I appreciate the candid perspective that Scruton brings to the debate about the freedom of speech, and what freedom of speech should be (as opposed to where it now is in our ultra-pc world).
I recall reading about Sir Tim Hunt (who is referred to in the essay), the biochemist who made some silly comment about women being empirical in the lab. That comment was career suicide for him, and made a social pariah of a Nobel laureate. Honestly, the ensuing online lynching was not deserved. The comment made was daft and made me roll my eyes but the comment was certainly not offensive, and certainly not worth killing a man’s reputation and erasing any good he’d ever done in his life. And this kind of hyper-sensitive response to innocuous , typically off-the-cuff, silly comments made by any person with even the smallest iota of fame, is a sad reflection of a forcebly sterile society.
Freedom of speech, both the expressions that are good and those that are bad, and the spectrum in between, should be endorsed, supported, and protected, so that truths can be shared, and falsehoods righted.
A Point of View: Why we should defend the right to be offensive – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34613855