Robert Henderson gives his view
Things are getting serious Two important trials have recently concluded. One, that of the Muslim preacher Abu Hamza for inciting racial hatred and various acts of violence including murder, resulted in conviction and a sentence of seven years. The other concerned the BNP chairman Nick Griffin and a fellow BNP activist Mark Collett, who were charged with various counts relating to racial insult and incitement. This trial ended with half the charges being swept aside through not guilty verdicts and the others left undecided because the jury was hung. Only a few hours after the end of the trial word came that the prosecution would be seeking a re-trial on the hung charges.
The trials are emblematic of the crisis for free expression in this country. Hamza’s trial represents the difficulty of accommodating in a liberal democracy those who adhere to a religion which is directly opposed to just about everything for which liberal democracy stands. The BNP members arraignment demonstrates the desperate desire of the British liberal elite, a desire which is born increasingly of fear, to suppress any public dissent by the white native majority over the consequences of the post war mass immigration which has left Britain with millions of people who either cannot or will not assimilate into British society. The BNP trial also served the purposes of the British liberal elite by creating a false equality between those they classify as the ‘extreme right’ and Muslim extremists. Hamza was charged with various offences which were ‘iffy’ such as inciting racial hatred and having materials which would be helpful to a terrorist, but he also made frequent and unambiguous calls to commit acts of murder and terrorism. The BNP two were charged with offences which resulted from speeches made at meetings of BNP members and only became public property because the BBC placed an undercover reporter Jason Gwynne within the BNP who secretly recorded them for later broadcast by the BBC.
These speeches, whilst offensive about Islam and some Muslims and unreservedly critical of the effects of post war immigration, did not call for illegal acts. Specific allegations against Muslims were made concerning the grooming of young white girls for prostitution by Pakistani men, a claim the BBC had already investigated and found evidence to substantiate such allegations. Most grotesquely, part of the charges against Griffin concerned his accurate forecast of suicide bombings in Britain, a prediction which came horribly true on July 7 2005 The worst that could be said about the speeches was that some of the language was crude. There was nothing in the speeches which could be meaningfully said to incite anyone to a crime. Here are a couple of extracts from the speeches:
Nick Griffin: “The bastards that are in that gang [of British Asians in Keighley just convicted], they are in prison so the public think it’s all over. Well it’s not. Because there’s more of them. Their ‘good book’ tells them that that’s acceptable.”
“If you doubt it, go and buy a copy and you will find verse after verse saying you can take any woman you want as long as they’re not Muslim. These 18, 19 and 25-year-old Asian Muslims are seducing and raping white girls in this town right now.”
Mark Collett: “In the space of a week there’s always at least two rapes of girls, white girls between the ages of 15 and 16, by gangs of Asians and it’s always white girls by Asian males [in Bradford and Keighley]. There’s always muggings and they’re always of elderly white people by Asian males … They don’t go looking for little Ranjit or Sanjita to abuse. They are the racists. They are out to destroy us.”
Griffin and Collett were prosecuted, for amongst other things, stating things which were factually true.
Political crimes and political charges
Both trials required the agreement of the attorney-general, a member of this Labour Government. The head of the Crown Prosecution Service, the Director of Public Prosecutions Ken MacDonald, is a Labour supporter and the DPP is effectively a government appointment. The preparation of the cases before they went to the attorney-general was MacDonald’s ultimate responsibility. That is self-evidently unsatisfactory because there is no proper division of powers between the political executive and the judicial process.
More generally, laws which restrict the ability of people to engage in the democratic process by placing certain areas off limits for public debate – the Race Relations Act, the Public Order Act 1986, the proposed Racial and Religious Incitement Act and suchlike – are by definition illegitimate in a democracy. Where a party agrees to abide by the democratic rules they must be allowed to participate. Whether their views are palatable to most or not is irrelevant. The ballot box is the place to express support or opposition to them. The BNP do agree to abide by the democratic rules. The prosecution of Griffin and Collett is a clear attempt by the Blair Government to prevent their participation in the democratic process and a deny the million or so people who voted for them at the last election their electoral choice. Double standards and the justice system The failure to prosecute Abu Hamza for the better part of a decade shows clearly the reluctance of the Crown Prosecution Service to act against Muslim extremists. The police submitted papers recommending prosecution twice before the recent prosecution and the CPS refused to take the case despite having ample evidence, including much of that which was used in his trial, presented to them. Another good example is the murder trial of the killers of a white man called Chris Yates by Asians. The judge decided the murder was not a racially motivated crime despite the fact that the killers were heard to boast “We have killed the white man. That will teach an Englishman to interfere in Paki business” . This absurd conclusion by the judge is part and parcel of the double standards applied routinely by the courts and the police. Both commonly attribute a racial motive where a white has attacked a non-white, while ignoring the strongest evidence of racial intent where blacks and Asians attacking whites in concerned.
Anyone who doubts that the police have become politicised to the point where they do not make any attempt to enforce the law as a matter of course against those of whom the state approves or fears, should have had their doubts swept away by the Muslim demonstrations against the publications of cartoons in Europe containing images of Mohammed which took place in London on 3 and 4 February 2006. The demonstrators carried placards with such jolly messages as “Behead those who insult Islam”, “Massacre those who insult Islam”, “Butcher those who insult Islam”, “Slay those who insult Islam”, “Behead the one who insults the Prophet”, “Europe you will pay, your extermination is on the way”. The police far from making any attempt stop the placards being carried, provided a strong police escort as the demonstrators marched. They did make two arrests – of white non-Muslim counter-protesters who carried placards with one or more of the Mohammed cartoons. The police also attempted to prevent press photographers taking photographs of the demonstration and threatened to arrest at least one person who had the temerity to ask why the police were not arresting the placard bearers calling for murder. (Sunday Telegraph 5 2 2006). The Metropolitan Police’s spokesman immediately after the demonstration gave no indication of future arrests or investigations of those who offended. Eventually, the police set up an investigation and subsequently arrests after protests in the mainstream media and, perhaps most significantly, following this statement the Tory Home Affairs spokesman, David Davis in the Sunday Telegraph of 5th Feb, viz: “Clearly some of these placards are incitement to violence and, indeed, incitement to murder – an extremely serious offence which the police must deal with and deal with quickly. Whatever your view on these cartoons, we have a tradition of free speech in this country, which has to be protected. Clearly, there can be no tolerance of incitement to murder.”
Davis is right. The Oxford dictionary of law [1996 edition] defines incitement thus: “Persuading or attempting to persuade someone else to commit a crime. If the other person then actually carries out the criminal act, the inciter becomes a participator in the crime and is guilty of aiding and abetting it. If the other person does not carry out the crime, the person who attempted to persuade him to do so may nonetheless be guilty of the crime of incitement. Incitement may be by means of suggestion, persuasion, threats or pressure, by words or by implication; for example advertising an article for sale to be used to commit an offence may constitute an incitement to commit the offence.” (In theory a person could be tried for attempting but failing to incite someone to commit the crime of incitement.) The law is dangerously broad and gives frightening leeway to the state to prosecute for political reasons. Nonetheless, it quite clearly covers the type of placard messages listed below which were paraded by Muslims. These were unambiguous calls for murder and violence from Muslims to Muslims, some whom at least might credibly carry them out.
In the days following the demonstrations the Metropolitan Police’s line was that they did not take action on the day because of the likelihood of serious violence (Daily Telegraph 6 2 2006). Compare this reasoning with the willingness to baton charge and violently assault Countryside protesters during their last demonstration in Parliament Square. The Countryside demonstration consisted of hundreds of thousands: the Muslim protests of a thousand or so. As Rachel Sylvester put it in the Daily Telegraph (6 2 2006) “It is one law for the law-abiding; another for the bloodthirsty”. These double standards are far from a rare event these days. The police show uncommon zeal in pursuing anyone who is deemed to be outside the protection of political correctness or who does not offer a serious threat. The police were only too happy to arrest and the CPS to prosecute Maya Evans who committed the terrible crime of reciting the names of British soldiers killed in Iraq by the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Maya had failed to get a permit to do so, but such permits are not a legitimate part of a free society. Nor did she offer any possibility of public disorder (unless one includes over excited politically correct policemen rushing to arrest her). Sometimes insulting NuLabour grandees is enough. At the last Labour Conference, an 82-year-old Labour Party Member Walter Wolfgang was thrown out for shouting “Rubbish” at the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw (BBC 29 Sept 2005). An ‘offender’ does not even need to be in physical proximity to the grandee. Charlotte Dennis, 20, from Cirencester, was wearing a top with the slogan “Bollocks to Blair” at the Midland Game Fair in Staffordshire when she was stopped by police and told that she was committing an offence (Horse and Hound 22 Sept 2005).
‘Hate crimes’ other than incitement to racial hatred do not as such exist in English law. Yet this seems to make little difference to the police as the journalist and author Lynette Burrows discovered. Having been asked onto Radio 5 to comment about the civil partnerships for homosexuals, which she opposed, Mrs Burrows also expressed the opinion that two homosexual men were more likely than heterosexuals to abuse a boy if they were allowed to adopt – “It is a risk…You would not give a small girl to two [heterosexual] men.” Daily Telegraph 10 12 2005 Ever eager, the police had contacted her next day saying that a member of the public had complained about her comments and they had a duty to investigate. Really? The police have a duty to record complaints but no duty to investigate where there is no evidence of an offence being committed. By their own admission no offence existed here. This was clearly done simply to intimidate. The double standards of the police were again shown by their failure to immediately “investigate” comments by Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the secretary of the who said of homosexuality that it was “harmful” and “not acceptable” on Radio 4 (Daily Telegraph 4 1 2006). Eventually an investigation was started but only after the Daily Telegraph published a letter complaining that the police were remarkably keen to investigate a white non-Muslim, but curiously reluctant to investigate a Muslim (Daily Telegraph 6 1 2006). The police “investigation” resulted in no action being taken. The police, as with the Muslim protesters carrying placards inciting murder, appear only to have acted after media pressure.
In its way the case of Alan Buchan is the most disturbing of all because it is a direct attack on the media. Buchan is the owner and editor of North East Weekly, a free paper distributed around Peterhead in Scotland. He was charged with inciting racial hatred following an editorial published on June 16 about proposals for a new immigrant centre and prison. Under the heading “Perverts & Refugees”, the editorial began “The people of rural England have been in rebellion over the establishment of refugee centres holding upwards of 5000 immigrants because they were fully aware that their communities would be swamped and turned into cesspools.” It went on in similar vein.
Clearly, it has become dangerous even to complain robustly about immigration and its ill-effects. The idea that the police routinely investigate complaints is a nonsense. Anyone who has been burgled or mugged will be only too aware that the police are loth to make any meaningful investigation. Indeed, it is often difficult to get them to record a complaint. That is particularly true of ‘hate speech’ complaints where the person complained of conflicts with political correctness. I have deliberately tested the Metropolitan Police with complaints which do not fall within the protective net of political correctness, , eg, Greg Dyke’s description of the BBC as “hideously white” and a Plaid Cwmru councillor’s description of the English as “a virus”. They not only refused to investigate, they refused to record the complaints. Compare that behaviour with the immediate police investigation – including the submission of a report to the CPS – of a complaint against Anne Robinson a few years ago when she made what was obviously a joke about the Welsh on Room 101.
Islam and liberal democracy
The problem with Islam is this, the religion promotes behaviour which is illegal in England. Hence, it is not a question of a few Muslim extremists falsely believing things which are incompatible with English law, but the Koran itself which is the source of the belief. As Hamza’s defence counsel, Edward Fitzgerald QC pointed out “It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself.”Liberals mindlessly chant the mantra “Islam is a religion of peace” without having any understanding of the religion. In fact, Islam is anything but the religion of peace as anyone who taken the trouble to read the Koran will have discovered (not a great reading burden for the book is less than 500 pages) . Not only is it inherently intolerant of non-Muslims, it is also a catalogue of ideas which are incompatible with liberal democracy, eg, women are inherently inferior, women can be beaten, homosexuals are evil, slavery is fine for non-Muslims.
Here is a selection of quotes from the Penguin translation of the Koran by Dawood: ‘Because of their iniquity, we forbade the Jews the good things which were formerly allowed them; because time after time they debarred others from the path of Allah; because they practice usury – although they were forbidden it – and cheat others of their possessions.’ (Chapter entitled ‘Women’). ‘Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send then to beds apart and beat them.’ (Chapter entitled ‘Women’). ‘As for the man or woman who is guilty of theft, cut off their hands to punish them for their crimes. That is the punishment enjoined by Allah.’ (Chapter entitled ‘The Table’). ‘As for the unbelievers, the fire of Hell awaits them. Death shall not deliver them, nor shall its torment be ever lightened for them. Thus shall the thankless be rewarded.’ (Chapter entitled ‘The Creator’). ‘Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal vigorously with them. Hell is their home.’ (Chapter entitled ‘Repentance’). ‘You shall not wed pagan women, unless they embrace the faith. A believing slave-girl is better than an idolatress…’ (Chapter entitled ‘The Cow’). ‘When the sacred months are over slay the idolators wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them.’ (Chapter entitled ‘Repentance’). ‘Believers, retaliation is decreed for you in bloodshed: a free man for a free man, a slave for a slave, and a female for a female.’ (Chapter entitled ‘The Cow’). We also sent Lut [Lot]. He said to his people: “Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation ever committed before you?” For ye practise your lust on men in preference to women. Ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.” (Sura 7 verses 80/81). Of course, not all Muslims will follow these dictates, but any Muslim who wishes to do so has absolute Koranic authority. In December 2005 the writer Oriana Fallaci said that “the Koran is the Mein Kampf of this movement. The Koran demands the annihilation or subjugation of the other, and wants to substitute totalitarianism for democracy….You will find that all the evil that the sons of Allah commit against themselves and against others is in it.” It is difficult to disagree with Fallaci.
Just as Mein Kampf detailed Hitler’s intentions for both Germany and the Jews, so the Koran states clearly the final aim of Islam: to encompass all of humanity within its rule. The warnings of Mein Kampf were generally ignored by European elites before Hitler gained power, with many of the most powerful politicians in Europe taking the smug view that Hitler did not mean it and the realities of power would change his behaviour. The same mistake is being made by European elites today who comfort themselves with the delusion that it is only a few extremists who are hostile to Western societies and the mass of the millions of Muslims in Europe are loyal citizens who abhor the extremists. This view mistakes the nature of revolutionary groups in general and the nature of Islam in particular. Revolutionary groups which grow out of groups who see themselves as oppressed in some way are pyramidical. The Provisional IRA is a good example. Few were willing to be bombers, bomb makers or gunmen. More were happy to engage in crime to obtain funds for the IRA. Still more would act as unofficial police keeping order and handing out punishment beatings. Further down the pyramid people were willing to provide safe houses for PIRA people and weapons. Almost at the bottom were the those who could be relied on to turn out to demonstrate at the drop of a hat. At the bottom was the mass of people who would say “I don’t agree with what the Provos do but I agree with their ends”. The fact that only a few are unambiguously violent is neither here nor there. It is the group which is important providing in Mao’s words, “the sea in which the terrorist may swim”. The danger represented by Muslims is greater than that of the IRA. To begin with Muslims are the one group whose members have shown themselves willing to regularly sacrifice themselves to perpetrate acts of terrorism. They are also, unlike the IRA, completely oblivious to any harm they do to ordinary citizens. Finally, unlike the IRA, Muslims have no political demands which can be met because their demand is essentially for Western societies to surrender to the dictates of Islam.
To understand Islam as it is practised, it is important to recognise the developmental differences between Christianity and Islam and the Bible and the Koran. Christianity had 300 years of persecution before it was peacefully turned into a state vehicle by Constantine; Islam rapidly became the religion of the dominant power through war. The Bible is a collection of books developed over a thousand years or more, plenty of time to knock off the rough edges of the faith; conversely, the Koran is supposed to be the literal word of God vouchsafed to one man and consequently much less susceptible to interpretation.
Politicians and the media
The British media claims it is committed to informing the public. The reality is that it frequently colludes with politicians to suppress stories. Recent examples come from the LibDems with Charles Kennedy’s drink problem and Simon Hughes’ homosexuality and his hypocrisy when first fighting his present seat in 1980 – his campaign against the Labour candidate Peter Tatchell was unreservedly homophobic including posters saying “Simon Hughes, the straight choice”. In both cases the media had known the truth for a long time and kept it from the public. A much more important example is the attempted suicide of Blair’s daughter Kathryn in April 2004. Every single newspaper and broadcaster (including the BBC) has refused to use the story. The BBC as a public service broadcaster has a special obligation to put anything of political interest before the public. Consequently, I have twice confronted its chairman Michael Grade in person with the failure of the BBC to run the story. The first occasion was at the Viewers and Listeners Spring Conference in April 2005. Grade claimed not to know the story, but refused to discuss the matter. Later I wrote to him asking him to justify his failure to make the story public. Grade did not reply but I received a letter from the BBC’s Head of communications Tina Stowell which ran “The question you raised at the VLV Seminar on 25 April relating to the Prime Minister’s daughter is not one which the BBC Chairman will respond to in public or via correspondence.” The second occasion was at the Governors AGM at Television Centre on 19 July 2005. After the programme, The Governors rashly mingled with the audience. I managed to corner Grade for about several minutes and ask him in front of plenty of witnesses why he had censored the story of the Blair daughter’s attempted suicide, especially after I had raised the matter with him in April 2005 at the Voice of the Viewer and Listeners Spring Conference. He tried to make a joke of it, but before he escaped I asked him the following question: Do you believe the story is true? He refused to answer. At the same meeting I lobbied four other Governors: Deborah Bull, Merfyn Jones, Fabian Monds, Ranjit Sondhi and Angela Sarkis. Without exception they all seemed painfully startled by the news. I got a promise from each to look into the matter if I sent them the full details. I wrote to them and the other Governors on 20 July 2005. None have replied. Instead, I again received a letter from Tina Stowell (22 July 2005). This ran “Thank you for your letter to the Board of Governors. The BBC’s position remains the same as in my previous letter.” I then submitted a formal complaint through the governors’ website of 28 July 2005. This produced no meaningful reply. During the BBC R5 morning phone in programme of 3 May hosted by Victoria Derbyshire), I managed to bring up the attempted suicide of Kathryn Blair. I was cut off almost immediately. After the R5 episode I wrote to Feedback, the programme which supposedly deals with listeners concerns with the BBC, asking them to investigate the censorship. They have failed to do so.
That the media have no difficulty with reporting failed teenage generally can be seen from the vivid example of Rebecca Ling, the survivor of a suicide pact. Both at the time of the suicide pact and during the inquest into the girl who died the BBC and every other mainstream media outlet reported the story with her name, in depth and sensationally. What is sauce for the Man on the Clapham omnibus gander is sauce for the Prime Ministerial goose. It is not for the media to decided what they will and will not put before the public. The argument that politicians deserve to have a private life is bogus. Politicians are by definition professional moralists because they tell us how to live through the laws they pass and the moral judgements they publicly make. People wielding power should be of the highest character for the very good reason that their opportunity for abusive behaviour is great. For that reason alone, in a democracy the electorate need to know how their private lives match up to that which they ordain for others. But there are other good reasons. Blackmail is one and the effect on a politician’s mind of traumatic events another. Clearly, this event was such as to potentially destabilise Blair’s mental balance. As he is PM we all have the strongest right and need to know. Those who doubt the Blair daughter story should put “Blair Daughter attempted suicide into Google or simply reflect on this email I received from the Daily Telegraph journalist Tom Leonard:
“Dear Mr Henderson, thanks for your email. The problem with the story about the Blairs’ daughter is that the BBC was far from alone in ignoring it. I think the whole of Fleet Street ignored it too on the grounds of sensitivity and intrusion into privacy (she is a minor of course). However, you are completely right about the BBC’s vested interest and well done for pointing it out to Mr Grade. The BBC is too used to never being properly grilled by the public. Regards, Tom Leonard. ” (firstname.lastname@example.org)
So you think you have free speech?
A boast commonly made in Britain is “We have free expression”. This is absurd. Even before the present attempts by NuLab to add the offences of religious incitement and glorifying terrorism to the statute book, our freedom of expression is circumscribed by the laws relating to libel, slander, confidence, blasphemy, obscenity, the security of the state, official secrets, equal opportunities and race relations. Government departments and agencies, local municipalities, private corporate bodies and private citizens may also obtain injunctions to prevent both the expression of views and physical demonstrations. In addition, the police have practically unlimited powers to prevent a man speaking if it is judged that the words uttered are ‘likely to cause a breach of the peace’ and may limit public demonstrations virtually at will. To these barriers is added the voluntary code of practice which is policed by the Press Complaints Commission. This contains such widely drawn and imprecise restrictions as: The Press should avoid prejudicial or pejorative references to a person’s race, colour, religion, sex or sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or handicap. and It should avoid publishing details of a person’s race, colour, religion, sex or sexual orientation, unless these are directly relevant to the story.
Nor is free expression guaranteed more securely by international treaty. The 1951 European Convention on Human Rights states in Article 10 that:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers…. All fine and dandy. But this is followed by:
The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”
Which caveats allow any state to do virtually anything by way of censorship.
But perhaps worse than such formal laws and treaties – for they are unlimited and cannot be challenged in the courts – are the customary restraints of which at present liberal censorship – both willingly self-imposed and enforced on others – and the fear of violent and disruptive action by minority groups are by far the most comprehensive and powerful. Such checks are particularly important in a country such as Britain which has an immensely strong tradition of personal freedom. Censorship by omission One of the disquieting aspects of the Lynette Burrows case is the meagre coverage it has got in the mass media. A Google search only turned up Telegraph articles and one by Melanie Phillips in the Mail. There has been a deafening silence by politicians of all colours. Organisations such as PEN and the Index against Censorship have said nothing. Much of the media censorship is conducted through a simple refusal by both the media and mainstream politicians to allow certain ideas into the public arena. The media does this by their control of choice of programme subjects, the time allotted to a subject, guests and presenters. Politicians do this by developing similar policies. Shortly after being elected Tory leader David Cameron expressed his view of immigration which was “immigration is very good for Britain” (Sunday Telegraph 18th December) and announced that he was considering dropping the Tories’ election pledge to restrict asylum seekers by quota. This meant that all three parties now have the same basic policy on immigration. One of the few major policy areas where there was any substantial difference even in theory between the parties fell before the great contemporary political god of “occupying the centre”.
Where does this leave the general public who are and always have been absolutely opposed to the mass post-war immigration? It leaves them where they are on so many massively important issues – the EU, macro economic policy, international trade relations etc- namely, out in the cold. There is no party with a realistic hope of gaining parliamentary seats let alone power which represents what great majority of the people want. Race and the media The media routinely does not mention the race of a criminal if they are black or Asian, for example, in the case of the murder of the banker John Monckton the only way of discovering the race of the accused (black) was from court drawings. There is also very different treatment of white on black crime and non-white on white crime. Compare and contrast the very extensive coverage of the murder trial of the Anthony Walker with that of Chris Yates. The latter trial was barely mentioned by the broadsheets this morning – the Telegraph ignored it entirely – and the trial itself was more or less ignored until the verdicts were reached. Such under-reporting by the media in general and the BBC in particular is routine, most grotesquely in the fairly recent case of the vilely sadistic murder of Kris Donald by Asians in Glasgow. The media is also engaged in censoring fiction and drama, both modern and old. Modern mainstream fiction and drama is self-censored by the authors who know that they must operate within the politically correct ambit to get their work published or performed. The past is also being re-written, not always but often enough to be disturbing. The BBC are a case in point. Mark Twain constantly uses the word “nigger” in Huckleberry Finn. The BBC to their credit retained the use of the word in their R4 adaptation a couple of years ago. Yet they are all too ready to censor generally. Goon Show re-runs on BBC Radio 7 have been censored. For example, an episode involving the black musicians Ray Ellington cut a remark from one of the cast that the programme was now the “The Coon Show” and the phrase “sambo-speak”. (Daily Telegraph 11 2 2006).
The failure of Civil Liberty Organisations
I took the post below from the uk.politics.misc newsgroup. A poster by the name of Stephen Glynn wrote to Amnesty asking why they were not taking up the case of the historian David Irving recently arrested in Austria for allegedly denying the holocaust. Their reply highlights the weakness of the liberal-left when it comes to censorship and, indeed, human rights in general. Amnesty claims there are universal human rights but in practice only wishes those rights to apply to those of whom they approve. Here is the pertinent part of their letter to Mr Glynn:
“Dear Mr Glynn, Amnesty International works for the right to free expression and adopts as prisoners of conscience people who are imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression, however it will not adopt as prisoners of conscience people who are imprisoned for using hate speech to deliberately or recklessly incite acts of violence, discrimination, or hostility against another group [and hence will not represent Irving].”
What applies to Amnesty applies to other supposed defenders of individual rights. Why for example has Liberty not taken up the case of Griffin and Collett? Why have Fair Trials Abroad not been up in arms over Irving’s arrest and incarceration ?
Censorship horrors in the pipeline
The racial and religious hatred Bill was amended in the Commons after the Government was defeated. Its provisions have been moderated – most notably by making intent a necessary hurdle to overcome – but even as it is amended the Bill is still a danger. Regardless of whether or not prosecutions result, its mere existence will be intimidatory. The police will doubtless do what they have been doing using other legislation, “investigate” complaints of ‘hate speech’ without any intention of prosecution, eg, Lynette Burrows and her remarks on gay adoptions or Sir Iqbal Sacranie and his claim that homosexuality is harmful. The logic of the idea that such remarks incite hatred is that any statement which is critical of a group or person incites hatred, a manifest absurdity. It should be noted that this Bill was superfluous both because laws exist against incitement generally and because the 1976 Race Relations Act, the 1986 Public Order Act and the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act contain similar provisions to those deleted from this Bill. That being so, one has to ask why this Bill was ever presented. The only reasonable explanation can be that it is a sop to British Muslim feeling, a public promise to introduce such a Bill having be made to Muslims by NuLabour before the last election.
The other pending horror is the offence of “Glorifying Terrorism” which was reinstated in the latest terrorism Bill by a Commons vote of 15 2 2006. This is an open invitation to the state to suppress political comment over the vexed question of when political violence is justified. Don’t feed the censors In a recent episode of the long running soap Coronation Street an Asian character said to another Asian character “you’re living like white trash”. The term “white trash” is undeniably racial in origin. It was coined and used by freed house slaves after the American Civil war. They often continued as house servants after being freed and looked with contempt upon poor whites. That it was not coined by whites is obvious from the use of the word white. No white man would say “poor white trash”. He would simply say “poor trash” or something similar. The fact that it refers only to part of a racial group is irrelevant to the question of whether it is racist because it is still identifying a group by race. A non racist epithet would be “poor trash” or “lumpen proletariat”. How should whites respond? Not by saying such terms should be banned because that is merely adding to the fire of censorship. Instead, they should argue that it is legitimate to use such a term but we expect the same latitude to be extended to whites should they use a derogatory epithet directed at blacks and Asians.
How to resist the censorship
The only way for the ordinary citizen to challenge laws which are illegitimate is to break them. If enough people do it the state has to admit defeat simply on grounds of practicality. In the case of laws which are political, mass disobedience is particularly effective because, at least in a society such as Britain, the laws are not intended to result in many prosecutions but rather to intimidate people into silence and self-censorship. Defy them and their purpose is lost. If a person is charged with an offence relating simply to what they have said what should they do? The general point is that Lenin’s “The worse the better” applies here, ie, better that defendants are found guilty after defending their position forthrightly and unapologetically than gaining an acquittal within the rules of the game set by their opponents.
The recent Griffin and Collett trial is a model of what not to do in the case of white defendants. They failed to use the trial as a platform to unambiguously defend free expression, failed to meaningfully embarrass the liberal elite and failed to present a coherent position on race, culture and immigration. The upshot of the trial is not that anything may be said but confusion. How could it have been different? The BNP two could have embarrassed the authorities before the trial by attempting to call the likes of the attorney-general. Whether they were allowed as witnesses is irrelevant. You do it as a propaganda tactic. The denial of them as witnesses allows you to present the case as tainted before it even starts. You also make as big a hooh ha as you can about the place of free speech in a democracy. When the trial comes you challenge everything, from the jury – in the BNP case a Muslim juror was quite incredibly allowed onto the jury – to the denial of time in the box to a denial of the introduction of evidence. You pile everything you can into the case to get the material either on record or banned from the record. You write a blog emphasising the unfairness or get someone else to do it if you cannot physically do so. You ensure your case is intellectually coherent and entirely unapologetic, especially your final speech to the jury . After the trial, win or lose, you use the trial unfairness as propaganda. You make frequent complaints to the police about anti-white racist comments. Griffin needed to be shouting about political bias from the word go. Above all Griffin needed to unambiguously defend his right to free expression in a democratic society. He did none of these things. Instead, he let his lawyers do as they wished, which, as is clear from Griffin’s blog of day 12 of the trial, was to take the standard liberal bigot lawyer line when defending “racist” defendants, namely the “our client may be vile but do not let that influence you” line,viz: “A ‘not guilty’ verdict is not a kind of vote for, or vindication of, the BNP. That is not what this case is about; it is about freedom of speech in our society. He [Mark Collett] asks them to have the courage to find the case ‘not proved’. ” Mark Collett’s defence counsel to the jury – Griffin blog.
Translation: However vile you may think my client, his vileness should not cloud your judgement of his guilt or innocence. “He [Griffin’s counsel] starts by saying that, as an advocate, one has no choice but to represent a client, regardless of what they say or do. His personal views, and theirs are irrelevant. ” Nick Griffin’s defence counsel to the jury – Griffin blog.
Translation: I would like you and the rest of the world to know I think my client is vile, as any sane person would, but however vile you may think my client his vileness should not cloud your judgement of his guilt or innocence.
Normally I would agree with the legal adage that a man who represents himself has a fool for a client. This is one of the rare instances when that does not apply. Griffin should have defended himself. Nothing would have been lost because he is not going to get a fair trial under any circumstances. The control of his lawyers can also be seen from the witnesses called. The only person other than the defendants mentioned for the defence is Rajinder Singh (although, it is not clear from the Griffin blogs whether he actually took the stand.) The prosecution did not need to call many witnesses because the words in question were not an issue. The only thing to be decided from the prosecution’s point of view is whether they incited racial hatred. The defence on the other hand needed to call witnesses to (1) question the political nature of the prosecution – eg, the attorney general, Blair etc – , (2) witnesses to demonstrate the double standards employed by police and the CPS and (3) witnesses to defend the principle of free speech. Griffin has, wittingly or not, operated within the rules of liberal bigotry. His defence was not that the laws under which he was tried were illegitimate in a democracy but that he had not broken the illegitimate laws.
Appeasement is not the answer
Those currently with power in our society – the liberal left – are burying their heads in the sand as the Muslim monster grows ever larger before their eyes. Their natural instinct is to appease. But appeasement can never be a strategy only a tactic to buy time. As Churchill said, appeasement is simply a means by which one gets devoured a little later. If the liberal elite wish to preserve liberal with a small l values they must act now not when it is too late. Muslims, and any other religious group, must be told unambiguously that they have the right to practise their religion but no right to interfere with the lives of those who do not share their faith. That includes accepting any ridicule of their religions. Toleration not forced respect must be the watchword. Muslims are not asking for toleration, they are claiming the right to control the rest of society. What we need are not further laws to restrict free expression but a law to guarantee it. It should be an offence to deny free expression not to exercise it. One class of people alone should be denied free public expression; the class of those who would deny it to others.