One of my photos

Griffin and Irving in Oxford

November 28th, 2007 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 2 Comments · Politics

I suspect I am out of line with most of the UAF, and with Antonia, but I am not in favour of the attempts to prevent David Irving and Nick Griffin speak at the Oxford Union. 

It would have been far better if the idiots there had not invited them along in the first place, but once they had been invited I think they will have got a lot more publicity out of the attempts to prevent them than they could ever get from anything they would say.  They could have said the most objectionable and offensive things in the debate (and I'm sure they did) but they would only have been heard by a handful of people, and hardly reported at all.

Instead they have been given the one thing they enjoy more than publicity on its own: martydom and publicity.

I know the argument that the BNP will now put in their literature "we must be a proper mainstream party because we were invited to speak at the Oxford Union" but once invited they could have put that in even if the invitation was cancelled – and they could have then enjoyed the irony of being denied the right to speak in a debate on free speech.

So although the best thing would be for them to have not been invited (there was no need for them to have been invited was there?) once that happened all the protests were just playing into their hands.

I would have let them speak for two reasons: firstly the Voltaire "I disagree with what you say" reason, and secondly because there is every chance of them letting their wonky mask of respectability slip and saying something so awful it would be worth a dozen sets of UAF leaflets.

Having said that… thumbs up to Dr Julian Lewis for being a Tory MP with a conscience. 

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Ash

    This just shows what sort of people join outfits like the UAF – any organisation that believes in using violence to silence dissenting views surely has no place in modern society

  • Danivon

    I don’t think that the UAF as an organisation does believe violence. I certainly don’t think that it’s an appropriate way to deal with fascists.

    Skuds, the problem was that Irving and Griffen appear to have been given a relatively easy ride by the students at the debate, and so it wasn’t really a way to repudiate their views either.