Free speech to get legal supremacy, says Dominic Raab as he unveils plan to stop democratic debate being ‘whittled away by wokery’ in major victory over cancel culture
Vry speech will be given legal supremacy over other rights to stop debate from being eroded, Dominic Raab pledges today.
In 'n eksklusiewe onderhoud met die Daily Mail, the Deputy Prime Minister warns that democratic debate is being ‘whittled away by wokery’.
Unveiling plans to replace Labour’s Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights, Mr Raab says the principle of free speech will become a legal ‘trump card’.
The proposed reforms will seek to reverse the corrosion of long-held freedoms by ‘kultuur kanselleer’, political correctness and creeping moves towards European-style privacy by the back door driven by judicial interpretations of the Human Rights Act, hy sê.
The changes will protect media freedom, allowing the Press to continue to expose corruption and wrongdoing, and allow individuals to speak their minds.
The landmark proposals, currently out for consultation, are expected to be included in the Queen’s Speech later this year.
Mnr Raab, who is also the Justice Secretary, het die Mail gesê: ‘Effectively, free speech will be given what will amount to “trump card” status in a whole range of areas.
Free speech will be given legal supremacy over other rights to stop debate from being eroded, Dominic Raab (op die foto) pledges today. In 'n eksklusiewe onderhoud met die Daily Mail, the Deputy Prime Minister warns that democratic debate is being ‘whittled away by wokery’
‘I feel very strongly that the parameters of free speech and democratic debate are being whittled away, whether by the privacy issue or whether it’s wokery and political correctness. I worry about those parameters of free speech being narrowed.’
Addressing concerns that decisions by unelected judges were gradually introducing privacy laws by the back door, without the approval of Parliament, Mr Raab added: ‘The thrust is going to be making sure that when we balance rights, whether it’s the right to free speech and the right to privacy or other rights, we make sure that the greatest overriding importance and weight is attached to free speech.’
It follows widespread concern at a legal ruling in favour of the Duchess of Sussex in a privacy dispute against The Mail on Sunday – as well as growing concern over ‘cancel culture’.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling and other public figures have been vilified for voicing concerns over an erosion of women’s rights by the transgender lobby, byvoorbeeld.
Eers hierdie week, the creator of comedy series Father Ted Graham Linehan declared that he had been ‘thoroughly cancelled’ and that trans activists had cost him his family and his marriage. Recent years have seen cancel culture extend across society, with growing numbers attacked in public life, on university campuses and on social media for expressing their views.
The author Jacqueline Wilson recently compared ‘scary’ cancel culture to ‘walking a tightrope’.
Gister, Vladimir Putin tried to use the issue to score political points, suggesting the West was trying to ‘cancel’ Russia in the same way some have with JK Rowling.
Mr Raab told the Mail that under plans being drawn up for the Bill of Rights, there would be only very limited restrictions placed on the new over-arching protections on free speech.
He said it would be given a ‘different status in the pecking order of rights’, with checks to stop people abusing it to promote terrorism.
Although the main impact of this will be on legal disputes, ministers believe that placing such a heavy emphasis on free speech is likely to have an effect beyond the courts and could help individuals trying to push back against cancel culture.
Mr Raab said: ‘We will still be clamping down on those who try and use either media or free speech to incite violence, to radicalise terrorists, or to threaten children. All of those safeguards will be in place.
‘But we’ve got to be able to strengthen free speech, the liberty that guards all of our other freedoms, and stop it being whittled away surreptitiously, sometimes without us really being conscious of it.
‘So it will have a different status in the pecking order of rights and I think that will go a long way to protecting this country’s freedom of speech and our history, which has always very strongly protected freedom of speech.’
The Human Rights Act was introduced by Tony Blair’s Labour government 20 jare terug, and Tory ministers believe it is ripe for reform.