But going back to free speech in general. One of the many issues with curtailing it, is who decides, and why is their opinion the closer? Rather than debate issues, however ludicrous they might be, what we do is martyr the person, and perhaps even their views. The young are more likely to go seek out the views of a political activist, if they were banned from national tv, for example - it is how people are. You end up doing the opposite of what you set out to do, you draw more attention to them, and what they wrote, not less. Suddenly, they go from being banned officially, to getting more hits on the net, and selling more books than they ever could have dreamed. I think most of us would find it offensive and patently racist to call a black person a 'bloody n****r'. But would you really go as far as to make it a crime to utter the words 'stupid Scotsman', 'Welsh fool', 'daft Jew' etc? Even if their most offensive context they are hardly Earth stopping are they? If someone were to call me a 'stupid Scotsman' (even in England), I don't think I would be that bent out of shape as to think it a crime, even if I did think the person saying it was a dickhead. Crimes that prohibit the distribution of 'hate material' may have been well intended, but let's not forget, for each of these laws passed, we actually potentially set ourselves up for that law to then be misused. A group of students distributing material that listed the perceived failings of Cameron, and in a very forthright way, could be deemed, by the powers that be, to be 'distributing hate material' - at least potentially. We only need look to how the Patriot Act was used as a back door way to negate the freedoms of many Americans. The state have more of an insight into the lives of Americans now than ever, and they get away with it under the Patriot Act, a much loathed piece of legislation, which it is said was hastily drawn up, and signed by lawmakers who were not even permitted to see it.. We should guard our free speech and that of others with jealousy. Many nations in the world do not have it, why would we want to vote any of it away, even if it does mean it sometimes produces people that society regards as controversial? Isn't the area of controversy often one that can actually be productive, in that it not only stirs debate over an issue, but it means that some uncomfortable area is being looked at? If he mute those we regard as controversial, then we damage our own position, imo. As a society.