November 13, 2006

Future Prime Minister of Britain calls for criminalizing free speech

Tougher hate law reforms mulled

LONDON (Reuters) - Racial and religious hatred laws may need reform after a court cleared a far-right leader for the second time this year over a speech in which he called Islam a "wicked, vicious faith", ministers said.

Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, was found not guilty on Friday of inciting racial hatred during secretly filmed speeches in 2004.

Two senior ministers said the comments had upset most Britons and British Muslims needed reassurance that the laws would protect them.

"Any preaching of religious or racial hatred will offend mainstream opinion in this country and I think we have got to do whatever we can to root it out," Chancellor Gordon Brown told the BBC.

"If that means that we have to look at the laws again, I think we will have to do so."

Constitutional Affairs Secretary Charles Falconer said the country had to show it would not tolerate attacks on Islam.

"If you say Islam is wicked and evil and there is no consequence from that whatsoever, what is being said to young Muslim people in this country is that we ... are anti-Islam," he told the BBC.

Of the country's 60 million people, some 1.6 million are Muslims...

Griffin maintained throughout the trial that his comments were not racial and were designed to stir his audience to political activity.

Perhaps Tony Blair's presumed successor, Gordon Brown, should shepherd through Parliament an ex post facto law and bill of attainder specifically naming Nick Griffin as going to prison for violating in 2004 the Anti-Free Speech Law of 2007. And why not get rid of trial by jury while he's at it? Who can afford to care about 991 years of English constitutional liberties anymore when 2% of the population is Muslim?

More seriously, Americans should start to re-assess their tourism plans in light of the British Government's desire to criminalize free expression. How much longer can you afford to take the risk of vacationing in Britain when you could be arrested for, say, some comment you posted on somebody's blog? I can't imagine any other kind of arguments than "Tourists are money!" having any impact on getting Brown to rethink killing free speech.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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