Corporate responsibility to free speech in a free market – My Tuppenceworth speech

Our Free Speech event, My tuppenceworth, on Tuesday 19th November gave lots of people the opportunity to speak.  One of those speeches came from Malachy McDermott, London Group Leader of the Libertarian Party, we have reproduced the text below.

I am a libertarian, I believe that the free market is the last great hope for the economic survival of us all. Without it we are doomed to regressive socialist, communist, neo Keynesian, fascist and oligarichal forms of control over our economic lives.

However there is one place in which I believe Libertarians and free market advocates often fail it is in the area of applying their personal morality to their consumption. The example I am using here is free speech, but without too much imagination it could easily be applied to the myriad other moral failings of modern corporations.

Free speech is under constant attack, our right to offend and the acceptance of being offended have taken a back seat to a autocratic PC culture that limits language, thought and the flow of ideas. It especially limits discourse of repugnant or illogical ideas. Dangerously giving them legitimacy.

The perpetrators of this, have yes, been state and government actors. But more than that there has been a self regulation by social media companies. Facebook and Twitter especially.

The libertarian response has been to say “these are private companies, their house their rules.” But this is akin to saying “coca cola put arsenic in every 10th can, but that’s their company.” Its a abuse of the market position we would not accept in any other industry.

So why accept it? Being libertarian or being pro free market is the acceptance of freedom with responsibility. We do have a responsibility to our own morality. History shows that regulations and bans do not work, but consumer preference does, therefore we need to ask more of our companies. We need to speak to the better, responsible part of ourselves. If we cannot do this then we are coming ourselves to a life nanny corporatism. Where like in some free market east Germany, we will regulate ourselves, private individuals limiting each other. That is a future I choose not to live in and I hope you would agree with me that it is not one you would like to live in either.

Decency, Democracy, Freedom and Freedoms – My Tuppenceworth speech

Our Free Speech event, My tuppenceworth, on Tuesday 19th November gave lots of people the opportunity to speak.  One of those speeches came from Peter Sonnex, Brexit Party Candidate for Croydon Central, we have reproduced the text below.

Decency, Democracy, Freedom and Freedoms… These have been hard won, but so easily taken for granted. Easy come, easy go can quickly lead to freedoms being expressed with no thought – the playground stuff – for the consequences and the damage they may do to those very freedoms

The irony is not lost that we should be aware this evening of our location and that we are in the throes of another Brexit General Election… I shall, of course steer away from party politics in respect for our hosts. After all, I am not a politician!

The poster for this event shows Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, late of the Corps of Royal Engineers – my very own Corps. The appalling waste of blood and treasure aside – if that were ever possible, as we shall never forget – it was his rallying call that galvanised the country’s resolve
against tyranny in Europe – standing up for democracy then – as I am now.

[As a young officer, it was Kitchener who was sent to rescue another former Royal Engineer – General Gordon of Khartoum. His plan to build a railway from the Red Sea to Khartoum, thwarted by the hubris of Field Marshal Wolseley who insisted on going up the Nile by boat. I wonder if he
used free speech to let him know how he felt…]

Only in my dotage have I really been able to put my own, rather less glorious military career in perspective: In the Falkland Islands defending the democratic will of the Falkland Islanders who had voted overwhelmingly to remain as a United Kingdom Overseas Territory; during the Cold War in Germany, defending our democracy and freedoms against the very real threat of the Warsaw Pact – winning as the Berlin Wall came down – sparking a fire of democracy to burn all the way through Eastern Europe. Long, long tours of the Former Yugoslavia were spent establishing a safe and secure environment for their first democratic elections; my time in Iraq spent establishing a safe and secure environment for – you’ve guessed it – democratic elections. I remain traumatised by our failure as the Occupying Power to deliver on their mandate for democracy and freedom. They do not have what we, the UK as the Occupying Power, promised them – at all…

At home, I find our future lies in the hands of people for whom entitlement is a right not earned and every demand is pandered to no matter the cost for their so-called ‘freedoms’. People who never learned that no means no or that our democracy came and comes at a price: selflessness, fairness, empathy, compassion, compromise, tolerance and respect.

I feel betrayed in my own country as our freedoms are taken away by a wedge of political correctness, a lack of trust and truth in politics, and incompetent legislators. I feel compelled to stand up again for democracy in my own country as our vote – and it is all you and I have – is counted, disrespected and fails to be acted upon.

Who do I trust in all this?


Democratically Elected Mayor of Croydon – My Tuppenceworth speech

Our Free Speech event, My tuppenceworth, on Tuesday 19th November gave lots of people the opportunity to speak.  One of those speeches came from Mike Swadling, we have reproduced the text below.

My tuppencyworth sets out to prove what former House of Representatives Speaker Tip O’Neill said “all Politics is local”.

For I would like to talk to you about a Democratically Elected Mayor of Croydon.

Now don’t let the title fool you, this merely reflects the title given in the legislation.

An elected mayor replaces the current council leader, and wow does that leader need replacing.

First some facts about the borough.

  • If Croydon was a city it would be the 8th largest in the UK with over 385,000 people.
  • Over 14,000 businesses are based in Croydon.
  • At an average salary of just over £29,000 we earn about £5,000 more than the UK average.

This numbers hide some huge disparities.

The London Borough of Croydon, was formed in 1965 from the Coulsdon and Purley Urban District and the County Borough of Croydon.

It is really 2 or 3 distinct areas thrown together as part of the Greater London sprawl.

The 60 bus coming into Norbury, travels through the typical inner London communities of Thornton Heath and Broad Green.

Croydon and South Croydon are more typical outer London suburbs.

Then somewhere travelling down from Purley the area turns into rural Surrey as the bus passes and eventually climbs the North Downs into Old Coulsdon.

Those differences exemplify why we need a mayor. 

Today reflecting these differences, Croydon has a Conservative strong hold to the south, a Labour strong hold to the north.  With swing seats in Parliament and on the Council in the centre.

The parties focus overwhelmingly on the swing wards, and frankly they admit this themselves.

But it gets worse….

The leader of the council is selected by the councillors of the winning party.  This could be just 21 votes from councillors, all in safe seats.

This is compounded by over half the councillors being granted special allowances for additional roles, often given to them by the same leader they have just appointed.

An elected mayor will be for voted by all of the people of Croydon,

If they want to win election, and re-election they will need to win substantial numbers of votes from, and represent all of the borough.

We want an executive head we can vote for, someone to drive the town forward, and someone to blame.

Even in this illustrious group, few here will know who at the council is responsible for the potholes that litter the town, or who has responsibility for our 120 parks and open spaces.

Who do we hold accountable for the Children’s Services that continues to be rated as Inadequate by Ofsted?

With a Mayor we know who is responsible and who to hold accountable – it is, the Mayor.

We have a campaign.

It is the only show in town to improve the way Croydon is governed.

We are formed by, and have support from many local residents associations.

We also have support from the Conservatives, Croydon South Labour, The Brexit Party, the Libertarian party and the Christen Peoples Alliance Party.

We need 15,000 signatures and we can then put it to the people.  If you are a Croydon resident sign the petition and give the people of Croydon a free choice.

My tuppenceworth – A Free Speech event

The Croydon Constitutionalists are hosting a Free Speech event on Tuesday 19th November at the South Croydon Conservative Club.

You are the star!
Your opportunity to speak to those assembled on an issue that really matters to you and give your tuppenceworth. 

Each speaker will have up to 3 minutes to speak about an issue dear to their heart, followed by a short Q&A.  The evening will include a drinks break.

Come prepared or do off the cuff, this is your opportunity to exercise some free speech, but we do remind you the laws of slander still apply!

If you would like to speak please register by emailing [email protected].

7pm for drinks and sharp 7:30pm start.

South Croydon Conservative Club.
60 Selsdon Road. South Croydon. CR2 6PE.