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Samizdata quote of the day

I agree with what Simon Jenkins says here. I take it that he opposes the 1965 Race Relations Act and the other measures that have undermined freedom of speech in this land.

– Paul Marks

8 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • So are you for it or against it?

    The Race Relations Act 1965 is exactly the sort of well intentioned legislation that you would expect from an incoming Labour administration after a prolonged period of Tory rule (1951 – 1964)

    On the positive side, it protected the hard-working black immigrants from the colonies and particularly the West Indies that came here looking for work during the 1950’s, ending the ghettoisation‎ that had forced them into living under intolerable conditions in housing that were little better than slums as epitomised by the execrable Peter Rackman

    On the downside, it was the foundation stone of what has become political correctness. This and subsequent legislation have led to the silencing of not just the worst and most racist elements, but also genuine criticism of multiculturalism and immigration.

    So, no, I don’t think the 1965 Race Relations Act was a good idea, In fact the long-term consequences of it have been appalling.

    I’d rather the racists shouted their hate loudly on the streets so that others could see these bigots for who they truly are.

    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” – John F. Kennedy

  • Paul Marks

    Against.

    The justification for the 1964 American Civil Rights Act is that it reversed many decades of “Jim Crow” legislation (I have some doubts about that justification – on the grounds that two wrongs do not make a right).

    However, no such “Jim Crow” legislation existed in Britain.

    So the 1965 Act can not use this justification.

    “protection”.

    “Peter Rackman”.

    The private rented market in Britain was undermined by regulations that came in with the First World War.

    This gave rise to a wildly distorted situation – that was taken advantage of by people such as Mr Rachman.

    The 1965 Act has got nothing to do with this.

    What it is to do with (oddly enough) is late Roman Imperial legal concepts denying private property – for example “common carriers” and “public accommodations”.

    A private business is just that – private (just like someone’s home). Imperial law is just wrong – period.

    As for denying freedom of association (which must logically include the freedom to not associate) – just a total misunderstanding of what law is.

    Who someone employs or trades with (for example rents a flat to) is no business of the state.

    As for denying freedom of speech on private property.

    I can understand the “fighting words” defence in court – “he insulted my mother so I hit him the face”.

    But a LAW forbidding the expression of general opinions (as “inciting racial hatred” or whatever) – totally unacceptable.

  • Paul Marks

    “on the positive side it protected…..”

    It is not “positive” to use the threat of force (the state) to make people rent property to people they do not want to rent it to.

    If no one wants to rent property to certain people – these people do not have to arrive.

    This is how “free migration” was allowed in the Victorian Age.

    One can not have “free migration” if it means the government stepping in to “protect” the new people by using the threat of FORCE to make people trade with them.

    In theory I am in favour of free migration.

    But the statement starting “on the positive side it protected….” shows why it no longer works in practice.

    In practice immigration now leads to ever less freedom – due to a bullying state.

    If the price of free migration is the end of freedom of speech, and “anti discrimination rights” in housing and so on.

    Then it is a price that is not worth paying.

  • Just because I say it is positive, does not mean it is justified.

    Then it is a price that is not worth paying

    Exactly. Regardless of the laws good intentions it is a price not worth paying. This is true of the vast majority of legislation passed since 1945.

  • AndrewWS

    The antidote to discrimination is the free market. If I became aware that (for example) a supermarket I was in the habit of using discriminated in recruitment on the grounds of race, I would stop shopping there, and I dare say a lot of other people would do likewise.

  • Paul Marks

    John Galt – I apologise for misunderstanding you.

    AndrewWS – exactly so.

    But, sadly, the free market is exactly what the establishment would not allow.

    Instead we got Frankfurt School style legislation – mostly passed by people who did not even know they were being used.

    The “Great Society” in the United States was much the same – most of the Congressman and Senators who voted for the various schemes, did not have a clue about the real intentions of Francis Fox Piven and the other intellectuals behind the schemes.

    Far from desiring to reduce poverty, or racial tensions, the collectivist intellectuals wanted to INCREASE both welfare dependency and racial conflict as much as possible.

    They still do. And in Europe just as much as the United States.

  • John Galt – I apologise for misunderstanding you.

    No worries. As you know, I am a committed Marksist! :-)

  • Laird

    Glad you two got that sorted out!