Noel Whelan and the right to speak

Last Saturday’s Irish Times opinion page, like most Saturdays, had a piece by Noel Whelan. In this the former FF candidate and FF electoral advisor with a weekly column in a national newspaper laid out the reasons why citizens ought not be permitted to state their opinions publically. It was, he argued unpersuasively, a danger to democracy.

I’ve been struggling to hold thoughts in my head long enough to put a comprehensive response together. Mostly, I’ve now been spared the effort.

I’ll only add the observation that the unregulated sphere of VoteTube and the internet generally has seen, in only a few months, a more real sense of the public, of politics and of politicians than the last three elections of regulated speech put together.

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