Monday, October 06, 2008

Living Democracy Or Rotting Carcass?

A woman is either pregnant or she isn't. We either have free speech or we don't. Sadly like many other freedoms, we are gradually losing the right to free speech and many people are either too scared, or too stupid, to put up a fight to defend it.

The biggest example in the last week or so has been in the sporting world. Ten days ago Tottenham played Portsmouth. The Portsmouth player, Sol Campbell, was treated to 90 minutes of abuse from Spurs fans because, seven years ago, he left them to join arch rivals Arsenal. Poor Sol, not consoled by earning £100,000 a week he whined and the police are investigating with a view to taking legal action against the 2,000 or so fans involved. Nice to see that there is so little real crime in Portsmouth for them to be spending their time on.

What was particularly interesting was that for much of last week I listened to independent radio coverage of the story. What was stressed was that the abuse was not of a racial nature. The BBC, taxpayer funded organ of the state, eventually caught up with the story and immediately procaimed that the abuse was not only racial but homophobic. Well they would wouldn't they?

The press this weekend reported how the comedians Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse had two sketches cut from their current show. One was based on a Muslim character, the other on a drunken Catholic priest. As ever the pinko liberals at the production company feared they might cause offence. As a Roman Catholic my faith is strong enough to take some mickey taking or criticism, so get on with it.

In Labour's reshuffle 'controversial' Lancashire MP Phil Woolas has been made Immigration Minister. He earned the descripion 'controversial' because he said, wait for it, wait for it,that Muslim women wearing a veil can be seen as provocative. My word, I'm going to be really controversial now, here goes, today is Monday!

Also this weekend I heard news of the German government attempting to use the vile European (Union) arrest warrant for the first time. They are trying to have an Australian academic, based in Britain, extradited to face trial in Germany for holocaust denial. It is illegal in the Reich, but he spoke in Britain.

I don't care whether somebody uses homophobic language, racist language or calls somebody a fat northern git. Well actually I do, but I base my view of a person on a range of things, including their use of language. It is up to me to make a judgement on a fellow human being, part of that judgement based on their langauge, not the state.

On another level I would prefer the leader of a political party to make racist or homophobic comments openly so that I can avoid them like the plague. The problem with politically correct legislation is that it only drives nasty views underground, it doesn't, yet, cancel out the thoughts of the homophobe or the racist.

When I was growing up, from as early as I can remember, I was taught the following rhyme: 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me'. It's time the PC brigade grew up and accepted that free speech sometimes means being offended. That's life.

Is Britain really so insecure as a nation that we have to legislate against free speech? Sadly the answer is yes.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Did Phil Woolas say that? Cool!

I thought his finest moment was pointing out that a lot of Pakistanis are inbred and how unhealthy it is.

Gregg Beaman said...

I think his hard line is probably a lot to do with representing an area where the BNP are strong, Oldham. But I'm perhaps a touch cynical.