Freedom is everywhere but why don’t we feel really free?Gerry HassanScottish Review, June 16th 2021 Freedom is everywhere it seems. The term is bandied about across our airwaves and public discussions, politics and the many controversies which define modern societies. Boris Johnson earlier defined the lifting of COVID restrictions in England on 21st June as ‘Freedom Day’ – phraseology which touched on issues of freedom and liberty at the core of COVID debates, the effectiveness of lockdowns and balance between public health and economic concerns. Even more than that, the clarion call of freedom can be seen in
The Worldwide War over Truth and Free SpeechGerry HassanScottish Review, December 2nd 2020 The battle for truth is all around us. Fake news. Fake media. The argument over free speech and freedom to say what we like and think, alongside controversies over ‘cancel culture’ and ‘safe spaces’. Meanwhile an American President who has lost an election still, one month after polling day, refuses to accept the result. He has called the contest ‘rigged’ and ‘stolen’ – a denialism that 77% of Trump voters agree with according to a Monmouth University survey. This is the world all around us.
Coming Together or Falling Apart? Freedom of Speech in the Age of NoiseGerry HassanScottish Review, October 17th 2018 The context and limits of freedom of speech have always been important, but everywhere this seems to have become increasingly contentious. Whether it is white supremacists in the US declaring they are protecting the US way of life, our very own home-grown hate speak from Tommy Robinson, or the multiple sensitivities, claims and counter-claims on transgender issues something seems to be going on. Only last weekend there was a mini-controversy when Ann Henderson, Edinburgh University’s Rector, retweeted details of an