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Blog posts from Joyce McMillan

Don't let outrage kill free speech

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After the horror and sadness, the first response is one of admiration. Faced with a threat to their republican values – liberty, equality, fraternity – the people of France take to the streets in huge numbers, holding up pens in honour of the murdered journalists of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, who included some of the nation’s best-known cartoonists.

“Je suis Charlie,” they cry, in an ancient gesture of solidarity; although in truth, few of us anywhere would be either as insouciant as the Charlie journalists were in insulting all and sundry, often in outrageously stereotyped terms, or as brave as they were in continuing to do so after specific death threats, and an actual firebomb attack on their office.

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Freedom of Information at risk?
Hard-won 'rights to know' might be restricted by future expenditure cuts in Whitehall and campaigners fear the Freedom of Information Act could become a target for efficiency savings. Listen to our latest podcast about threats to FOI, with Nicholas Jones.
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