Letter: Capitalism with the gloves off

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Sir: It is appalling to read in your news pages ('Dowager gets suspended sentence for racist leaflet', 16 April) that an 80-year-old woman has been fined and may be imprisoned in this country for expressing her point of view. Most people, myself included, find the Dowager Lady Birdwood's stated belief that the Nazis did not commit the mass murder of Jews false and objectionable. None the less, she has a moral right, and ought to have the legal right, to express her opinion, however offensive.

Your leading article of the same day begins, 'The foundation of liberal democracy is the belief that no one has a monopoly of truth so no one should be allowed a monopoly of power. That is why free speech is not a luxury, nor a playground for intellectuals.'

Freedom of speech exists for us all, the British National Party, Lady Birdwood, pornographers and newspapers, or it does not exist at all.

Yours faithfully,


London, W11