I have always had the belief that everyone should be able to speak their mind. That every discussion needs a pro and con side. And that by doing so, people should take all sources in account when considering what opinion to have on something.
This, however, is not always the case. People could form an opinion because of one thing someone said. They read a particular newspaper, and believe their propaganda to be fact, rather than being paid by some lobby. This is the United Kingdom, people’s views aren’t that as radical or as ill-judged as some in other countries. Or are they?
Throughout history, people have craved conflict. In the worst case senario, war and fighting can break out. This is something that can bring the people of a country together as the strive to get some kind of comradery to try and keep people strong. In the UK, this last happened in World War 2, when our country was in direct attack. Towns and cities were being attacked by Nazi bombing, and communities had to band together, to stay strong and rebuild communities after the War. People were pushed into co-operating with one another.
We are currently experiencing one of the longest peacetimes on British soil, and the need to band together is not really a requirement to exist anymore. People still want something to fight for, so start supporting various causes. This, fantastically, should bring some things into discussion, and make changes. But, as time goes on, people can start to look negatively about their personal situation, and get frustrated that their views do not get represented fully. They may start to band together with those who have similar points of view to themselves, and get could get pushed towards causes that they maybe never considered before. But the need for unity, and being heard, begins to cause conflict with other causes. People look for the differences in one another, rather than seeing why we are so similar.
The more frustrated people get, the more they want to change people’s views so that they can make the changes that they want. The frustration grows, and conflict becomes more and more common. People protest, the fascist right wing groups start to gain momentum, as the government struggles to keep a calm. Situations may arise like the Scottish Independence Referendum, where frustrated people want to change something, to try and better the situation for them and others. But all facts may not be considered, as people get more passionate and less considerate. They say what they say, and f**k anyone who doesn’t agree.
In the battle to get a fair society for all, the perception of what is ‘fair’ changes from person to person. To some, protection of the Church and Christian ethics are an important part of the laws of the land. To others, religion shouldn’t be a part of any government, and things such as marriage should be available to all people, regardless of sexual orientation. These two opposing view points are something that should be discussed calmly.
But increasingly, what people are being dictated to, in what to think. If someone believe’s in God, and feels homosexuality is wrong, shouldn’t he be safe to say his opinion? I don’t believe religion is necessary in government, as I believe some of the ‘rules’ can be out of date, should I not say that for fear of retaliation? How about another example, we allow a Iraqi family to come to the UK and live, they do and their kids go through our school system and become productive members of society. That’s great, isn’t it? They then learn about UK soldiers bombing Iraqi civillians, do they not have a right to speak out against the country that accepts them as inhabitants, and at the same time kills their countrymen? Surely they do. But these people will get told to leave the UK, for not supporting our troups. They work and pay taxes as much as the rest of us, shouldn’t they be able to speak their mind as much as their neighbours?
And that is the problem with free speech and speaking your mind. It is never really free to some. The efforts to stiffle those who speak more unsavoury thoughts, is painting an untrue picture of public opinion. If you let pro-choice people demonstrate, let pro-life too. Free speech in any society should allow people to share the opinions, without fear of retribution.
I know I have talked about this a lot reccently, but I am seeing it a lot in the media around me. And it is something that dwells on my mind a lot, because I feel I can say what I want, but that is because I have quite liberal leanings, but what about those who have more conservative views? I think increasingly those with conservative views are hushed into silence for being not so politically correct.