The so-called Free Speech Union, latest slice of intellectual munificence from the loathsome Toby Young, was launched yesterday evening in London, to the sound of mass indifference from those who had to catch up on their sleep, or watch paint dry. The event was attended by the great and the good, well, those in that category for whom attention seeking and victimhood are fast becoming a way of life, anyway.
In front of the FSU’s logo and motto (“Audi Alteram Partem”, which has nothing to do with changing the headlamps in upmarket VW group cars), the likes of Darren Grimes, whose freedom to speak has never been circumscribed (if only) gazed in wonder at the succession of has-beens, never-weres and if-only-someone-at-the-Beeb-hadn’t-rung-thems, and pretended that this was a convocation of the greatest importance. It wasn’t.
There was, for starters, Tobes himself, brandishing a box of Taylors Yorkshire Tea Bags, which he declared he would defend against all comers (no, me neither). Grimes was so giddy he almost had to be excused. “At the launch of the [Free Speech Union], [Toby Young] is defending [Yorkshire Tea] from the woke Left!” Which means what, exactly?
It means freedom to be a sexist, misogynist creep and dabble in eugenics. Which seems not to have unduly concerned Trevor Phillips, according to Grimes. “I tell you, [Trevor Phillips] is a hero. What a speech in defence of what the suffocation of free and open speech can lead to”. That’s the same Trevor Phillips that span a bigoted pack of lies about the “Muslim Foster Carer” story. But in the Murdoch Sun. And for money.
Freedom to be an Islamophobe too, then. Who else was there? Claire Fox was: “Honoured to attend [Free Speech Union] launch tonight”. That means adding the freedom to promote terrorism: Ms Fox was all in favour of the most violent acts perpetrated during what became referred to as The Troubles in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.
Or perhaps it was more of a Brexity thing: after all, Peter Whitte, no longer having anything to do with UKIP after the leadership of Adolf von Batten, was there, telling his followers “Tonight I went to the launch of the great new [Free Speech Union], a packed house in Soho hearing from [Toby Young], [Douglas Murray]”. And freedom of bigotry, too. Why else would there be a visit from Doug Murray The K? Then there was Spiked.
Yes, the people from the planet so named because it should have been long ago were supporting Tobes, as deputy editor Tom Slater confirmed. “The launch of [Toby Young]’s [Free Speech Union] has revealed that there are loads of prominent people in British public life who either do not believe in free speech or do not seem to understand what it is. The reaction to it has shown why it is so badly needed”. Yeah, right.
So what is it really all about? No-one involved is having their freedom of speech curtailed. The Tweeter known as Buddy Hell mused “White dudes with lots of money talking about how they can't use the word n*gger in polite company”. You think he jests? One of those present reported “I’m at Tony [sic] Young’s launch. He’s just held up this box and said ‘everyone now has to come up one-by-one and fuck this box of tea’. Huge baying cheer from the crowd of about 17 young men in attendance”.
Free speech? Freedom to be twats with no comeback, more like. Another for the bin.APPEAL The Legalballs Fund: I made a mistake. Now I need to raise £16,500 to cover a legal bill. You can chip in to help me HERE - all help is gratefully received. Thanks for reading this far!