Global Views
   Middle East & Africa
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 English Teaching
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
Should We Limit Freedom of Speech?
Protests Greet Nick Griffin’s Appearance on BBC
By Shane Clarke
London Correspondent
BNT leader Nick Griffin

Protesters gathered outside the BBC television centre in London today to express their anger at BNP leader Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time, the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme. This raises the question – should freedom of speech be limited?

Nick Griffin is the leader of the BNP – British National Party, a far-right wing political party notorious for its racist, fascist standpoint. At the same time, he is a duly-elected MEP representing the BNP, as voted for by the people within his constituency. So, he is a valid, legitimate, member of the European Parliament.

Without a doubt, the BNP’s views are repugnant – morally, ethically, democratically and so on. Their manifesto is one of racial intolerance and somewhat extreme, occasionally nonsensical views. But does this mean we should limit their freedom of expression? Does this mean we should say to the million people in Britain who voted for them, “Hey! Your vote doesn’t count because you voted for the bad people!”?

It is a quandary for everyone who values civil liberties because, on the one hand, we have a party reminiscent of the Nazis, but on the other, can we really seek to deny them the right to express their views simply because we disagree with them? We are quick to condemn the people of Islam for taking offence at cartoons of Allah, shouting that everyone has the right to express themselves and that they shouldn’t be so quick to take offence, and then we turn around and do the same thing. Is it not a little hypocritical?

I have sat and watched protestors and commentators talking about Nick Griffin today, and they have said a lot of sensible things – there is no room in modern society for racism, no one wants a dictatorship, and there is certainly no place in government for a party of fascist thugs. However, I must insert one note of caution at a remark that I have heard over and over today. Commentators and protestors have been telling how our grandfathers fought and died in the Second World War to defeat fascism. WRONG! They fought and died to defeat Hitler. I would remind these people that it was our grandfathers that used to laugh at racist comedians like Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson, who enjoyed racist entertainment programmes like the Black and White Minstrel Show, Til Death Us Do Part, and Love Thy Neighbour. It was our grandfathers who used to marginalise minority employees at work.

It is the modern generation that has really come to grips with the evil that is racism. It is the modern generation’s responsibility to stamp it out in all of its forms. However, should that be done by restricting freedom of speech and people’s civil liberties? I don’t think so.

The only way to defeat the cancer that is far-right extremism is to have people like Nick Griffin appear on programmes like Question Time and expose them for what they are. Let them have their say, and let people see for themselves what small-minded people they are.

Remember the story of Chicken Licken, who thought the sky was falling because an acorn fell on his head. Through word of mouth he convinced all his friends that the sky was falling, but when they saw the reality, they saw the way things really were. Word of mouth had made something seem bigger than it really was, but when people saw it for themselves, they realised how tiny and insignificant the reality was.

Related Articles
    Derek -- Simply Brilliant
    Dara O’Briain -- The Gentleman Comic
    Fear of Flying: My Morbid View of Airline ...
    The Growth of Medical Tourism in the UK
    Funny Boy
    Anger as Carlos Tevez Appears to Refuse to Play
    Shadow Chancellor Outlines Five-Point Plan for ...
    Broken Hearted: What Do You Say?
    President Obama Weighs-in to the Japanese ...
    The Beautiful Game: Memories of When My Team ...
    Shake It, Baby!
    Student Protestors Riot in London
    The Amityville Horror
    The Blitz
    British, US Soldiers to Do Marathon Run for ...
    Horse-trading with People’s Lives
    Is It the Future or Just a Fad?
    The Price of Failure
    You Know He Was British, Don’t You?
    The Drug Problem in United Kingdom
    Capitalism: How Free Does It Really Make Us?
    Rogue Afghan Soldier Kills 3 British Soldiers
    Blair’s Guards’ Expenses under Scrutiny
    Britain’s Hidden Disaster
    Referendum on Electoral Reform to be Announced
    The Mediterranean Diet
    Shame! England, My England!
    To Hell in a Handcart
    It’s Not Easy Being an England Fan
    Cumbrian Gunman Kills 12
    Rooney Is Greatest Player World Has Ever Seen
    Video Games: PC Vs. PS
    More Injury Woes for England
    England Team Banned from Using Twitter during ...
    Gareth Barry in Race to Prove Fitness
    Forgotten Couple Still in Hands of Somali ...
    England 3 – 1 Mexico
    England Captain, Ferdinand, Expresses Concern ...
    President Obama Looking for Spending Cuts
    British Airways Obtains an Injunction to ...
    Hedgehogs and Plumbers
    Britain Has a Hung Parliament
    Is It Being Destroyed by Too Much Money?
    Video Games: A Community Divided
    Video Games: They’ve Come a Long Way
    Gordon Brown Forced to Apologise over ...
    Why British Monarchy Is the Best in World
    How Many Wives Did Henry VIII Have?
    Annual Leave? I’d Rather Stay, If That"s All ...
    Plea of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s War Crime Victim
    The Family Way — Divorce
    UK Flights Grounded by Volcanic Ash
    Deadly Italian Train Crash Kills 6
    The Rise of Nationalism in Britain
    When America Sneezes the World Gets a Cold
    Oil Companies Continue to Rape Planet for ...
    Snow in Spring Brings Chaos to Parts of the UK
    Bureaucracy Strikes Again
    Darling Targets Election Victory with Safe ...
    The Child Bride Problem Is Still Alive and Well
    Terrified Emergency Call of a Woman Whose Car ...
    Achilles Tendon Injury Ends World Cup Dream
    CSR – Genuine Principle or Marketing ...
    Continuing Turbulence at British Airways
    Teenager's Murder Highlights Dangers of ...
    UK Election Juggernaut Begins to Roll
    War Families Anger at MoD Bonuses
    Cameron under Pressure over Lisbon Treaty
    Resignations Follow the Sacking of ...
    Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
    Tony Blair Ready to Stand for EU Presidency ...
    Debates Continue as Queen Weighs in to Row ...
    21 Environment Protesters Arrested in England
    The British Government Passes the Buck Again
    Everything Must Go As British Government Sells ...
    Boyzone Star Stephen Gately Dies
    Is David Cameron Even Capable of Honest ...
    The Tragedy of "Heaven's" Child Brides
    Elite – The UK’s Higher Education System
    Why Can’t I Hate Barack Obama?
    The UNCRC – The Convention That Dare Not ...
    The Tragedy of Child Brides

Shane Clarke serves as London Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He has been involved in humanitarian work for numerous years. He’s also a freelance management consultant. Having completed an honors degree in Law at Wolverhampton University, he then moved on to an MBA at Warwick Business School. He’s heavily involved in the fight against international parental child abduction to Japan.






The Seoul Times Shinheungro 25-gil 2-6 Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange