Wednesday, May 6, 2009

UK Socialists & Savage Thought Control (Updated)

A few months ago, Geert Wilders was invited by several members of the House of Lords to screen for them his movie, Fitna - a short piece that expresses his opinion that the Koran is a cause of violence and that Islam presents a danger to the West. The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith denied Wilders entry, not because Wilders advocated violence - Wilders never has - but ostensibly because Britain's own anti-western, radical Muslims threatened violence if he was allowed into the country. Now the UK's Home Office has gone one further. Britain has declared U.S. shock jock Michael Savage persona non grata becaue . . . well, because his opinions challenge their dogma and might spark open debate on issues the socialists wish to treat as sacrosanct.

Michael Savage has never advocated violence. He hasn't organized bands of fighters to take part in a jihad. He has not spoken glowingly of the beheading of a takfir, nor has he suggested that we should throw gays off a mountain as far as I know. He has yet to say that a person who switches their religion should be stoned to death. His sin, however, as the socialist UK government sees it, is to express thoughts at variance with their own dogma, particularly on issues of immigration and Islam - two tools the UK's socialist left are using to work fundamental changes to British society. This from Phillip Johnston writing at the Telegraph:

The Home Office has issued the latest list of people it believes should not come to the country because they hold extremist opinions.

It is a state's prerogative to decide who it wants to come to its country. That is, after all, what a visa system is for. But those banned from entry used to be people who were likely to cause public disorder or who had criminal records. . . . Now we are more likely than not to ban someone for what they think. The list of people banned over the past six months includes a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, a neo-Nazi, a Hamas MP, a Baptist pastor and his daughter barred for homophobia and a Jewish extremist. Oddly, it also contains the name Michael Savage, a US "shock jock" talk-show host whose views on Islam, rape and autism have stirred controversy in America. By all accounts, his views are pretty offensive; but is that reason enough to ban someone? The test usually is whether the individual in expressing his views would threaten public order. . . .

The Government claims Savage engages in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence. But is not the real reason he is barred because he preaches dislike of other groups rather than violence against them?

Home Office officials say Michael Savage . . . holds abhorrent views on immigration, Islam, rape and autism, which have caused great offence in America. That may be so. But are we now banning people because we don't like what they think or say; or are we accepting that anyone who responds violently to a view of which they disapprove can effectively veto other people's right to free speech?

Now we learn that Savage may sue the Home Secretary for defamation. He said he was outraged that he had been named alongside hate preachers and a member of Hamas.

He said: "For this lunatic Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary of England, to link me up with skinheads who are killing people in Russia, to put me in (the same) league with mass murderers who kill Jews on buses is defamation.

"I thought this was a joke or a mistake." He has a point. Jacqui Smith said the people who were banned were those whose views the country 'would not tolerate'.

But who is she to make that decision? While it is the job of the Home Secretary to ensure the security and safety of the nation, it is not for her to decree what we should hear and to whom we should listen.

Read the entire post.

The UK's Home Secretary is just doing what comes natural to the left - using the police powers of the state to punish thought with which they disagree. We see the socialist left in America attempting and, to a much lesser degree, succeeding with the same things. We see the left pushing ahead with challenges to the OLC attorneys for green lighting policies with which they disagree. And just the other day we were treated to the passage of a Hate Crimes bill, ensconcing an unequal system of justice in favor of Marxian defined members of a "victim class." But the left cannot go too along far on this path in in the U.S. We still have the First Amendment It is an oak oak which the left chips at daily but has yet to fell.

The UK, which exists in today what can only be described as a tyranny of the majority, has no such protections for speech. Predictably, the left in Britian - they being the tyranny in the majority at the moment - have gone much farther in punishing thought then they could ever get away with in the U.S. And on two critical issues facing the UK, immigration and Islam, the left has essentially shut down all debate for decades. Anyone in Britain who speaks against immigration or Islam, particularly if while doing so, mentions as a motivation the protection of British natavist culture, is demonized, subject to losing their livelihood, and indeed, subject to arrest by the state. You can see my post here for some particularly egregious examples. At any rate, it should come as no surprise that the socialist Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has sited Savage's views on Islam and immigration as the first two reasons why he should not be allowed into the UK.

George Washington warned that, without freedom of speech, we may be led "as lambs to the slaughter." Jacqui Smith apparently wants to insure no one gets into the UK who can induce in the lambs any thought that might lead them from that path.

Update: Brits At Their Best have two posts touching on the blacklisting of Michael Savage and freedom of speech in England, both of which are worthy of a read. The first discusses the irony that Michael Savage recently hosted Lord Monckton on his radio show for the purpose of giving Monckton a platform to speak to the U.S. public - something denied Lord Monckton by Democrats during Al Gore's testimony to the House Energy Committee. The second involves something that Brits At Their Best does better than any blog on the internet - put our modern issues in their historical context. In this case, the authors discuss the free speech issues raised by the Home Secretary's actions in respect of Henry VIIIth and William Tyndale, the man who lost his life for translating the bible into English. Read the post here.


billm99uk said...

It's just PC claptrap - they were scared that if they just put the nasty Islamist preachers on it they actually want to keep out the various Muslim groups would throw a fit. So they had to get a few white faces in there to even the racial balance up.

Dinah Lord said...

It's the kind of PC claptrap that will lead to the death of the Western world, I'm afraid, billm99uk.

The thought police are on the prowl.

GW said...

I do not doubt, under the circumstances - Savage hasn't been to Britain in 25 years and had made no plans to go to Britain in the future - that you are correct, Paul. That said, it does not change the reason why he was singled out. The government sees his views as something in the nature of what they can lawfully criminalize, irrespective of the fact that he incites no one to violence.

suek said...

"The UK, which exists in today what can only be described as a tyranny of the majority, "

Heh. I'd described more as a tyranny of the minority...

cdor said...

The Orwellian irony is that immigration and Islam, two objects of Savage's sharp tongued poetical rage, are exactly two of the most significant arenas of internal turmoil in today's England. Although, to my knowledge, he rarely speaks of England, it is exactly those issues that are causing the British demise.

What is actually quite humorous in Ms Smith's dictate, is that about 99.9% of the British had never ever heard of Michael Savage before. He had no plans to visit the U.K. either. Now, after her elevation of Savage to the level of an Hamas murderer, my bet is that there are exponential numbers of British citizens tuning in to streaming podcasts of The Savage Nation and nodding their heads in agreement.

billm99uk said...

Is he anything like Glenn Beck then?

GW said...

Savage and Beck both have strong views, but Savage is less compassionate and far more caustic. As a practical matter, I can listen to Beck for 20 to 30 minutes on any given day before turning him off for crossing my "this is ridiculous" threshold. With Savage, I usually hit the threshold at the 5 minute mark. Both are an acquired taste, but they do have many legitimate things to say and to call either a threat to civil order is completely without any basis in reality.

cdor said...

I used to listen to Savage until Mark Levin came on at the same time. Savage is someone I can take for a few minutes, but Levin is like a great Professor. Unless he's rediculing some liberal caller, he is very strong. Beck might be better on TV. I don't catch much of him either way.

I will say, for folks who are all purportedly promoting conservatism, they sure are outwardly critical and negative to each other.