"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." Jewish American writer , Noam Chomsky.
Now we have laws in the UK which outlaw incitement to racial hatred. I do not agree with prejudice of any kind, and even when another person’s lifestyle does not conform to my own view of what a good and decent life is. Providing they do not force or coerce another into participating in that lifestyle, then I accept their right to live as they choose and expect the same courtesy in return.
But what concerns me now, as our world moves ever closer towards a form of Global Dictatorship, is the relentless legislation of human life. Instead of teaching our children what is right and wrong, we legislate for it instead. It is my sincere belief that a free society should be governed by the most minimal form of governance, and that laws should be made wisely and sparingly.
The Race hate laws have done more harm than good, as has `Hate` legislation generally. Such laws are enacted for political and ideological reasons and never for the good of the people.
There must be a distinction drawn, for example, between inciting hatred of people for what they inescapably are, and inciting hatred of their views, which we see as part of the cut and thrust of a liberal democratic society. That’s why there was such uproar over the new crime of incitement to religious hatred.
It’s because of this respect for debate that the UK has never criminalised Holocaust-denial. Odious as it is, it is an interpretation of history , and one which in any event defies easy categorisation. True, it’s an interpretation that is used to stir up suspicion against Jewish people. But once you argue that it should therefore be made a crime, there’s no end to it.
Classic English literature is filled with anti- Jewish stereotypes and attitudes. But no one would suggest that such literary classics should be censored. In a free society, the proper antidote to the dissemination of lies is the expression of the truth. When David Irving was jailed for this crime in Austria, did denial of the Holocaust stop? Not at all! if anything, it turned him into a modern day martyr. Much more effective was the deconstruction of his ideas in a British courtroom when he chose to bring a libel action, which rebounded against him by discrediting his claim to be a ‘historian’ and ending with his denunciation by the trial judge as a ‘pro-Nazi polemicist’.
That is the British way of doing things. But what is so disturbing about the Toben case is that we may be forced to become accomplices to a view which is completely alien to that British way of doing things.
This is part of the attempt to create a ‘Corpus Juris,’ a European body of criminal law, which is in turn a key element of the EU vision of a Unified Totalitarian Super-State whose inhabitants will be deceived, coerced or forced into subscribing to the same principles.
But we British have a very different system of justice and even by the above listed sinister methods, it is difficult to imagine that a day will not come when this foreign ideal of law will be rejected wholemeal by the people themselves, no matter what the politicians decide.