Thursday, September 25, 2014

When did 'offence' become a trump card?

A protest campaign and blockade has forced the Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B at the Barbican.

Lord Bell was Hilary Mantel investigated by the police because she has published a short story about Margaret Thatcher.

It has not been a good week for supporters of free expression in the arts.

A protestor against Exhibit B is quoted by the BBC as saying:
"It's not educational, it actually causes huge offence."
Meanwhile, says the Guardian:
Tory MP Conor Burns told the Sunday Times that the story represented a grave offence to the victims of the IRA.
It seems the merest Tory backbencher has learnt what left-wing activists have long known: if you can claim 'offence' in modern Britain, that is a trump card.

How and when did that come about?


Tristan said...

I first noticed it under New Labour - along with the idea of 'freedom from fear' being used to justify curtailing freedoms.

That could be due to not being very politically aware before then though.

Perhaps we have seen a decline in protecting moral values and/or social institutions being used as an excuse for censorship? I have a limited frame of reference, but it seems as though in the past that was often the case.

asquith said...

Did you check your privilege before writing this? :)