Political Correctness Stifles Free Speech, Warns Camilla
Byline: Rebecca English Royal Correspondent
THE Duchess of Cornwall yesterday branded political correctness 'as severe a form of censorship as any'.
In a timely speech, Camilla described freedom of expression as being 'at the heart of our democratic system' and expressed her hope that people would continue to speak without fear or favour.
The Prince of Wales's wife also expressed her 'passionate belief' in the ability of newspapers to 'question, debate and criticise' and described the Press as having a 'pivotal' role in scrutinising every corner of society.
Camilla, who has fielded her fair share of brickbats from the media, chose to speak out at a time of intense public debate over the insidious nature of privacy laws.
Parliament is facing calls to debate super-injunctions - draconian gagging orders being used with alarming regularity by celebrities to prevent the media reporting details of extra-marital affairs and other personal misdemeanours.
But rallying to the defence of the media, the Duchess said yesterday: 'I take enormous pride in our ability to question, debate and criticise all aspects of our society.
'I believe passionately in freedom of expression. I believe freedom of expression, so long as it doesn't contravene the law, or offend others, to be at the heart of our democratic system. In this, you [the Press] play a vital, if not pivotal role.
'But just one note of caution: in our right to speak freely, please let us not become too politically correct, because surely political correctness is as severe a form of censorship as any.'
Sources close to the Duchess said that by 'political correctness' she was expressing her hope that people - and newspapers - would be able to speak out about a variety of issues, including race and sexual equality, without feeling 'inhibited'. …