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Free speech… March 1, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This is kind of funny…

Authors including Joanne Harris, Patrick Ness and Sarah Perry have leaped to the defence of a Norwich bookseller after Susan Hill launched an extraordinary attack on it for “opposing” US president Donald Trump.
In an article pubished in the Spectator, The Woman in Black writer said she had cancelled an event to promote her latest novel, From the Heart, after discovering the shop would be giving away copies of novels by writers opposed to Trump’s politics, including George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

Hill, a friend of Michael Gove and one given to right wing pronouncements, decided upon this stance because:

In her line of fire was an initiative at the Book Hive that was inspired by a recent news story in the Guardian about an anonymous donor buying novels from an San Francisco bookseller to give away to customers in a demonstration of resistance against Trump. Led by an retired university academic, a Norwich reading group contacted the Book Hive to donate copies of Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Handmaid’s Tale for a similar handout.

Hill’s article accused the store of not stocking books by Trump, or “anything by those authors known to support/admire/have voted for him” and likened the giveaway of books opposing Trump’s politics to a “form of censorship”.

And then offers this classic line:

Of all places, a bookshop (like a library) should never ever indulge in that.

Really? A bookshop is a private enterprise, unlike a library. Is she, a conservative, seriously saying that bookshops are to be forced to carry stock? I think she’s mixing up her lines on all this. In any event the bookshop itself denies the accusation.

Her response is entertaining too…

In an email to the Guardian, Hill appeared chastened by the reaction. “Sorry, but I am saying nothing to anyone. All got completely out of hand,” she wrote.

Yeah. I can see that. How easily matters get out of hand when one writes something in a nationally distributed magazine with an accompanying website, etc. it’s like it’s almost an accident, isn’t it? Could happen to anyone! Any time.

BTL there’s the usual rubbish about the left and freedom of speech, which seems a bit askew given one D. Trump is…er… President of the United States for the next four years.


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