Discussion of other UK political parties
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
#265289
I really don't get the whole twitter thing, so read my comments in that context.
I'll address the general case of public social media.

I'm not in favour of a legally imposed ban unless he breaks a law like incitement (I don't know whether he did in this case).

Social media being a commercial thing will have its own set of rules that users need to abide by, and they need to be seen to enforce that without favour.
If not, they are failing in their aim to provide a safe and fair service.

Aside from law and user agreement, I'm in favour of letting Griffin spew hot air, and taking him on at every turn.
He's nothing like as clever as he thinks he is, comes over badly in speech and writing, and is relatively simple to argue against.
There are far more people against him than for him, and we ought to be able to drown his bullshit at every turn.
He's not good in public forums and either chokes or disappears when challenged robustly (See Question Time).
His only card is imagined martyrdom (of himself, and those whose causes he slipstreams),
Deny him that and he comes across as a loon who sees marxists and liberals round every corner.
He harks back to an imaginary age when bastards like him could be bastards - but with a fraction of the credibility of even Hitchens Jr.

I'd like to let him post and destroy every argument he posts.
He's crap and the more people who witness it the better.
#265295
I agree with George and Bones. Freedom of Speech is far to valuable a freedom for everyone else in the world for an arsehole like the ignoramus Griffin to be able to destroy.
That doesn't mean he can be ignored, though. And I agree with not providing a platform for fascism. Somebody else can do that.
#265308
My opinion is that freedom of speech is of course a great thing and something we are all entitled to regardless of our political beliefs. I am not condoning the banning of free speech now, nor would I ever in the future, no matter what kind of appalling statements I might one day hear.

What is not acceptable however (as is recognised by law), is the public posting of comments meant to incite hatred or violent action against others.

Just because Griffin did not directly say "Go and show these gays what we think of them, kick their arses", doesn't mean that it is not clearly implied. As has been discussed previously, Griffing is no stupid man in that sense, he knows all to well that even if such things were once a legal grey area due to the relative infancy of the internet as a method of communication, they are not so clouded now.

Thongs have changed, and as more cases of internet-orchestrated violence and bullying cases come to light, the more the law has had to change to prevent the abuse of the technology (the laws are not perfect and catching the anonymous is still difficult - but the difference now is that hard to police or not, certain public online behaviours are now recognised as crimes). Never -except perhaps in a moment of rage induced madness or accidentally letting his guard down- will he ever shoot straight and and ask his followers to demonstrate his and their feelings about those they feel are different, dangerous or unpatriotic in so many ways only they see. Just as the medium uses leading questions to make his subject tell him what he wants to know without having to ask outright, the ring leader of this violently intolerant party makes a comment to achieve what he wants, but in a way that he hopes will not be detected by those looking on. He drips poison in the ears of his party members, slowly converting them to his way of thinking.

Ask yourselves, if the comment was not meant to intimidate or instil fear in who it was aimed at...what was it for? What other, decent purpose could you find for such a comment? What innocent interpretation could there be that we have all misunderstood?
We have all seen the tweet in question. What is clear from the comment is that he was at the very least intending to cause great distress for the couple by making what cannot possibly be seen as anything other than a homophobic statement - regardless of what else he said there was obvious homophobic overtones even without the rest. This alone is wrong, as seen by the law of this country regardless of what he says now.

At worst, he was encouraging his followers and BNP supporters to show themselves at the couple's home - if not to cause great fear and distress at the very least - then as I say, to do what?

We all know his thoughts on gay rights, and gay relationships - particularly in relation to gay marriage. Even if this comment had come at another time when there was not such a high profile discrimination case in the news and he was saying it for some other unfathomable reason connected to nothing, what would be his intention? But the fact is he said it now, in light of this case fought by people from a social group he has no respect for, and this cannot be overlooked.

Taking this into account, and the nature of his subtle sonar call to his supporters, just what do people think would have happened if they had gone there? Call me psychic, but there is no doubt in my mind at least, that something bad would have happened if anyone had followed through with Griffin's request to go to the couple's home. He cannot pretend it was not what it seems either, for the exact same reason - what did he think was likely to happen if you sent a group of hyped up right-wing gay haters to the home of an openly gay couple who have just won a case against a supposed decent christian husband and wife? They weren't going to give them flowers and offer to open up some friendly discussion about inequality and how to bring about understanding between two well-opposing groups - hardline christians and the lesbian and gay community, and it is foolish to think he was not aware of how the comment would read and how it could be interpreted...it was not even that subtle. Which ever way he did it -be it an open call to his supporters or the more round about one he made this time- the outcome would have been the same - whether he genuinely approached some of his supporters and organised a group to go there, or if he didn't and it was a lie, he knew what it meant as a statement towards this couple, and how some of his more knuckle dragging friends would interpret it.

Griffin never denied tweeting the address, or that he thought he was right to do it for the obviously fake reasons he gave. Yet when questioned if he would do it again with the address of the judge who resided over the case, he was not so clear and assured. He weaseled around the question saying yes if he had the address, implied however that he wouldn't be looking for it, and so on and so on. If he was truly convinced of his democratic right to do what he did in the name of his freedom of speech, if he was so sure he was right, he would have had no trouble defending his actions or answering questions about them. IN the scenario presented to him he clearly knew publicly releasing the address of a judge would land him in very dangerous waters, he would never go that far against someone in such a position of power who he knows understands the law inside out. He can make the distinction between a target that it is relatively safe for him to distantly attack via his minions, and one that is bigger and more powerful than him and can fight back. Those are the actions of a bully, no matter how you slice it.

He can hold whatever opinion he likes about gay people, even if the majority of people thankfully no longer agree with him in this day and age. He can come right out and all over facebook say he hates fags for all I care, I would hate him for it but he can by all means say it. He says awful things all the time, online and in videos secretly filmed and posted on Youtube, yet never before has there been such a public calling for him to be banned from any form of social media...because in those cases like that it was just him spouting his opinion, and if that was all it was now, the reaction today would be no different - people hate him but have to let him speak. This is not one of those occasions.
There is a massive difference between saying you hate a group of people, and saying you will send a group of your supporters around to where some of them live. What he did was so clearly not him just stating his opinion, and personally, I think only a fool could look at that tweet and not see the difference.


I think sometimes people are too afraid of the whole freedom of speech debate to deal with some people who are clearly abusing the privilege - been as they are, too afraid of coming across as anything less than a hundred percent liberal and democratic. But as I have said before, with rights come responsibilities, and even the most democratic amongst us has never argued against the need for laws and respect.
There is sometimes a knee-jerk reaction to any comment hinting that a particular person should be punished for saying something that is seen by many as inciting (something that is far more objective than outright racist, or homophobic, as though it is that hard to distinguish between incitement and opinion - yes it can be, but more often than not, it isn't). It is almost as if the feeding of false stories of oppression of the masses to speak openly any more (made by Griffin and those like him) have worked their way into the minds of everyone - even those normally wise to him and fervently against him. It is very strange.
As if there is truly a knock on effect in which the taking down of one person would lead to the removal of such rights from everyone. Ludicrous. Absolutely ludicrous. The fact that we are allowed to have kitchen knives in our homes doesn't mean we are allowed to go out into the street and stab whoever we don't like, and if someone who did were arrested and put in jail, no one would cry against it and say that soon the government will be banning us from owning kitchen knives. No matter what the laws are - even if they are very hardline- those who do not wish to cause harm, those to whom it would never even occur to say something harmful or which would incite violence, those people would have no reason to worry because they will never say anything to break those rules. In my experience, the reason people like Griffin spout on and on about how our freedom of speech is in danger, do so because they know what they are saying is wrong and dreadful, and fear the punishment they would receive for saying the things they do.

I never have, nor ever would be, against free speech - nor was that my reason for putting the petition up. But I am against the obvious incitement to intimidation that was demonstrated in Nick Griffin's comment -as (need I remind people), are our current laws. That, is what he should be banned for, and if he ever were to be the fact that this is the reason should be made very VERY clear - so as not to add fuel to their arguments (which he would use anyway as we know, no matter what the outcome the fact that some people would use certain situations to their own advantage for vile purpose should not stop people from doing the right thing).

Do not confuse taking steps to preventing people from coming to harm or suffering abuse with the desire to stop all of society from openly expressing their thoughts.
#265315
It should be added that absolute freedom of expression does not and never has existed under English or Scottish law. Those going on about it usually mean "licence to say (or do) whatever one likes", and essentially have seen one too many American films.

If we had freedom of expression, places such as Speakers Corner would be redundant. And we'd not hear so much about libel law and superinjunctions.

When you join Twitter or Facebook, you're joining a club. A very big club with no clubhouse, but a club nonetheless, with rules and membership criteria (that are skipped over so often that it's become a bit of a joke in itself). Break those rules and get chucked out. Another example of the disconnect from reality people seem to suffer when dealing with the Internet.
#265364
Yes. Twitter has no public service remit. It can ban whoever it likes. It needs to show it's a safe space for gays and lesbians — not to mention ethnic minorities and Griffin's other bogey people. By publishing this couple's address, Griffin is trying to intimidate all gay people, reminding them of the 'risks' of talking openly about their sexuality or actively defending their rights. That threat is what stops people coming out in the first place. Twitter is complicit in that, and also — by restoring his account — in whatever effects Griffin's next stunt has on the people he hates.
Projective Unity wrote:I'm not in favour of banning - all it would do is feed their martyr complex. I say let them have a platform whether it's online or BBC or whatever, as they usually show themselves to be the absolute morons they are.
The Le Pen experience doesn't support this argument. What happened is that Le Pen was allowed to spout his agenda all over the telly and the newspapers, yet his martyr complex remained in tact — he was simply able to find a new audience. His sob story was that, although he was invited onto every platform available, he was treated more aggressively than the established parties by interviewers and audiences.

There's not much danger of Griffin or Tommy Robinson exploiting the media successfully because they're rubbish and their followers are meatheads. The Le Pens are not rubbish. They're very articulate and media-friendly. Commercial news organisations loved Le Pen père because he guaranteed good telly / copy. He could sprinkle his simplistic, commonsense opinions with provocative turns of phrase that made instant soundbites. Whenever attention started to drift, he'd say something deliberately 'outrageous' (about the holocaust, say, or the 'race industry') which would get him a day in court (more headlines, more martyrdom).

The only way to shut him up was to deny him a platform. The journalist Anne Sinclair — now best-known as Mrs DSK — decided not to talk to him in the aftermath of one of his holocaust 'jokes'. The programme instead showed a couple of minutes of Le Pen sitting in an empty studio, waiting to be interviewed, desperately making quips to the unmanned camera. The programme makers got fined for it, but it damaged Le Pen's reputation and boosted Sinclair's.

This is harder to do in the age of social media. But as I discovered yesterday, there isn't even a way of making a complaint to Youtube when it offers up BNP propaganda as one of its 'featured videos'. Apparently youtube is staffed by a handful of people; most of its editorial decisions are automated and dependent on users flagging up what is unsuitable — an extreme example of 'self-regulation'. That leaves no room for independent ethical judgement other than 'this might get us sued'. It also allows incidents of the kind beloved by the Daily Mail, where something 'controversial' gets put up and then taken down, causing fury on all sides (and publicity for the wronged party). A responsible media organisation would not publish it in the first place.
#265379
ezinra wrote:It needs to show it's a safe space for gays and lesbians — not to mention ethnic minorities and Griffin's other bogey people. By publishing this couple's address, Griffin is trying to intimidate all gay people, reminding them of the 'risks' of talking openly about their sexuality or actively defending their rights. That threat is what stops people coming out in the first place. Twitter is complicit in that, and also — by restoring his account — in whatever effects Griffin's next stunt has on the people he hates.
There are two separate issues which I think you are in danger of conflating.
Firstly is the right of the leader of a legal political party to broadcast his views.
Second is the specific case of Griffin's Tweet which looks mightily like incitement to me.

On the first issue, I'm not in favour of denying a legal political party freedom of speech because without it they are powerless and effectively we are banning the party themselves. I don't want to live in a country which does that however repugnant I personally find that party. Quite apart from the principle, there's also the thin end of the wedge argument, if we accept, on principle, that parties can be proscribed because the majority find their views offensive then sooner or later that principle will be used against a party or organisation which I support.
On the second issue, if what Griffin has said is determined by a court of law to have been incitement and therefore illegal then he should be punished in a manner deemed appropriate by that court.

I don't know the detail of Le Pen's case. But from what you've said it sounds as if he did nothing illegal and simply played a very canny game - it seems that he was simply a more effective and persuasive politician than some of his opponents - and he consequently won. France is a democracy and if French people are (in my view) stupid enough to vote for a Nazi, then (provided Le Pen did nothing illegal) that is their choice and on their heads be it. The answer is not to ban Le Pen from the media, but to take him on and defeat his arguments. It seems to me that to ban him because 'you' failed to beat him defies democratic principle.
ezinra wrote: there isn't even a way of making a complaint to Youtube when it offers up BNP propaganda as one of its 'featured videos'. Apparently youtube is staffed by a handful of people; most of its editorial decisions are automated and dependent on users flagging up what is unsuitable — an extreme example of 'self-regulation'. That leaves no room for independent ethical judgement other than 'this might get us sued'. It also allows incidents of the kind beloved by the Daily Mail, where something 'controversial' gets put up and then taken down, causing fury on all sides (and publicity for the wronged party). A responsible media organisation would not publish it in the first place.
At the time of the Norway shootings I was looking at videos about Brevik etc on youtube and I stumbled upon The Internationale sung in Norwegian. I was quite moved by it in the context of the shootings. I copied it on to my channel with a note of my thoughts on the shootings and there it sat for about a year, gaining very few views and no comments. Then out the blue a comment appeared calling me a "Commie cunt" from someone with a far-right tag (14/88 was included). The next day I got a warning from youtube that I had breached their guidelines by uploading "offensive and/or illegal material" and that any repetition would result in a "ban and/or prosecution".
So it's pretty obvious to me that one compliant is all it takes to get something removed.

I note that the video is still on youtube in it's original location.
#265389
oboogie wrote: Firstly is the right of the leader of a legal political party to broadcast his views.
He has the right to shout his views as much as he likes, unless they're illegal. He has no right to be able to use youtube or twitter or anything like that.
#265402
Nick Griffin can fucking roll up a newpaper into a cone and shout down it on a street corner.

Nobody is under any obligation to help him, certainly not privately owned entities like twitter. Free speech doesn't mean newspapers have to publish letters or report meetings.

Personally I still think "No free speech for fascists". It's worked up till now so chase him off and/or punch him in the face, by all means. It's against the law but there's a higher moral authority than the law sometimes (and if it's a bloke with a beard, his first name's Leon).
#265444
lord_kobel wrote:
oboogie wrote: Firstly is the right of the leader of a legal political party to broadcast his views.
He has the right to shout his views as much as he likes, unless they're illegal.
Which is what I just said.
lord_kobel wrote:He has no right to be able to use youtube or twitter or anything like that.
No. Nobody does. But I'm not in favour of a private company deciding which political views I can access however.
Would you support youtube or twitter banning Hope Not Hate or Occupy?
#265468
lord_kobel wrote:
oboogie wrote: Firstly is the right of the leader of a legal political party to broadcast his views.
He has the right to shout his views as much as he likes, unless they're illegal. He has no right to be able to use youtube or twitter or anything like that.
I agree. There is a big difference between preaching your hatred to your supporters (who let's face it are unlikely to take offence) and making offensive comments to people who have not caused you any personal harm, with the intent to cause fear or retaliation.

How can anyone think that those who oppose Griffin's agressive behaviour are in favour of him having his rights to speak at all taken away? What he says in the company of his fellow party members is his business - it's if he chooses to make threats or violent comments towards those who have done nothing to draw such attention, that he is abusing his position and going too far.

Anyone can ignore the idiot on the street corner, or the polititian whose views they don't agree with. It is when they take their madness or bigotry to a person's door that they need to be stopped.
#265472
shyamz wrote:
lord_kobel wrote:
oboogie wrote: Firstly is the right of the leader of a legal political party to broadcast his views.
He has the right to shout his views as much as he likes, unless they're illegal. He has no right to be able to use youtube or twitter or anything like that.
I agree. There is a big difference between preaching your hatred to your supporters (who let's face it are unlikely to take offence) and making offensive comments to people who have not caused you any personal harm, with the intent to cause fear or retaliation.

How can anyone think that those who oppose Griffin's agressive behaviour are in favour of him having his rights to speak at all taken away? What he says in the company of his fellow party members is his business - it's if he chooses to make threats or violent comments towards those who have done nothing to draw such attention, that he is abusing his position and going too far.

Anyone can ignore the idiot on the street corner, or the polititian whose views they don't agree with. It is when they take their madness or bigotry to a person's door that they need to be stopped.
Exactly.
Has anyone said anything different?
#265481
Kreuzberger wrote:I can't see why everyone is getting so heated. It's only Twitter, it's not as if he had scrawled on an old T-shirt and paraded around a provincial town on a damp Tuesday morning.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Seriously, people are getting over-heated because they're allowing their hatred of the BNP to override their rationality, plus a good old dose of that fine Mailwatch tradition of not reading posts properly before replying to them.
Meanwhile in America

If they think Hispanic people are sneaking in vi[…]

Jeremy Corbyn.

https://twitter.com/cpbritain/status/1089943526857[…]

Toby Young

And I bet the Spectator has got a huge readership […]

Chris Grayling

One of the companies which monitors offenders as[…]