Intolerance of the intolerant 111

Tom Pinney – 1st year History Student at University of York – writes of the UAF’s questionable attack on the thoroughly despicable Nick Griffin, the recently elected BNP leader:

It has been a sad week in British politics. The British people have elected two members of the British National Party (BNP) to European Parliament and I am personally appalled. However, not only am I appalled that just under a million British people voted for a party which has as clearly racist agenda, but also the actions of the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) group.

On Tuesday, while giving a press conference outside Parliament, BNP leader Griffin was pelted with eggs and forced to abandon the event. “Exactly what the leader of a fascist organisation deserves,” I hear you cry. And you would be right; however the reasons the UAF gave for their actions were a little, to say the least, suspect.

In an interview with the BBC, a spokesperson for the UAF claimed that the “[UAF] doesn’t believe in free speech for fascists.” As far as I’m concerned, denying anyone a platform, particularly a democratically elected representative of this country no matter what their views, is abhorrent and is reminiscent of BNP policies themselves. By giving these fascists a platform they will be exposed as the immoral, racist autocrats they are. The UAF’s opposition to freedom of speech is an insult to the population of Britain, who deserve the right to decide what they want to hear and to whom they want to listen.

Attacking these people plays into their hands, turns them into martyrs for their cause and makes them into the victim. As the BBC interviewer pointed out, Nick Griffin advocates non-violence. Now I don’t believe for a second this to be true; however using violence and aggression to push through your opinion is a method best left to be employed by extremists who lack the intelligence to engage their political opponents in open discussion. The only way to beat extremism in all its forms is free speech and an open platform for all. As Nick Griffin is often quoted as saying: “Power is the product of force and will, not of rational debate.” Wouldn’t it be ironic, if these adamant anti-fascists end up becoming their own worst nightmare – forcing their own views down people’s throats, all for the ostensible good of the country.

Posted under Uncategorized by on Thursday, June 11, 2009

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