Sarah Ditum, writing about Catherine Bennett’s piece on Rod Liddle:
So, thereâ€™s no organised effort to get Rod Liddle imprisoned, tortured, fined or even made to sit on the naughty step for what heâ€™s published. Just a strong and widespread feeling that heâ€™d be a disaster in the job. And despite what Bennett suggests, freedom of speech means, exactly, freedom of speech. Not â€œfreedom to edit national newspapersâ€. And definitely not â€œfreedom from being criticised by anyone who doesnâ€™t have a newspaper columnâ€. Because when Bennett worries that â€œPublic figures will become ever blander in their viewsâ€ if they continue to be exposed to opposition, what sheâ€™s arguing is that public figures should be protected from opposition.
One wonders what on earth has happened to Catherine Bennett, who used to be trenchant and clever and now comes across like some watered-down urban Melanie Phillips. this recent column begins “perhaps it’s just age” which seems to me the intellectual equivalent of throwing in the towel and declining any curiosity in anything new.