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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

First they came for the odious ones…

The leader of the neo-fascist British National Party has been arrested by West Yorkshire Police on ‘suspicion of incitement to commit racial hatred’.

Now let us ponder that for a moment. Incitement to commit racial hatred. He has been arrested for trying to get someone else to hate non-white people. Now if he had incited someone to hate Manchester United supporters, the Old Bill in West Yorkshire would not have hauled him off for questioning, so clearly we are still permitted to suggest to others that they should hate some folks without being dragged into court, just not folks of a given race.

But please note he was not arrested for ‘incitement to violence’ against some racial group, he was arrested for inciting hate. He was arrested for trying to get people to think and feel, not act, a certain way. He was arrested for leading people into thought crimes. So they have outlawed certain emotions (i.e. hatred) and have moved to enforce that law against the racial collectivist Nick Griffin, because the hatred he incites is directed towards a certain classification of people.

Well I also happen to loathe, yes loathe, certain other classifications of people: communists, fascists, theocrats, some paleo-conservatives, members of Al-Qaeda and many flavours of socialists. I do not necessarily think all such people need to have violence done against them (well, members of Al-Qaeda excepted…) nor should they be arrested for thinking the things they do, but I do indeed think such people should be regarded with a fair degree of detestation. Moreover I have no hesitation inciting others to feel the same way towards such because those who would take away our liberties should indeed incur the hatred of those whose rights they would abridge.

I wonder how long I have left before I have to live somewhere else other than Britain if I wish to continue to have freedom of speech and stay out of jail.

63 comments to First they came for the odious ones…

  • I hate to say it Perry, but according to the current laws over there, wouldn’t your post be technically illegal too?

    I feels for ya guy. We have some prime cheap real estate here in Nashville Tennessee. We’re talking four bedroom houses in nice neighborhoods under $200,000.

    And we like our guns here in Nashville. The criminals don’t. Our crime and murder rates keep dropping.

    And I can shout from the rooftops- “I FOOKING HATE NAZIS!!!! KILL THEM ALL!!!” and people will just nod their heads while they wait in line to eat pancakes.

  • Tim

    From the US perspective, it’s shocking to see how eager Europeans are to throw themselves back into the pit of totalitarianism. I expect it of the Germans, French, et. al, but it’s heartbeaking to watch the English go down the drain as well. Good luck to you all.

  • Julian Taylor

    Now Phoney orders David Griffin and his followers to be arrested, presumably in a vague bid to assuage the 1.8m Muslim voters that Labour really loves Muslims.

    Now lets look at this little (Link) gem.

    Superintendent David Keller is alleged to have said that the best way to deal with people wanting to enter Manchester for Eid celebrations was for machine guns to be put on the motorway to “shoot them before they get a chance to come into our city centre”.

    Come on Phoney, lets see you arrest a police Superintendent – or does the ‘nanny state’ only extend to providing nannies with work permits?

  • John Harrison

    We have a Government introducing Identity Cards, rounding up its political rivals, rumoured to be considering all-postal voting in elections (you have to declare your identity along with your vote so there’s the end of the secret ballot), disarming the population – they are now softening us up to have all sharp objects removed from our homes, telling people what they should be eating and drinking – and still the idiot left cry “Bush – Hitler!”

  • First time I read that article I kept waiting to hear the horrible thing he said. I was expecting something like “We need to round up all those wogs and send them home,” or “Muslims deserve to be beaten up wherever you see them!” Something like that.

    Then at the end I read that he was arrested for saying Islam was “wicked” and “vicious.” I had to read it again to make sure that THAT was the offense that was being penalized.

    I really hadn’t realized things had gone that far in the UK. Scary, and very sad.

  • This can’t possibly be true… or can it?

    I suggest we thought-criminals get equipped with some illegal weapons before it’s too late.

    Damn.

  • By the way, when you called them “neo-fascists,” I was all set to call you on an improper use of the word (as in a fascist = “someone to the right of me who I don’t like), but then clicked over to their website, read their policies, and realized, hey, these people really ARE neo-fascists, with nearaly all the requisite socialism, etc!

    Everythings that old is new again.

  • Rob

    If we argue that Nick Griffin has a right to say whatever he likes, do we have to accept that same argument as defence for Islamic fundamentalist imams?

    Many people in the MSM have commented recently on the “need” to curb the speech of fundamentalists, and it seems to me that Nick Griffin is himself a fundamentalist (inasmuch as his views are not susceptible to reasoned argument). If we, in opposition to this, conclude that his speech is protected, then the speech of an imam who believes Western society to be corrupt and immoral (a mirror of Griffin’s view of islam as “wicked” and “vicious”) must surely also be protected.

    Personally I’d like to see both views allowed, but since both are outside of the mainstream it’s unlikely that many politicians would agree.

  • Rob: For sure. Unless someone is inciting to violence, I do no see what business the state has getting involved. The imams should be able to say what they wish and we should be able to call them detestable morons for saying it.

  • This is the second time I’ve read a post here about free speech-related arrests following the airing of a BBC show. I can’t remember the other one, but it seemed even skankier.

  • Verity

    Perry, the Brits (and Europeans) with any get up and go are getting up and going. Don’t leave it too long or they will twig to the fact that all the smart people (i.e. productive people) are jumping ship and make laws about who can get an ‘exit visa’. Be careful. This government is malign. Ooops! I hope I didn’t incite anyone to hate it!

    By the way, how can you ‘incite’ anyone to hate anyone else? I mean, seriously. I’d be interested in reading views.

    Can you incite ‘like’? Is that OK? When Madonna gets wheeled out onto the stage supposedly standing on her head, singing, is this incitement to mindless admiration? Has that been validated as OK?

    As far as I’m concerned (not living in Britain and thus free to say what I think), the BNP can say whatever the hell they feel like saying, as long as they don’t say, “Here is $5,000 to kill this person.” That’s incitement to murder. But incitement to hate?

    Get out now before they pull up the drawbridge, y’all. You’ve seen the signs and each time you think you’ve spotted the nadir and blog on it.

    Then it gets worse. And it will continue to do so. Once they realise that it is the taxpayers who are opting with their feet for freedom, and the welfare kings, queens and ‘asylum seekers’ who are burrowing in, they won’t let you go. Because if there’s a marked diminution of those who contribute to the payment transfers, Nulab may lose votes, and that is not allowed in a modern European democracy like the People’s Republic of the United Kingdom.

    You won’t even be able to get out of the country under a false name and passport, because your identity card will have your retina print.

  • So when we pickin’ you up at the airport, Perry?

  • GCooper

    I’m very glad that Perry de Havilland has raised this and, in doing so, given us the chance to comment, because this story has been troubling me all day.

    Apparently, Nick Griffin is accused of “incitement to racial hatred”. The key here, it seems to me, is that Mr Griffin is not accused of inciting people to do anything, but simply to feel something.

    Leaving aside the points made before on Samizdata (not least, how this charge sprang from a BBC sting operation, the like of which the corporation would never dream of mounting against the Left, the IRA or the Islamist terrorists it sucks up to nightly), the bare fact is that Mr Griffin is being accused of inciting people to think a thought which is proscribed.

    Sadly, I suspect Verity is quite correct. This country is broken and I can’t think of anything that would put it right.

  • Michael Gill

    Lots of friendly, sensible and releived Brits showing up here in Australia these days.
    Lowers the average IQ’s of both countries though.
    Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk. Only kidding folks.
    You’re all welcome.

  • From what I read in the article, it seems that the police investigation commenced only after BBC aired a documentary about racism in the BNP organization. Is this a correct interpretation? If so, the investigation seems motivated by selective media exposure, rather than independent and unbiased application of the law. Is the BBC an investigative arm of the West Yorkshire police department?

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    Since when is Islam a race?

    I hope that the next time an imam is allowed by the race cops (would that be Trevor Phillips and company?) to voice similar sentiments against Western culture, that somebody will have courage to stand up and suggest that Phillips be prosecuted for racial discrimination, and keep asking the question, “Why is it OK for Muslims to say this against Christians, but not OK for Christians to say the exact same thing against Muslims?” Of course, the Tories don’t have the balls to do it.

  • Hank Scorpio

    If this doesn’t raise an unholy stink from the vox populi then we in the US may as well write Britain off. You’re done for as a democracy if this goes through.

    Wish I could start my own lend lease program of small arms for you fellas sticking it out, you’ll probably need them to take back your country.

  • Tim in PA

    Well, some people have brought up some very good, and important, points, such as:

    - Islam is not a race

    - There is a big difference between the BNP extolling people to hate some other group (race or not), and Imams calling for their audience to kill, well, pretty much everyone else. Even here in the states you can’t get away with that.

    This whole thing is simply unbelieveable.

    If the day ever comes when the British government will not allow people to leave, what exactly can be done about it? Sure, you can hop on a boat or something, but where will you go? Perhaps you should start thinking about that.

  • veryretired

    The effort to blur the distinction between speech and action has been going on for decades. It was a standard ploy of the anti-war crowd during Vietnam to claim that all sorts of physical actions such as burning flags, blocking streets, occupying buildings, etc., were actually forms of speech that were protected by the 1st amendment. They had some success with this formulation in various courts.

    The next step was the PC definition of some forms of speech as being the same as an action, such as “hate speech” against a race or gender constituting an assault, and, therefore, susceptible to regulation. The convoluted speech codes found on many college campuses, as well as much of the “hostile environment” legal formulaton used in civil suits, are grounded in the assertion that some words are acts.

    I am afraid this latest development, variations of which were reported recently in Canada and Belgium as well as the UK, is only the beginning of a concerted effort to legislate criminal sanctions against ideas that are unacceptable to the political elites.

    Orwell must be spinning while he repeats, “I told you, didn’t I tell you, Yes I did, I told you”.

  • Sandy P

    Perry, yesterday I posted an article on Rantburg from The Scotsman, IIRC, about how Brits are buying properties near DisneyWorld because of the currency differential.

    Come on over. Spend some time, retire here. And FLA is a no personal state tax state.

  • George Atkisson

    I would be personally honored (honoured?) to sponsor any and all members of Samizdata for US visas or immigration. We need people who have lived under the benevolence of the nanny state to help us man the barricades here in the US.

    Perhaps you can start an Underground Railroad from Britain to Poland, complete with false ID’s and safe houses. I’m pretty sure Poland would let you travel elsewhere (until Interpol and the EU catch wind of the plot).

    Best of Luck, George

  • Jacob

    Wouldn’t the Bush=Hitler guys qualify for arrest for inciting hatred ?
    And the Zionism=Racism guys ?
    Indict Kofi and the UN, arrest them all !

    Ok, I know, this law is not for everybody, only for the people the government hates. Oops, wrong: people the BBC hates.
    Why, another hate crime here. Indict the BBC too !!!

  • Henry Kaye

    Although born of Jewish parents, I long ago abandoned any adherence to Judaism. Being of advanced years I can remember only too well the anti-semitism of the last century which was only tempered, eventually, by the horror of the holocaust.

    I am, therefore, somewhat ambivalent on the subject of incitement to racial (religious) hatred. I personally think that ALL religions, being man made, are absurd but have to accept that mankind insists on believing in them – for want of any better explanation of our existence.

    I think that the problem in the UK is less one of religious intolerance and more one of intolerance of any CULTURAL variations. Whilst I think that Islam is a silly religion, I have to think back to those terrible years of anti-semitism before I condemn any efforts to restrict the preaching of racial (religious) hatred.

    I personally judge people (in the context of my own upbringing) on the way that they conduct themselves (including their religious affiliations) which means, in effect, that I disapprove of many immigrants and people of ethnic minorities (sometimes including Jews!). Whilst I reserve the right to express my disapproval, I suppose I would not like to see a wholesale assault on any religion of ethnic minority.

  • I suppose I would not like to see a wholesale assault on any religion of ethnic minority

    I entirely agree. I think racists like Griffin are vile people… I just think that being vile is his right just so long as he is not sending people off to throw rocks at the people he hates.

    Moreover not only is abridging his right to free speech illegitimate and immoral, it is a stupid stupid stupid mistake. It would be hard to contrive a better piece of propaganda for the ghastly BNP that this, making them an oppressed voice raging against the machine.

  • dmick

    Henry I’d suggest that islam is not a religion of an ethnic minority, its adherents being quite numerous through out the world. The fact that the number of mohammedans in the UK tend to come from a certain racial background does not change this fact. The issue under discussion is not the wholesale persecution of a religious minority – which IMHO is not the case, but the politically motivated restriction of freedom of thought of those who are capable. If freedom is likened to salami we’ve almost run out, most slices being frittered away by political vegetarians who find such freedoms an anathema

  • Gawain

    I followed the link and wandered ariound the BNP press release and found this peach of a comment

    “We cannot confirm that Nick Griffin’s planned contest of David Blunkett’s constituency of Sheffield Brightside at the next general elmection played any part in the Home Sectretary’s decision to arrest Mr Griffin”.

    Given Mr Blunkett’s documented propensity to personally involve himself in matters close to him, and his activism “The law is on my side, I know because I wrote the law”, who is to know if this isn’t the case?
    I expect to see pictures of him carrying a Tommy Gun and wearing a homburg at the next police hostage crisis.

  • Actually I would describe the BNP as more neo-Nazi, especially considering the fact they love giving Nazi salutes. One could argue that a more mainstream party is acting neo-fascist.

    However, this arrest is very worrying from a free speech point of view, and no doubt will probably help Griffin and his party at the next General Election.

  • GCooper

    Perry de Havilland writes:

    “It would be hard to contrive a better piece of propaganda for the ghastly BNP that this, making them an oppressed voice raging against the machine.”

    It does seem as if the stage is being set for some serious unpleasantness, not just in the UK, but across Europe. The harder the liberal elite denies the problems self-evident to any but the wilfully blind and makes even comment on them illegal, the greater are the chances of a violent backlash.

    I feel worryingly ambivalent about this. While I would relish seeing the right-on smirk wiped from the faces of the Guardianistas and their fellow-travellers at BBC, and I would rejoice in the undoing of fascistic multi-culti policies, I certainly wouldn’t enjoy a wave of violence and the possibility of a new statist-Right regime in power.

    But the tinder is pretty dry at present and the liberal establishment seems to be trying damn hard to make it even drier.

  • Henry Kaye

    dmick, My posting should have read: any religious OR ethnic minority group. Sorry

  • Matt

    Henry Kaye: “I can remember only too well the anti-semitism of the last century which was only tempered, eventually, by the horror of the holocaust.”

    How could anti-semitism before the holocaust have been so bad that it was “tempered” by it?

    And though we know that Mr Perry de Havilland likes nothing better than giving a roll-call of all the people he “loathes”, he might at least learn to spell the word correctly.

    The reports I have seen say that Mr Griffin is being charged with incitement to “commit racial hatred”. How does one commit an emotion, rather than be moved by hatred to commit an act?

    Julian Taylor calls him “David Griffin”. That is the man who played Emmet in “Keeping Up Appearances”.

    Do get a grip, freedom-lovers.

  • Hello Matt. I really do not give a damn about minor points like that. If you think a typo is significant then you are the one who really needs to get a grip.

  • Euan Gray

    he might at least learn to spell the word correctly

    He has. Loathe is indeed spelled like that.

    EG

  • matt e

    It’s Ironic, for all the harping on about American Freedom, that the US is as close to the Stalinist regime as any country is or has been. The notion of freedom like the American Dream, The US Constitution & Democracy have been distorted into a non existant meaningless slogan. The only difference I can see between the USSR & present day US is that Halliburton & Co’s hold the cards instead of a crackpot dictator,
    Democracy can only be true if close to 100% of the population are allowed to vote & exersise their right to vote & that they are freely informed by an independant media.
    The American Dream is about the pursuit of happiness NOT the pursuit of money at any cost, as we all know money does’nt buy you happiness.
    The Constitution ironically was set up to attempt to stop exactly what is going on now, the gradual erosions of your American rights. Why not read the Patriot act, Few if any of the measures would have prevented 911, the administration already had the intelligence. Freedom of speech was intended to help the American people discuss exactly what should be done to corrupt leaders should they muscle their way in, thus the right to bear arms (& this is the important bit) against the state exists.
    You are not free to smoke on the streets of LA, It is difficult to find a bar in New York where one can smoke cigarettes. That is not freedom. & thats just the start
    There are no free & truly democratic countries, in fact the only country I can think of that is anywhere close is Switzerland.
    As for Al Queda, My only real truck with them is that they kill innocent people, I wish they would concentrate their efforts on the real people that are making life intolerable else where, The real enemies not just of the Middle East but of America & you the American working people. If someone invaded your country of course you would retaliate, thats what happens, & America & the rest of the world have effectively been plundering the Middle East for decades, I am not siding with them but I can understand why they exist, & this is the only way of progressing in a rational way.
    As for the Rights of the American, Your work safety record is abysmal & what few working rights you have will disappear fast , Education is in some places outpaced by (so called ) developing countries, your rights to freedom of expression are dwindling, the economy has never been so bad, America is number one of many peoples (not just mad arabs) list of countries/people to hate & more insecure (in as many ways as possible) & your all happily agreeing to becoming a nanny state, so when you guys have sorted out true freedom & true democracy then start telling others how you think things should be. All the problems faced by America today are a result of Americas policy of meddling in the affairs of the Middle East, The then US administration helped Saddam in to power, & trained & installed the Taliban, this is a fact that is often forgotten.
    America could be the greatest country in the world if it really did stick to the constitution & put all people (their own & the rest of the world) above the right to make as much money as possible never mind how, America as it stands was born from a revolution resulting from a frustration of tyrannical rulers with no regard or understanding of the people, sound familiar?

  • Henry Kaye

    Matt, According to my dictionary, one of the meanings of to temper is to to neutralize or soften an attitude. With that meaning my words make absolute sense. The holocaust was so horrific that people tended to soften their anti-semitic views.

  • Matt

    Euan Gray: “He has. Loathe is indeed spelled like that.”

    It is now, as Kenneth Wolstenholme said in ’66. An ‘e’ has magically appeared.

  • Verity

    matt e – Your post above demonstrates that you most assuredly do not understand the motivation of al qaeda. You are a simpleton

    I was serious above when I intuited that soon the repellent Blair and the slithy toves in the cabinet will be working towards ‘exit visas’. Once they realise that the clever, ambitious, productive people are jumping ship in droves, leaving the eldering and the dross, they will stop the productive people from leaving. They can’t buy votes unless they have the productive people’s tax money to fling around.

    Those who think they might want to go should make their plans now.

    G Cooper, we have said on Samizdata before that there will be violence and I sense it very strongly. First, the loathesome (matt, check the spelling) Blair is forcing legitimate British people whose ancestors built the nation we have today to accommodate themselves to primitive settlers whose intention is to impose their religion and their habits on all. Traditionally, feel beholden to the host society and are fiercely eager to adapt. But the repellent Blair and his sleazy cohorts have turned this ancient rule upside down, as part of their programme of the destabilisation of society.

    Second, the EU “constitution” has a clause buried somewhere on its 380 page wish list that makes it a crime to be disloyal to the EU. Interpretation of what is “disloyal” to be at the discretion of the European style judges.

    I predict the violence will begin in Britain and be taken up first in Denmark, maybe followed by Holland. Anyway, N Europe. Not France – although if there is violence against rulers, they may be up for it just for the hell of it.

  • Actually, I agree with Matt.

    The Bushevics are passing laws that they will learn to regret once someone like Hillary Clinton gets into power. I expect to see the NRA declared a “terrorist organization” once some Democrat GFW gets into power.

    The US is no refuge from Rampant Statism. The only real difference between the US and the states in Europe is that we have still reserved the right to vote from the rooftops.

  • D Anghelone

    George Atkisson:

    I would be personally honored (honoured?) to sponsor any and all members of Samizdata for US visas or immigration. We need people who have lived under the benevolence of the nanny state to help us man the barricades here in the US.

    In my home town of NYC, I was long amazed that the large number of Eastern European and Chinese immigrants had no effect on the pro-socialist ethos. Probably the same was true of London.

  • Well, at least your government does seem to understand better where freedom of speech is really threatened.

    Here in Venezuela we got the visit of the french foreign secretary who for who knows what material gain endorsed a regime quickly becoming odious. On the other hand Bill Rammel also here to peddle UK wares (Link)had at least the decency to worry aloud about our brand new “gag” law. I must say that rarely have I felt more embarrassed of my French origins.

  • Democracy can only be true if close to 100% of the population are allowed to vote & exersise their right to vote & that they are freely informed by an independant media.

    What on earth makes you think democracy is the issue? A tyranny of the majority is still a tyranny. What we need is a liberal constitutional republic in which large chunks of civil society are placed off limits to politics and that includes democratic politics.

  • llamas

    Regarding ‘exit visas’ – in 1948, the British novelist Nevil Shute (Norway), just out of uniform after 5 years of service to his country, packed up his family and moved to Australia, bag and baggage. He was disgusted with the confiscatory taxation imposed upon his blocked sterling income by the then-Labour government, as well as by the host of petty bureaucratic barriers placed upon virtually every one of life’s simple pleasures.

    Being as how his writings were a significant source of sterling income from the dollar area, his departure was viewed with displeasure by some. Questions were asked in the House of Commons, primarily complaining about why he felt compelled to leave. But IIRC, at least one MP asked how it was that he could be ‘allowed’ to leave. In the era of the ‘brain drain’, where many of the UK’s best and brightest upped sticks for more favourable places, the idea of specific emigration controls was floated several times. Of course, in the long run, the goal was achieved by the tyrannical imposition of currency controls, which effectively banned any significant export of capital.

    So it’s not a new concept.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Rob

    loathesome (matt, check the spelling)

    Apologies for the pedantry, but the correct spelling is loathsome. You “loathe” a “loathsome” thing (something considered worthy of “loathing”).

    Before anyone else tries to correct a spelling, a visit to http://dictionary.reference.com is probably in order.

  • H.

    You guys should get a grip. First, legislation on “incitement to racial hatred” dates back almost 40 years. It’s nothing new. It’s a 1965 amendment to the public order act of 1936. That act covers words or acts which are intended, or likely, to lead to violence or public disorder. In other words, incitement to racial hatred is included in the legislation because it is considered to create a climate likely to lead to violence, whether or not this is explicit in the actual incitement. The legislation is very far from perfect, and should probably be modified or scrapped, but the target is clearly to stop violence by stopping the spread of racial hatred that feeds it.

    Not only that, but many countries have similar legislation, including Australia (racial hatred act of 1995), Canada, and even the dear old United States (various hate crimes prevention acts).

  • Luniversal

    Blunkett’s out! Sic semper tyrannis… but I daresay the next NuLab Home Sec. will be just as great a foe of individual liberties. Still, “we may allow ourselves a brief interim of rejoicing”.

  • Stehpinkeln

    Some thoughts on the Eu and the UN and their joint attack on the freedom of speech;

    Once the EU becomes ‘real’ Why should the UK and France have Permanent seats on the Security Council? That would be sort of Like Texas and California having Permanent seats on the Security Council.
    And What about the General Assemby? If the various States that make up the EU are General Assembly members, then shouldn’t the 50 States, the various districts of China and the bits and pieces that make up India deserve General; Assembly representation?
    Then there are the Treaties. NATO is made up of member Nations ( I totally reject the ‘new age’ Idea that there is a difference between a Nation and a State. Pull out Roget’s Thesaurus and look them up), Once those nations relinquish their sovereignty, there will be no NATO.
    I think the EU will have a better chance of finding ice water in Hell then gettting the Senate to sign off on another NATO type treaty.
    Sorry for the mini-rant, but I just finished reading the IHT’s arrogant croaking for America’s surrender and I’m ready to throw in the towel on Europe.
    The USA should open it’s borders for European immigration and save as many from the coming collapse as we can. Big Brother is alive and well in Brussels.

  • Hank Scorpio

    “and even the dear old United States (various hate crimes prevention acts).”

    Which were enacted by states, and when challenged (and they will be), will be declared unconstitutional. Our legislators can pass all of the stupid laws they want, whether they pass constitutional muster is a different matter entirely.

    Unfortunately for the UK, they have no such equivalent brake on state power.

  • The incitement to racial hatred law is an odd one. It is not inciting people to commit a crime, even a thought crime, that has been made an offence.

    Hating someone is not illegal in this country (yet), but inciting others to hate someone on racial grounds (and soon religious grounds) has been made a crime. Thus inciting a perfectly legal act has been made a criminal offence!

    Anyway, good news about Blunkett resigning but I suspect the onslaught on freedom will continue…

  • veryretired

    I was going to comment, but I can see you have enough lunatics on the premises already.

    Matte—hope that made you feel better. Next time just try a Fleet enema, save the bandwidth.

  • Chris

    I was unaware that any state had passed legislation banning incitement of hatred as opposed to incitment to violence. Hate Crimes legislation is so far as I know still predicated on punishing crimes motivated by hatred (of everybody but heterosexual white men) with harsher sentences than the norm. Still an absurd proposition, and it can be argued that it punishes “thought crime”, but only after an overt offense against another person has already been committed and prosecution is tied in with that offense. And such legislation will have to pass a constitutional test with the Supreme Court sooner or later and will probably be stricken down.

    The unwritten constitution of Britain does have some advantages of antiquity and tradition, but when those are no longer respected by the moderns, what then? Of course, the quality of American constitutional safeguards is going to depend quite a bit on what the Supreme Court looks like in the next few decades; I would urge my fellow Americans not to be overly cocky about our prospects there. Though I’m sure any Britons and other Europeans who wish to leave Europe over such developments would be more than welcomed, along with the other immigrants from Latin America and Africa and especially Asia seeking freedom and opportunity, the more so if they help to keep America a place where those two values can be found.

  • Chris Harper

    The scary thing is – In the UK feeling racial hatred is not illegal. Inciting someone else to feel it is. The law is utterly nonsensical.

  • Chris Harper

    Something to consider here, this may turn into a legal test of the ridiculous notion that dislike of Islam, a belief system, is tantamount to racial hatred.

  • Shaun Bourke

    The arrest of Nick has nothing to do with any law-breaking. This is strictly the result of internal polling by the Labour Party that shows the massive inroads being made into traditional Labour areas in England by the BNP.

    The BBC documentry was simply propaganda from the Labour Party to justify their ratcheting up of the vilification and harassment of the BNP.

    At the MEP elections earlier this year you may remember the BNP put out a strong showing. I would expect that their support has grown further especially with the Government trying to shut down postal ballots for BNP supportors and the attempts to strangle the BNP’s Bank Accs. The recent arrest of Nick will only bolster BNP support.

    I mentioned here some time ago that many of you would be voting BNP in time…….like it or not while holding your nose closed……… that election is getting closer.

  • Shaun Bourke

    If anyone reading these comments has access to recent internal polling by any of the major political parties in England, feel free to download them to my email address.

    Thanks…….

  • Tim in PA

    H., you’re full of it — perhaps you’re the one who needs to “get a grip”, on our laws at least. There is a world of difference between laws defining hate crimes (which, for the record, I think tend to be poorly worded and unevenly applied, and wholly unnecessary – judges can simply tack on more years for particularly heinous crimes), and laws regarding hate speech.

    Here in the States, you will likely be arrested if you publicly advocate the death of some person or group, no matter who it might be. But you can spout hateful rhetoric all you want.

    Free speech entails the right to say things that other people do not like. Apparently, that is too much for the British government to handle, and so you have no free speech in Britain. It doesn’t really matter when the law was passed, there it is nonetheless.

  • Cobden Bright

    A few people have already pointed out the crux of the issue – a law has been created which makes it a criminal offence to incite someone to carry out an action which is perfectly legal. This is clearly absurd and has a good chance of being declared so in court. Secondly, Islam is not a race and so the charges of *racial* hatred cannot stand up in court.

    The issue now is whether Griffin gets a fair trial, in which case he will be acquitted, or whether political considerations result in a perversion of the course of justice.

  • Ahhhhhhhh, yes. The glories of Revolution.

    Now and then we have to remember why we fought a Revolution against the United Kingdom, have a bill of rights, and a Constitution (though I wish our politicians would follow it more often).

    Scum, dirtbag, idiot, fool, racist, Fascist, Communist, Islamist, Quaker, Puritan, Cavalier, Roundhead, Jew, Catholic, Roma, Socialist, Mormon, Freemason, Scientologist, or hermit. My bloodline has at least a half dozen of the above. All of them came here to speak their mind without being thrown in jail.

    Speak often, speak well, speak loud. FREEDOM OF SPEECH means that people are allowed to say what they want to prove to anyone what a fool they are.

    You can hate their speech, it can make you sick, it can make you uncomfortable, it can make you question you basic beliefs, or you can walk away, turn off the TV, change the channel, or you can respond in kind.

    What a free people do not do is jail those that think differently than they do. That is what Communists and Fascists do. Then again, both of those ideological cancers came from Europe, so what is the surprise?

    Why not arrest those that actually make the threats as opposed to the party leader. Arresting someone that says, “I want to kill Muslims” is very different then arresting someone that says, “Islam is a wicked, vicious faith.” Let them say “Islam is a wicked, vicious faith”. If it isn’t true, who cares? If you are secure in the goodness of your faith, it shouldn’t have any traction.

    You can call me a “snake handling, backward, evangelical goof ball”, it may or may not be true, but I am secure enough in my beliefs that it is all water off my back.

    Anyway, they are not arresting the Islamofascist that are ACTUALLY calling for the death of those that do not believe as they do, so I have even LESS respect for their Fascist laws. Self-hating bed wetters are taking over a once great nation. They will, in the end, get what they deserve.

    Indeed, lights are going out all over Europe.

  • Verity

    CDR Salamander – You have caught it … the moment… “Indeed, lights are going out all over Europe.”

    You are correct. And at the same time, they are determined to admit Turkey into the twilight of Western civilisation in Europe. Thereby giving, speaking of lights, a whole new dimension to the word “dim”. Or dhimmi.

  • matt e

    verity; perhaps you’d like to clear up the motivation of al queda for us simpletons as you are such an expert.

  • Verity

    You haven’t been following the newspapers and tv news for the last three years?

  • Thomas

    Bush hates broccoli!!!!!!!!!
    Arrest him at once!

  • matt e

    oh right & you accept TV news & newspapers take on this? sorry who was the simpleton? I suppose you believe that the insurgence in Iraq is down to pro Saddam militias as we are still told. Perhaps if you peak beneath the over simplified veneer presented to us by the news media, perhaps just try to step out of western media culture you might find out some of the many real reasons that these people act the way they do,(one reason is that they have nothing left to lose). If the US was attacked by lets say China tomorrow whatever your religious or political persuasion you would resist. In case the newspapers & TV news missed out this bit, Bin Laden (after being funded & given up to date training by the US) was inspired to attack America after seeing US troops in Saudi Arabia, the Muslim Holy land.
    Ironically the the most unbiased & independant news I have seen hasn’t been CNN or the BBC, or any one of the ‘free nations’ media, It has been Al Jazeera. It’s always better to get more than one take.
    Anyway while you are being distracted by the ‘war on terror’ remember to feel so paranoid that you forget that the US debt is at record levels, & to which nation is the lions share of this debt owed? would it in fact be China? thats interesting, Stalin would be pissing himself.
    ps please waste your time & mine being pedantic about spelling & grammar, thanks

  • Sad to see how far out of date some of you guys on this side of the pond are. Do you have any idea how many “thought crimes” are on the books in the US, and how the list is growing daily? All “hate crimes” are by definition thought crimes. Any crime that has an “intent” qualifier is a thought crime. Arriving at one of Bush’s “town hall” meetings with the wrong bumper sticker on your car can get you physically removed and threatened with arrest. Under the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (yes, that’s the actual name of the USA PATRIOT Act) the FBI and other government authorities have secret police powers derived from secret courts. They can investigate your public library records and Internet activity and legally “deduce” what you are thinking, which might be a crime. In the western world it was the catholic church that pioneered the concept of thought crimes, so it’s hardly surprising that christian fundamentalist clerics are so influential in government.
    This is NOT the America I grew up in– or are we only now beginning to see “that man behind the curtain?”