One of Britain’s most senior judges has warned that traditional attitudes to issues such as sexuality are being shut out of debate by a form of liberal “censoriousness” that only tolerates “inoffensive” views to be heard.
Lord Neuberger, president of the Supreme Court, said that this could affect the diversity of Britain as more views are become deemed “unacceptable”.
He added that this new form of “moral reaction” is directly equivalent to the equally restrictive attitudes of previous generations.
He made his comments in a lecture at the House of Commons in which he spoke of improving the representative of various minorities in the legal profession, including women, gay people, people from poorer backgrounds and ethnic minorities.
The Telegraph quotes Lord Neuberger as saying in his lecture: “A tendency appears to be growing in some quarters which is antithetical to diversity in a rather indirect and insidious way.
“As Phillip Larkin suggested in his famous poem, 1963 heralded a rather permissive period, partly no doubt in reaction to the very conventional and straight-laced post-World War Two outlook
“Possibly as a counter-reaction to the permissive society, a combination of political correctness and moral reaction appears to be developing.
“While I have no wish to comment on, let alone criticise, this development, I fear that it may risk spilling over into a censoriousness about what views people can publicly air as to the merits of diversity or other issues which indirectly relate to diversity.
“As has been said on more than one occasion, freedom only to speak inoffensively is a freedom not worth having.
“The more that arguments and views are shut out as unacceptable the less diverse we risk becoming in terms of outlook.
“And the less diverse we become in terms of outlook, the more we risk not valuing diversity and the more we therefore risk losing diversity in practice.”