It was perhaps inevitable, when you note the wilful and lazy un
derreporting by Britain’s mainstream media of issues pertaining to radical Islam, that when a vocal critic came along, people’s first instincts would be to call him a “racist” and seek to curtail their own rights of free speech in response. Turkeys voting for Christmas. Cutting off your nose to spite your face. Choose whatever idiom you want… if the shoe fits… ahem.
So when Suzanne Kelly – a long-standing anti-Trump campaigner in Scotland – started a parliamentary petition, the media seized on it, failing to report that a) it was NOT in response to his comments about a moratorium on Muslim immigration to the U.S. and b) it was actually started BEFORE he even said anything of the sort.
It was one socialist, who has been “investigating Trump’s activities and the objections of local residents to his golfing development for several years” who inadvertently triggered tonight’s parliamentary committee debate on effectively banning people from saying anything even remotely critical of Islam. It accidentally turned from a socialist crusade against property rights, to a socialist crusade in favour of an Islamic blasphemy law in Britain.
Don’t worry – today’s debate isn’t binding. Nor is it in the House of Commons chamber. But if you were to turn Sky News on this morning, you’d think there was a key government vote on the matter. Of course, it has been seized upon by Muslim Members of Parliament.
But if Mr. Trump has to be banned from Britain, then who else? Well, a significant number of Britons, really, who believe, as Saxony’s Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich has said this weekend, that the West has “too little experience with Islam” and that inward migration should be curbed.
And what about Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has said that “Islam has never been a part of Europe” or Slovakia’s premier Robert Fico, who has said that Muslims are “impossible to integrate”? Do we ban these people too?
Do we ban ex-Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Do we ban people like Sohail Ahmed, a self-professed former radical who has since left Islam? Or is the British reaction to Donald Trump’s comments – for that is what most thought they were signing the petition about – reserved for white American men?
Whatever the motivation – and whatever your answer to the questions posed above, it is surely obvious at this point that British democracy is in a very sorry state.
And we could talk about why until we’re blue in the face: self-censorship, post-colonial guilt, media indoctrination, the liberal monopoly on public life… the reasons are endless. Why waste the time?
Instead I suggest we become far more robust in our language. Far more robust in asserting our birthrights. And far more robust in rejecting the attempts at manipulation of our nation state.
Yes, a lot of our efforts this year should go to fighting a European referendum so that we may reassert ourselves on the world stage again. But don’t forget, once parliament is sovereign again, it will be a parliament that we have packed with soft-fascists. Those who want to tell us what to eat, drink, smoke, and think. And those who will today be discussing what amount of free speech should get you banned from this country.
It is this, coupled with the long-standing liberal monopoly of the press and our television channels that we have to think about fighting next. Otherwise what is the point in being a sovereign nation?
Whether or not you agree with me about Donald Trump – you surely believe that it is time for radical change in this country. And that starts with refusing to vote for the same old parties, buying the same old newspapers, and watching the same old TV channels. Turn it off.