OPINIONS: We all should value our free society

I seem to have struck a chord with Roger Young (News Guardian, December 17), and I am very happy that he, like tens of thousands of others, does not support Pegida, nor organisations like it.

However, I am a little concerned that he thinks that I am against people being able to speak freely and express their views accordingly.

There isn’t anything in my letter to suggest that I do.

Once every five years the British people tick a box and express an opinion, one way or the other, for a political preference in government.

Occasionally, it is necessary to express an opinion, in accordance with our free society, in a more immediate and active way.

Speakers and supporters of Pegida, albeit ‘protected’ by mounted and foot police, did that earlier this year in Newcastle.

Speakers and others, myself included, expressed our views by assembling at the other end of the street in our thousands.

Mr Young may not choose to express his views or opinions in such a manner, but I am sure that he, in view of his support for a free society, would not want to prevent others from doing so.

The News Guardian has an excellent letters page, testament to the free society we all value and which gives people like Roger Young, myself and others, the opportunity to ‘have a chat’, as it were.

I would like to take this opportunity in wishing all the workers at News Guardian, the people who deliver it and readers a 2016 in which I hope that our ability to speak freely will help to halt the madness around the world.

Terry White

North Shields