Saturday, October 04, 2008

What Part Of "Free Speech" Don't They Understand?

I don't usually like defending Liberal Democrat spokesmen but this headline on the BBC website about Chris Huhne is utterly misleading:
Holocaust denier gets MP backing
Obviously if he backed a Holocaust denier then he would be unfit for office, but of course that is not what he has done, he has simply made it clear that he regards free speech as being for everyone even if you disagree with them.

The story is about the Holocaust denier, Gerald Toben, who has been arrested on an European arrest warrant in order to be extradited to Germany to stand trial for holocaust denial. Whilst I do not approve of Germany's laws regarding Holocaust denial I can understand why they have them, but Toben's didn't go to Germany to spread his lies, he did so online from his website in Australia. It is outrageous that Germany is trying to impose its restrictions on free speech against everyone else.

It goes without saying that the colossal self pity of Toben is hypocritical considering that he is an apologist for a far, far greater level of persecution than this mere inconvenience as this son of a Holocaust survivor wryly notes.


JuliaM said...

It's not often (actually, it's not ever..!) that I've had cause to look favourably on a Lib Dem, but here's such an occasion.

It really concerns me that these kinds of laws on freedom of speech or political affiliation risk drumming up sympathy for the very causes they are (presumably) designed to combat...

Ross said...

Yes, the fact that Austria which also has holocaust denial laws, recently had an election where two very dubious parties got 29% of the vote bears that out.

JuliaM said...

I've just found out the odious little swine (Huhne, not Toben) actually backed the law when it was first introduced.

So the 'occasions I've looked favourably on a Lib Dem' counter has now been reset to zero..