Tuesday Nov 07, 2023

The Voice Referendum

Following a third week of pro-Palestinian protests in London and other UK cities (including sit-in protests across many major railway stations), the government has started drawing up a new, broader definition of extremism. We discuss our fears that, while understandable, such legislation could have unexpected and troubling consequences for free expression in Britain: the FSU’s case work includes multiple examples of ordinary members of the public being branded extremist for quite reasonably opposing elements of the new woke orthodoxy. In such a hostile environment, it is heartening to see one brave FSU member, Clare Page, battle hard to gain access to teaching materials used at her daughter’s school for sex education lessons. We would encourage listeners to consider donating to her crowd justice campaign. It is now three weeks since Australia’s ‘Voice’ referendum and we end today’s episode by drawing various parallels with the fallout from the UK’s Brexit referendum, which touch on free speech in all sorts of ways: accusations of misinformation, politicisation within Australian corporations, and a post-referendum backlash against an electorate which returns the ‘wrong answer’.

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