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Taking Liberties

A Third Way Special on the Attack on Civil Rights in the UK.
By Tim Bragg, Nick Griffin, David Kerr, Patrick Harrington and Graham Williamson

ISBN 0954478851
Third Way Publications £5.00
Paper – 24 A4 pages.

Taking Liberties takes the liberty of carrying an article by the British National Party Chairman Nick Griffin – an act that will court controversy and possible opprobrium from all manner of groups including those advocating Civil Liberties! The group Liberty may even be amongst these and indeed a later article from Henry Falconer in a short, rapid blow lands a hatchet firmly in Libertys seemingly hypocritical body-politic.

Mister Griffin’s argument is that Civil Liberties are both universal and indivisible – his contribution contrasts the persecution of the BNP with past minority and /or unpopular views that are now taken as legitimate and mainstream. He thus invites us to make a favourable comparison. Whether we should view the BNP so is a matter for each of us but at least here we are given the opportunity to hear and take into consideration their views -normally Beyond the Pale.

Graham Williamson in his article delivers a very precise and well-argued appraisal of how and why the BNP are viewed in the manner they are – this is exactly how the debate on Civil Liberties; freedom of expression and rights and responsibilities should be conducted.

In the article Free-Dam[n] and Dam[n]-Free the writer and musician Tim Bragg analyses freedom and the fiction writer. Examining language, pornography, horror, religion and racism he cites the struggle between free expression and censorship taking explosive contemporary events such as the withdrawal of the play Behtzi and the reaction to Jerry Springer – The Opera. In a nice twist, the chilling opening of his latest novel Oak is included -baldly exposing what happens when a writer falls foul of a repressive regime – it just so happens to be England in 2009!

The proposed Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill (Religious and Racial Hatred Bill) contains the proposed incitement to religious hatred offence. In an article containing an excerpt from the Christian Institute the folly of this misguided proposal is examined and taken apart. If you are not totally convinced then Incitement to Religious Hatred – a bad law will! If you are still not convinced by these arguments then welcome to the New World Order – you have been warned!

The editorial encourages involvement and support for Civil Liberties regardless of who and what are being denied them. A donated advert on the back-page for the new Civil Liberties charity The Judge Learned Hand Foundation starts with a quote form the famous US Judge himself:-

“What seems fair enough against a squalid huckster of bad liquor may take on a different face, if used by a government determined to suppress political opposition under the guise of sedition.”


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