Monday, 20 May 2024

National Liberal Debate 14 – I Am Charlie. I Am Not Charlie. Have Your Say!

Some of Charlie Hebdo’s highly distinctive covers. Founded in 1970 it is published every Wednesday.

THE MANY problems faced by Britain – whether economic or social – are not going to be solved by screaming and shouting. Thus, the National Liberal Party is not interested in ‘hitting the headlines’ using the tired formula of macho–posturing and gesture politics. These problems will only be overcome by a combination of careful thought and action.

This means that we favour informed and reasoned debate. Here we concentrate on arguments, points of view and facts. We are not interested in personalities, prejudice or promoting self-interest.

The National Liberal Party seeks to build an organisation that encourages free speech and debate. To do this, we also attempt to take into consideration as many views as is possible in open debate. Thus, members and supporters are always encouraged to have their say.

We’re also interested in encouraging people to develop their debating skills. That’s why the NLP has introduced a new series of articles called Have Your Say! Whilst each subject will be announced on this web-site, they’ll be conducted in full on the National Liberals Facebook site, which can be found here:

Before we start this debate we’d like to remind folks of our ground rules:

  • First of all, say what you think – but think what you say.

  • Secondly, just debate the issue(s) raised. There should be no personal attacks.

  • As previously noted, we’re simply not interested in personalities.

  • Please note that we may ask selected members and supporters to play ‘devil’s advocate’. Hopefully, this’ll help sharpen the debating skills of all involved!

  • Finally, it should be remembered that all of the views expressed in Have Your Say! are personal and should not be taken to be the official view of the NLP itself.

Our latest question relates to the horrific events in Paris in early January. Here 17 people were killed during three days of attacks. The shootings were allegedly carried out by militant followers of Islam, generally known as jihadists. Targets included journalists and cartoonists working for the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers, and a kosher supermarket.

In the days that followed, a whole host of views were aired. Many people condemned the shootings – particularly those relating to Charlie Hebdo which they simply viewed as an attack on the concept of absolute free speech. Others atempted to put the shootings into context – and highlighted what they viewed as Charlie Hebdo’s ‘baiting’ of Muslims.
There were also allegations of others supporting the attacks.  Some promoted ‘conspiracy theories’ and claimed that Muslim policeman Ahmed Merabet wasn’t really killed by a shot to the head, whilst others believe that the barbaric events were some form of ‘Black Ops.’

To date the National Liberals facebook page has carried many reports – from differing sources – on the attacks. However, these have featured over several threads. However, there is an urgent need to stretch the debate (as always based on rational discourse and logic) and collate all views in one place so that we can provide a reasonably definitive and highly considered response to the shootings.

Immediately after the attacks many people who support free speech and freedom of expression carried, signs that read Je Suis Charlie (I am Charlie). However because Charlie Hebdo appears to be at the centre of this storm – and given some of the more unsavoury aspects relating to the publication – our question for this latest National Liberal debate is simple: I Am Charlie. I Am Not Charlie. Have Your Say!

Let us know your views – simply check out the debate at Facebook/National Liberals today!

• THIS ARTICLE should be read in conjunction with:

Ten Of The Best! (13/03/2014)

National Liberal Debate 11 – Outside Of London Who Should National Liberals Vote For In The Euro-Elections? Have Your Say! (15/05/2014)

National Liberal Debate 12 – What’s Our Take On UKIP? Have Your Say! (22/06/2014)

National Liberal Debate 13 – Should We Bring Back The Death Penalty? Have Your Say! (27/08/2014)

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