No Tea For You….Didn’t You Get The Memo?

7 05 2009

Where Free Speech Belongs....According to the UKs Labour Government Anyway.

Where Free Speech Belongs....According to the UK"s Labour Government Anyway.

I am constantly stunned and upset with the movements that are encroaching on Western governments that seek to block or limit free speech that is deemed intolerant or “dangerous.” The most recent episode in pathetic drama that is the modern Western world was the declaration of radio host Michael Savage ,by the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, as one of the “least wanted people in Britain.” The arguments that the Home Secretary makes in defense of her decision is both weak and unfounded. While I am not necessarily a supporter or fan of Mr. Savage, whose real name is Michael Weiner, I do support the universal human right to the freedom of speech, and find Ms. Smith’s actions to not only be deplorable and intolerant, but a larger reflection of the idiocy and fear that has modern Western governments enthralled.

I will agree from the start that the radio host Michael Savage is a controversial figure, and that he makes inflammatory remarks that not only angers many but also offends many more. I disagree with Mr. Savage on many points, both political and personal. While I am no leftist by any means, I do agree that rude and offensive commentary has no spot in the public light, but nonetheless it is his Constitutional right to voice his opinion. My only suggestion to Mr. Savage would be to try and frame his opinions and arguments in a more polite way that can be appreciated and deliberated over by everyone. Regardless of his shortcomings though, I will stand up for his, and any other person’s, right to speak freely as long as they are not directly advocating violence, chaos or public disturbances.

Now by all definitions Mr. Savage has done none of those things. He has angered many, but if they act out on violence that is their fault, not his. Any person who reacts violently to the voiced opinions of another not only highlights their own intolerance but it equally demonstrates their stupidity and childish nature. This stands for everyone, and it is wrong and irresponsible for us or anyone to blame the speaker, especially if we claim to espouse the liberal ideology of the Enlightenment. Indeed it is the fault of those who react to the voices of those they disagree with, as they have the ultimate decision on how they will act in response. This is in no way a claim that any speaker is free from responsibility. The difference is between someone who is voicing their opinion and beliefs, be it rudely or not, and someone who is directly advocating illegal or hateful activity.

Most Westerners would consider the freedom of speech almost sacred (in fact most Europeans probably do consider it sacred considering their views, or lack thereof, on God) and it is a right that humanity has fought so long for and a precious gift to have received. But what of this ban by the United Kingdom on Michael Savage from entering their nation? According to the Home Office, Mr. Savage is not welcome because he is, “considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence.” Mr. Savage may have views that are offensive to some, but I have never heard or seen any claim by Mr. Savage, in which he was, “seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts.” The idea is sheer idiocy, and it shows the problems of the UK’s Labour Government. Yes, his is right wing, and yes, he is outspoken, but he has done nothing illegal. They are in essence punishing him for a crime which he has not committed, but may commit in the future. This situation goes against nearly every basic judicial doctrine of modern Western society, and should be ammended immediately. Of course this also highlights the problem with the UK’s current government as a tyranny of the majority with no oversight, but that is another discussion…

I will concede that Mr. Savage’s arguments and criticisms of the move by the British government have not always been thought through or accurate. A minor point was the he referred to Ms. Smith as the “Home Secretary of England” which of course doesn’t exist as England is just one of the constituent countries that makes up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It was a false statement, but to be honest worse blunders have bene made, and it was an honest mistake. The comments that drew my ire were his claims that he is guaranteed by the United States Constitutions’ 1st Amendment to freedom of speech. Mr. Savage, just so you know, the US Constitution has no jurisdiction in the UK, or anywhere else outside the US for that matter, because it is a legal document for OUR government. It was a stupid argument and a stupid comment for him to make, especially by a man who is so educated (he has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley). It would make more sense for him to appeal to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the United Kingdom as a member of the United Nations is supposedly bound to obey, the European Convention on Human Rights (Which, again, Britain is supposedly bound to obey) and most importantly he should refer to the Human Rights Act that was passed by Parliament in 1998. All guarantee his freedom of speech and expression.

Overall this whole fiasco is indicative of the politically correct ideology that motivates Britain’s Labour Party. If they truly consider themselves to be tolerant and modern, they should not only remove the ban and apologize, but they should also review the standards by which they exclude people from their country. Well, that is all for now, I hope you all enjoy this, and we hope to post more soon. Please of course feel free to leave any snide remarks or sarcastic diatribes as it is probably more entertaining than cable.

Here is the link to the BBC story: