More to the point, if Mr Weston is found guilty of a “racially aggravated crime” for reading Churchill’s words, then why is the publisher of the book not also guilty and liable to two years in jail? Why is Churchill himself not guilty? Should he not be dug up from the churchyard in Bladon and re-interred in the cell next to Mr Weston?
Well, no. That’s a bit dramatic. Civilized societies prefer to lose their liberties incrementally. It seems more likely that Sir Winston’s River War will simply disappear from print, but so discreetly you won’t even notice it’s gone. Personally, while we’re criminalizing Churchill, I’m in favor of banning that “Fight on the beaches” speech, on the grounds that all that “we will never surrender” stuff is very culturally insensitive, not to mention increasingly risible.
But, as in Australia, note how few takers there are — among everyone who matters in Britain, including those bozo cops — for the cause of free speech.
Next stop, America.
Steyn later mentions something John Hinderaker at PowerLine said, about being “surprised” by some awful development.
Steyn wonders why Hinderaker is so “surprised” by the obvious.
But as I’ve said for years, PowerLine is one of those overrated legacy “conservative” blogs that’s managed to succeed despite/by stating the semi-obvious and mouthing lawyerly pleasantries that flatter the prejudices of its readers — for instance, the dangerous notion that elections still matter. The lawyer-ly glaze spooned over it all helps cover up the multiple cracks.
Establishment “conservatives” and classical liberals, particularly the over-educated ones, are forever being “surprised” by developments they have no business being surprised by.
Likewise, while I have all the time in the world for Jonah Goldberg, I cringe every time he shoves corny qualifiers into his columns: It’s “almost as if” America is going down the toilet/liberals want us dead/college campuses are hives of mass hysteria.
There is nothing “almost” “surprising” about anything that is going on right now, and has been going on.
Why are all these respected commentators still rocking back and forth on second base while a tiny gaggle of us are the ones getting dirty, sliding for home?
Is that cabin on the National Review cruise really worth it?