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I disagree with Emma Dent Coad but saying she should be sacked is just silly


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By accusing the Duke of Edinburgh of being unfaithful, Prince Harry of not being able to operate a helicopter, and describing the Duchess of Cambridge as "ridiculous" - Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad has stirred controversy. 

In light of these comments, a petition has been set up for Jeremy Corbyn to ask her to resign. As Dent Coad is not a member of the Shadow Cabinet, I can only imagine the people behind this petition, which I've seen shared on numerous sites, though the actual signatures gained is low, is intended to remove her as an MP.

This comes not long after Naz Shah also had a petition against her. Shah, MP for Bradford West, had liked a retweeted a post from a satirical Owen Jones account stating: "Those abused girls in Rotherham and elsewhere just need to shut their mouths. For the good of diversity."

Now, I find Shah's comments utterly deplorable and I don't agree with Dent Coad either, but to demand their resignation is quite frankly, ridiculous. 

Both are democratically elected, Shah took a large majority over George Galloway and Dent Coad won in June by just 20 votes. But crucially, both are democratically elected.

When it comes to the royal family, this one of the issues where my libertarian and conservative leanings come in conflict the most. Due to the latter, I hold a rather pragmatic view. I don't support the abolition of the monarchy as I believe they provide a lot in terms of diplomacy, charity, experience, and money through tourism. And there's the issue of how Britain would choose its' head of state. 

But, at the same time, if we, as human beings suddenly just started out again, I wouldn't want us to develop the institution of monarchies again. 

I do sympathise with the Republican view and there is an argument to be had, although Dent Coad's words do not come across as an argument - more a personal attack. And Dent Coad should really take a long, hard look at herself for her comments regarding Phillip's faithfulness and Harry's military service. But when it comes to it, there's an argument to be had regarding abolishment.

Dent Coad and Shah (there's no argument justifying the tweet) shouldn't be removed as an MP for merely stating their feelings, no matter how disagreeable. 

MPs are elected by their constituents if their constituents are appalled by these events - they should be allowed to vote them out. Let them decide at the next election.

And at the end of the day, all that has been expressed are personal feelings (though Dent Coad stated a couple of facts that she couldn't back up). We have freedom of speech in this country and in the words of George Orwell: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” 

Oscar Wilde meanwhile provides the other quote that forms the bedrock of this school of thought: “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.” 

If you don't believe in freedom of speech for everyone, then really do you actually believe in it at all?

Any argument that can be used to take away the rights of those we disagree with, can be used upon ourselves as well. Don't be afraid of your own freedom. Ideas are not defeated by bans as much as they're not defeated by bullets, they are defeated by other ideas.

The more ridiculous the idea - the easier it is to defeat. Like the claim that abused girls should keep quiet due to sensitivities is defeated by the idea is that it's probably a good idea to get sexual predators off the street. 

Going back to Dent Coad, if you then ignore everything else I've written, think of the implications of removing her. A politician - elected - is deposed merely for saying things. The personal feeling of the royal family is more important than the personal feelings of the 16,000 plus people who voted for her?

We've gone to war to curb the power of the monarch many times in our history. Now the monarchy has had a long period of being nothing more than a figurehead, a de facto ambassador and advisor do we really want to undo that?

Removing Dent Coad or Shah would be an attack on the democracy we cherish and millions have paid the ultimate price in order to protect. I do not for a second agree with either of them, but I will defend their right to say it. Defeat them, not in the courts or via petitions, defeat them at the hustings, soapbox and at the ballots. 


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