David Cameron has vowed that Britain will "never give up" the values of freedom of speech as he pledged to stand "absolutely united" with France after the Charlie Hebdo attack.
"… we must be very clear about one thing, which is we should never give up the values that we believe in and defend as part of our democracy and civilisation and believing in a free press, in freedom of expression, in the right of people to write and say what they believe.
"These are the things we are defending. We should be very clear on this day that these values that we have are not sources of weakness for us, they are sources of strength."David Cameron on British values:
Cameron will tell the NSC: “…Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights regardless of race, gender or sexuality.
“We must say to our citizens: this is what defines us as a society.”The Metropolitan Police on the streets of London:
Chinese democracy activist and Tiananmen Square survivor Shao Jiang, 47, was arrested in the street outside London’s Mansion House where a reception was being held for visiting Chinese Premier Xi Jinping.
Campaigners say Dr Jiang was “brutally manhandled” by police officers after he attempted to block the motorcade by standing in front of it - in a scene reminiscent of a famous image of a lone protestor standing in front of Chinese tanks used to crush peaceful protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.
He was holding two banners, which read “End autocracy” and “Democracy now”.
After his arrest and overnight detention police searched his home and took away computer equipment.Aha, but blocking traffic is not on, you say! That’s not freedom of speech.
Maybe so, but searching his house? Removing his property? Is that necessary?
And these women didn’t block traffic:
Two Tibetan women were also arrested by police after they attempted to wave Tibetan flags at the passing motorcade. The two women, Sonam Choden, 30, and Jamphel Lhamo, 33, were also dragged from the scene.
According to one eyewitness, the police at first assured the two they weren’t being arrested but then an order countermanding that came and both were arrested.Who ordered the arrest, and on what grounds?
Other protesters have expressed “shock” at how peaceful demonstrators are being treated by police. After agreeing a position with police for a peaceful demonstration outside Buckingham Palace protesters were surprised to find the position had been moved to a less prominent place where they could be obscured by pro-Chinese supporters.
When they tried to move they were “subjected to aggressive bullying by Chinese men carrying huge flags which they used to cover and hide ours.”Who ordered the change of position? Is the Met trying to embarrass the government?
Because the alternative explanation – that David Cameron doesn’t really believe in free speech, no matter what he professes – is surely not to be countenanced…