Catholicism is. Christianity is relatively unique in having consistently held an anti-abortion line from its earliest days (with some very minor exceptions – there were medieval traditions about ensoulement which made it permissible before that occurred, but in almost every case the time periods involved were fleeting short – weeks not months after conception – and in every instance represented a minority view that was promptly and explicitly condemned).

    • there were medieval traditions about ensoulement

      Actually pagan in origin, from Greek paganism via Aristotle specifically.

      • Right – I’m just wary that if you don’t nod the head to the fact they existed a lunatic feminist usually comes along to tell everyone what the “real Christian tradition” is, assuming that you know nothing about it and will look stupid 🙂

        • That your superficial one-size-fits-all relativist “argument” is devoid of all nor any actual value, given that it’s just pure sophistry adaptable to any subject one might wish.

          Meanwhile, the industrialised mass-manslaughters of the unborn continue onwards in their horror, whilst you are clearly more interested in making online “jokes” about this utter tragedy of human bloodletting and dismemberments.

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