Following recent events in Paris, huge crowds joined a rally in the French capital to…do what exactly? To pledge their support for free speech? To show solidarity with the Jewish people? Or simply to express their horror at such depravity? Are they calling for change, beyond an end to the killing? If so, how many of their cosy assumptions are they willing to sacrifice to put things right?
The murdered journalists and illustrators of Charlie Hebdo were not conventional victims, in the sense of being members of a designated identity group. Nor were they friends of the modern Left, in that they scorned liberal poseurs with a penchant for censorship. They could be rude and puerile, but they understood that the right to free speech trumps the ‘right’ not to be offended.
Pic is new Charlie Hebdo cover.