Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Stirring Racial Hatred?

Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party, denies two counts of using words or behaviour intending to stir up racial hatred and two of using words or behaviour likely to stir up racial hatred.

The race-hate charges arise out of speeches featured in an undercover documentary on the party.

I saw the documentary and remember thinking at the time that filming undercover in any old pub would probably have unearthed similar material. Filming undercover, that sounds so glamorous, doesn't it. But it's no more than spying on people, in the case of a journalist, for money...

Do I agree with Griffin's viewpoints? No. But that doesn't mean I believe he should be prosecuted for voicing them. There is such a thing as freedom of speech and it cannot apply only to views that are music to my ears. The argument that freedom of expression cannot be unfettered is a typical fallacy of the not-so-enlightened because it pre-supposes knowledge of what is acceptable and what is not. But to those who agree with this curbing of free speech, what's actually assumed acceptable is often no more than bon-ton tittle-tattle, a rather vacuous defence of democracy by the not-so-democratic. It is those same bird brains that have no qualms about sacryficing our civil liberties in the name of National Security that will support this well meaning folly...

What will be achieved by this prosecution? That depends on the outcome, which is unsure to say the least.

If Griffin and his boffins are acquitted, they will feel vindicated and strengthened to proclaim such views with an even stronger voice. A precedent will have been created and other racists and bigots will feel they too will be able to voice these despicable views with impunity.

Alternatively, if Griffin is convicted there will be (understandable) claims of a political trial and
it will drive him and his ilk further underground, where there views will further fester and rot, and find an even more bigoted and possibly more violent audience. Nice one.

And either way, the BNP is enjoying the free publicity; it will undoubtedly rally many more to their dubious cause. What the BNP craved was attention and that's what we've given them: a smart move indeed...

No, let Griffin et al loudly and proudly proclaim their opinions: those opposed to these views can then openly challenge them. Rest assured: we will...

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3 Comments:

At 9:43 PM, Blogger J.UL1R4 said...

I totally agree about freedom of speech, it's the most vital thing there is.

I do think there is some political motivation with this because today we've also seen this ridiculous 'plot' to abduct Blair's son, which I have to say I think is total garbage spun out to the press, and now Fathers for Justice are saying we will 'dispand', I mean come on as if they were the IRA or something to begin with.

Not impossible the police or MI5 infiltrated the group and even came up with the plot themselves.

To me, this is all about crushing dissent pure and simple to make examples to ward off others and to enforce the path to choking tyranny under globalisation as the one and only true way. Stay in our Blair box and don't stray out of it.

As for this case, I can't say I believe in the concept of 'hate' in law, it's probably one of the biggest mistakes inflicted on the legal system and it's possibly not a bad idea for people to be thinking about where it's come from.

There is a point here that any aspiration toward sovereignty, self-determination and right to associate with who you wish is fair game to always be painted as secretly 'xenophobic' or'racist' etc and I suspect this is what a lot of it is all about. Blair is desperate to kill all dissent and Griffin makes an easy victim for him to flog.

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Quite.

Freedom of speech (we have to keep telling ourselves) is the fundamental freedom upon which rest also the freedom of political union and the freedom of religion.

As such it should remain unassailable. It's quite easy to show that the slightest violation of absolute freedom of speech makes the whole principle collapse.

I'm also convinced that past anti-discrimination laws have really proven to be about as effective as a plaster on a wooden leg. Let the homophobe speak his mind: suppressing his opinion won't make him change it. Debate however just, just might (hope springs eternal...)

 
At 10:39 PM, Blogger J.UL1R4 said...

Couldn't agree more with you Gert!

 

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