Murdo Fraser MSP believes a newly formed campaign group is a “timely initiative” which will try to combat the rise in ‘cancel culture.’
The Scottish Conservative politician has joined forces with Joanna Cherry, the SNP MP and QC, Jenny Lindsay, the award-winning poet and Lindsay Paterson, a professor of education policy, to form the Free Speech Union Scotland, which will launch later this month.
The group’s inaugural advisory council will also be joined by Iain Macwhirter, the journalist, Peter Kearney, the director of the Catholic Media Office and Jim Sillars, the former SNP deputy leader.
Free Speech Union Scotland aims to oppose ‘cancel culture’ and the censoring of controversial views.
The group has been formed following an alarming rise in ‘cancel culture,’ with the likes of Jenny Lindsay being advised by police not to attend events unaccompanied after she was subjected to an online hate campaign. Mr Fraser believes this kind of intimidatory behaviour needs to be addressed.
Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “This is a timely initiative at a point where we are seeing the growth in ‘cancel culture’, directed towards those who hold mainstream opinions on issues such as gender but are silenced by an angry, vocal minority.
“Just in the past few days we have seen a Scottish Government Minister, Lorna Slater, make appalling remarks about those who don’t share her extreme views, suggesting that they should be denied a platform.
“Unlike the Scottish Government, I will always defend the right of people to express opinions and debate issues, even when I might fundamentally oppose their views.
“Free speech is one of the foundations of a civilised, liberal society and it is under attack in Scotland. I am delighted to join with cross-Party politicians and others from across Scottish society to support the Free Speech Union Scotland.”