Silencing dissenting opinions is wrong


Banning the conspiracist David Icke is WRONG & actually strengthens his case that we’re sleepwalking towards DICTATORSHIP

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66

In chapter two in his classic 1859 text ‘On Liberty’, John Stuart Mill explained why silencing dissenting opinions is wrong.

Firstly, the opinion which is threatened with suppression may possibly be true. “Those who desire to suppress it, of course, deny its truth; but they are not infallible. They have no authority to decide the question for all mankind, and exclude every other person from the means of judging,” Mill wrote. It’s pertinent here to remind ourselves that Cohen, who wants to suppress Icke’s opinions, and sets himself as an arbiter of what views should or shouldn’t be heard on leading social media platforms, was a prominent supporter of the Iraq War.

What greater – and more dangerous – “conspiracy theory” was there than the one which claimed that Iraq had to be invaded because it possessed WMDs? But is anyone calling for Iraq War promoters to be banned? No of course not, they’re the ones gunning for Icke.

Mill goes on: “To refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility. Its condemnation may be allowed to rest on this common argument, not the worse for being common.”

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