Munira Mirza, Boris Johnson’s deputy mayor for education and culture, provides a much needed blast of common sense in today’s Evening Standard. She says that the police, and society, need to calm down about people making idiotic and offensive comments on Twitter and other social media sites. As she points out, ‘Do the police have nothing better to do than patrol Twitter, hunting out people who send tasteless tweets?’
But there’s another reason to worry about this policing beyond the fact that it is a waste of resources: the more we race around arresting people for saying stupid things or things that go against the current orthodoxy, the less free we become as a society. We need to be able to argue out our differences.
Of course, in an ideal world this would always be done in a civil manner. But what we should be more worried about than offensive Tweet is the fact, as Mirza says, ‘censorship has become the orthodoxy.’Tags: Boris Johnson, UK politics