Libertarian Alliance News Release on “Murder Music”

In Association with the Libertarian International
Release Date: Friday 7th December 2007
Release Time: Immediate

Contact Details:
Dr Sean Gabb (Libertarian Alliance Director), 07956 472 199,

For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message
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The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties policy institute, today condemns the “murder music” ban in Brighton as a naked attack on freedom of speech.

(Brighton and Hove City Council has announced that pubs and clubs may lose their licences if they are caught playing music that “allegedly incites hatred on religious, racial or sexuality grounds”)

 Libertarian Alliance Director, Sean Gabb, says:

“I grew up in a country where people had an unquestioned and immemorial right to say what they liked on public issues, and to say it robustly. England is now a country where speech on issue after issue is being policed in the name of protecting minorities.

“What our ruling class calls “incitement of hatred” is actually expression of opinion, and expression of opinion should always be free – no matter how upsetting it may be to certain people.

“This is particularly so when opinions are expressed in private. Pubs and clubs are private property. What goes on inside them – whether it be holocaust revision lectures or gay sado-masochistic theatre – is no business of the authorities.

“This policy is supposed to apply only to playing music with violent lyrics. But the obvious target is dissident political speech. It is there to complement the Government’s attempt at censoring the content of sermons in mosques. Applied firmly across the country, the effect of the policy would be to stop the British National Party from meeting in rooms above public houses.

“We denounce the Conservative-dominated Brighton and Hove City Council. We call on the Conservative leadership to distance itself from this act of political censorship.

“We also call on Peter Tatchell, who has endorsed the policy, to think again – or to stop calling himself a civil libertarian.”

The Libertarian Alliance believes:

  • That all laws constraining speech on public issues should be repealed:
  • That all public bodies set up to regulate speech should be abolished and their records destroyed:
  • That the licensing laws should be repealed;
  • That what consenting adults do with each other on their own property is their own business;
  • That if these consenting adults wish to publish any of this to other consenting adults, that also is their own business;


Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. His new book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, may be downloaded for free from His other books are available from Hampden Press at

He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at

Extended Contact Details:

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 700 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at


  1. The ban on so-called ‘murder music’ in Brighton is outrageous. Music that incites hatred towards race, sex or religion.

    The most poignant part of the bill is that it covers music both recorded and live. That means Brighton & Hove Council can use this policy to ban any artist playing a concert if at sometime in the past they have recorded a song that they, the council, believe could cause offense.

    The next step is to ban shops from selling music by particular artists.

    Sean is right to consider the implications of this policy snowballing to include political speeches, marches etc. But equally, this can be used against other forms of entertainment, such as comedy and theatre productions.

    Do I smell a whiff of McCarthyism in the air?

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