Philosophers don't have a particularly good record when it comes to giving practical advice to politicians...Plato didn't manage to pull it off; Machiavelli never weasled his way back into a position of power after being dismissed (though most politicians read The Prince, whether or not they admit to it - and if they've read it closely, they shouldn't admit to it); Rousseau had a go at giving advice, but again it didn't really work; there are a number of philosophers in the British House of Lords, some of whom make very useful contributions to government, and quite a few British MPs have studied some philosophy (often PPE at Oxford), but on the whole philosophers underperform when it comes to impacting on the political world.
You can listen to a very interesting podcast of Philip Pettit on The Philosophers' Zone, talking about his involvement with the Spanish government (this is a surprise!). Listen to Philip Pettit here (there's a transcript too if you don't want to listen).
It is not clear to me how it is possible to live up to the latest UN pronouncement on free speech. You can read a Reuters' Report on this here.
If all those who speak, write, express their views have to respect all religious sensitivities, then what can anyone say? Some religious group is likely to be offended by almost any expression of a view. Does the UN want to stop us watching The Life of Brian, Jerry Springer the Opera, etc? Will atheists have to keep quiet about their beliefs for fear of offending religious sensitivities? Watch out Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and co. And how does all this square with the US First Amendment?
The podcast Ethics BItes is now available from the 'Philosophy' section of iTunes which is a subsection of 'Society and Culture' within the 'Podcasts' area. It is also available with additional material from www.open2.net. So far you can download interviews with Peter Singer and Mary Warnock. From Wednesday, an interview with Michael Ostuka will there. The series has 14 episodes, released weekly. My previous post about Ethics Bites.