On the one hand you can quite legitimately want to protect free speech and defend the rights of someone to talk, talk in public, be invited to talk in public, invite someone to talk in public etc.
On the other hand this has nothing to do with thinking or not thinking that some people are odious dick heads and so should not be given a privileged platform from which to present their views.
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Provided, of course, that you protest about said dickheads in a peaceful although not necessarily quiet manner, then this is all part of free speech in the first place.
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OK, I have calmed down a bit now. Most of the items I have seen in the press seem to mix these two things together with a twist of emotion and a pinch of prejudice and either want free speech curtailing for the talkers, the inviters or the protesters.
They all seem to ignore the possibility that everything is fine and this is in fact a sign of a healthy democracy.
These events have shown that we do have rights in this country;
- The right to invite odious dickheads to talk in a venue which gives them far more recognition and prestige than they deserve.
- The right to be an odious dickhead and say what you think.
- The right to protest vociferously about the two items above
Yes I am talking about the holocaust denier and the would be Nazi.
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We had a BNP candidate round here for our last local elections. I enjoyed pointing out that my grandad fought against people like them in WW2.
I also spotted one of them at the polling booth and managed to point at the ground near his feet and say, "oh look at that", when he said "what?", I said, "you dropped your swastika".
Laugh? I chuckled all the way home.