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Samizdata quote of the day

Meet the new face of Ukip: The free speech extremists who could make Ukip dangerous again

Mikey Smith‘s headline of a Mirror article about UKIP. Now it does not matter a damn what you think of UKIP, but the idea that supporting free speech itself can make you an ‘extremist’ is breathtaking and frankly absurd: you either support free speech or you support state approved speech, there is no middle ground.

20 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Sam Duncan

    Oh, make no mistake about it: large sections of the Left are now openly hostile to free speech. I can’t recall the exact quote, but I heard some git from “Hope Not Hate” moaning about Dankula, Sargon et al joining UKIP the other day, and the words “free speech advocates” (not even “extremist”) were definitely used to signal his disapproval.

    Freedom of speech is no longer politically correct. (Which has always simply meant “convenient to Marxists”.)

  • Regional

    Keep your head down and your mouth shut.

  • bobby b

    Even though the Mirror schmuck is saying “extremist” with scorn, I’ll wear it with pride. It’s like being accused of extremism in honesty, in virtue, in goodness.

    To bastardize Barry Goldwater, extremism in the service of free speech is no vice.

  • Slartibartfarst

    What an absolutely amazing quote!
    So it’s not “freedom of speech” any more, but just the permitted speech authorised by the Mirror?

    I no longer live in the UK, and quite frankly, though I knew the place was in a dreadful mess, I had hoped it would get better, because Brexit, but I wouldn’t really want to return if this revealing Mirror post was indicative of where things are going.

    Perhaps that’s an objective? That is, make the real native Brits feel so uncomfortable at home that they will finally up and emigrate in disgust? A long view.

    I’ve archived the page in case they delete it or edit it to ameliorate the thing.
    Amazing that they felt that they could come out in the open and make such a dreadfully self-revealing gaff. Presumably the heading is attributable to either the Editor or the journo, Mikey Smith, but the body of the post seems to be pure unadulterated variously socialist/marxist/fascist bias anyway.
    By what standards of journalism though would that be an acceptable article from a UK national daily? The mind boggles.

    I’m out of touch. Is the Mirror perhaps now become The Morning Star?

  • George Atkisson

    The same thing is happening on the U.S. side of the pond. The so called ‘journalists’ are now writing for their masters and the approval of other journalists. The Narrative must be continually pounded into the heads of media consumers lest they think for themselves. Even worse, the consumers might start asking questions.

  • Paul Marks

    The principle of Freedom of Speech (never totally applied in Britain – there were always a few rather weird and unjustified limitations upon it) has been in retreat in Britain since the Act of 1965 – a whole series of Acts of Parliament and court judgements have (step by step) undermined the principle of Freedom of Speech here – although, yes, things could be worse (and, most likely, will be worse).

    As Perry knows well, the British situation is not an isolated example – the Western “liberal” (read Marxist – although various mutant forms of Marxism) elite is determined to exterminate what is left of Freedom of Speech, not just in Britain – but also all over the world. “Conservatives” who go along with the “Progressive” project of exterminating Freedom of Speech via banning “Hate Speech” (i.e. any speech the Marxists, sorry “liberals”, do not like) play the role of “Useful Idiots”. For example, certain “liberal Republicans” in the United States.

    Are the British Prime Minister and so on “Useful Idiots”? I express no opinion on this matter – just ask them if they support laws against “racist” speech (which means any speech the left do not like – even if it is nothing to do with biological race – clue Islam is not a race, it is a religion and political philosophy) and see for yourself.

    In a show I watched yesterday (on PBS – but the show was made up entirely of British figures) the various British establishment figures denounced Winston Churchill (yes Winston Churchill) as a “racist” and a “Fascist” – “like Nigel Farage” (the establishment takes for granted that Mr Nigel Farage is a “racist” and a “Fascist”).

    I used to say (as a rhetorical point) that modern “laws” would send Winston Churchill to prison for his words – but now it is clear that such a thing would PLEASE the “liberal” (read Marxist) establishment elite – they would simply take some of Winston Churchill’s words out of context (and twist the meaning of other words) and send him to prison.

    And the young people around the West (including in the United States) are being taught that TOTALITARIANISM (for that is the objective of the establishment elite – totalitarianism) is a Good Thing (TM). That “Hate Speech is not Free Speech” and that even if people are sent to prison for their beliefs “we still have Freedom of Speech” as only “Progressive” speech is legitimate speech (a New York Times article only a few days ago – and the rest of the American media follow the lead of the NYT).

    Herbert Marcuse would be very pleased about how things are developing in the world in relation to the extermination of Freedom of Speech – it is “extremist” to suggest (for example) that television stations that are in favour of British independence from the European Union should be allowed in the United Kingdom – rather than just pro European Union television stations such as the BBC, Sky News, Channel Four……

    Ask the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary whether the “broadcasting standards” regulations (which give de facto control of all television stations to the left in Britain) should be got rid of and Freedom of Speech established. Ask them – and listen to how they reply.

    The American left (which already controls all entertainment television – and controls Hollywood, and most schools and universities, the EDUCATION SYSTEM) would love to see such regulations established in the United States – for this would mean total control by the left of all television news stations.

  • I think this is a canny move on UKIP’s part. I voted UKIP a few times back in the day, when they had people like Tim Worstall as candidates and were the closest to libertarian of any mainstream British political party. Then they (a) moved in a populist left-authoritarian direction, and (b) achieved the historic goal that was their main reason for existence. Like a lot of others I thought that they should have left the field in triumph on the morning of 24 June 2016.

    Perhaps it will turn out that that would have been the best course. However this being the party of free speech lark could turn out to be the answer to the question “what is UKIP for now?”

    I’m not yet at the stage when I would vote for them again. Some of the people joining are not my cup of tea at all and for many reasons I want the current government to hold on as long as possible. But quite unexpectedly they’ve moved back into consideration. A minority party does not have to be anywhere near getting power to achieve things. It can move the Overton window by its mere existence.

  • JohnW

    About time we moved forward to…um…England 1721.

  • I thought free speech extremists wanted speech to be free of all rules of grammar and pronunciation. That sounds too extreme for me.

  • Runcie Balspune

    One side of the political divide has employed and encouraged the vote of certain victim groups to the point of dependency, and unfortunately those groups are exposed to valid criticism, so free speech needs to be curtailed to prevent them from becoming non-voters. Unfortunately some of the smaller victim groups have discovered they are now being thrown under the bus in favour of larger voter blocks.

    It a bizarre turn of affairs for so-called progressives, where previously the fight for free speech was necessary to get minority voices heard, but the politics have recalculated the voting statistics and nowadays it would appear advocating free speech it itself a minority not worthy of consideration (and of ridicule).

  • NickM

    Anyone who thought (or thinks) Brexit would really change the direction here was (is) guilty of wishful-thinking. You just have to look at much the same happening in the USA, Canada, Australia… It’s a Zeitgeist-type thing. Moreover, there isn’t and never was a cat in Hell’s chance of the repealing of any of the repressive laws (or VAT) following Brexit because these laws were wanted by our Lords & Masters whether we’d been in the EU or not. Brexit changes nothing on this score.

  • Sam Duncan

    What Natalie said. UKIP might be about to become interesting again.

    In light of recent events, I took a look at its constitution the other day. Although I’d voted for the party in the past, as Natalie did, partly on the basis of its “broadly libertarian outlook” (as Nigel Farage once put it himself), I didn’t realise it was actually there in black and white:

    2.5 The Party is a democratic, libertarian Party and will espouse policies which:

    • promote and encourage those who aspire to improve their personal situation and those who seek to be self-reliant, whilst providing protection for those genuinely in need;
    • favour the ability of individuals to make decisions in respect of themselves;
    • seek to diminish the role of the State;
    • lower the burden of taxation on individuals and businesses;
    • ensure proper control over the United Kingdom’s borders;
    • strengthen and guarantee the essential, traditional freedoms and liberties of all people in the United Kingdom.

    That’s worth preserving, even once we leave the EU (if we ever do). Of course, it didn’t stop the “red UKIP” phenomenon any more than the removal of clause 4 from Labour’s constitution stopped the Blair government nationalizing Railtrack, but I feel a lot better – and better disposed towards the party – knowing that it’s there.

  • AlexB

    Gerard Batten is actually pretty on the ball here—he’s using the youtubers to mobilise their followers on the Article 13/Article 11 issue. He’s worked out the new members come with a big audience that he can leverage.

  • pete

    If your political opponents are really being horrible then the best ploy is to remain silent as they destroy their appeal to the electorate.

    The ‘liberal’ left know that they cannot adopt such a policy.

  • Eric

    Moreover, there isn’t and never was a cat in Hell’s chance of the repealing of any of the repressive laws (or VAT) following Brexit because these laws were wanted by our Lords & Masters whether we’d been in the EU or not. Brexit changes nothing on this score.

    That may be, but it will become much more difficult for them to blame an impenetrable bureaucracy in Brussels. The biggest problem with the EU as it stands is new rules come into force and nobody knows who’s responsible. It’s an open invitation for corruption and tyranny.

  • bobby b

    “The biggest problem with the EU as it stands is new rules come into force and nobody knows who’s responsible. It’s an open invitation for corruption and tyranny.”

    Bug or feature?

  • Runcie Balspune

    Right now, regardless of UKIP’s manifesto, I don’t think I can vote anything but Tory.

    When the next election looms we will be playing with fire. The last one proved conclusively the hubris of concerning the rise of the hard left and it’s perceived fall into a political black hole.

    It is a very real and present danger that proto-communists could get in, and make no mistake, Jez is already solidifying the establishment of Venezuela-lite candidates into the party by changing the internal rules, the first sign of the cancer, he only needs five years at the top and it will have metastasized into the country and possibly be incurable (barring another Dr Thatcher).

    There are still far too many people who will vote Labour whatever, either because they are migrant, they are on state benefits or in the employ of the state, and those who’d rather cut off their arm than vote for a Tory (or pseudo-Tory like UKIP).

    The only way UKIP or its simulacrums will ever get a taste of power is either by entryism or by forcing one of the main parties to adopt their policies to avoid a loss of votes and possible loss of power, Cameron did the smart thing by agreeing to a referendum (much to his chagrin) and consequently consolidated power on the back of it, nearly wiping out UKIP.

    It may be the case that May or her successor will do this, and probably will as the alternative is to adopt Labour policies, that is extremely unlikely considering it didn’t work too well last time and left wing ideology is becoming more bonkers by the day. But in the long run it doesn’t matter what the fringe elements of the any minor party manifesto says (and unfortunately freedom of speech is now “fringe”), only when they become a voter concern will any of the main parties adopt them – and push back UKIP in the process.

    The only way we will ever see minor parties gain traction as a complete party in parliament is for one or both of the main parties to split, unfortunately both of them, even with the pro/anti EU of the right and the pro/anti communism of the left, the divisions don’t run deep enough for the career politicians to actually put their principals (and their job) on the line.

    The best we can hope for is the freedom of speech message to remain clear and enough people start considering it an issue (as the EU and migration was last time), but already the anti-freedom forces have stolen the march, as Morrisey, no friend of the right, found out.

  • Paul Marks

    A leading “Conservative” lawyer (and supporter of the Prime Minister) claimed to me, and others, on Facebook that there was Freedom of Speech in the United Kingdom – he was not joking or being sarcastic, he seriously maintained this position.

    His argument? “That you (Paul Marks), a failed academic, can say there is not Freedom of Speech, proves that there is Freedom of Speech”.

    That is the mental, and moral, level of our masters. The idea that Mr Corbyn and co are the only threat is wrong – “Conservative lawyers”, sadly, often just present totalitarianism-by-the-instalment-plan. And do not let their flippant (do-not-take-anything-seriously) upper class tone fool you – these people are playing hardball, they intend to utterly exterminate what is left of liberty – in all areas of life.

  • A leading “Conservative” lawyer (and supporter of the Prime Minister) claimed to me, and others, on Facebook that there was Freedom of Speech in the United Kingdom

    The circle closes when it is a ‘hate speech crime’ to criticise the hate speech laws. Until that day, free speech has not wholly died. But would Paul’s “conservative” lawyer web-acquaintance admit that there is less freedom of speech in the UK than two decades ago, and that Rotherham happened because people feared to speak, or does that supporter of the prime minister support the truth rather less?