Thursday, February 08, 2007

Free speech and the BNP

It always amazes me how so many people seem to drop their objections to the curbing of free speech whenever the BNP are mentioned, such as in this article.
"POLITICIANS and anti-racism campaigners reacted with outrage last night when it emerged that the far-right British National Party was to get its own election broadcast during this year's Holyrood campaign as well as hundreds of thousands of pounds in free election publicity from the taxpayer."

Well, that's what happens when a party fields a certain number of candidates. Under one state funding scheme that I have seen posited, it was proposed that every vote a party received, the public purse gave that party £3. Well, the BNP got 800,000 votes at the last Euro elections, which would give them £2.4 million.

However, Shuggy is very unhappy about state funding and also very unhappy about the BNP getting any money at all.
Thing is, unless you're of the disposition that thinks public provision is always better than private, i.e. you're a Stalinist, it's usually customary to provide some sort of justification for spending other people's dosh on projects they didn't choose to spend it on themselves.

The primary one is the concept of the public good. There's things like national defence, or street-lighting, that people acting in their rational self-interest would conceal their preference for, since they assume that they will get it anyway because they can't be excluded from the benefits thereof.

Do party political broadcasts from the BNP qualify as a public good? Don't fucking think so.

Well, I'm sure that the 800,000 people who voted for them in the last Euro elections think that "party political broadcasts from the BNP qualify as a public good", for starters. As I have said before, I despise the BNP mainly because they are a collectivist, Left-wing party* but then so are fucking NuLabour (and the Tories aren't far off these days, either). I object to any of them getting any money whatso-fucking-ever.

But you have to be consistent; either you give money to them all, or none at all. As I said, I favour the latter myself but since the system was set up in order to try to overcome the massive inbalance in financial clout between the mainstream parties and the smaller parties, one can hardly complain when minority parties, such as the BNP, get awarded some of the vast amounts of our money swilling around, can you?

Stopping the BNP from getting the same help that other parties are getting in putting across their measure is simply the curbing of free speech by roundabout means. And there is no middle ground, no grey area here: either you believe in free expression or you don't.

* They are collectivist so that they can control who, i.e. what colour, nationality, etc, owns and operates businesses and industries. This is a tactic of which Stalin and Hitler would have heartily approved, of course.


Martin said...


One of the greatest public services that Nigel Farage and UKIP could do would to utterly, completely and unequivocally destroy the BNP by taking them on on the BNP's terms - the Conservatives have consistently failed to do it, so the greater good demands that others step into the breach.

Trixy said...

Lucky BNP for getting a broadcast. Those who organise them do everything in their power to stop small parties getting publicity.

Do you know who would also help stop the BNP? The media. If they actually told the truth about things such as immigration and who controls our borders, then people could see for example, to regain power would take withdrawal from the EU, rather than voting for neo nazis. But they won't do that, they'll just stick their fingers in their ears and say "la la la" and then be shocked when a load of pissed off people from all walks of life hold their nose and vote BNP. They have a brand and it's known, so people will keep on voting for them.

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