This is a nice surprise: a blast in defence of free speech from an unpromising-sounding source: the Institute for the Study of Academic Racism. This page, by Marek Kohn and dating from 1999, discusses racial theorizing, including that of the wild-eyed maverick psychologist Chris Brand. It ends:
Brand was to have discussed `Race, Intelligence and Censorship' at Edinburgh's Cyberia Café with myself and Kenan Malik. Following threats of violence from the ANL [Anti-Nazi League], the café's proprietor cancelled the event on police advice. Instead, the ANL staged a pocket rally in which various speakers congratulated themselves on having suppressed the debate. One of them was the comedian and columnist Jeremy Hardy, who dismissed talk of freedom of expression as `liberal rot'. I found this particularly nauseating from a man who makes a nice living from saying what he pleases and, in doing so, stands on the shoulders of those liberals he despises. But the shriller he and others became, the more they sounded as though they were trying to convince themselves.
Well said. Jeremy Hardy has been in the news as one of a group of pacifists who took the anti-Israeli side during the recent strikes against Palestinian towns. I fall about whenever I hear Hardy on the radio: he's some kind of comic mad genius. But his political obsessions sometimes made it hard to laugh, and reading about his role in the nasty incident described above will make it harder.