And They Want to be Sovereign!
By Pierre Lemieux
Under the title “The U.K. Banned a Cream Cheese Commercial Due to Gender Stereotypes,” Reason Magazine journalist Ben McDonald reports:
The first ads to fall prey to the U.K.’s new ban on gender stereotypes in advertising are tepid spots for Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Volkswagen. The law, which is enforced by the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), went into effect in June … The ASA said it received 128 complaints regarding the cream cheese ad and three complaints about the car ad.
It’s worth reading the whole story. Reason Magazine, which used to be a sympathetic libertarian voice, has become an essential source of information about the absurdities and dangers of statism and our authoritarian culture.
I know that some Brexiteers honestly believe that Brexit will allow their sovereign country to return to its classical liberal glory—the cradle of liberty. I hope that they are right. Who knows, they might be? More likely, they are mistaken. “Sovereignty” means unrestrained power. In recent history, the British government has often been tempting tyranny more enthusiastically that the government apparatus of the European Union. And European Union laws, although far from libertarian, could at least provide some form of check on the British Leviathan, if only by allowing British subjects to easily vote with their feet. For example, if you want to express some non-politically correct ideas, you are probably still better off in France or Italy.
The prospects for freedom of speech are not good anywhere in the civilized world, not to mention the non-civilized world. An article in the current issue of The Economist (“The Global Gag on Free Speech is Tightening,” August 15, 2019) confirm this trend, including official assaults on non-politically-correct speech in the U.K.