The BNP as MEPs?

Just so you know: this page was imported from my old blog. Some pages were rather mangled in the process; my apologies if things don't quite look right.

I have no doubt that minds far greater, and far better educated in matters of politics than mine, will debate for some time yet how it came to be that the British National Party has secured itself a seat in the European Parliament.

Since I am a political atheist (yup, I don't believe in politics, Santa Claus or council tax...) I'm not going to comment, but the indignant coughing and spluttering from tonight reminded me of the rally I attended at the start of 2007 when Oxford Union was due to allow BNP leader Nick Griffin and "controversial historian" (to quote the BBC's news article) David Irving to speak.

I don't claim to know where or how to draw the line between the right to free speech and one's obligations to allow others to live without fear of xenophobic attack, but I wonder if this is another sign we're heading down a dark path.

Feel free to read more about this result on the Times or BBC sites (since I already have these articles open in Firefox). I'm off to bed. G'night :o)


Matt Blackall (not verified) wrote 6 years 9 weeks ago

Hello Alex, hope all is well.

Sorry but i couldn't resist but comment on a blog post about politics...

About freedom of speech, two points:

1) The idea that we all have freedom of speech develops from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - article 16 (or thats what people hide behind when they quote freedom of speech). Within the declaration article 30 says you cannot use any of the articles against any other person/group etc- interpreted; you can't use free speech to abuse and incite hatred towards any other person (because that is against their human rights...);

2) Some people have said that a 'no platform policy' is a abuse of freedom of speech- well, it isn't. Just because you stop somebody from expressing their views in one place/venue/etc doesn't mean you are stopping them saying it somewhere else i.e. a website/their own meetings. Therefore, technically (and legally) you are not infringing on their freedom of speech as they are still able to express their opinion. If a no platform policy was a breach of freedom of speech then libaries around the country would be shut down, schools telling children in classrooms to be quiet would be sued, swearwords may appear on teletubbies!

Sorry, i digress....

Alex (not verified) wrote 6 years 9 weeks ago

Hello Matt! Long time no speak. Thanks for your post - very helpful, and I think I've actually learnt something today (although I'm going to have to read your post twice, and probably read up on articles 16 and 30, too...)!

Bear with me while I add you to my blogroll, too :o)

Please register or login to post a comment.

Most-mentioned in the blog