As we approach the blasphemy referendum people on the Yes side who know better continue to claim that the Convention on the Constitution recommended the removal of the provision, while they omit the three significant words “as it is” and ignore the fact that what the Convention actually recommended by 53 per cent to 38 per cent was its replacement with a new general provision on hate speech.
And that’s what a UN committee supported.
The distinction is that between the liberalism of the Enlightenment that understood the balance of rights and the libertarianism of Silicon Valley that resists regulation (of social media and capital for example).
Some Yes crusaders who think themselves progressive not long ago also wanted the legal protection for balance in broadcasting removed because it did not suit them.
Its removal in the US, following a campaign by the right, cheapened public discourse.
Why are Irish citizens who see themselves as liberals or radicals so willing to let the Government set an agenda and claim an easy win by this petty referendum while sidelining free speech issues such as the use of defamation law to inhibit journalism or the prohibitive cost of legal proceedings, and more important constitutional questions relating to the abuse of property rights and other matters?
Dublin City University.