Timothy Garton Ash. Our guest today @ is a Historian, political commentator at The Guardian among other places, author of many books including, The Magic Lantern & The File. his New book: is, ‘Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World’
“A major piece of cultural analysis, sane, witty and urgently important. Timothy Garton Ash exemplifies the "robust civility" he recommends as an antidote to the pervasive unhappiness, nervousness, and incoherence around freedom of speech.” So says Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury
"What I have to tell you is, in the five years since I started doing this, free speech has been eroded, has been pushed back almost everywhere..."
"There's a whole new front in defending freedom of speech which is about checking the power of the private superpowers - facebook, google and twitter...the home office is now what's called a 'privileged flagger' on facebook!"
"What i saw in East Germany was the power of censorship...how the big lie, can fill the whole public space..."
"we've moved into a World neither Orwell or Havel could have imagined..where because of the internet and the smartphone, and mass migration, everyone is becoming neighbours with everybody else."
"So there's never been such a threat to free speech, because of course, the internet is such a fantastic surveillance tool. beyond a Stasi General's wildest dreams.. and what happens if you think someone is always listening in is you censor yourself and don't say what you really think..."
"What I call, The 'assassin's veto' is a disease of our time... people saying 'if you say that, if you publish that, we will kill you'...every thought is a provocation! And not to accept this means solidarity with those being threatened... because we have to show that violent intimidation won't pay."