Sunday, 14 March 2010

Is it time to unite against Unite Against Fascism?

If there is a group of people more deplorable than the BNP, it must be Unite Against Fascism. Not only do they espouse gross hypocrisy, but they do so with a sense of moral superiority and a view that what they do is for the benefit of everyone else. Whilst I have no problem with groups who try to counter the British National Party - it's rather good for people to try to reveal the dirty underbelly of the party that they'd rather hide - I do resent the UAF idiots trying to silence the party and it supporters. Whilst they claim the BNP are fascist, they  say that they should not be allowed to air their beliefs - "No platform for fascists/racists" seems to be a rather common belief amongst the group. Oh, and "Nazi scum, off our streets." I'm sure if they had their way, the party wouldn't be able to even speak about its policies or take part in debates.

[caption id="attachment_63" align="alignright" width="300" caption="UAF campaigned against freedom of speech by trying to prevent Griffin being allowed on Question Time"][/caption]

I do hope that the UAF will forgive me for proposing such radical idea: 'People are able to make up their own minds.' Now, now, calm down - put down your banners for moment and let me finish. Unlike the UAF, I believe in freedom of speech, providing that someone is not calling for death or violence, they have every right to openly express their opinion, no matter how shocking and vile you and I may find it. On the subject of vile, I found the reaction and subsequent protests to the BBC's decision to let Nick Griffin onto question time last year particularly vile, from their website: "Unite Against Fascism condemns the BBC for extending an invitation to a Nazi. We are calling a demonstration outside Question Time at the BBC's Wood Lane centre to show our opposition to Griffin and the shameful decision to grant him a platform." I don't believe it's up to the UAF or any other organisation to dictate who the public is allowed to hear speak - for the group to try to prevent someone appearing on the programme and giving their opinion and viewpoint is authoritarian goes against everything they claim to stand for. If UAF truly believes in tolerance, then all opinions should be tolerated - not just the ones they agree with. By all means, get out there and challenge the BNP's policies and past, but when you try to silence them, not only do you show that you believe certain people shouldn't be able to speak publically, but you are also trying to deny the entire British public  hearing an opinion simply because you disagree with it. I find that disgusting - more disgusting than the BNP.

I think it's also important to point out that UAF also has members who consider themselves to be on the far left politically - the groups has links to the Socialist Workers Party -  nothing wrong with that; it's their right to do so - but I can't help but get the feeling that some of them are only out on the street  because they feel that it's a case of far Left vs far Right, rather than an actual desire to expose the BNP. It's not like they're all peace-loving, liberal hippies either; there have been known instances of violence and attacks from UAF protesters, and altercations between BNP or National Front protesters and UAF protesters. Even a UAF propaganda machine stated on the British Democracy forum that "...the attacks from UAF members on BNP members are justified. This is because for years the BNP and NF have been unjustly attacking immigrant groups, so now they get a taste of their own medicine." [Link]

The unwillingness of the group to accept any other opinion is also seen in this news article. "Anti-fascists are calling on David Cameron and the Conservative Party to discipline Norman Tebbit for claiming that the British National Party (BNP) is not an extreme right party and is left wing, in his letter published in the Telegraph today. Anti-fascists say that the BNP is a fascist organisation and his comments could lead to the BNP being perceived as a legitimate political party." They were calling for a politician to to be "Disciplined" for daring to have an opinion different to their own - very tolerant of them. Whilst I'm at it, what Tebbit actually said made perfect sense: that the BNP are a fascist and racist organisation, but in terms of economics, they are firmly on the left. (More info here and here.)

What's brought this on, you may ponder. The other day I discovered a new UAF campaign to silence those who they disagree with - they now want to control Facebook. asks us to sign a petition to have the administrators of remove the BNP's pages from Facebook and to "Terminate the accounts promoting the fascist British National Party."  Not content with trying to prevent us hearing the BNP on the TV, or even letting them outside to speak, they'd also like to censor the party on the Internet. So much for freedom of speech, eh?

Isn't it time that Unite Against Fascism changed their name to Unite Against the BNP, because, from where I stand, they're acting a pretty fascist way by trying to silence those they disagree with.

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