I thought UKIP believed in freedom of speech?


by Sunny
26th January, 2010 at 4:59 pm    

You’ll remember that a year ago UKIP leader Lord Pearson invited over Geert Wilders to show his “film” Fitna because he wanted to start a debate about extremism. Or so he claimed anyway. When Wilders was banned there was a lot of huffing and puffing by UKIP acolytes about free speech and free expression being restricted in the UK.

For example, see the Telegraph blogger Ed West, who at the time also said, “Wilders is not ‘far-Right’ by any reasonable standard – he is a classical liberal who thinks immigration has gone way too far”

Classically liberal eh? Geert Wilders also came up with a 10-point plan to save the west, which included measures like: encouraging voluntary repatriation; have every member of a non-Western minority sign a legally binding contract of assimilation; stop building new mosques; getting rid of the current weak leaders, etc.

So either I misunderstand what it means to be ‘classically liberal’ or Ed West is talking complete horse-shit. Perhaps Tim Worstall can clarify since he’s not only a UKIP comms director but also claims to be ‘classically liberal’.

Anyway, the point is that recently the former head of UKIP Nigel Farage called for the ‘burqa’ to be banned. No one listens to Farage anyway: it was a classic tactic of trying to get some media attention since he is fighting a very difficult seat in Buckingham. The guy wants some publicity so he tried a classic UKIP dog-whistle.

When asked about this policy, Lord Pearson claimed: “the burqa ban is a ban for freedom”. A ban for freedom! Haha! Either these people give ‘classic liberals’ a bad name or they are complete fuckwits.

Anyway, Ed West from UKIP Telegraph now says: ‘Don’t ban the burka. Ban liberals instead’ – how very tolerant of freedom of expression. It seems UKIP only believe in free speech when it applies to criticising or demonising Muslims, not otherwise.


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  1. pickles

    Blog post:: I thought UKIP believed in freedom of speech? http://bit.ly/5xao8S


  2. A Conservative Toy

    RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: I thought UKIP believed in freedom of speech? http://bit.ly/5xao8S


  3. Kevin Arscott

    I thought UKIP believed in freedom of speech? <– Pickled Politics http://viigo.im/2d6C




  1. James Graham — on 26th January, 2010 at 5:16 pm  

    I think we should ban rubbish, wispy beards. Or at the very least Ed West’s byline photo.

    God, I’m intolerant.

  2. Kim — on 26th January, 2010 at 5:26 pm  

    Muslims do a pretty good job of demonising everyone else, it’s their turn!

  3. Sunny — on 26th January, 2010 at 5:59 pm  

    I think we should ban rubbish, wispy beards

    I agree. My beard isn’t that lame and grows properly.

    Muslims do a pretty good job of demonising everyone else, it’s their turn!

    Oh look, it’s the Christian Taliban

  4. MiriamBinder — on 26th January, 2010 at 6:26 pm  

    @ Kim # 2 – On the grounds of “They started it Miss”? Now where have I heard that … Ah yes, the local infant school playground.

    It’s a crying shame that age does not necessarily confer emotional maturity isn’t it ;)

  5. marvin — on 26th January, 2010 at 7:02 pm  

    Great timing Sunny!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8480161.stm

    A French parliamentary committee has recommended a partial ban on women wearing Islamic face veils.

    The committee’s near 200-page report has proposed a ban in hospitals, schools, government offices and on public transport.

    It also recommends that anyone showing visible signs of “radical religious practice” should be refused residence cards and citizenship.

    The interior ministry says just 1,900 women in France wear the full veils.

    A partial ban in this country, for example in schools seems reasonable, and I do not think it unreasonable that private or government premises require people to remove any item of clothing hiding ones face for security reasons.

    How is requiring people to remove clothing that hides their face a “freedom of speech issue” if on government or a private company’s property?

    In banks it’s already clear you do not enter with a helmet or balaclava on.

  6. Old Pickler — on 26th January, 2010 at 7:02 pm  

    Banning a face covering isn’t banning freedom of speech.

  7. MiriamBinder — on 26th January, 2010 at 7:29 pm  

    @ Old Pickler # 6 – of course it isn’t banning freedom of speech. It is however banning the freedom to self expression ;)

    I find some means by which people chose to express themselves rather creepy … Certain tattoos for one ;) Maybe we should ban them while we are at it?

    There is a huge difference between the wearing of a veil when you do this as a matter of course in your everyday life as you go about your lawful business and putting on a balaclava or hiding your handsome visage behind a scarf when behaving in a threatening manner.

  8. Shatterface — on 26th January, 2010 at 7:42 pm  

    It would be hypocritical to support one ban but not the other (I support neither ban) so I’m glad to see Sunny now also supports releasing ‘Fitna’.

    No doubt we won’t see Sunny opposing marches by either EDL or Islam4UK in future either. It would be bad form for him to criticise someone’s lack of support for free speech while not actually supporting free speech himself.

  9. A.C. — on 26th January, 2010 at 7:45 pm  

    Sunny, can you prove that Ed West is ‘from UKIP’?

    If not I suggest you change that line.

  10. Nyrone — on 26th January, 2010 at 9:26 pm  

    LOL @ #3

    I think I just lost all remaining respect I had for Nigel Farage, what a stupid blatantly publicity-hungry move that’s basically unworkable..

  11. Sunny — on 26th January, 2010 at 10:28 pm  

    so I’m glad to see Sunny now also supports releasing ‘Fitna’.

    Was never for banning Fitna.

    Rallies that are for stroking up violence or groups related to terrorism different thing

  12. Ed West — on 26th January, 2010 at 10:52 pm  

    Unfortunately the term ‘liberal’ is much abused these days. It used to mean someone who believed in the freedom of the individual, rather than someone who believed in group rights (as defined by “community leaders”) and multiculturalism. Personally I’m all for people being able to wear, say or do whatever they like, as is the English tradition, but such rights are rarer in diverse, enriched societies.

  13. BenSix — on 26th January, 2010 at 11:12 pm  

    Anyway, Ed West from UKIP Telegraph now says: ‘Don’t ban the burka. Ban liberals instead’ – how very tolerant of freedom of expression.

    I don’t lean Westwards on many things, but if that was written in seriousness I shall wear a burka for a year.

  14. Kulvinder — on 26th January, 2010 at 11:17 pm  

    It used to mean someone who believed in the freedom of the individual, rather than someone who believed in… multiculturalism.

    Given the context of the article; thats properly funny. Yeah that freedom of the individual where everyone was the same was great.

  15. James Graham — on 27th January, 2010 at 11:05 am  

    There are lots of definitions of ‘multi-culturalism’, some of which I have a real problem with. But at its heart, it means respect and freedom of expression for the individual. All the critiques of multi-culturalism I’ve heard (from Nick Griffin through to Trevor Phillips) have been attacks on that and a demand that ethnic minorities ‘fit in’ better. It would take pretty spectacular philosophical gymnastics to argue that liberals should be on their side.

  16. Sunny — on 27th January, 2010 at 1:27 pm  

    It used to mean someone who believed in the freedom of the individual, rather than someone who believed in group rights

    Heh, first to echo what Kulvinder said above – you people don’t really believe in the rights of individuals to do what they want because the minute you have a bit of diversity then the conspiracy-mongering comes out.

    And secondly, you believe in the freedom of individuals yes? And yet you think it’s ‘classically liberal’ to force immigrants to assimilate, as espoused by Geert Wilders?

    You don’t have a good handle on your own philosophy much do you Ed?

  17. Shahzad Alikhan — on 28th January, 2010 at 10:17 am  

    “Partial ban” seems sensible.

  18. inders — on 30th January, 2010 at 1:50 pm  

    On a semi-related note, the papers are hailing freedom of speech over the John Terry story.

    ‘Bloody human rights’ and ‘pc nonsense’ obviously aren’t the correct terms when its the right of newspapers to spread idle gossip under question.

  19. MiriamBinder — on 31st January, 2010 at 10:14 am  

    @ Shahzad Alikhan # 16 – A partial ban is like a partial pregnancy; neither being very feasible and the sustainability dubious to say the least.

  20. ds cartes — on 8th February, 2010 at 6:24 am  

    I think part of the ban on this method can try.

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