IN regard to the debate sparked by Jeremy Clarkson’s article in The Sun, I do not think that misogyny should be a soft option, in claims of the defence of free speech. Surely the purpose of free speech has higher aspirations than that, the comedy of Lenny Bruce I believe being a celebrated example of the championing of all peoples’ right to freedom of expression.

Human rights legislation opens up societal competitiveness. For instance, the UK Government raised a challenge to the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scottish law. This is something which some might find incongruous, given that the UK Government is already signed up to the convention in principle.

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Women’s liberties have been hard won. Many women doing necessary work during the Great War were dismissed in 1918, the implication being that a woman’s place was in the home. It was only in 1922 that women were admitted to Oxford University and the civil service. In Afghanistan it has been recently reported that young women are to be barred from a university education, on top of all the other affronts to their civil liberties.

Given the unprecedented level of abuse that seems to be directed at women and girls, including it is widely reported via social media, I would suggest that misogyny, should at least be incorporated as an aggravating factor in the assessment of hate crimes. It is surely up to democratic countries to defend the rights of women and girls and I believe we would be a much poorer society for a loss of their public face.

Peter Gorrie

DOES he even like himself, this bloke?
Look in the mirror and get the boak?
He mistakes abuse for harmless fun,
on his platform of Murdoch’s Sun.
It’s all just banter, he might write,
a humour with the viper’s bite!
it’s not banter, it’s simply bile,
I do not see the recipient smile!

Be you of colour, disabled, a Scot,
he shall stir you in his hatred pot:
he’s a nasty excuse for a human,
God help you, dear, if you’re a woman!
Yet there he is in The Sun, on TV,
being the idiot he loves to be:
one thinks it’s attention that he craves,
as he talks rot and rants and raves.

This horrible man, this human pest,
makes me use the word “detest”:
only Thatcher, in my memory,
brought that description, Jeremy!
Idiots like he are not worth tuppence,
and one day get their comeuppance;
Go off to your cesspit, if you please,
and give good folk quiet and peace.

George Robertson

WHAT the hell has gone wrong with society generally in the UK? Jeremy Clarkson’s comments in The Sun about our First Minister and Meghan Markle have been well documented. What is really scary though is that The Sun’s editor didn’t throw Clarkson’s piece in the bin and there has been no apology for publishing his hateful diatribe. Around 60 cross-party Westminster MPs wrote to The Sun editor demanding an apology and that action should be taken against Clarkson. However, only 60-odd out of 650! Just 10% of them! Also that popular family quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? will still be hosted by this man.

There will no doubt be many who defend his right to share his views in one of the most popular tabloid newspapers in the UK on the basis of free speech. I bet many of them though are just like that other awful individual Elon Musk. They love free speech when it chimes with their views. When it doesn’t they cancel it. They constantly bang on about “woke” students cancelling folk with their views, but don’t like it when they are accused likewise.

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Brexit is an excellent example of the swivel-eyed ones cancelling the free speech of those “remoaners” that they detest. Anyone having the temerity to state the bleeding obvious that Brexit is a disaster is shouted down. More commonly though, these people are just airbrushed from news and current affairs programmes. Of course our democratic mandate to hold an independence referendum has also been well and truly cancelled too.

Clarkson stated, “Everyone who’s my age thinks the same way.” Well I’m the same age as you, Jeremy, and I can tell you I most certainly don’t think like you. My wish for 2023 is that there is a massive public backlash against those with hateful views, whatever they are about. I’m no haudin my breath though!

Ivor Telfer
Dalgety Bay, Fife

JEREMY Clarkson’s words of “wisdom” and “wit” are on a par with what he says he would like to thrown at a naked Meghan Markle, and will go down well on the kind of speakers' circuit that pays the likes of Boris Johnson £1m for four gigs. It will also go down well at south-eastern dinner parties and restaurants. The fact that it also goes down well on English talking-heads shows says all you need to know about the EBC.

Donald Anderson