Thursday, 12 February 2009

Home Secretary's letter to Gert Wilders

I can't find an official source, but this is a scan of the letter. Wilders attempts to enter the Uk to present himself at the House of Lords this afternoon.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Most famous freedom of expression speech in British Parliament

This was delivered by the Earl of Chatham ('Pitt the Elder') in 1768, and it was on this basis as much as anything that the United States created its 1st Amendment to the Constitution
The irony that a visiting MP is banned from debating on freedom of expression in the House of Lords 241 years later is obvious...

Hate speech: Dutch MP banned in UK, prosecuted in Netherlands

This is an unofficial English translation of the Amsterdam appeal court decision that Geert Wilders, libertarian politicial leader in the Dutch Parliament, has a case to answer for distributing his anti-Koran/Islam film, Fitna.

He has been banned from visiting Britain's Parliament for a debate after a viewing of his film, because a Muslim English peer warned (or threatened) unrest from Muslims who want his film banned. This ban was under sweeping Immigration Regulations NOT domestic human rights law - causing a major diplomatic incident with the Netherlands as MPs of all parties condemned the British government decision:
"Lord Ahmed had previously threatened the House of Lords authorities that he would bring a force of 10,000 Muslims to lay siege to the Lords if Wilders was allowed to speak. Lords authorities had stood firm and said extra police would be drafted in to meet this threat and the Wilders meeting should go ahead. But now the government has announced that it is banning Wilders from the country. A letter from the Home Secretary’s office to Wilders, delivered via the British embassy in the Hague, said:
...the Secretary of State is of the view that your presence in the UK would pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society. The Secretary of State is satisfied that your statements about Muslims and their beliefs, as expressed in your film Fitna and elsewhere would threaten community harmony and therefore public security in the UK."

Monday, 9 February 2009

Global Online Freedom Act - not in Europe!

The US passed a law requiring US ISPs and technology companies to not cooperate with filtering - especially secret filtering - with repressive regimes. The European Parliament attempt to introduce an equivalent has been rejected by the Commissioner - on grounds of competitiveness with other regions, by which she must mean Chinese and Taiwanese equipment manufacturers. Economics trumps freedom of expression. Note how widespread blocking of websites such as Google and Youtube is.