The great and good of liberal metropolitan Britain set about regulating the press (or rather that bit of the press they disliked). This quote sums up just how repulsive it is that men and women quick to shout about liberty led a campaign to introduce censorship:
The campaign to restrict the historic rights of the press to rabble-rouse and publish and be damned—rights fought for over centuries by some of Britain's greatest liberals—has been led from the very start by people associated with Index on Censorship, PEN International, and Liberty, and cheered on by the liberal establishment. It wasn't a brutal state or truncheon-wielding coppers who effectively brought to an end 350 years of relative press freedom in Britain—it was liberals; it was progressives; it was the cultural elite; it was people who have made a name for themselves over the past 30 or 40 years as supporters of freedom of speech, though we now know what a colossal con that was.
It should concern all of us that the campaign to guard our free press is supported not by liberals but, other than the press itself, by 'vile Internet trolls', anarchists and libertarians. Plus a good few Conservatives.
We have, in truth, discovered that the left want liberty - if you want to call it freedom - on their terms and not on the basis of that most central of ideas: that a man is free to say what he wants. It should cause us to pause when Old Holborn is doing more to protect our liberty than that most sainted of liberals, Stephen Fry.