Why won't any of our MPs stand up for Michael Savage?

Every day the American airwaves are churned by the paranoid rantings of Michael Savage and his kind. Has this stuff warped America, or deformed its political psyche? On the contrary, the Americans have just had the good sense to elect a supremely gifted and eloquent black man – when the prospect of a black British prime minister still seems some way off. What are we, some sort of kindergarten that needs to be protected against these dangerous American radio shows? Does Jacqui Smith think we are all dimwits, who can’t tell when a man like Savage is talking rubbish? Why can America take it, and we can’t?

The answer is that America still has a constitutional protection of free speech, and I have been amazed, over the last few days, to see how few people in this country are willing to stick up for that elementary principle. Across Fleet Street, swords have stuck in their scabbards, swords that normally leap to the defence of liberty…

Perhaps Jacqui Smith thinks that it “sends out a signal” about the kind of Britain we want. On the contrary, it reinforces a culture – created by this Labour Government, and its addiction to political correctness – where people are increasingly confused and panic-stricken about what they can say and what is forbidden, a culture where a police officer can seriously think he is right to arrest a protester for calling a police horse “gay”. Our courts and tribunals are clogged with people claiming to have suffered insults of one kind or another, and a country once famous for free speech is now hysterically and expensively sensitive to anything that could be taken as a slight.