REV DAVID FAREY: Freedom of speech, the law and Mr Trump

David Farey SUS-160113-102615001
David Farey SUS-160113-102615001

So Donald Trump has struck again! His exercise of his Executive Powers has been causing all kinds of grief for the last few weeks.

The travel ban has impacted on so many people and provides renewed cause to protest and complain. He is simply following through his election promises. “America first!”, was his cry and his questionably legal Executive Orders are the consequence.

From the outset Trump has been outspoken. He has not minced his words and has insulted great swathes of the population seemingly of the world, not just the States. He has offended women and peoples of different countries and cultures.

There are of course his supporters whose cold logic about what he is trying to achieve is cause for great unease, apart from considering the considerable number of Americans who actually voted for him. In Britain such people who stand for election usually lose their deposits!

Will Mr Trump have his State Visit? I must admit, a part of me would like to see how our Queen deals with him.

She has a wonderful grace with her that I am sure will deal handsomely with him. But she also knows that the relationship between this country and the United States is too important to be shipwrecked over simply how one feels about their President.

To add to the mix we had John Bercow saying he will forbid Trump from addressing Parliament. Now that is an interesting development. It is a brave stance as he is an individual who has the democratic right granted by our Constitution to block Trump from addressing Parliament.

He is standing up for the principles of democracy that when someone has questionable ethics as Trump appears to have in riding roughshod over the rule of law, something so central to our British way of life, rooted in Christian principles, he should be prevented from having a platform which implies that what he says is morally right. That would clearly be an assumption in Trump’s case!

Liberty is also a hallmark of British society and there are those who demand that there be freedom of speech and that Trump has the right to speak.

Unfortunately there are those who use freedom of speech to silence and deny the rights of liberty of others in society. The way society survives is on a subtle blend of freedom tempered by the law and what is morally right.

The laws of our land lay down the benchmark and I wonder that some of things Trump has said could be regarded as inciting violence and hatred, forbidden by laws in our country. I am afraid Mr Trump needs to watch his mouth as we all have to!