Do you write what you like without hesitation? I don’t mean criminal stuff like saying so-and-so is a thief, or should be killed: I mean what you think. Do you feel free to express your opinion, even if it’s through the mouthpiece of a character in a book, without jeapordising your chances of publication? I don’t. I feel as if I’m living in the Eastern Bloc before the Berlin Wall came down.
For example, what conclusions do you draw about me when I say I hate arranged marriages? I honestly think they should be illegal. Without them there’d be no honour killings but apart from that I hate the idea of such obediance to the will of another.
It’s like freedom of speech. Why should we say only what someone else allows us to? Isn’t our opinion, even if idiotic, as permissable as theirs?
Not long ago there was the laughable instance of a health visitor being disciplined for offering to pray for a patient. How can you stop someone praying? You don’t know they’re doing it, do you? But all Inquisitions think they know everything.
I can say I hate the Queen. But what happens if I say I hate queens? I don’t, but you see my point?
Why did I add that last craven sentence? Do you, no matter what you think, defend my right to say it?