Thursday, October 22, 2009

Loony Scumbags and Free Speech

For anyone who's managed not to hear, the British National Party) got two seats in the European parliament. This means, under pre-existing BBC rules, that their leader got to be on the popular political debate programme, "Question Time."

This has caused quite a row. The BNP are extremely unpopular with most people because they're as near as dammit, the Nazi party. They don't allow non-white members, and they want to encourage all non-whites to leave the country, even if they were born in the UK.

So some people feel very strongly that they shouldn't be allowed in national TV, because it legitimises them.

I disagree.

Firstly, the freedom to make non-controversial comments doesn't amount to much. Free speech isn't free unless it includes the right to be moronic, offensive and loony. There's no practical way to shut up the Nazis without also gagging the visionaries.

I used to be an extremist, you know. I said long and loud that women should be allowed to do any job they were capable of doing, and get paid the same as a man doing the same job. Back in the 1970s, this made me unpopular.

Secondly, banning things makes them attractive. I've seen at least two films just because someone in authority tried to stop me. ("The Life of Brian" and "The War Game".) I'd never have bothered otherwise.

Thirdly, and most importantly, I think we need to hear what he has to say. I'm 99.9% certain that he's a loony scumbag. After all, this is a man who thinks you can judge a person's worth by the shape of their toe-nails - sorry, the colour of their skin. It's the same amount of DNA either way. So that's what he'll look like on TV - a loony scumbag. That should lose him far more votes that banning him.

And if by some amazing chance he isn't as bad as I think, we need to know that, too. I've been known to be wrong before.

So stick him on TV, and let's see what he's made of.

1 comment:

Pamela said...

I absolutely agree with you Sheila - that banning things only makes them more attractive (LOL! I saw Life of Brian, for the very same reason) and that the BBC were right to let this goon have enough rope to hang himself with.

I refuse to watch the program myself, mind you and, I still don't see any alternative, but this principle clearly works best where the audience is smart enough to be able to discern.

The most worrying upshot of this appearance is that, apparently, AFTER seeing him, 22% of people questioned would "seriously consider" voting BNP.

Get me out of here!