The Czechs do value their free speech

Just as they should of course. Just walking back from getting lunch (Kung Pao since you ask) And there was a demo going on. Perhaps a dozen people chanting something half heartedly in the snow as they walked through the middle of town.

One cop car in front of them, two behind plus a paddy wagon. Plus a couple of armed cops walking in front and behind them. The demonstrators outnumbered the cops, just.

This wasn’t to make sure that they didn’t break off to go beat up the Jews, Germans, Gypsies, Socialists, whoever the hell it was they were complaining about. Rather, the cops were there to ensure they could use their right to peaceful free speech uninterrupted.

I supposed when you were denied free speech for 51 years you become rather interested in making sure that it is a right that an be exercised.

13 comments on “The Czechs do value their free speech

  1. For the same reasons (East) Germans are the most paranoid about internet privacy and are key drivers behind a lot of the EU privacy legislation.

  2. I shared a house with a Czech for about 10 months. One night after drinking too much of my Talisker, he brought the whole “You b***ards, the big countries, sold us to Stalin …” thing and added:

    “There are only two systems. The one like here where they judge you on what you do, and the other one, where they judge you on what you think. And you b***ards made us live in the other one.

    I’d heard similar from Slovak housemates in the past, they do appear to have strong feelings about it. When questioned further they do believe the USA, UK & France should have attacked the USSR, up to and including nuking them before they also had the bomb.

  3. OT, but…Professor Spud — the economist responsible for Corbynomics – was on The World at One (BBC Radio 4) today commenting very fluently on Corbyn’s deluded suggestion of a maximum salary cap. Spud gleefully and patronisingly dismissed the idea, saying that high salaries should be dealt with by higher tax….Classic Spuddery. And his bitterness towards the Corbyn camp was evident, so no hope of reconciliation (or peerage) there.

  4. Murphy has been in fine form recently –

    “I have had the good fortune to never suffer any serious mental ill health”

    He criticises Corbyn’s salary cap as “absurd regulation and a nightmare to enforce”

    and suggests instead –

    CGT at income tax rates
    50% top rate of income tax
    no CT relief for companies paying more than 10x median wage
    employee NIC on high salaries
    investment income surcharge of 15%.

    No regulation needed for that lot, then, and easy to enforce……?

  5. “I have had the good fortune to never suffer any serious mental ill health”

    You have to have serious mental capabilities before you can have any sort of serious mental health, ill or otherwise.

  6. “You have to have serious mental capabilities before you can have any sort of serious mental health, ill or otherwise.”

    Nah. Tards can be neurotic or psychotic.

    As for Professor Spud, his neuroses make him insecure, authoritarian, angry, monomaniacal and craving of approval. If he was at ease with himself, he would not censor his blog.

  7. StevenL – “I shared a house with a Czech for about 10 months. One night after drinking too much of my Talisker, he brought the whole “You b***ards, the big countries, sold us to Stalin …” thing and added:”

    That is remarkable given he was a Czech. The Poles can complain. The Romanians and Hungarians likewise – actually especially the Hungarians. They were the subject of Churchill’s deal with Stalin. And to get some influence in Yugoslavia, Churchill have Stalin greater control over Hungary which might have otherwise been saved. But the Czech government *asked* the Soviets to come in and stay. It was not part of the deal. But the Czechs worried about keeping the Slovaks down and wanted Stalin to help them remove the Germans from the Czech lands. So while they talked about being “a bridge”, what they did was do a deal with Moscow.

    They asked for it. They got it.

    “When questioned further they do believe the USA, UK & France should have attacked the USSR, up to and including nuking them before they also had the bomb.”

    In retrospect, that would have been sensible. The USSR did not have the manpower left to fight again and even if such an attack had killed as many as WW2 – say 20 million Russians – preventing Communism’s further spread would have saved lives.

  8. SMFS – yes it could have been done. Would have cost a lot of lives – and then when defeated, what do you do with the country?
    Occupy it with a few million troops for decades?
    Would not have stopped the spread of communism.

  9. Martin – “yes it could have been done. Would have cost a lot of lives – and then when defeated, what do you do with the country? Occupy it with a few million troops for decades?”

    The Russian peasants welcomed the Germans with open arms. Dissolve the collective farms, declare victory and go home. You think that the peasants would be dumb enough to support the Communists twice?

    “Would not have stopped the spread of communism.”

    When Communism collapsed in Russia it collapsed everywhere. Because Communism was never popular and always relied on Moscow’s money.

  10. When Communism collapsed in Russia it collapsed everywhere. Because Communism was never popular and always relied on Moscow’s money.

    Nope. They took the money, but it was the tanks and troops that kept them bound to Moscow, as the Czech and Hungarian uprisings demonstrated.

  11. Nope? That is an interesting word. What you mean is that it took even more than just money, it took money *and* tanks?

  12. Nope? That is an interesting word. What you mean is that it took even more than just money, it took money *and* tanks?

    More like tanks, troops AND money (pretty much in that order)

    Although the withdrawal of money (in the form of free Russian gas) that finally pushed them over the edge and led to the dissolution of the USSR, it was only because they feared the inevitability of freezing to death PLUS being hung by the local populace over the possibility of Russian tanks and troops.

    The USSR was shitty for the proles, but the senior party members only abandoned it (and with haste) when their own lives and more importantly, home comforts were threatened.

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