Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chris Huhne: what a complete hoon

Chris Huhne: "don't listen to me. Seriously. I'm a total cunt."


Chris Huhne's snippet (it's not really an article) in The Independent has caused an outpouring of contempt amongst my libertarian colleagues not seen since Gordon Brown last opened his fat, droppy gob.
Freedom of speech is our most precious freedom of all, because all the other freedoms depend on it.

OK, so freedom of speech is pretty fucking essential, Chris. Yes, I agree. And because "all other freedoms depend on it" that means that when you suspend free speech, you suspend all other freedoms, yes?

What with you being a Liberal Democrat an' all, you would never advocate suspending our freedoms, would you? Oh...
The decision to stop people from exercising this fundamental right must never be taken lightly.

Um... So, it's bad to suspend freedom of speech, except when it isn't...
Neither should a decision to ban people from visiting this country. As a result, I have in the past defended people with some particularly odious views, such as the recent case of the Australian Holocaust denier Dr Frederick Toben.

OK... Chris Huhne is deploying an argument similar to that of the guy who claims that "many of my best friends are black": you wonder what bigotry you are about to be subjected to.

So, what turd is Huhne about to drop into our laps? Ooh, can you guess...?
In a civilised society, however, there has to be a dividing line between the right to freedom of speech and when it topples over into incitement to hatred and violence.

No, there isn't. Look, Huhne, you utter fucknuts, either you have freedom of speech or you don't; and "freedom" means the freedom of people to say things that you don't agree with.

If someone says something that you don't like, well, tough. If someone then goes and beats someone up, that is when you prosecute. Do you understand this, you tit?

Obviously not. And obviously, the freedom of speech that Huhne claims "is our most precious freedom of all" is not freedom of speech as I understand it. As I understand it, freedom of speech means the freedom to say anything; to Huhne, it does not.
In my opinion, Geert Wilders' revolting film Fitna crosses this line, as its shocking images of violence and emotional appeals to anti-Islamic feeling risk causing serious harm to others.

"In your opinion..."? Fuck your opinion, you cunt; why the fuck is your opinion any more important than mine, fuckface?

If it was my opinion that everyone over the age of 16 should be made to take Ecstasy, would you accept that? No. So why the fuck should I rate your opinion?

This is, quite simply, Cuntface Huhne using the law to enforce his personal opinion. Just like all of the other politicos do. Fuck you all, you cunts.

Ach, the man bores me: go and read The Nameless Libertarian for a more extensive and clinical filleting of this wanker.

UPDATE: on this subject, Bishop Hill points out that excluding Wilders was probably unlawful (see here, here and here), and then wonders if Liberty (the pressure group) is a complete waste of time, space and money ("yes" is the answer) and whether, at the very least, the humourless Shami Chakrabarti should resign.
David Davis is a politician and has presumably made a political calculation that he has little to gain from speaking out in favour of Wilders' coming to the UK, and a great deal to lose in terms of his future career (we assume that he will eventually seek high office again). We expect little else from politicians and can write off the LibDems on the same grounds.

Chakrabarti has no such excuse. She is the head of Liberty, a body that exists solely to speak out in favour of civil liberties. She has failed miserably to do so. Her silence over Wilders is not unprecedented either. She has made it abundantly clear that she doesn't feel that freedom of speech extends to nasty people; her words on Question Time last week can have left nobody in any doubt about that. She also has previous form on the "disappearing act" she has performed in the last few days, notably when Liberty maintained a determined radio silence over the Sikh play Bezhti.

Chakrabarti has demonstrated over the years that she will not stand up for those whose views she deems unacceptable. She will not defend unpleasant views. She will not speak out for unpleasant people. She hates racists so much that she will allow fundamental British freedoms to be trampled underfoot in order allow these views she detests so much to be crushed, regardless of the importance of the freedoms that are lost with them, and regardless of the duties entailed in her position.

What is the point of the woman?

There is no point to her: she should resign and take her smug face and charisma-bypass back into the obscurity from which she has somehow managed to struggle. But she won't resign as president of Liberty because, as far as I can make out, Liberty exists solely to provide Shami Chakrabarti with a salary.

Shami is a fucking twat. And Davis can get to fuck too. The both of them are fair-weather civil liberties campaigners, just out for what they can get out of it, i.e. personal fame and wealth.

Fuck 'em, and Chakrabarti especially: at least Davis has a sense of humour...

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

If someone says "Come on, guys! Let's go out and kill a bunch of Jews/Muslims/whatever!", that's not covered by freedom of speech because it's an incitement to crime.

If someone says "You guys should go out and kill a bunch of Jews/Muslims/whatever!", that's not covered by freedom of speech because it's also an incitement to crime.

When someone says "I don't like Jews/Muslims/whatever and I wish they didn't live in this country," that *is* a freedom of speech issue.

When someone uses words you don't like - words like "nigger", "yid", "kike", "darkie" or, as the case may be, "golliwog" - that too is a freedom of speech issue.

A society's commitment to the most basic of all civil liberties - the right to speek freely - cannot be measured, as fucktards and spastics like Huhne would measure it, by its commitment to popular opinions. You measure a society's commitment to liberty by its willingness to protect unpopular speech and ugly opinions, by its willingness to tolerate and protect people whose thoughts on all kinds of issues, including race and gender and religion, are anathema to mainstream.

Freedom of speech is when you have black policemen protecting a Ku Klux Klan rally from angry protestors. Freedom of speech something we have stopped recognising in this country because we're far too worried about sparing the feelings of people whose skin isn't white or who are stupid enough to still waster their time worshipping a sky fairy.

My right to freedom of speech has been murdered by your right to freedom from offence.

Tristan said...

The good news is that it seems like many many LibDems disagree with Huhne.

The bad news is that like Anonymous they mostly think that 'incitement to crime' should be banned.

Freedom of Speech is absolute or it does not exist. If I suggest people go out and commit a crime, I may be stupid, but I cannot be held responsible for crimes committed by others if I suggest it to them, they chose to do it...

Old Holborn said...

I can't wait for the banning of the "right to offend"

If I thought I was busy now, wait till then.

Dennis said...

What more can one say about a man who intones words to the effect of: "I believe in the primacy of the freedom of speech, BUT ..."?

Any of the choicer expressions you have used will do nicely for me.

Gavin Ayling said...

Incidentally, Fitna in and of itself doesn't appear to contain any hateful material. It is one-sided, certainly, but (and I only watched about half of it) it appears only to contain passages from the Qu'ran translated into English plus videos of extremists, their victims and their speeches.

The message, clearly, is that the Qu'ran when taken literally, defends the actions of the extremists. Not only is this not news, it is true of all semetic religions.

I don't know what else Wilders thinks, but this video at least does not appear to be hateful, nor does it appear to contain any lies -- rather it appears to attempt to reinforce potentially incorrect stereotypes in a dishonest way.

But all that is moot. So long as he is not telling someone to commit a crime (he's not) then he is taking advantage of freedom of speech.

Now I shall incite you to violence (should I be punished?):
Sheep have no souls and so can be eaten; sheep are tasty when cooked.

Marc Sheffner said...

"In a civilised society, however, there has to be a dividing line between the right to freedom of speech and when it topples over into incitement to hatred and violence."
Translation: "Someone has to decide for you plebs/subjects when to apply freedom of speech and when not to. That 'someone' will be one of your elders and betters. Natch."

Sigh. So a politician reveals the fact that he goes by public opinion, not principles. Jeez. What else is new?

CountingCats said...

Devil,

Thanks for this. I started to do a post on this over the weekend but while I was transcribing Huhnes words I reached such depths of depression that I just couldn't continue.

Liberal fucking democrat my arse.

Sigh.

The Liberals once were, well, liberal. Gladstone must be weeping in shame.

Roger Thornhill said...

Note also they used EU law to keep him out. I wonder if Jacquboot was scared of using UK law just in case we are reminded as to who now rules the UK, i.e. would it expose the fact that UK law has no power over a politician from an EU member state? Not sure.

The Penguin said...

I'd probably give her one, though.


The Penguin

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4dxE8hhNuA

Submariner said...

Davis was undoubtedly late to the party on this but at least he did come good on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions on Friday night. One of the must surprising and gratifying things about the programme was that all four panellists said that they disagreed with excluding Wilders. Even Denis McShane (who apart from that was his usual patronising smug self) and the Lib Dem, Jo Swinson. Dimbleby was a bit stunned, and asked her "Does that mean you think your party leader was wrong then?" to which she said she took a different view from him on this issue. Good for her.

So, 5/10 for Davis for not being there at the start, but definitely 0/10 for Chakrabarti and Liberty, for apparently adopting the idea that liberty consists of being able to agree with the government of the day.

max the impaler said...

Is somebody cloning fuckwits.Because I'm convinced there have never been, in the history of this country, so many.

CityUnslicker said...

top blogging DK

Anonymous said...

Shami was very conspicuous by her absence in the whole Geert episode (which to my mind breached civil liberties). I notice how ever she is back from her little holiday and trumpeting again in the press. She is gobbing off about APCO (the police, oh fucking surprise Shami). What made me chuckle is apparently she thought they were an official government department. For fucks sake Shami, pull your head out of your arse and look around. You sniff around blogs like this all the time to see what they are saying about you but never noticed the hundreds of postings about ACPO being a private run company. But hey Shami you carrying on doing what you do best - bashing the police and defending everyones civil liberties - well everyones except the white mans. And they say Geert is racist.

Anonymous said...

Here is what Mr. Wilders himself had planned to say:
http://www.pvv.nl./index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1709

It's surprising that none of the blogs in the UK seem to have picked this speech up -- it makes a great universal answer to most questions asked.

Little Black Sambo said...

"We are not free to shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre" - as these idiots say ad infinitem. But the theatre is on fire.

Neal Asher said...

Fitna didn't say anything that couldn't be applied to the Bible. The reality is that fanatics would find excuses to kill if their book of choice was Wind in the Willows.

Antipholus Papps said...

Shami is excellent at selling Vivian Westwood t-shirts!

proninfe said...

People Generally do not like being Exterminated

Anonymous said...

Actually there are plenty of actions that freedom of speech doesn't cover. Would you like the freedom to broadcast porn on children's television in the middle of the afternoon? No of course you wouldn't (least I hope not) for that would be harmful to children. Notice how in this instance, the harm to the child is not physical, but mental. In the same way, hate speech does not have to cause or incite physical harm for it to legitimate to ban it. And hate speech does cause mental harm. The whole argument then, to not ban hate speech, and people like Wilders and Fred Phelps, is basically taking the viewpoint that "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me". But unfortunately, words DO hurt people, or do you just tell all bullied children to "Grow up and stop being so wet". As for Fitna, well the film might not contain hate speech, but you realize that the actions of this man aren't solely contained in that film? You do realize that he has exercised his "free speech" in far more heinous ways than that film? This man really isn't the type of man we want in this country. It doesn't matter whether someone is espousing "physical hate" or "mental hate", both are wrong, and both should be subject to the same restrictions.

The leader of the Lib Dems (at the moment Nick Clegg) owns a book by the liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill, which espouses a view known as the "Harm Principle". This basically says that the only legitimate action by government to subvert individual freedom is to stop harm to another individual. I feel that if Mill had been alive today, there's a good chance he would support the view of Huhne on this issue.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Anon,

You brave chap,

"Would you like the freedom to broadcast porn on children's television in the middle of the afternoon? No of course you wouldn't (least I hope not) for that would be harmful to children...

Fuck the children. You know what -- I thought that parents were responsible for children: apparently not.

Anyone else can fuck off.

DK

Anonymous said...

"Fuck the children"??! You sick fuck. Seriously, you believe it to be justified to show pornography on children's tv? And you believe it to be the parents' fault if the child watches it? Wow, that requires some power of cognitive dissonance, I'll give you that.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Anon,

"Seriously, you believe it to be justified to show pornography on children's tv?"

I'm sorry, but where did I say that?

"And you believe it to be the parents' fault if the child watches it?"

If pornography was shown on children's TV, would you let your kids watch it?

Actually, I suppose you wouldn't know: you're probably too busy doing what you want to do, rather than looking after your kids.

Twat.

DK

Anonymous said...

So if say, you have a ten year old child, and he comes home from school WHILE YOU'RE AT WORK and switched the tv on, and there happens to be porn on there, what exactly can the parent do about it? And what can the parent do if the child sees somebody else's tv? Like a tv in a shop, or a tv at a mate's house?

Besides, there doesn't have to be thing in the schedule where it says "4pm Porn". It could just say, "4pm Blue Peter" (or whatever), and then the producers decide, in the middle of Blue Peter, suddenly decide to switch to porn. What could a parent do about that?

Unless you plan on bringing up a child in a fascist manner, by banning tv, and stopping them leaving the house, then how could you stop them being exposed to pornography if its broadcast on children's tv in the afternoon? You can't. So you are in favour of fascist parenting, yet you're a libertarian. How can you reconcile those beliefs?

It seems you definitely are a big fan of cognitive dissonance.

Actually, I suppose you wouldn't know: you're probably too busy doing what you want to do (like getting all excited about kids being exposed to porn), rather than creating a rational argument.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Yawny yawn,

"So you are in favour of fascist parenting, yet you're a libertarian."

Children are, by definition, unable to make rational decisions. As such, responsibility for their upbringing defaults to the legal guardian.

There are many things that children are not allowed to do that adults are. Because, you see, they are children, not adults.

And you are the one busy frigging yourself off over kiddies watching porn, not me.

Besides, certain channels to broadcast porn 24 hours: but you presumably don't let them watch those, do you?

DK