"Five years on, the broadcasting ban remains a nasty little law, flirting with censorship."
Peter Hain is continuing his campaign to prevent the BNP from appearing on Question Time
I have always argued and will continue to argue in favour of free speech.
It is not a pic and mix, if there is free speech for one there is free speech for another.
"Tolerance of the intolerable is the hallmark of a democracy."
Why do Labour want to block these odious idiots anyway? They complained loudly about the Sinn Fein broadcasting ban - or were those bunch of political thugs acceptable to their ideology? (I thought the broadcasters did a brilliant job circumventing a ban that should never have been ordered and Labour correctly applauded the media's actions.)
You cannot decide on who has free speech. Although we don't have a written right to free speech, we do have laws and precedences to protect people. If Griffin, or any other loony commits an offence for incitement to racial violence or violence against a person then hit him with the law.
There is one straight precedence, it is fine to exercise free speech but you cannot shout fire in a packed cinema. So apply that. And whilst you're at it, arrest those thugs at the Finsbury Mosque for incitement as well. Like free speech, laws should be applied to all no matter what religion, colour or which House of Parliament you sit in.
As always, confront the bigot, don't make him a martyr. It is your natural constituents, Labour, that are voting for them.
The BNP is tapping into fears about jobs, housing, crime, the "way of life", and the only answer you're coming up with is to try and ban them?
AS I argued before, if you ban one political party, where does it stop? Hmmm, UKIP, bunch of loons, ban them. Tory Party? Full of rascists and capitalists, ban them. Lib Dems? Those orange book lads look a bit off-our-message, ban them.
Where do you stop?
Oh, and while I'm here, THE BNP IS A LEFT-WING PARTY! Look at its manifesto commitements, they're all socialist ideals. Just because they want to kick "anyone not them" out of the country and use nationalist imagery, it does not make them right wing, the left has used that as well!!
One final thing, the quotes on this blog - you may be interested to know that these come from Ann Clywd, the then-Labour spokesperson on National Heritage,on the fifth anniversary of the Sinn Fein broadcasting ban.
Here's the final one...
"Being right is not the key. Being allowed to be obnoxiously wrong is. The constitutional concept of free expression means something in continental Europe, and it means something in the United States. It should mean something here."
Appendum: Even Richard Littlejohn is calling for a ban!?! H/t Obo