Once again, freedom of speech is the subject taxing those at Spiked magazine, so called because it should have been long ago. More specifically, chief contrarian Brendan O’Neill is concerned about the freedom to speak of pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins, which has not been abridged or otherwise curtailed in any way at all. But Bren knows more than everyone else put together on such matters, so he also knows different.
So it was that the Spiked Twitter feed declared “Katie Hopkins has many vile views. But we still shouldn’t cheer Twitter’s suspension of her account. Do we really want unaccountable capitalists in Silicon Valley dictating what people can say online? That is corporate tyranny, says Brendan O’Neill”. Yeah, right. Bren could start with getting his facts right: Hatey Katie’s account has not been suspended - not yet. That’s why it’s still there.
Viewers may still want to look away now
But do go on. “Silicon Valley must not be the judge, jury and executioner of public discussion”. It isn’t. So that’s that. Oh, hang on a minute, Phil Space is here. “Hopkins should not be banned. She should not be thrown off social media. Censorship is not the right solution to any problem, including prejudicial or hateful commentary. Last week, Hopkins, to the delight of the illiberal liberals who make up the commentariat and cultural elite in the UK, had her Twitter account suspended”. See above.
Moreover, “social media” encompasses scores of platforms, not just Twitter, which has its own terms and conditions and makes its own rules as to who it lets on. But do go on. “One of the greatest problems in the woke era is the branding of all kinds of opinion - on immigration, on race, on Brexit, on Meghan Markle - as racist, whether witting or unwitting”. What the flying fuck is the “Woke Era”? Racism is racism. No asterisk needed.
We can see exactly what kind of opinions feel empowered by O’Neill’s tedious whataboutery, though. Like “Katie Hopkins is not vile. She is defending Great Britain against the Globalists and their minions” (that’s not anti-Semitic at all, of course). And “What are these vile things she believes? That it's a bad thing to let a wreck of a religion take over our country and cause utter chaos, as is happening”. No Islamophobia there.
Fortunately, there are some out there who understand that Ms Hopkins has not had her freedom of speech curtailed, and that O’Neill is just churning out formulaic drivel in order to score a few clicks. As one Tweeter put it, “She’s entitled to still give her views, it’s just twitter don't want it on their platform. They’re [within their rights] to allow who they want. Just like if someone was being rowdy in a pub the landlord could kick them out”. Quite.
And if Bren doesn’t like that, the solution is in his own hands: “It would be interesting to see what Brendan's response would be if KH demanded to have her venomous bile published in Spiked. Because to refuse would surely be corporate tyranny, right?” Dead right it would. Spiked is all about freedom of speech - so here’s their chance.
Brendan O’Neill and his pals want to see Katie Hopkins given a platform to spout her racist bile, he knows what to do. He’s all about freedom, so give her the freedom to publish on Spiked. Score one for true libertarianism. Put money in same location as mouth.
He won’t, of course, because he’s just full of crap. But you knew that already.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at