Taunton School Main Building at Dusk

Concepts of Democracy and Freedom of Speech

Posted: 20th January 2017

In this week of such significant global political change, we enjoyed an excellent assembly on Monday from Mr Newman addressing the concepts of democracy and freedom of speech. After defining what democracy is using ideas from the audience, he neatly flipped the concept on it’s head by describing what democracy isn’t…. He used the pupils and staff, explaining that if we considered ourselves to be a country, we have an “Evil Dictator Sinclair” as our leader. This man has built high walls, controlled communication and diverted money from the people to his own pockets, for his own use. The people have also had resources and food taken away in order to fund a luxurious extension to Sinclair’s mansion house, and they are denied the richness of art and music in favour of labouring. Finally, all Sinclair TVs and Sinclair Radios are tuned to one channel in order to send propaganda messages to the masses. Mr Newman explained how after generations, the people can become ‘normalised’ by this regime, and that sadly some people do live in similar situations around the world today. He then went on to explain that part of living in a democracy was the entitlement to the freedom of speech which should be used to express our opinions and to challenge our leaders.

We ended by viewing Barrack Obama’s speech about ‘BUBBLES’ which considers how living in our own bubbles, often prioritising social media, can affect the way in which we form opinions and relationships based only on information we want to hear and by the recently topical ‘fake news’. I recommend you view the BBC clip if you haven’t seen it already by clicking here: OBAMA BUBBLES

Duncan Sinclair, Prep School Headmaster

Categories: Blog Preparatory