Telegraph gives the fascists a platform


9:38 pm - May 27th 2008

by Sunny Hundal    


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via Jim Jay, it looks like the Telegraph website is hosting a blog by BNP London councillor Richard Barnbrook.

So far Barnbrook has written three posts, including Lily Allen and the BNP, and Blame the Immigrants. Fits right in with Telegraph editorial policy then.

Jim Jay points out:

Among other exciting proposals ubergrupen fuhrer Barnbrook has for us in his “Blame the immigrants piece” include;

– The police should disobey the government and pursue their own sort-of-legal agenda. He adds “A free society is one where the police can do their job the way they want to do it.” Although most of us would call that a police state rather than “free societies”, but the haircut knows best.

– You know there never was any violent crime until we started letting in darkies and their communist friends. “Most of it [knife and gun crime] is being done by immigrants or by the sons of immigrants who have been protected by a despicable government desperate for the Ethnic Block-Vote.”

– But what is to be done with our streets over run with all these “ethnics”? In order to clean up the streets send in the army. Yes. The army. I’m not joking, that’s what our man in the Eagle’s Nest is proposing. To get rid of guns on the streets we’ll fill the streets with… oh hold on.

– If the commies oppose this sensible measure? Well the “human rights lawyers can scream all they want.” Presumably in a basement somewhere, whilst Brownshirts tear out their fingernails.


Now, I don’t have a problem with letting the BNP speak or letting the assorted fascists exercise their legal and democratic rights.

So, let them advertise in the Ham and High. Let them speak at City Hall if they’re democratically elected. But giving them a platform on your website so they can spout their racial hatred? That’s quite different. That is a low, even for the Telegraph.

Update: This, from the Terms and Conditions of the My Telegraph site:

4.3.6. not post, transmit, submit, refer to, make available or link to or from (or authorise or permit any other person to do the same) any material which:

a) is untrue, fraudulent, inaccurate or incomplete; and/or

b) is obscene, threatening, menacing, offensive, defamatory, abusive, causes annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety, is in breach of confidence, in breach of any intellectual property right (including, without limitation, copyright) or otherwise is in breach of or violates any applicable law or regulation or code, and/or…

Further update: More on Tory Troll & Scribo Ergo Sum

Another update: story is now on the Media Guardian website

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Media ,Race relations ,Westminster

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Reader comments


Apparently, access to the Torygraph blogs is very open – all it takes is to set up a (free) account to comment on their site, and you can set up a blog too. But I agree, it’s low even for them. Presumably the blogging site is moderated, after all…

No platform is stupid and counterproductive. Far better to let the idiot espouse his poison and then point out the flaws in it. Come on, would we have had such a rich seam of material to debunk Dorries with if it weren’t for her blog o’bollocks?

I’m with Jennie, do we have to go over this non-issue again on LC? I seem to remember this argument was had regarding the Ham and High (or something).

I think you’re right Doug, it looks pretty open and the moderation loose. But there are terms and conditions that include “4.3.6. not post, transmit, submit, refer to, make available or link to or from (or authorise or permit any other person to do the same) any material which:… causes annoyance” That would be the end of the blogosphere wouldn’t it?

I also note RB’s description of himself. He really is an inarticulate bozo;

“I am an elected Member of the London Assembly. I work for you…the great decent majority of Londoners. I hold Boris to account and I will make sure that he spends your tax on all Londoners and not minorities.”

Oh and we can all relax because the Telegraph’s featured blogger goes by the monika “Enoch’s revenge”

Am assuming Enoch’s Revenge does not refer to the bad guy in Ben 10?

[/mother of small child]

I do hope the Torygraph won’t be removing comments that disagree with Barnbrook, as newspapers tend to do with comments that disagree with editorial policy. One to monitor.

The main problem I see is that while we’re all on here pointing at the freaks in the cage, they’re having very few people to sound off each other with other than themselves. No-one is going on to these blogs (bar one person I can see) and consistently trying to debunk their views. So what happens when johnny impressionable comes along and see’s this on a fairly official looking site (being with the huge Telegraph title on it) and all the comments?

Worse than no-platform is getting sulky because they have the platform and trying to ignore them, which seems to currently be happening. I’ll be adding the blog to my feed (if I can) and I hope others will join me in making a point of picking apart what is being said when necessary.

Let me clarify my stance here.

I have no problems with the BNP and assorted fascists being able to exercise their legal and democratic rights.

So, let them advertise in the Ham and High. Let them speak at City Hall if they’re democratically elected. But giving them a platform on your website so they can spout their racial hatred? That’s quite different.

“Far better to let the idiot espouse his poison and then point out the flaws in it.”

This is entirely true in the context of debate, but I’m not sure whether it really applies to the ouvre of Barnbrook. He doesn’t offer arguments so much as prolix and incoherent screeds.

“Worse than no-platform is getting sulky because they have the platform and trying to ignore them, which seems to currently be happening. I’ll be adding the blog to my feed (if I can) and I hope others will join me in making a point of picking apart what is being said when necessary.”

Yes, I may join you. Barnbrook is clearly and unashamedly aping Richard Littlejohn. I’ve tried to critique his columns in the past, but the Mail moderators somehow missed my posts.

“So, let them advertise in the Ham and High. Let them speak at City Hall if they’re democratically elected. But giving them a platform on your website so they can spout their racial hatred? That’s quite different.”

An analogy to illustrate this position:

One would allow the drunken bore in the pub to take part in an open mike night, but one wouldn’t book him for saturday night performances.

Myself, I see little harm in giving Barnbrook a blog. If he were an eloquent bigot with a skill for the polemic then it might justifiably cause consernation, but his prose (as with his oratory style) is so wildly incompetent that he is essentially impotent as a demagogue. It doesn’t, however, reflect well on the Telegraph’s commissioning editors, who are obviously attempting to appear as courageous contrarians.

giving them a platform on your website so they can spout their racial hatred?

But Sunny, they haven’t given him a platform. They’ve given everyone a platform, for free and easy registration.

http://my.telegraph.co.uk/matgb/

The UI is awful if you know what you’re doing, but as a ‘first blogging platform’ for the IT challenged it’s not bad, a few tweaks and it might actually be said to be passable (ie my Mum could use it).

They haven’t given him a platform, they’ve given everyone a platform, and they haven’t specifically singled him out to be censored (yet).

If they’d hired him, or invited him, or it was a setup like CiF, then justified complaint, but this? Blogger let the BNP on, as do WordPress.com and Livejournal. As long as they don’t break TOS or the law, what do you want them to actually do?

And I repeated myself before and after setting the blog up (5 minutes, including resolving error message and making a post). Sorry about that.

I tend to agree with MatGB. If they’re running a blogging platform then their duty to freedom of speech should mean that anyone can operate there.

“I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it” is an admirable position to take. Vilifying any publisher who allows dissemination of those views is not.

Freedom of speech overrides any concerns I have about the idiots in the BNP. I have no interest in reading what the BNP have to say, but that doesn’t mean we should stop them from saying it.

I thought this website was supposed to have liberal attitudes?!

Hmm – this is not all that different from Comment Is Free giving space to Hamas spokesmen, the fascists of Hizb ut Tahrir and various other Islamist slime. Except the major difference is that they’re actually INVITED by the editor to post their racist garbage.

I thought this website was supposed to have liberal attitudes?!

Some animals are less equal than others.

“I thought this website was supposed to have liberal attitudes?!”

I guess this is where it becomes clear, for me anyway, that being on the left and being a liberal are not synonymous. Or maybe I disagree with your definition of what liberal means.

I do not think it’s acceptable to use freedom of speech arguments to justify giving a platform of any sort to hate speech. Freedom of speech does not mean “an obligation to publish all views” or “an obligation to give all views equal merit”. It also does not mean than publishers of information should not or do not have a duty to consider what they are putting out there – the Telegraph is not Blogger, or any sort of neutral service; it’s a newspaper with a right-wing slant. In my view, they are wrong to think they can set up a service to allow anyone a blog and not take responsibility for the fact that those words appear under the Telegraph’s banner.

Anyway, as I noted at The F-Word, although Barnbrook has set up a blog just like anyone else, his “friend” Sir John “rape’s just sex, what are you women complaining about” Bull appears to have been selected as a featured blogger, I can only assume by staff at the Telegraph.

Incidentally, freedom of speech also means the freedom to criticise someone else’s use of that freedom, and raise questions about what that freedom actually means, and if it has any limits.

TBH it’s not really all about liberty, Jess…it’s about the best way to completely debunk and negate the arguments they’re putting across. Liberty wise, on an individual level, I’d actually say that there’s a very good argument for censorship, but would that actually do anything other than create resentment and give them a form of legitimacy with the wrong types of people? some, including myself, believe it would and that in itself is a threat to liberty as well. It is possible if we’re intelligent enough in the argument to allow a seemingly less liberal choice develop in to the more liberal one.

To some, freedom of speech is only for those with whom they agree.

I’m actually torn on this issue. While it’s bad that the BNP gets given a Daily Telegraph platform to spread his hate from – he makes himself look like a massive idiot and weirdo with it. Seriously.

Titling a blog post ‘Blame the Immigrants’ and appearing to call for a military coup does more damage to the BNP’s ‘we’re not racist goons – honest’ facade than suppressing them ever could.

In any case, the blogs there. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to get over there and actually knock down his lame arguments? It’s not as if it’s hard.

No platform for the left. Didn’t Hitler do away with the party system saying it was inconvenient?

The liberal-left’s self refuting adage; “all those who disagree with us are fascists and should be banned.” As for “debunking the myths”, where is he wrong? As much as you lot may hate it, most of London’s violent crime is commitied by non-whites, are any willing to deny this fact?

Bryan,

Have a look at my reply to him titled ‘What a lot of utter dreck’ to see what’s wrong with it in more detail.

While we’re here though, it’d be great if you could provide us with evidence that most of London’s violent crime is committed by non-whites (which isn’t even what Barnbrook argued in the first place – he coded it behind the word ‘immigrant’). And then explain how it should follow from that (if it’s true) that we should blame ‘the immigrants’ as a block – since some immigrants are white and some non-immigrants aren’t white – or even how we should blame ‘the non-whites’, since rather a lot of them don’t commit violent crime.

After that, if you could explain how it follows that police should stop following their orders and the army should get the weapons off our streets, that would be super.

See, the problem isn’t just that Barnbrook claimed that most violent crime is committed by immigrants or the sons of immigrants (a claim that has mysteriously disappeaerd from his blog) without backing the claim up with evidence. It’s that he said a lot of other mad bollocks with it.

25. Diversity

“I detest what you say, but i will go to the stake for your right to say it” means if Barnbrook wants to blog, fair enough. So far overthe last 50 or so years, I have found that the greater the exposure the far right gets, the more they turn off potential support.

As for the Torygraph, I reckon that their prime aim at the moment is to attract reader interest. So hosting a Barnbrook blog, and publishing articles by Nick Clegg or Frank Field will do them nicely for now. And incidentally, it all puts more pressure on mainstream Labour. They are probably reckoning on later getting some good publicty for closing the Barnbrook blog when it becomes intolerably offensive.

Bryan,

As for “debunking the myths”, where is he wrong?

Where is he right?

But I just can’t take him seriously. Take this for example:

Look at that word “therapist” the rapist….and that is what they do….the rape of the mind.

It would be funny if you ignored the sobering realisation that people voted for this silly ranter. Hopefully the majority did it just to give Labour a bloody nose.

As much as you lot may hate it, most of London’s violent crime is commitied by non-whites, are any willing to deny this fact?

If you provide some evidence to back up that claim, we could have a discussion. Also, what do you suggest doing about it if it’s true?

My guess is that most violent crime is committed by those from relatively underprivileged backgrounds. If I’m right, the solution would be to improve their lot.

Immigrant/non-white let’s not be pedantic, I don’t see too many Polish gunslingers. As for ‘ukliberty’, yes crime is related to poverty but poverty exists nationwide yet gun crime is rampant in just a few cities. Explanation? And surely you don’t need evidence, despite the best efforts of the media to omit a description when the perpetrator is non-white?

Oh, and I don’t intend to condone any other comments made despite my first post’s implications. I honestly don’t see how one could disagree with the view that the majority of London’s violent crime is committed by immigrants or the descendants of (relatively new) immgrants?

surely you don’t need evidence

Fella, please.

Actually, most crime is committed by kangaroos made of jelly.

Surely you don’t need evidence.

“I thought this website was supposed to have liberal attitudes?!”

Ah, I misunderstood the system, and thought that they’d actually commissioned him. Yes, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t use it.

Hi Bryan,

“And surely you don’t need evidence, despite the best efforts of the media to omit a description when the perpetrator is non-white?”

Have you any evidence of these ‘best efforts’, or are you merely giving an outing to the bare assertion fallacy?

“Explanation?”

Barnbrook says ‘blame the immigrants’, so he is somehow holding the entire immigrant population responsible. As he has to support his thesis, the burden of proof is on him.

Immigrant/non-white let’s not be pedantic

Well not all immigrants are non-white, are they?As for ‘ukliberty’, yes crime is related to poverty but poverty exists nationwide yet gun crime is rampant in just a few cities.Slow down there ‘Bryan’, your claims are running away with you. Your initial claim was about immigrations and violent crime, wasn’t it? Are you refining your claim or moving the goalposts?

Explanation?

My guess is that guns of the sort being used in London are more available in London than in rural areas. Also recall that I was talking about relative poverty. Again my guess is that there may be a larger gap between the rich and poor, and many more poor per square metre in London, hence many more poor turn to crime in London than in rural areas, or even small towns.

And surely you don’t need evidence

People who don’t provide evidence shouldn’t be surprised if they’re accused of making things up…

I think all the free speech arguments miss the point.

The post does not say he cannot write for the BNP press or have a blogger blog but that the Telegraph are responsible for what they put on their site and it is irresponsible and stupid to host this prominent fascist.

Incidentally there have been some remarks about Barnbrook (or the BNP) not being fascist. I think you only need to read what he’s advocating.

1) immigrants are to blame for all our troubles
2) the left give them cover to do this
3) the police should be given a free hand regardless of the law
4) send in the army to sort out our streets.

A racist police state, where the streets are patrolled by the army… fascism anyone?

Incidentally, Tory Troll has pictures of Barnbrook’s ‘demonstration’.

http://torytroll.blogspot.com/2008/05/richard-barnbrook-shunned-by-london.html

“Again my guess is that there may be a larger gap between the rich and poor, and many more poor per square metre in London, hence many more poor turn to crime in London than in rural areas, or even small towns.”

Plus there is a long term definite correlation between population levels and violent crime. Countries gaining in population density (as most have) tend to also gain in levels of violent crime, so it stands to reason that where people congregate more (such as cities) there is more likelihood of conflict.

And Jim Jay, as I said in my first comment we’ve had this argument before. Yes people like you and Sunny think it’s irresponsible to allow him the platform, I get and respect that. But there are other liberal views that think that it is irresponsible to deny him platforms and thus allow him to claim to be the victim.

Lee: I get and respect that. But there are other liberal views that think that it is irresponsible to deny him platforms and thus allow him to claim to be the victim.

Erm, read what I’ve written in the original post! I’ve said on this blog before I have no problem with the BNP being allowed to exercise their legal and democratic rights. But that doesn’t mean the mainstream should let them spout racist nonsense without check.

I thought this website was supposed to have liberal attitudes?!

This is where you actually misunderstand not only the concept of what this means, but its implication.

Being liberal doesn’t mean is under the obligation to publish illiberal stuff. I’d love for the Telegraph to publish something by Hizb ut-Tahrir calling for a Caliphate just because they’re apparently obliged to give everyone a platform.

Of course they’re not. I’m not going to publish articles by reactionary Tories on here. But that doesn’t mean they’re denied liberty. They can write on their own blog.

This is not a difference between being left or being liberal. This is just right-wingers conveniently forgetting the context of the quote.

I’d love for the Telegraph to publish something by Hizb ut-Tahrir calling for a Caliphate just because they’re apparently obliged to give everyone a platform.

The Telegraph isn’t obliged to give everyone a platform – it does give everyone a platform, that is what you and other conspirators appear to be missing.

In other words no-one from the Telegraph, as far as I know, solicited articles from Barnbrook. He created an account on My Telegraph, setup his blog, and started blogging, just like other members of the public.

Presumably someone from Hizb ut-Tahrir could do as Barnbrook did and create their own My Telegraph blog?

I don’t understand why people can’t see this is as a freedom of speech issue. I’m inferring from comments that Barnbrook’s blog should be censored or made offline – if people are not suggesting that, what are they suggesting? That they have found yet another offensive thing about the Telegraph?

“Immigrant/non-white let’s not be pedantic, I don’t see too many Polish gunslingers. As for ‘ukliberty’, yes crime is related to poverty but poverty exists nationwide yet gun crime is rampant in just a few cities. Explanation? And surely you don’t need evidence, despite the best efforts of the media to omit a description when the perpetrator is non-white?”

It’s not a pedantic distinction “Bryan”, it’s evidence of the racism of the immigration debate that you automatically are not talking about, say, white Australians. Because they’re not “immigrants”, are they?! They’re global citizens! FFS.

Anyway, Polish people are EU citizens and thus not “immigrants”.

I’m inferring from comments that Barnbrook’s blog should be censored or made offline – if people are not suggesting that, what are they suggesting? That they have found yet another offensive thing about the Telegraph?

The point is, that his blog posts is in breach of their terms and conditions. But they still don’t want to take it down.

39. Planeshift

“setup his blog, and started blogging, just like other members of the public.”

I’d like to see how long a leftwing blogger, consistently arguing against Torygraph policy, lasted before they took it down.

Sunny, have you made a complaint about Barnbrook’s blog and if so what was the response?

Planeshift, until someone tries it, your guess is as mine, isn’t it?

“I’d like to see how long a leftwing blogger, consistently arguing against Torygraph policy, lasted before they took it down.”

Why would they keep track? There are 20,000 users according to the Guardian Media article. The site is obviously a “please read/buy the telegraph” hook…nothing more or less. They have not “given him a platform” any more than facebook might have done.

Though good to see a BNP member making a fool of himself so quickly!
If he has broken their rules you should complain and see what they say.

Now the Guardian – for whom Sunny blogs – actually *invites* disgusting posters such as Neil (kill the quisling interpreters) Clark and Azzam (Hamas envoy) Tamimi onto their site. Nice.

I think many of you are confused by the nature of such debates. Maybe I need to clarify my stance a bit more in a longer article.

There is a difference between what is legally and democratically allowed and tolerated, and what should be actively promoted.

Here’s an example of ‘censorship’ in the United States, this time instigated by right-wingers:
http://www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/articles/2008/05/27/dunkin_donuts_yanks_rachael_ray_ad/

No one is saying the BNP should be silenced. No one is saying the BNP shoudl not be allowed to set up their own blog on their website. They already have one.

The point is, should mainstream brands allow themselves to be associated with nutjobs?

The blog posts clearly violate its T&Cs, I don’t have to write in with a complaint about that. The Telegraph hasn’t taken it down probably because they hate being pointed at by lefties, and because they probably agree with that Barnbrook is saying.

Hell, I’m not complaining that much! It won’t be long before they’ll quietly take it down before any more stupid ramblings by him bring them more bad publicity.

The blog posts clearly violate its T&Cs, I don’t have to write in with a complaint about that.

Um, yes, you do. I read some of his posts through and thought them mediocre and dire, but I didn’t see a clear breach (I wasn’t specifically looking though).

But virtually all free platform services need to have complaints to act on, in fact IIRC acting before complaints received changes the legality of their publishing and makes them automatically liable for all content, whereas if they only act on complaints they get something like free carrier status.

That’s certainly how I’ve had it explained to me anyway. They can’t monitor every blog or comment, so if something is there that shouldn’t be they need to be told.

The two problems here are lack of a clear reporting function (Blogger, WordPress and Livejournal have one but they’re not always easy to find either (I’ve just been checking) and the very strong branding all over the My Telegraph site.

If you see a breach of TOS on a website, report it to the website as there is no way they can manually check everything anyway.

Mat, I know you love being contrarian as a habit, but you don’t think the fact that the Media Guardian called them up for a story might have alerted them to its existence?

Yes Sunny, I agree that “being liberal doesn’t mean [to be] under the obligation to publish illiberal stuff.”

But equally significantly it also means that there is a requirement to accept the implications and fact that it is impossible to prevent the publication of ‘illiberal stuff’ by others – in which case it is by far the better response and more practical to encourage the regulation and moderation of the tone and content of such ‘illiberal stuff’ even if it lays open the charge of complicity with one side or the other from equally illiberal anti-fascists or anti-marxists.

In which case I suggest it is a mistake to condemn those you disagree with, without simultaneously ending all contention over the point – in which case it is better not to condemn at all.

Many of the terms used by illiberals on the right and left are politicised precisely for and because of their contention and relativity – for example ‘immigrants’ may oppose ’emmigrants’, but due to the reality of multi-level administrative boundaries ‘immigrants’ may also be used synonomously with ‘migrants’ depending on the specific definitions.

It is important to recognise that the existence and creation of nuance and exceptions allows movement of thought and policy (wiggle-room), so by providing a platform to opponents you also create a means for a shift of opinion by which to reconcile different sides.

If Barnbrook’s blog proves his inability to promote a peaceful and sustainable form of unity and reconciliation among wider groups of society then it will become painfully clear that he will have failed as a politician and his ability to maintain his arguments in the face of evidence and therefore his platform will crumble as a result.

It is incumbent on us to maintain the pressure at all levels (on Barnbrook, his audience, his host etc, etc) by continuing to point out at every opportunity the simple truths that while ‘all grass is green, not all that is green is grass’.

If we consider ourselves to be correct, then the success of those who oppose us is a consequence of our failure and our weakness.

So let’s stop harping on about dogmatic definitions, eh?

MatGB, not sure you are right about responsibility with regard to complaints (I agree with the rest). If I understand correctly every site owner is ultimately responsible for what is published on it no matter whether moderation is prior to or post the publishing of an article or comment. Regardless of what is published you need to have a process in place to act on complaints in a reasonable time.

47. Different Duncan

I have no problem in the Telegraph allowing the BNP a mouthpiece. Nor do I have a problem with The Guardian offering Hamas a mouthpiece. It is an irrelevance whether they were invited or not. The only way I could see a problem arise is if money is exchanged (in either direction), or if there is no opportunity for feedback.

Sunny, hadn’t seen the Media Guardian story, have been scrolling down to the comments without looking for updates, apologies for that bit however from it:
The newspaper yesterday defended its decision to host the blog and said it has had no complaints.

They’ll act on valid complaints, but without them they’ll likely let it sit there unless there’s something obvious (clear incitement, libel or similar).

UKliberty—neither am I to be honest, the law regarding web content and responsibility is very (very) grey and murky, and really does need a test case to determine what we’re liable for (I host a small blog platform for a few friends and some minority interest games and am thinking of expanding a bit at some point, so I watch the reports of infractions but up until now there’s nothing that makes it clear either way). However my interpretation is closest to what appears to be the case—if you make no attempts at pre-moderation then you have a legal get out as long as you act on any valid complaints, if you pre-moderate you’re responsible for all content. But like I said, that’s one opinion on a very unclear point of law.

Maybe the Telegraph would be nice enough to defend a legal action to see what the law actually is? Doubt it…

Sunny, what I am confused about is why you haven’t complained to the Telegraph about something you seemed to find dismaying (even outrageous). I’m also confused about why you think they would check on Barnbrook’s articles without first receiving a complaint.

And no, an article in the Guardian doesn’t count as a complaint either. What’s that going to achieve? It doesn’t allege any specific violations.

Have any commenters on this article complained to My Telegraph and if so what did they write and what have they received in response? I bet no-one did prior to 5:20pm.

MatGB, fair enough – on reflection I can’t honestly say I have much of an idea.

Section 6 (particularly the last paragraph of 6.2.2) of this article may be interesting and I think it confirms what you said.

I am baffled by this article because I cannot see how the BNP gaining access to a public blogsphere is different in any way shape or form. It’s as if the BNP don’t already have their own website (they do), don’t have Facebook (they do and also have people in the Facebook ‘House of Commons’) or as if they don’t actually attract voters. Yes, their views are highly obnoxious but i think that is a damm good reason to have them heard so they can be exposed for what they are; kicking up a fuss actually helps them gain more publicity and lends them radical kudos and is thus totally counterproductive.

I actually find myself on the Telegraph’s side over this one because as has been pointed out here it’s not as if liberal newspapers don’t give a platform to highly contentious and some would say downright obnoxious views, like those of Hamas.

As to how long a left-wing blog would last….let’s see because I actually set one up tonight…I would imagine as it isnt an outright attempt at provocation it will last a long time but we shall see…..

52. Fred Burp

Obviously the only thing to do with Barmbrook is to rip his innards out with a rusty hook. The same goes for the torygraph twats who support him. The only good nazi is a dead nazi. Agreed?

Isn’t any discussion which refers to the BNP, such as this one, giving a platform (however indirectly) to their ideas?

54. douglas clark

I’m with 5cc @ 22.

I don’t, in all honesty think that the Telegraph is giving him an imprimature. And, frankly, if we can be bothered, what he says is such utter rubbish that it should get torn to shreds.

To be honest, there are two issues here.

Firstly, I have read his fairly odious commentary. Why should we attempt to stop him? It seems to me that he is hoisting himself, quite nicely, on his own petard. Which suggests that freedom of expression is a two edged sword and that he is on the wrong side of the blade. Publicity is not always a positive thing.

Rumbold will be aware of another politician called Terry Kelly. E’nough said.

What would be more of an issue is if the comments were censored, or worst still moderated.

Now that, ladies and gentlemen would be a cause worth fighting.

If Richard Barnbrook is allowed to edit comments – beyond the pale, obviously – then the Telegraph should also accept a ‘Richard Barnbrook Watch’ Blog, that allows the comments that were not beyond the pale. Which would, quite obviously…. And so on ad infinitum.

Second point:

Since when did anyone who was a Libertarian Conspiracist, or whatever we thought we were back then, ever, ever think the Telegraph was less than, shall we say, to the right of Genghis Khan? We should see this as a further desperate attempt at retriangulation – if that’s a word – an appeal to it’s last two paying readers. Know your enemy, I’d have thought.

Isn’t any discussion which refers to the BNP, such as this one, giving a platform (however indirectly) to their ideas?

What ideas are we giving a platform to? We know they exist, that’s the only thing being discussed. Besides, I’m no worried about LC readers becoming nazis overnight thanks to Barnbrook’s rantings.

If Barnbrook’s blog proves his inability to promote a peaceful and sustainable form of unity and reconciliation among wider groups of society then it will become painfully clear that he will have failed as a politician and his ability to maintain his arguments in the face of evidence and therefore his platform will crumble as a result.

Erm, thomas I don’t think thats his aim. The BNP would electorally be more successful if they promoted strife and hatred than peace.

ukliberty:
Sunny, what I am confused about is why you haven’t complained to the Telegraph about something you seemed to find dismaying (even outrageous). I’m also confused about why you think they would check on Barnbrook’s articles without first receiving a complaint.

Assuming I complained, would you recommend taking it down or not?

I actually find myself on the Telegraph’s side over this one because as has been pointed out here it’s not as if liberal newspapers don’t give a platform to highly contentious and some would say downright obnoxious views, like those of Hamas.

I think the context and situation is different. I’ll explain more in an article which I’m writing now.

There’s another old chestnut, Sunny, which goes on about giving someone enough rope…

Even if they hang you first, their habit will still lead to them hanging themselves in the end. So let’s give them all the encouragement they need, and maybe they’ll see the error of their ways before they get a flashback of themselves climbing the scaffold!

As for electoral success, there is short-term victory and long-term sustainability, but neither have any bearing on the measure of the other – which is why commentators seize upon any apparent evidence of ‘momentum’.

It seems to me that your fear is a result of acceptance of the validity of extremist arguments combined with a need to seek self-definition and affirmation through opposition. In contrast, I think incoherent arguments are inherently unstable and dangerous in themselves.

an appeal to it’s last two paying readers

In fact DT circulation is 870,000 versus Guardian’s 350,000.
Interestingly ABC has their websites at level pegging at 18.5m “global monthly unique users”.

Of course mytelegraph is nothing more than a loss leading advert, which is why they don’t employ expensive censors (sorry, moderators) as they do at CiF.

Though having now had a look at a few of the other posts there, censorship might not be such a bad idea…ugh.

Sunny,

Assuming I complained, would you recommend taking it down or not?

I’d respond with something along the lines of:

I’m sorry you found user generated content offensive. We take complaints seriously. Could you be more specific about what in particular you find offensive?

60. douglas clark

ukliberty,

I am attempting to challenge Richard Barnbrook directly on the Telegraph web site. So far, I am having technical problems, which I trust will be resolved.

You really need to come out of your shell and challenge these folk directly.

Do you mean me personally or the people who find him offensive?

62. douglas clark

ukliberty,

Apologies, I was laying it at my own door, actually. However, it certainly didn’t read like that.

What I was attempting to say, badly as it happens, is that if the man is spewing forth rubbish, then we ought to challenge it. That is the great thing about the internet, that authors are not able to proselytise into a vacuum. The ability to comment is a new and worthwhile freedom.

It seems we are all a bit precious. Eighteenth Century Britian was full of robust speech. From my time working on construction sites , being called a “F…… Moronic C…” was almost a term of endearment which I managed to survive. We are a robust and hopefully mature democracy which can cope with all sorts of people saying all sorts of illiberal comments. After all fresh air and sunlight are marvellous for preventing disease . Nothing kills quicker than ridicule and the many comments made by marxists, communists, fascists, nazis, religious fundementalists be they Christian, Muslim, Jewish , Hindu or Buddist can be ignored or debated as appropriate. A general underlying theme pinning practically all extremists together is a sense of inadequacy causing within themselves feelings of fear, resentment , hatred, envy and jealously of those peoople who have happier lives than themselves. The recent spate of fanatical Mulsim preachers Abu Hamza et al seem to share a similarity with the Nazi leaders ” A banality of evil” combined with being pompous and an inability to laugh at themselves.. Perhaps we need more of those biting cartoons from the 18 and 19 th Centuries such as by Rowlandson and Gilray.

Douglas I agree.

Interview with Barnbrook in the Independent. Is that more or less of a platform than a My Telegraph blog or an article on CIF?

I’d say less of a platform, because it has less of his own words in and more of the reporters impressions.

But then I’m not a NoPlatformer, so I’ll happily be corrected.

I am astonished to read some of the views here. There seems to be a fallacy spreading these days, one aspect of it is the perceived need to “alert the mainstream parties” about the “danger” posed by the BNP. Another is the absurdity that ONLY the BNP are racist. Let the facts prevail here, Labour are racist, one need only ask any Serb or Palestinian or East Timorese.
It is fine it seems for a “mainstream” party in the UK to actively support genocide in various parts of the world but not for the BNP to openly discuss their immigration policies in public.
Another giant fable that is being promulgated is the absurdity that voting for a “mainstream” party is ipso facto better for people than voting BNP; as if the “mainstream” parties have a track record of caring for the indigenous British resident.
Let’s be clear, if the BNP’s share of the vote begins to increase, it will be BECAUSE of the mainstream parties.


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