Do You Fear Freedom Of Speech Or Other People’s Opinions?

A local road accident brings out some surprising comments in the newspaper.

Among the usual mawkish ‘another angel in heaven’ comments, and the typical ‘it was the driver!’ and ‘No, it was the pedestrian!’ ones, are these:

gg2005 says…Unless you were at the incident I don’t think you should comment.

Stop making judgements without all the information. You are causing a lot of offence

Ah, the modern taboo – ‘causing offence’. The thing one should never, ever do…

APR says…Perhaps it would be best if the Echo didn’t allow comments on stories involving serious RTAs. They always end up with posters throwing abuse at each other.

Translation: ‘Some people abuse freedom, therefore no-one should have it, just in case’.

Cezzy20 says…

No one is nessacarilly posting abuse. Just saying their opinion. Which some peoples opinions can be offensive.

Again, the horror of ‘offence’.

gg2005 says…Yes Cezzy – but he’s making generalised comments on a specific story that he knows nothing about – his opinions on child safety in traffic are valid but highly offensive in relation to this specific event.

So, one can have valid opinions, but it’s ‘offensive’ to use them just anywhere. This, despite the fact that you’d have to seek out this opportunity to be offended….

Elephantman2 says…This forum needs to be shut down.

The Echo does not police what is posted and on many occasions when there has been an incident of this nature the local experts who know nothing spout off.

Many days later, when the facts are known, these people are shown to be the insensitive bufoons that they are.

Many of you are a disgrace for posting what you have and teh Echo is a disgrace for continuing to allow this type of thing to happen.

Another one of the ‘Freedom is dangerous because a few people misuse it!’ group heard from. Just how many of these people are out there?

John the resonator says…

I really don’t think comments should be allowed on stories like this (obviously I am making one now). My point is not only the view from APR, with which I concur fully but also the leakage of ‘information’ from local people who no doubt then get onto their mobiles to tell others. It might be completely inaccurate, I would always wait to hear officially either from the Echo or the BBC.

Well, that’s refreshing, someone who believes the word of a state organ like the BBC over actual eyewitnesses!

And then we have the ‘Government must act NOW!’ brigade:

cosgrovemlou says…

RIP and many many condolences to all family, friends and witnesses. Please don’t let this young boy have died in vain, please write to the council or your MP and campaign for more crossings, return of Lollipop Men/Ladies and for speed bumps and traffic control around all our schools – this was a tragedy just waiting to happen due to thoughtless drivers – please, please help to stop this happening again.

One still small voice of reason answers that one:

The__Truth says…RIP Little Man.

For all those concerned about the demise of the lollipop men & women WHY DON’T YOU OFFER your services to the Council. I heard that they were declining because of the lack of people wanting to take the jobs. You have to be reliable as the kids need you. Get to work 45 minutes morning & afternoon, come rain or shine, winter & summer. Unfortunately it wouldn’t have helped in this instance because of the location.

As for speed bumps outside every school?? Be realistic. How far do you go. Just the front f the school as you are suggesting inthis case or for all the roads around a school. Then you’ll probably be doing most of the town.

This isn’t the Council’s or Governments fault. It was a tragic case of curcumstances all occuring at once.

Indeed. And it seems to show up a nice little microcosm of society these days. When did we get so many people who seem to long for less freedom,rather than more?

13 comments for “Do You Fear Freedom Of Speech Or Other People’s Opinions?

  1. October 13, 2011 at 8:27 am

    An update on the actual case:

    A man has been charged following the death of six-year-old Joseph Ball in a crash in Westcliff.

    Unemployed Marek Kolton, 26, of Princes Street, Southend, was charged this evening, October 12, with death by dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

    So, pretty much nothing that speed bumps, lollipo ladies or ‘road calming’ could really have done…

    • October 13, 2011 at 9:52 am

      So the ‘less freedom’ brigade will be calling for more to be done to stop uninsured, unlicenced drivers. Vehicle trackers, random police stops etc.

      People want less freedom because it is easier. Seeing the death of another makes you question your own vulnerability. You can then either ensure you are constantly taking steps to look after your own safety (hard work) or you can demand that someone else does it for you (easy).

      They don’t notice freedom diminishing because they never do anything with it anyway. It’s too hard.

      • October 14, 2011 at 5:52 am

        Very true…

  2. October 13, 2011 at 9:50 am

    APR says…Perhaps it would be best if the Echo didn’t allow comments on stories involving serious RTAs. They always end up with posters throwing abuse at each other.

    Actually, there’s a point here. The paper has no obligation to allow comments – their place their rules and all that. if I was an editor, I would probably not have comments on such stories, confining them to opinion columns where commentary is something to be encouraged. On matters or reported fact, I’m not convinced that it adds anything – apart from, as this person points out, people throwing abuse at each other.

    • October 14, 2011 at 5:56 am

      It’s surprising, as it’s what they usually do in these cases, but they then put up a ‘leave your tributes here’ story, which then…well, gets all these sort of comments anyway!

  3. Voice of Reason
    October 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I ask again, for the umpteenth time on this forum – what the heck has happened to the English spirit since I left? Did all of the backbone just melt away?

    • October 14, 2011 at 5:56 am

      It looks like it. 🙁

    • Lord T
      October 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Not melted. Atrophied through lack of use.

  4. nisakiman
    October 13, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    “They don’t notice freedom diminishing because they never do anything with it anyway. It’s too hard.”

    Never a truer word etc…

  5. Fat Jacques
    October 13, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    All the primary schools here have speed bumps outside already. 20MPH limits too. I have no idea what effect they have had on road accidents.

    • October 14, 2011 at 5:57 am

      Probably not much. Not with these sort of people on the road.

    • October 14, 2011 at 9:22 am

      They do, however wreck your suspension, so they achieve something…

    • Lord T
      October 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      The roads outside school are too dangerous with all those bumps. I get my bike riden on the pavement to get around them.

      I feel much safer.

Comments are closed.