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Thoughtcrime

Heard about this on the radio this morning:

US 'hate list' DJ to sue Britain

Judging by what they say about him in the article, I would imagine I'm unlikely to agree with his opinions on most things, but that's not the point. Whatever his views, he has a right to express them.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental part of democracy, whether we agree with the views expressed or not. We shouldn't be penalising people for using this. If he were to act upon his views, then that would be different, but just expressing them isn't a crime and it shouldn't be.

Having talked about a legal system judging us on who we are rather than what we do in my post last night, it now seems rather poignant as we now seem to be judging on views expressed rather than how people act on them.

I think we all need to slap Jacqui Smith with a wet fish until she sees sense (on second thoughts I won't say that lest I get expelled from my own country for hate crime)

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
feanelwa
6th May, 2009 09:37 (UTC)
Given the choice, I would ban him. If his views on rape are that it's ok then he can think what he wants but given that he's said it on radio in the US, I don't want him in the country presenting guest spots on radio programmes encouraging people to rape me. Inciting violence is harmful and is a crime. Similarly for Fred Phelps - I don't mind that he believes homosexuality is wrong, but I do mind that he was planning to picket a college play with placards encouraging people to kill gay people.
hmmm_tea
6th May, 2009 16:24 (UTC)
If someone does something to break the law, then yes, it seems fair to bar them entry, but until they actually do that or can be proved to have been planning to do that (I don't know enough about the Phelps case to know whether it falls into this category), then it doesn't seem right to bar them entry solely on the fact that they have objectionable opinions.

As for guest presenting radio shows, it's up to the radio stations what they broadcast and he certainly doesn't need to be in the country to guest present anything. Blocking them from entering the country doesn't block their views coming in.
feanelwa
6th May, 2009 17:44 (UTC)
Saying that rape is ok *is* inciting violence.
naath
6th May, 2009 10:51 (UTC)
He has the right to express his views, however *coming to the UK* is NOT a right. We already prevent lots of people coming to this country, on lots of grounds (many of them stupid). I think it is entirely fair to say "no, go away" to people who are that obnoxious.

It's wrong to ban people from ever publishing their views. But I don't think it's wrong of me to say that I won't invite obnoxious people into my house.
hmmm_tea
6th May, 2009 16:14 (UTC)
Surely, banning a particular viewpoint from society isn't the way to operate a democracy, regardless what that viewpoint is.

Personally I find most of the BNP fairly obnoxious, but they have a place in society and however much I disagree with their views some people believe them and therefore they need to be represented within society. It's just up to the rest of us to shout them down as being wrong.
naath
6th May, 2009 16:19 (UTC)
Yes, banning an viewpoint isn't a great plan. But we have lots of native nutters here, I don't see why we have to let everyone else's nutters come here too. As justifications for a border-policy other than "anything goes" "you are going to cause a lot of annoyance and your presence here is going to be a public order problem" is pretty good really.

The BNP are home-grown nutters. I don't like them, but I don't want the government shutting them down. That doesn't mean that I'll provide them with a platform to speak - let them into my venue, print their news papers, host their website, etc. I think that letting foreign nutters into our country amounts to giving them a platform, rather than to taking away any rights that they have.
(Deleted comment)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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