On Radio 4 this morning, Jonathan Lewis of the United Kingdom Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists said:
“Germany is the most democratic country in the world in that they have an office for the protection of their constitution which ruthlessly suppresses right-wing and Nazi speech”
Yes, it’s important to ruthlessly suppress right-wing speech in order to have a democracy. Twat.
The BBC suggests that David Irving “might appeal“. I can’t imagine David Irving appealing to anyone… But in some ways, Mr Irving’s lack of positive qualities is unfortunate. It’s harder to stand up for free speech when the person being oppressed is some dickhead for whom you have no personal sympathy – whether they’re an ignorant Danish bigot or a Nazi-sympathising pseudo-historian.
Even though Mr Irving is awful, jailing someone for lying about historical facts is not a sane way to proceed – and rather than breaking with German-speaking Europe’s historical tendency towards authoritarianism, Holocaust denial laws strengthen and emphasise it. The right way to deal with harmless loonies like David Irving is to mock them and to expose their lies for the nonsense that they are – and this has already happened. In the UK, people like Nick Griffin and Abu Hamza who try and raise mob riots are justly punished; people who merely say wrong and stupid things are not.
One thing I can’t work out, though, is why Holocaust denial is treated so differently from other stupid and wrong takes on history. If Irving had been right, would that justify antisemitic attacks today? Of course not. Does the fact that the Holocaust did happen justify Israel’s behaviour in Palestine? Of course not. Would the President of Iran’s views on Israel be changed in the slightest if he believed in the Holocaust? Of course not.
Denying the Holocaust is like saying “the US Civil War didn’t happen! Union troops never burned the South!” It’s a nonsense claim, but not one that makes a blind bit of difference to anything (well, OK, you could reasonably expect a kicking in Mississippi/Tel Aviv, but that’s about it).
Tampon Teabag has a nice bit of Guantanamo satire. This extract makes no sense out of context, but I like it anyway:
“Your son, today he come to my shop and he try buy alcohol and porny-magazine. I tell him no, and he start shouting. He break things in my shop. I tell him stop, stop, please stop. But he not stop. He say his father police chief and he can do what he want. He break window. I call police, they tell me call you. What you do about it?”
Semi-relatedly, anyone found using the term “moral equivalence” non-parodically ought to be shot seven times in the head. It inevitably means “I agree with everything the US and Israeli governments do, everything they do is glorious and wonderful, and therefore anyone who suggests their actions are similar to those taken by famous bad people and dictators is a scumbag. Even if their actions do appear similar to those taken by famous bad people and dictators. Oh, and I’m also a pretentious cunt”.
Is Nosemonkey satirising the loonier end of the “media complicit in treachery for reporting bad things about the war” spectrum, or has he joined it?
The News of the World was and is fully aware of the potential for a violent response in publishing [the 'British troops batter the shit out of innocent Iraqis' story]. Yet they went ahead and ran it anyway, putting British troops in further danger, isolating them further from the average Iraqi. In a regular wartime situation, that could be considered tantamount to treason.
Hmm. In other news, William Peers was fully aware of the potential for a violent response in publishing his report into Mai Lai. Yet he went ahead and published it anyway, putting US troops in further danger, isolating them further from the average Vietnamese. In a regular wartime situation, that could be considered tantamount to treason.
Oh-so-brave-Danish-right-wing-paper rejected offensive cartoons of Jesus in case they caused a fuss (via). Oh-so-terrible-licensing-rules cut [*] drink-related crime.
[*] yes, OK – the evidence only says “probably didn’t raise”, since there were other factors involved and since I normally and rightly slate recorded crime figures for being less accurate than the British Crime Survey. Still, a little gloating’s OK, right?
Please can you declare jihad on drooling fuckwits who use phrases like “the government is firmly under the control of Gramscians “? Failing that, anyone who uses the phrase “Gramscian” outside of sociology (except for taking the piss out of maniacs who think society is being destroyed by a liberal plot, natch) would do. Fuck, I’m even prepared to sacrifice the sociologists here…
Actually, I’m almost tempted to suggest you should set up a fucking Islamist state. Yes, it’d suck, but at least bigoted dickheads like this one would shut the fuck up. Remind me not to read right-wing blogs ever; these people are not sane. They live in a society which is really, blatantly, obviously free and liberal and not beseiged by marauding mentalists and crazies (aside from their occasional appearance on the news, being arrested and jailed because they’ve moved on from frothing to commiting actual crimes), and yet they go on as if we were ruled by some kind of bizarre Caliphate re-enactment society. And then lie that the economy’s being fucked by Gordon’s evil schemes… yeah, that whole “14 consecutive years of economic growth thing” is a bummer, innit?
Look, we’ve got the money, the beer and the bacon. Ethnic minority groups still have a shit time of it. Take your pathetic white middle-class male pseudo-victimhood and shove it.
While we’re all losing it over the Danes-with-offensive-and-shit-cartoons thing, Kitty Killer has details of a far more outlandish and egregious assault on free speech, perpetrated by a government-backed British institiution. Read. Be outraged. Forward to any journalists you might happen to know…