The right to speak

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This government has gagged unions and charities.

It is now denying charities the right to question its policies in the interests of those they represent  if they receive government funding for that work.

And academics are to now also be bound by a ‘no opposition rule’ as a condition of being paid by public funds.

And yet commercial lobbying has not been impacted by these rules.

And commercial companies in receipt of government contracts are encouraged to express opinion on how public services may be provided.

Whilst the representatives of big business are invited to run the Boards organisations like HM Revenue & Customs. And Amazon supplies a non-executive director to the Department of Work and Pensions.

This is not evidence of a commitment to free speech.

Or democracy.

Or balance.

Or even the inevitable process of developing change for the good of society.

This is the behaviour of a government intent on imposing a dogma on a society that it is not confident embraces it.

I readily admit I never thought I would live in such a country. But I am.

It is only time before the long knives descend on academia.

And charities close.

Whilst unions are bankrupted.

This is not the country I was brought up in, or was taught to believe in. It is, in fact, the antithesis of it.

We have travelled a long way, in the wrong direction on the right to speak.