Geert Wilders

It would be good to do something fresh on Wilders, but no time so here is something I wrote last year.

Yeah – like Bob, I think that rights – such as the right to free expression – need to be considered in their concrete context. And like Brett and David T, I think the government needs to base its decision on the generally applicable standard of combatting hatred. And this should be in such a way that it poses no obstacle to people who are merely political opponents – it should pose no obstacle socialists, for example, as feared by David Semple. In other words – I would prefer to have to scrutinise my government, than fight off yet another hater.

I think that fighting with haters can hone our societal ability to deal with haters. But for the people on the receiving end of the hatred, dealing with haters is far from recreational.

Besides, I think we have enough to be going along with with our homegrown demagogues.


5 thoughts on “Geert Wilders

  1. Mira Vogel Post author

    haters, basically. i don’t have a set of criteria-in-practice for refusing entry to produce with a flourish here – but if it can be argued convincingly and, I would prefer, openly that the individuals are falling foul of our hate law then I think that’s a good reason to head them off at the pass.

    Let them in and you have to fight them. Being on the defensive like that means less energy for fighting for other things.

  2. Dave Semple

    I suppose my issue is simply this: no person should be constricted from travelling merely because of their political views. I’m against anyone giving Wilders a podium or sharing it with him to debate his odious views – but banning him from entering the UK is rather extreme.

    It’s one thing to advocate a “No Platform” policy, it’s another to give the government the right to refuse people entry – especially on such obviously double-edged terms. Public security can be threatened by anyone – and if that’s the only card the government needs to play, it will be played for the Left when we wax powerful and threatening once more.

  3. Mira Vogel Post author

    Seriously, this is not simply a vexatious ban on a political opponent, and nor does the ban prevent him from using communications technology to get his point across. The message is: you inflame fear of Muslims in a climate of fear of Muslims and we consider you a threat to all of us – since you are not our citizen we have a chance to prevent you from spreading this way of thinking in person, and we are going to take it.

    I’m also unconvinced that those sections of the left I have heard calling for his entry for the same reasons as you Dave are against banning in principle. I reckon most accept that there are some debates which only help to usher in seriously dodgy ways of thinking – I think that Wilders would be the occasion for one of them. He wants the koran banned.

    That’s not to say I don’t think that this government has appeased Islamists who promote or are soft on violent jihadism – I think it has and I’m very worried about it.


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