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Addendum. It occurred to me earlier that much or all of this disagreement or confusion over terms may be simply geographical, or geographico-political. All three of the people who think I’m confused are in the UK. I wonder if this has to do with the difference between having a written consitution and bill of rights, and not having either. In other words, the UK doesn’t actually have an explicit written constitutionally protected right to free speech or a free press. As a consequence of that it also doesn’t have a Supreme Court. As a consequence of that, the gummint can pass laws that would be unlikely to pass over here (although items like the Patriot Act may raise doubts about that). The House of Lords may amend such laws in a more free speech direction, but not in deference to a written explicit constitutional right. It may be that the legal right is more taken for granted here, with the result that there is less need to be expansive about it. Or, maybe not – since as I’ve mentioned, lots of people over here think the First Amendment is very expansive. Still, it’s a thought.

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