How many mistakes can a person make in one statement? There’s the classic, “I’m a strong champion of free speech, but” formulation, which in this case effectively ends with “. . . when somebody is nasty to me I’ll use the state to persecute them.” There’s the pretense that marching and speaking and asking questions is “putting people in danger” — a favorite of censors everywhere. And there’s the willful conflation of ”we need to talk” and “I am inviting the police to use the force of the government against you.”
Mr. Danczuk is a symptom, not a cause of Britain’s appalling lack of regard for free speech. Indeed, he is not the first to go down this road, and he will not be the last. But hat he is not a trailblazer does not mean that he is not a disgrace. Given his flagrant disregard for essential liberty, one has to wonder aloud whether tarring and feathering would-be tyrants is an unassailable right, or if it is a privilege to be treated with care. Hopefully, the people in his constituency will consider that it is the former. Can I say that, Simon?