BNP: a very British Berufsverbot


2:17 pm - October 1st 2009

by Dave Osler    


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Police officers and prison workers are already banned from becoming members of the British National Party. Now the government is considering the addition of the teaching profession to a growing list of jobs covered by Britain’s slowly expanding backdoor Berufsverbot.

But should the left support the introduction of a softly-softly version of the German system, which forbids members of all organisations deemed by the state to be extremist from holding public sector employment?

Is such legislation somehow OK if it applies to sensitive positions only, keeping the fash out of the classrooms and the cop shops while still allowing them to Sieg Heil to their heart’s content while emptying our wheelie bins?

Or perhaps all this is no skin off our nose if such restrictions apply to the far right alone, while exempting Trot social workers and local government officers?

It’s a difficult question with good arguments on both sides. But on balance, I am uneasy about the wisdom of the policy

The most obvious objection is a basic point of civil liberties. If a political party is legal, then a liberal democracy has no business restricting the employment prospects open to its adherents.

Supporters of a ban ask how a child facing racism in the playground could possibly turn to a BNP teacher for help. But this is simply a microcosm of what is set to become a society-wide issue.

If you were an Asian family facing constant racist abuse from a gang of sink estate thugs, would you turn to a BNP councillor for help? Would you lobby your friendly fascist London Assembly member or MEP for assistance with your plans to build an Afro-Caribbean community centre or a new mosque?

These difficulties will be exacerbated when the BNP secures Westminster representation, as it soon undoubtedly will. Now that the far right has an electoral base numbering hundreds of thousands of voters, these are genuine problems than cannot be ignored by the tokenistic targeting of individual supporters.

Any ban would amount to bespoke legislation designed to tackle a problem of minor proportions. The list of BNP members published on the internet last year contained the names of just 15 teachers.

If the object is to stamp out racism in the classroom – and that is entirely laudable – then it has to be recognised that racist sentiment is not the sole province of the BNP. Is it admissible for an Islamist believer in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to teach Jewish children, for instance? Why not legislate against that eventuality, too?

What about UKIP teachers? What about the Conservative Party’s grassroots golf club bigot tendency? And yes, I have even come across unpleasantly racist people in the Labour Party.

Moreover, any ban based on organisational affiliation would be almost impossible effectively to police. Who decides which parties and factions are blacklisted? Fringe political groupings come and go, and cliques of Hitler worshippers form and disband with clockwork regularity.

How will the rules deal with a fascist teacher who isn’t in the BNP and signs up with some newly-formed whackjob six member neo-Nazi outfit that nobody has ever heard of instead? What about cases where people sidestep the regulations by not taking out a party card, but otherwise think and act just as a BNP member would?

But the biggest danger of all is that the BNP revels in portraying itself as the outsiders that the Establishment is desperate to silence because it ‘tells the truth’. Feeding that narrative is a sure way to enhance the racist right’s popular support.

In short, discipline racist teachers for racist words or deeds; disciplining them for their politics alone would be a serious mistake.

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About the author
Dave Osler is a regular contributor. He is a British journalist and author, ex-punk and ex-Trot. Also at: Dave's Part
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Education ,Race relations

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Reader comments


It would be a mistake.

Indeed your argument seems so clear and obvious that it’s hardly worth making.

It’s a pity that it needs to be.

NO, it’s not ok. Reason? Why should the state, who’s in power, have any ability to say who can and can’t be a person of influence or power in this country? It’s a COMPLETE conflict of interest.

I don’t want, in the future, my family to be taught by people that are racist, but then I don’t want them to be taught by people that advocate such oppressive state control of teenage mothers, forgein nationals and people under *suspicion* of a crime either.

It should be our choice, in a free society, who we associate with…not the states.

What cjcjc said about what you said

I agree with cjcjc.

And good OP, well said.

Quite.

I am not convinced on one point though. “The problem will be exacerbated when the BNP secures Westminster representation, as it soon undoubtedly will”. No I am not sure they will. There is no reason to beleive that the BNP is about to make a parliamentary break through. You cant read across form locals/Euros to a general election, not under FPTP.

Why do you think otherwise?

Oh dear, cjcjc, Lee Griffin and I all agree with you…

Shit, if I knew everyone was going to agree, I would have argued in favour of the ban 😉

@5 – well, I’m hearing bad things from Barking & Dagenham.

Could we also ban feminists, Islamists, Trots, Marxists, Stalinists, gay activists, religous nuts of all persuassions, vegertarians, vegans, bad drivers, cyclists, people that wear open toe sandals and above all crap teachers only in it for the money, an indexed linked pension and the power they have over little human beings because they cannot make it with grown ups.

While I agree that banning people from a particular profession because of their membership of a political party is a slippery slope, I would support any measure that saw teachers who had publicly expressed a prejudice against a particular group of people that they may end up teaching barred from the profession. Just as I would have a hard time believing that a teacher who had expressed a dislike for gay people on their public blog, say, would be able to treat gay students in their class in an unbiased fashion, it seems fairly obvious that anyone willing to step up and join the BNP is making a fairly public statement of their feelings towards certain groups in society and I do think that it would be appropriate to take this as an indication of unsuitability for a job that would in all probability involve teaching mixed ethnic classes without discriminating. I’d certainly have trouble believing that my (as yet hypothetical) children could be taught fairly by someone who believed they didn’t even belong in the country because of their skin colour, which let’s face it is what membership of the BNP boils down to

I think the question of their ‘acceptability’ was begging to be asked when they first stood for office. Once they were allowed to have councillors and MEPs, it seems a bit late to say, “err, wait a minute chaps, we don’t like you anymore.” If the government is saying they’re not fit to lead a classroom, how are they fit to be in positions of political power?

Although, I do find the general point of “they’re acceptable because people voted for them” interesting. I must have missed the memo making truth a democratic property. If a Paedophile Party (to use the Sun’s favourite grouping) stood on a platform of making paedophilia legal, and they received 950k votes, would that then make paedophilia “acceptable”? While BNP supporters might claim “ahhh democracy” when anyone wants to restrict them, how is it democratic for 950k people to radically change what is deemed acceptable?

I didn’t think the Barking suggestion could possibly be true, but having just viewed the stats, it does look possible, which is worrying. Will be a three way race between Tory, Labour and BNP which must make it one of the most ideocyncratic seats in the country. Presumably there are some Labour seats up north that could go BNP if Labour really implode. Fingers crossed that they don’t.

Two points:

first, it’s more about sending out a general signal and legislation in case of eventuality or problems (say a parent complains they’re uncomfortable with their son/daughter being taught by a BNP member).

This has happened in the past. The original Race Relations act could be argued against on the same basis. And it’s hardly been used – but it did a LOT to get rid of racism from institutions. So while dismissing such stuff is easy, it’s not a straightforward argument.

Secondly:
I don’t want, in the future, my family to be taught by people that are racist, but then I don’t want them to be taught by people that advocate such oppressive state control of teenage mothers, forgein nationals and people under *suspicion* of a crime either.

What if you’re an Asian parent who doesn’t have much choice in moving house to get their child to a different school – but want to complain about a teacher with BNP sympathies making snide comments about their child or singling them out all the time?

first, it’s more about sending out a general signal and legislation in case of eventuality or problems (say a parent complains they’re uncomfortable with their son/daughter being taught by a BNP member).

If you want to send a signal, light a fire. Signal sending really shouldn’t be what primary legislation is for – and it’s the Government’s belief that it is that gets us such appallingly drafted bills.

And should peoples’ employment be determined by whether ‘a parent’ is uncomfortable? What if ‘a parent’ is uncomfortable with their son/daughter being taught by a woman in a burqa? What if ‘a parent’ is uncomfortable with their daughter being taught by a man?

What if you’re an Asian parent who doesn’t have much choice in moving house to get their child to a different school – but want to complain about a teacher with BNP sympathies making snide comments about their child or singling them out all the time?

Jesus – it’s BNP ‘sympathies’ now? How are we going to determine those? It’s already a disciplinary offence to use racist language, and quite rightly so. If you’re going to start analysing every teacher accused of picking on children for suspected hidden political sympathies you’re heading quite a long way down a dangerous road.

Dave,

In the past i’ve been harshly critical of some of your articles.

But today you get it spot on.

Bravo.

I don’t see this as a freedom of speech issue, it’s not that having strong opinions renders someone unsuitable to teach, but that having strong opinions that some children are inferior to others does, and BNP membership seems to me like a pretty way to detect this opinion.

@12 Sunny
>What if you’re an Asian parent who doesn’t have much choice in moving house to get their child to a different school – but want to complain about a teacher with BNP sympathies making snide comments about their child or singling them out all the time?
That’s when individual discipline of teachers comes in. Not to mention, are you really suggesting that a teacher has to be a BNP supporter (or ‘sympathiser’) to be a snide, bullying arsehole?

@10 Kentron
>While BNP supporters might claim “ahhh democracy” when anyone wants to restrict them, how is it democratic for 950k people to radically change what is deemed acceptable?
The point is rather that these restrictions shouldn’t be applied to ANY group, because not only is it ineffective and unhelpful, it’s just plain illiberal.

17. Dontmindme

Kentron

Well of course you probably know such a party does exist in Holland (where else)

If such a party got 950K votes in the UK, then Paedophilia would not be OK. If it got 9.5m votes then clearly it would be OK.

However it is not an outcome I expect in the near future.

18. Donut Hinge Party

It’s a bit daft, because banning party members isn’t going to stop people thinking that way, it just means that Griffin doesn’t get his £25 for a membership packet and that the teacher doesn’t get their name on the next leaked list.

It’s not like a dyed in the wool racist teacher who’s managed to keep their head low for the last 20 years is going to say “Damn; not allowed to join the BNP. Oh, well, I suppose I’d better give tolerance a go, then.”

19. Donut Hinge Party

Of course, the other corollory to this ban is the frankly bizarre assumption that prospective teachers are currently putting on their CVs that they are members of the BNP and passing the selection stage, never mind interview.

Either that or that the self-same “trotskyist” teachers of the 80’s and 90’s (who one assumes haven’t just dropped off the face of the earth) – see Conhome for details – have all of a sudden decided – y’know, I’m bored of liberal tolerance; lets give racially-based authoritarianism a go.

20. Dontmindme

Sunny

“What if you’re an Asian parent who doesn’t have much choice in moving house to get their child to a different school – but want to complain about a teacher with BNP sympathies making snide comments about their child or singling them out all the time?”

or

What if you’re an Asian parent who doesn’t have much choice in moving house to get their child to a different school – but want to complain about a teacher making snide comments about their child or singling them out all the time?

Why is your quote more of an issue than the second modified one? Surely it should be a complaint about teaching standards, not political sympathies?

Besides, I am quite sure that if there are 2 BNP member teachers out there, there are 200 or more who sympathise. What do you propose to do about this hidden army? Polygraph tests maybe?

Be careful what you are asking for here. What you are suggesting could be turned on people who have a wide range of views that the state happens to find uncomfortable, maybe yours.

@16: “The point is rather that these restrictions shouldn’t be applied to ANY group, because not only is it ineffective and unhelpful, it’s just plain illiberal.”

The second half of my post was about the BNP in general, not this specific proposal. When it comes up in the media, a general assumption is “the BNP got votes, therefore they’re ok”. That’s what I was disagreeing with.

@17:“If such a party got 950K votes in the UK, then Paedophilia would not be OK. If it got 9.5m votes then clearly it would be OK.”

Well, on that we disagree. I believe that there are a few self-evident truths in this world, founded on something deeper than the democratic process. Paedophilia is wrong, whether 9 people or 9.5m vote in favour of it. In much the same way, whether 9 or 950k people vote for the BNP, racism is still wrong.

22. Dontmindme

Kentron

No, there is nothing that is “true” that cen not become “untrue” in politics. If 51% vote for laws on paedophilia to be relaxed then it will happen. You dont have to like it, but it is how democracy works.

Equally you should have more faith in democracy. It aint going to happen so don’t worry about it. Likewise the BNP aint going to get 9.5m votes.

What will however do immesearable benefit to their cause, is to persecute and single them out. If you so abhor rascism then promote the arguments that drive you to that conclusion and win the argument that way. Do not give the BNP just cause to say ‘we are the victims’. Thats the argument that is spuriously used to get them so many votes already, and you would hand them the real thing gift wrapped

“I would support any measure that saw teachers who had publicly expressed a prejudice against a particular group of people that they may end up teaching barred from the profession.”

True, but this should be a decision of the profession, by their own code of conduct…not that of the state.

“Paedophilia is wrong”

Wrong, in all cases (and I don’t wish to decsend in to specifics, I’m talking in the general sense) is defined by group morality. You can sit here in a society where we all believe paedophilia to be evil and say that it would still be evil if the majority supported it…but the reality would be that the majority would be in favour…and thus it would be highly unlikely to be seen as evil in your mind. Slavery was “not wrong” for many years. Neither was using as much electricity as you could afford.

I believe that there are a few self-evident truths in this world, founded on something deeper than the democratic process. Paedophilia is wrong, whether 9 people or 9.5m vote in favour of it. In much the same way, whether 9 or 950k people vote for the BNP, racism is still wrong.

I suspect this is very much a social construct. 100 years ago you would have found the great majority of British people who would have said that homosexuality was ‘wrong’ and that that was a self-evident truth. If you want a more recent example, look at attitudes to drink driving in 1979 and today.

And should peoples’ employment be determined by whether ‘a parent’ is uncomfortable? What if ‘a parent’ is uncomfortable with their son/daughter being taught by a woman in a burqa?

If the woman in burqa treated them badly then I’d see it as a problem. Generally though, I’d say teaching involves face to face communication and would think women wearing burqas and unsuitable to the job anyway.

As to the point about teachers being reprimanded. I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that. I’ve known of several instances where teachers have made racist comments about their Asian students, or keep singling them out, but the school refuses to take any action.

In that case legal action would be the only recourse available, and if the person was a BNP member that would bolster their case.

All I’m saying is that the general consensus here doesn’t take into account the realities – that sometimes legislation doesn’t need to be implemented in order to have a big impact (RRA) and that sometimes without any legal protection parents can be at a disadvantage.

“The most obvious objection is a basic point of civil liberties”.

This is Libertarian nonsense at its worst. Antifascism and the principle of no platform exists to deny fascists free speech

if democracy allows them to be elected, democracy is at fault

27. Dontmindme

“Antifascism and the principle of no platform exists to deny fascists free speech

if democracy allows them to be elected, democracy is at fault”

In other words, I know best, Mine is the one true knowledge that transends all politics. My view supercedes that of all others.

Fascist talk if ever I heard it.

28. Dontmindme

Sunny

and when you have sacked all BNP members who are teacher, why not then the medical profession. Perhaps accountants as well.

And when the NewBNP is formed with exactly the same people, all having resigned the old one to avoid your new rules, you start again do you?

Or instead you look at their actions and decide if what they do is within or without the law, in the courts, outside politics, and not get yourself trapped in a political dead end where you are the oppressor

While the BNP are a vile set of utter twats, the BNP is a legal entity so I have to agree with the OP.

There are laws as is to stop racial harassment and speech – and it seems those laws work well(ish).

But just banning a person from a job because of their political beliefs? No thanks – that is a place I would not want to go, at all.

The illiberalism shown by NuLab is that they ban anything that “may” have some detrimental effect on a granny in Tuscany who doesn’t even know that that action would take place in a million years. Hence why so many of their illiberal laws are quite shit!

15 teachers out of how many? What if it was 10? 5? 1?

30. Donut Hinge Party

“if democracy allows them to be elected, democracy is at fault”

But democracy also allows politicians to be elected who can then pass laws to ban them.

Ah-haaa!!

Good old democracy.

It’s like the whole “God’s Will” thing.

“Using a clutch of cells for research might actually save some lives.” YOU’RE PLAYING GOD!
“I wonder if we could make these potatoes hardier enough so that people don’t starve.” YOU’RE PLAYING GOD!
“It might be sensible to slip a rubber on, as I don’t want kids.” YOU’RE PLAYING GOD!
“Hmm, getting a bit stubbly; I should have a shave.” “YOU’RE PLAYING GOD!”
“Ow, a cut, I’d better put a plaster on it.” “YOU’RE PLAYING GOD!”

where teachers have made racist comments about their Asian students, or keep singling them out, but the school refuses to take any action.

Then there is something wrong in the school – are those teachers members of a union and that union will defend them?

If those teachers are doing as you say they are then they should be sacked – simple as.

@22:“No, there is nothing that is “true” that cen not become “untrue” in politics. If 51% vote for laws on paedophilia to be relaxed then it will happen. You dont have to like it, but it is how democracy works.”

Either you’re confusing ‘true’ with ‘politically acceptable’, or you see the two as necessarily the same. I do not. If a law was passed tomorrow to say that there were more Londoners than stars in the universe, it would not therefore become true. We use democracy is a system of government, not a truth-system.

@23:“Wrong, in all cases (and I don’t wish to decsend in to specifics, I’m talking in the general sense) is defined by group morality. You can sit here in a society where we all believe paedophilia to be evil and say that it would still be evil if the majority supported it…but the reality would be that the majority would be in favour…and thus it would be highly unlikely to be seen as evil in your mind. Slavery was “not wrong” for many years. Neither was using as much electricity as you could afford.”

I agree with what you’re saying about how values change over time, but it’s a tangential point. We’re not discussing values moving over decades or centuries, but a single vote on a single day supposedly making racism acceptable. That of course begs the question “how many years does it take to become real?”, but I don’t have to answer that for a while yet 🙂

As for a majority changing my mind.. I doubt it. I seem to have a preference for minority views anyhow. (Pro-EU, anti-capital punishment, pro-immigration, pro-human rights, etc).

@24: See above.

33. Jimmy Sands

It’s usually the left that gets accused of putting the rights of teachers ahead of those of children and yet oddly this is the one issue on which it appears teachers can expect conservatives to leap to their defence. I don’t believe holding racist views is compatible with holding such a position. Anyone holding such views is going to have to keep it a secret.

34. Dontmindme

Kentron

Now you are confusing the word “true”, with fact. It is a fact that the world is round. No amount of voting can change that fact.

It is a Truth that in todays society, paedophilia is seen as wrong. It has not always been seen that way. (Romeo and Juliet would be locked up today). And it might change in the future. You dont have to like it, and you can campaign like crazy to stop it or prevent it, but dont be deluded into thinking it is in the same class of absolute fact as the shape of the world.

It is a Truth that in todays society, paedophilia is seen as wrong

And even that is a bit debatable. In Spain the age of consent is 13. Hilariously, in the Vatican it’s 12.

“if democracy allows them to be elected, democracy is at fault”

Lol. That statement, alone, is the highest praise for a dictatorship one could ask for.

@34: I believe that treating someone differently by the colour of their skin is factually wrong. (Yes, I used “believe” and “fact” in the same sentence, but bear with me).

A fact is a statement which can be confirmed. The Earth being a sphere has been confirmed. Unless you know of some research to the contrary, the equality of human persons has also been confirmed. We have found nothing in genetics which makes a whole skin colour inferior to another (clearly, there are average differences in shapes and sizes, but nothing importantly superior/inferior). Hence, to my mind, racism is factually inaccurate.

In turn, if the BNP got 51% of the vote at the next General Election and started deporting blacks and Asians as ‘inferior’, they would be wrong. Not just immoral or unacceptable, but also wrong. If they got 61%, or 81%, or 99% of the vote; still wrong.

38. Shatterface

‘If those teachers are doing as you say they are then they should be sacked – simple as.’

Exactly – we’re talking behaviour here, not beliefs.

I wouldn’t be particularly chuffed to discover a science teacher believes in intelligent design but as long as they teach actual science and save the fairytales for home, it’s really not my business.

39. Shatterface

‘A fact is a statement which can be confirmed. The Earth being a sphere has been confirmed.’

It’s an oblate sphere, but close enough.

‘Unless you know of some research to the contrary, the equality of human persons has also been confirmed. We have found nothing in genetics which makes a whole skin colour inferior to another (clearly, there are average differences in shapes and sizes, but nothing importantly superior/inferior). Hence, to my mind, racism is factually inaccurate.’

The superiority or inferiority of skin colour isn’t a scientific question, it’s a social one. Ditto cultural differences.

40. Planeshift

When I was in school one of the teachers was a well known trot – selling socialist worker in the streets on weekends etc. Did that mean he indoctrinated a new generation of newspaper salesman?

No, on the contrary. Whenever a political discussion emerged, every student in the class took a devil’s advocate position – sometimes to the absurd – in an effort to disagree with him and take the piss. So he probably put off a generation from far left politics.

So if it is discovered that a teacher is in the BNP, then not only should they not be fired, but it should be made publically known. The kids will respond by rejecting their politics and deliberately looking for the counter position. Furthermore if the teacher starts picking on a minority child, then everybody will know why – and thus his word will be meaningless.

The real scandal is that social sciences are not part of the curriculum, so a great deal of children grow up without ever coming accross the basics of political philosophy, economics, sociology, international relations etc. Thus they become easier for tabloids to manipulate….

41. Dontmindme

Kentron

Still no. It is a fact that genetic shows is that the differences between all human beings at the genentic level are very small. In fact, they show that the human species is unusual in that it has very little genetic diversity. In fact the whole 6bn plus population is decended from a tiny polulation, and this probably a result of the effects of the Ice age on early homosapien population

All of those are facts, except the last point which is informed speculation.

However “rascism is wrong” is a value, not a fact. It is a value that predates the knowledge of any of the the facts above. its roots can be found in the bible, enlightement thinking, the US delaration of independence, and the views of the rights of man that lead enevitably to the conclusion that one size must fit all.

If you have come to the conclusion that rascism is wrong based on genetics, then welcome to the party, but you are a bit of a jonny-come-lately. Some ‘knew’ it decades, centuries before that. Indeed your view impies that if the research had shown greater diversity amongst the races, then you might think differently, which is worrying in is own right.

Really good piece I’m in agreement with basically everything you say.

@Planeshift

Good point about kids being dickheads to everyone, regardless of beliefs. If a teacher is a BNP members it should be well known, because the vast majority are repulsed by it.

Perhaps being a teacher should be a profession where you have to declare any party affiliation.

Although, the stigma attached to the BNP might just make that a policy of “banning by the back door.”

It’s an oblate sphere, but close enough.

You mean an oblate spheroid. It isn’t , but close enough.

44. Dontmindme

44.

It is round, within accepted tolerances

32. “I agree with what you’re saying about how values change over time, but it’s a tangential point. We’re not discussing values moving over decades or centuries, but a single vote on a single day supposedly making racism acceptable. That of course begs the question “how many years does it take to become real?”, but I don’t have to answer that for a while yet :)”

I would argue that a single vote wouldn’t put someone in power that has a belief we consider to be wrong unless for a while a feeling or way of thinking hadn’t been cultivating. Voting for racists comes as a part of the course of racist and xenophobic tendencies being seen as the only option to protect one’s self, not the other way around.

The successive governments of the tories and labour have managed to help cultivate this feeling through pandering to the tabloids with their policy making, giving credence to the idea that immigration is a problem. Over generations lack of tackling this thought rather than encouraging it has bedded it in certain areas in multiple generations.

We’re here, with the BNP, because both the main parties have failed to offer a reasonable alternative to hatred for those people.

46. Shatterface

‘It is round, within accepted tolerances’

I think acceptability and tolerance are the issue here.

🙂

47. Dontmindme

shatterface LOL 🙂

I’m going to continue playing devil’s advocate because I don’;t think the responses are sufficient:

While the BNP are a vile set of utter twats, the BNP is a legal entity so I have to agree with the OP.

But al-Qaeda could set up a political front here, and get a few votes, and then start demanding all sorts of rights.

The point isn’t about who is automatically allowed to do stuff because they’re a legitimate party (why should a political party be allowed special allowances then say an NGO?) – but what they do.

I think my problem is that to assume that its quite easy to detect racist actions of teachers and then take action if your child has been discriminated against. It’s not a a clear cut line as is being made out here.

Are parents going to be ok having their kids taught by someone who is a certifiable paedophile? No, because they’ll worry something will happen that will deeply distress or emotionally scar their child.
Similarly, people don’t join the BNP just to have the right to swing a flag – they’re going to hold racist views that are central to party philosophy. To think of the BNP as just another political party is silly.

49. Dontmindme

“But al-Qaeda could set up a political front here, and get a few votes, and then start demanding all sorts of rights.”

No they cant, they are a listed terrorist organisation whose membership thereof is illegal.

However, if a political party whose aims were to further a worldwide islamic caliphate, by using political means (the ballot box) to get the UK to convert into a theocratic state under sharia law, then yes it would have an absolute right to exist

If that sounds unlikely then I have two words for you Sinn Fein.

The difference is clear. So long as the BNP does not act against the law, it is absolutely free to campaign to change the law. Whether you, I, or uncle Tom likes it or not.

50. Charlieman

School kids endure all sorts of discrimination: gingerness, accent, chubbiness etc. Society does not create special rules to cover such discrimination. If the kids discriminate, it is addressed by school rules on bullying, and if teachers discriminate, it is exposed as unprofessional behaviour.

Bizarrely, Andrew Brons worked in post-16 education teaching social sciences for 35 years. He must have taught hundreds of young people of all colours.

@41: You accept my point that we have scientifically proven all skin colours to be of equal value, yet still maintain that “racism (i.e. differing treatment by skin colour) is wrong” cannot be a fact. You seem to be arguing that it is a value because some people thought it before it was proven. Erm, what? Some people thought the world was round (and some flat), before either side were proven correct. That doesn’t make the current [leaving the best description to others] spheroid shape of the Earth any less of a fact. Why can’t it have been a value before it was proven, and a fact now it is?

Please don’t make grand assumptions concerning my views on racial equality based on the few words I’ve written here. I believe that human beings are fundamentally equal on moral, social, political, genetic and whatever other grounds you can think of. Saying that people are equal because of genetics is not my only argument, nor is it even my favoured one. However, it is one more stick with which to beat the BNP, and anyone who shares their views. If my use of science to back up my moral thoughts makes me a lesser thinker, so be it.

Sunny – 49

But al-Qaeda could set up a political front here, and get a few votes, and then start demanding all sorts of rights.

I ask would they? If it was a matter that they would turn against terrorism, for that is what they use, then I would look at that one again. If they are willing to engage in the political process and be willing to lose by debate and the will of the people – then …

Yet – we are not talking about a terrorist organisation. Look at what the law has done all ready – the BNP have had to change their policy of who can join their party. They had to do that or they would be alienating themselves at the fringe, although, they are just a smidge inside that fringe now, but moving in the correct direction.

Are parents going to be ok having their kids taught by someone who is a certifiable paedophile?

Well, no – obviously not. Again, the legislation is there to screen people, certainly not perfect because you have to be on that list to be screened. We can surmise as much but if we simply keep using that argument then we will have a country that isn’t Liberal we will have a country that distrusts everyone for any amount of possible actions that in all probability won’t happen. Ah – and what do we have today?

We could go around in circles asking “what-ifs” until we are blue in the face.

If the BNP came to power isn’t one of their policies to either castrate or hang paedophiles? On that alone why don’t the vast population then want them to be in power?

Obviously they don’t – so why not trust the people to elect those who they want after weighing up all their options.

It is the lack of trust of the electorate that is the biggest problem at the moment.

@ 49 – “certifiable paedophile”? You can get a certificate in it?

Obviously parents, or even childless people who aren’t total idiots, wouldn’t want a paedophile in the teaching profession. They wouldn’t want a serial killer, an arsonist or a drug dealer in it either. The risk of serious harm is too high and that’s why we have CRB checks and a list banning certain people from such jobs. People with idiotic viewpoints aren’t, however, banned from working with children until, and unless, they do something to demonstrate that they pose a risk of serious harm. That’s because we live in a (sort of) liberal democracy which allows people certain freedoms. If those freedoms are restricted to people whose views we approve of then we aren’t a liberal democracy and, in fact, those freedoms don’t really mean much any more

I have a notional list of people whose views I consider to be idiotic and potentially (sometimes actually) dangerous. I expect most people have such a list. My list includes BNP members. It also includes anyone with a religious belief, Conservatives, Homeopaths, UKIP supporters and Gillian McKeith. Idiotic as I feel their views are, I accept that they have a right to go about their business, do their jobs and pursue their twisted visions of happiness until, and unless, they actually do something to harm another person.

>The risk of serious harm is too high and that’s why we have CRB checks and a list banning certain people from such jobs.

Noting in passing that the protagonist in the Nursery + Facebook child abuse case reported today had passed her CRB checks successfully. Place not your faith in CRB (or ISA) tickboxes, either for placing dangerous people on the database or keeping innocent people off it.

Excellent article, Dave.

“The point isn’t about who is automatically allowed to do stuff because they’re a legitimate party (why should a political party be allowed special allowances then say an NGO?) – but what they do.”

Exactly, hence why being a member of a party shouldn’t automatically DISALLOW them from doing stuff either.

56. Jimmy Sands

Would a teacher be removed for membership of a paedophile advocacy organisation in the absence of evidence of misconduct?

Kentron,

I certainly did not make grand assumptions. I only commented on what you said. Since you cited “science” I responded in kind.

Also rascism is not solely or simply the belief that race ‘other’ is inferior. It is often fed by envy and jealousy, sometimes feelings of unfair advantage. As such it can not be defeated by proving biological equivilence.

The bottom line, is that unless you can derive a formula, that can be tested in labs, to prove rascism is objectively wrong then your argument fails. And obviously you can’t. Its a view, a belief, a creed, a value. A world view that comes up in conflict with other things like homes, jobs and livelyhoods that others believe have a should higher priority in their lives every day.

Saying “rascism is wrong” and siting back in contentment at the obvious superiority of your view cuts no ice with people who think they are losing out on shelter, jobs and comfort to someone else they perceive as less deserving.

You have to engage with those issues and address them, so people will believe thay are receiving fair treatment.

But I do not see such debates being had, just endlesshand wringing ‘ aren’t the BNP awful, you really should not be voting for them you know’ statements.

Thats why the BNP gets votes.

Can any of you explain why the Right wing is always considered wrong and Left wing is always considered right? When was it decided that extreme left wing ideals have greater merit than the right?

Why are the two extremes treated so differently? Isnt this a double standard?

How can Right be wrong and Left be right!

It must be so great to know that you (liberals) are so comfortable in the knowledge that you are correct and everyone else can burn in hell?

Liberalism is a curse!

59. Jimmy Sands

“When was it decided that extreme left wing ideals have greater merit than the right?”

There was a meeting. Did you not get the memo?

I think it was Polly Toynbee circa 1962..

Then again how about the “Far Right” = “Authoritarian Left” equivalent?

Given that most Leftists consider themselves the very epitome of Liberal Thought even though the only really Liberal Leftist was probably Gandhi….

In my experience, Leftist Liberals are only liberal insofar as they consider the target of their largess to be “Right On”. Any point of view that differs from theirs is to be ridiculed and denounced as “Extremist Far Right”

I, happen to be one of those people that the so called “Liberal Left” cannot deal with: A Libertarian… at least without attempting to call me a “Right wing Nut-job” or similar eloquent put downs. I hold Right Wing (IE Free Market) economic views yet am also a “Social Liberal”.

Incidently – Anyone here who fervently supports a Football Team – HAtes the local derby opposition – It is the same thing as racsism – ie a sense of “Other”

61. Jimmy Sands

@61

Gosh, you really get us. Do we also invent straw men to argue with?

I’m in rather two minds about this. I think I largely agree with you.

On the one hand I would hope pupils have enough common sense to raise a hand (or a voice) and to shoot down racist words or deeds in the classroom. However, last night I was in town for a mate’s birthday bash of which many attending were molecular biologists. All of them were of the opinion that climate change was part of a natural cycle and humanity’s carbon footprint has been so small it has not affected the organic cycle in any great way. I disagreed with this position quite obviously. However, when I pressed them on how they came to their profound conclusion- despite not being experts in the field of climate science- all of them responded by saying that their lecturer had told them!

So, because an educated authority figure has told them something, they obviously assume that the rest of the whole scientific consensus is wrong. I couldn’t quite believe that ‘cynical’ scientists were gullible.

Hence why I am in two minds about the policy toward teachers who hold membership of the BNP.

“How can Right be wrong and Left be right!

[..]

Liberalism is a curse!”

Left vs Right != Liberalism vs anything else. You are extremely confused.

63. “Hence why I am in two minds about the policy toward teachers who hold membership of the BNP.”

It is natural for students to listen to authority, in general, to accept their teacher’s words. At a later stage (university) you would hope that they’d question their lecturer but that stage of education is a more level playing field of power and conversation. But in Primary and Secondary education the system kind of depends on the trust inherent between teacher and student in the transfer of knowledge.

It is down to other factors…other teachers, the management of the school, parents interacting with their own children about what they’re being taught, and finally the Ofsted inspectors, to work out if someone’s teaching appears to be inappropriate…not the child’s, it goes against the system to expect it (though if it happens, all the better we are for it).

The fallacy in your view is that, as it is constantly repeated, you need to be a member of the BNP to be racist, influential in a, socially perceived, negative manner, or misleading. The idea that banning the BNP is going to solve anything is ridiculous as it is a) not guaranteed to solve the problem…in fact it is fairly guaranteed not to (if the problem really exists) and b) it is not guaranteed to result in someone being forced out of the profession that was definitely a danger to the education of a child.

I hate to say it, of course, but I imagine there are plenty of BNP members that are perfectly capable of going in to a classroom and teaching just like everyone else. These people should not be penalised from teaching while their professional conduct is sound. If they start being unprofessional deal with them in a manner set out by the school and the profession, it is really that simple.

The state does not need to interfere on this matter, simple codes of conduct that are brought out of common sense ideas on education, not born of politics, will do the job of stopping BNP members from spreading propoganda…especially if parents keep talking to their children.

And I will repeat, there will be parents out there that hate socialism (for example) and believe in a small state low tax society. When the tories come in to power should the Tories be allowed to ban Labour members from teaching at school because their personal views are an antithesis to this political belief? Let’s face it, if you can answer no to that, then you are simply hypocritical based on a rather subjective, personal and selfish set of criteria if you still think the BNP should be banned from teaching…or doing anything for that matter.

What is it that makes so many people reach for the statute book?

Legislation should not be used to send a message. That is not what legislation is for.

If the teacher – or indeed any employee – behaves in a manner contrary to the terms of his employment, and his terms of employment are reasonable, the school should take action. If the school does not take action, the parents or the council should be able to take action against the school. If they are unable to take action against the school, the government should facilitate their action against the school or some other remedy.

We do not need the full weight of the statute book in every case of concern to us.

@ Jimmy Sands 60 and 62

Smug, self righteous and typical. You are the stereotype! (Polly is that you? Are you Jimmy Sands?)

@Lee Griffin

“Left vs Right != Liberalism vs anything else. You are extremely confused.”

Only by your answer Lee!

The alternative, of course, would be to allow everyone to discriminate against BNP members (and anyone else) but only if they want to. I.e. allow individual schools to select who they want to be teachers on whatever grounds they see fit. It would return the power to discriminate to individuals, groups and communities rather than the state. For the most part (there will be exceptions of course), I believe people’s choice of discrimination will be better than leaving it up to the state to decide who is the in-group, and who is the out-group of the day.

@65

Absolutely right. I was going to make exactly the same point as your final paragraph myself.

@ Everyone who thinks membership of the BNP is grounds for discrimination:

Why is is wrong to discriminate against someone using one set of criteria but not using a different set of criteria according to you own personal viewpoint? Is discrimination based on the colour of one’s skin any different from discrimination based on Gender? Or Sexual Orientation? Or Age? What about Religion or Hair Colour (eg. Blond or Ginger). What about weight or height? How about disability?

I’m sure you answered “no different” to all of those so why should political veiwpoint be any different? Of the above list, arguably only Religion may be changed as one may convert from one religion to another. You cannot change you age, though surgery may help disguise it. You cannot change the colour of you skin, though Michael Jackson had a damn good go. You cannot change your gender though, again, surgery can disguise it and drugs can hold the natural processes at bay. You cannot change your natural hair colour, though dies and bleaches can temporarily disguise a brunette as a blond for instance.

You can, however, change your political views. People do all the time. The very raison d’etre for sites such as this is to change the minds of people opposed to you by, hopefully, reasoned argument.

Everyone is entitled to their point of view however distasteful you may find it. They probably find your point of view just as distasteful. How can you be a Liberal and propose banning people who hold views alien to yours. That is not Liberalism, that is Tyranny. Ever read 1984? What you are proposing is banning “Thought Crime” Some of you, on another thread, or was this at the Guardian, were slagging off men who looked at a pretty girl and though “Phwoar!”.

No, the way to combat the BNP and their ilk is not to ban them, or restrict their employment rights or any other of the authoritarian measures that the so called liberals are proposing, but to engage with them. Debate with them in public and let them damn themselves with their own words. The voters will judges them on their merits. If, however, the voters happen to agree with them, then you would have to consider that maybe, just maybe, you were wrong.

You cannot say Democracy only works when it gives results that you agree with. It’s like holding a referendum over and over again until you get the “right” answer.

Mr Tyke

You are spot on!

If you are a liberal you are one of the few that actually understands what it is to be liberal. Unlike the bulk of the pseudo liberals who are fascist but just dont realise it!

Thank you for taking the time to post your response!

Oh and the EU holds referendums until they get what they want. Am I the only one who feels this is the end of true democracy? We are creating a world that will fight to solve problems rather than use the ballot box. Once the ballot box becomes used by governments to manipulate results we are truly on the slippery slope to hell. Labour government postal fraud springs to mind!

Mr Tyke

Liberalism has a serious “weakness” (I’ll come back to the quotes). That is most liberals confronted with the consequences of their faith will quickly cave in to expediency.

Everyone should be free to belong to a politics of their choice, so long as their choice does not conflict with the liberal world view. After all to allow otherwise would be to allow illiberality to invade the body politic, and that would be obviously unacceptable.

This seductive line of thought leads regularly to perverse outcomes. Banning the BNP teacher is an example. Ban the BNP teacher, the Zionist teacher is sure to follow (after all they are bound to cause upset to pupils of mid-east origin, and are likely to discriminate against them). Ban the Zionist teacher, the Christian surely must follow (how can a Christian ever be anything but biased agianst everyone elses religion “no one comes to the father except through me” It says in John. There you are; unambiguous proof. Even if they are not, there must be a presumption of bias to protect pupils from potential abuse). And so on.

So back to the quotes. The flaw is in the assumption that those who assume the mantle of liberalism are infact liberal in their actions. Whereas the liberal is certian his way is better than the worst of human nature, the conservative knows his is not. Therefore the conservative knows that he is not to be trusted with unfettered power, and places all manner of barriers to himself and tyranny, including freedom of speech, liberty of tender conciences etc. The liberal believing he knows best and is acting for the best, will tear down these barriers to obtain the power to destroy his foe, and only when it is too late will he discover that he has let in the very tyranny he so fought to oppose

@Dontmindme

Excellent posting, when the facts are staring you in the face liberalism dictates another set of facts needs to be condisered.Ones that “fit” with the dogma already programmed into that mind. Call me cynical (if you wish), but free thinking liberal is the biggest lie ever told. Not as big as anything Tony Bliar says obvioulsy, but pretty big.

Why is is wrong to discriminate against someone using one set of criteria but not using a different set of criteria according to you own personal viewpoint? Is discrimination based on the colour of one’s skin any different from discrimination based on Gender? Or Sexual Orientation? Or Age? What about Religion or Hair Colour (eg. Blond or Ginger). What about weight or height? How about disability?

I’m sure you answered “no different” to all of those so why should political veiwpoint be any different?

Well, they are obviously different: gender, sexual orientation, age, hair colour, weight, height, disability or other physical attributes don’t indicate in themselves that the person may discriminate against someone else, but political and religious viewpoints (mental attitudes) of particular kinds indicate in themselves that the person may discriminate against someone else. What we hope is that a teacher (for example) remains professional and does not allow those personal views to affect his work.

71
My understanding of liberalism is that it starts with the individual, and according to the law, all individuals are equal. In parallel with this is the view that ‘happiness’ is the natural pursuit of the individual, consequently, the function of government is to promote the greatest happiness of the greatest number.
Liberalism, therefore, accepts cultural/democratic/social norms in conjunction with personal freedom, Therefore, a prejudice which is deemed as repulsive by the many is legitimately rejected, however, a prejudice which creates no such feelings is legitimate.
You may or may not agree with liberalism and it is often difficult to avoid downright contradictions, but given the diversity of people, their circumstances, multi-culturism, class, gender etc. it would be unrealistic to expect text-book outcomes for everything. What liberalism can never be is facist,,

Fascism, pronounced /?fæ??z?m/, comprises a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology.

Which part of that does not fit with liberalism?

Radical perhaps? “Is adherence to radical views and principles in politics”.
Authoritarian, do as I say as I am a liberal and I know whats best for you!
Nationalist, refers to an ideology, a sentiment, a form of culture, or a social movement that focuses on the nation.
Political, presumably no explanation required here?,
Ideology, can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things.

The word fascist is one that liberals have monopolised for decades and have used it like a joker when they are loosing an argument, that and racist of course. I think they need to understand liberalism=facist. Its a truism

Fascism, pronounced /?fæ??z?m/, comprises a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology.

Which part of that does not fit with liberalism?

Radical perhaps? “Is adherence to radical views and principles in politics”.
Authoritarian, do as I say as I am a liberal and I know whats best for you!
Nationalist, refers to an ideology, a sentiment, a form of culture, or a social movement that focuses on the nation.
Political, presumably no explanation required here?,
Ideology, can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things.

The word fascist is one that liberals have monopolised for decades and have used it like a joker when they are loosing an argument, that and racist of course. I think they need to understand liberalism=facist. Its a truism

77 The word ‘fascism’ is overused, I have mentioned this on many other posts at LC, it has become a term of abuse used by certain individuals against others who do not share their views, I have no doubt that there are those, who view themselves as liberals, who have used the word in this way.
But liberalism cannot be fascist because fascism is anti-individual and anti-liberal, as you have noted, fascism is nationalistic ie, it places the nation-state first.

@ steveb

You have a valid point and I can see where your coming from but the nation (nanny) state is the foundation and mechanism of ensuring liberlism is imposed on the prols!

Liberalism is anti-individual (if you hapen to be a member of BNP or dont agree with with a liberal).

Anti-liberal yes no argument with that, but thats really the point Im making, apart from the fact it is anti-liberal, the remainder of the argument fits! How close does it need to be before it is accepted.

Douglas Adams wrote If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.

You really cant argue with that! 😉

“The liberal believing he knows best and is acting for the best, will tear down these barriers to obtain the power to destroy his foe, and only when it is too late will he discover that he has let in the very tyranny he so fought to oppose”

I’m not going to get in to this fight, I find the discussion of semantics unbearably dull, but your understanding of what Liberalism is, along with your friend Kevan750, is seriously confused. You, from what I can see above, are talking about either socialists or communists.

76. “Fascism, pronounced /?fæ??z?m/, comprises a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology.

Which part of that does not fit with liberalism?”

The part where liberals, as in real liberals and not the socialists you seem to be targetting and labelling them as “liberals”, would not act in an authoritarian manner. Their very essence politically is to NOT allow the state to over-ride the individual aside from in specific circumstances.

@ Lee Griffin

Where are all these true liberals defending liberalism when the socialists are abusing the name and beliefs. They rarely if ever actaully object to these “others” and make it known that they do not agree with the “political liberals, socialists, communist or any other left leaning group”. There are many examples where the silence has been deafening.

You are a collaborator if you do not object to this and you are in passive agreement of this form of the abuse of liberalism by virtue of the fact you have not objected.

80
Sorry, I don’t understand your post, I am not targetting socialists, I am merely explaining a part of liberal philosophy. If you don’t want to get into ‘this fight’???
why bother posting. If you post it might be a good idea to make some kind of lucid point’
And as for semantics, it might be a good idea if you understood some of the meanings which you are accusing others of being confused about. In both of my posts I have stated liberalism is about the individual this is not the philosophy of socialism’
Your feeling of dullness is apparant from your post.
79 – yep

steveb @ 82: I don’t think I was ever referencing you, unless you are also Dontmindme? Please untwist your knickers.

Kevan @ 81: “You are a collaborator if you do not object to this and you are in passive agreement of this form of the abuse of liberalism by virtue of the fact you have not objected.”

I think you need to open your eyes and read what I’ve actually posted on this very topic.

In fact…

“Where are all these true liberals defending liberalism when the socialists are abusing the name and beliefs.”

This makes so little sense. The post itself is basically saying the idea of banning the BNP from teaching just for being the BNP is wrong. The first 11 comments are all in support of the premise of the post. Where have you got the idea that “liberals” are sitting here defending calls for illiberal legislation?

Wow, I really shouldn’t take the weekend off. Here goes.

Dontmindme @58: I think (shockingly) that we may largely agree 🙂 I fully accept then when most people reference “race” they are really talking about a wide range of factors, most tenuously related (at best) to any definition of race. And therefore, yes, that use of “racism” clearly cannot be scientifically proven or dis-proven. My point is that, for me, racism is fundamentally based on the argument of inherent inferiority. If someone believes that black people are not inherently inferior, but that they are ‘stealing jobs’ due to some almighty nonsense pumped out by an ignorant media; the ‘racist’ is not racist in my eyes but merely misled.

My saying that “racism is wrong” was not an attempt to ignore the obvious racism which exists in the world today, or belittle it in any way. If someone did believe they were being disadvantaged mainly because of “black people”, I would do everything in my power to convince them otherwise as long as they were prepared to at least listen to my arguments. If, on the other hand, they simply fell back to “not interested, f**** blacks should be deported”… well, I have better ways to waste my time. If that’s the hand-wringing of a liberal elitist, I’m guilty as charged.

P.S. Obviously I’m just using ‘black’ as an example.

And now on to the “I get my understanding of intricate political philosophy from the Daily Mail’s Big Book Of Simple Definitions for Complicated Concepts” crowd. This could take a while.

@59: “Can any of you explain why the Right wing is always considered wrong and Left wing is always considered right?” Examples wouldn’t kill you. Or, just stick to throwing out random accusations to ‘prove’ a point.

“It must be so great to know that you (liberals) are so comfortable in the knowledge that you are correct and everyone else can burn in hell?” Where in jesus jinking jeffries are you getting this from?

“Liberalism is a curse!” Yey, more entirely random claims. See #65.

@61: “Incidently – Anyone here who fervently supports a Football Team – HAtes the local derby opposition – It is the same thing as racsism – ie a sense of “Other”” Not quite. Most football fans don’t (at least in their clearer moments) want their rival fans chained up and deported from the country.

@67: … Lee Griffin was entirely correct to say that “left vs right” and “liberalism vs x” are two different spheres of thought. Or perhaps you’d like to educate us?

@69 “If, however, the voters happen to agree with them, then you would have to consider that maybe, just maybe, you were wrong.” If your ideas of justice, morality and truth are entirely synonymous with “what is popular”. Some of us don’t take that view.

@70: “Unlike the bulk of the pseudo liberals who are fascist but just dont realise it!” *sighs. More cogent, well-explained analysis of the liberal condition.

“Oh and the EU holds referendums until they get what they want. Am I the only one who feels this is the end of true democracy?” If your idea of “true democracy” is direct democracy, then we either never had it, or haven’t had it since Ancient Greece (depending on viewpoint). If, on the other hand, you accept that representative democracy can be valuable, the EU provides that. The last time I checked, it was led by democractically-elected MEPs and democratically-elected national leaders. What am I missing?

@71: Finally, some explanation. The chism you identify, between ‘tolerance’ liberals and ‘perfectionist’ liberals, certainly exists (writers will use different terms for the two camps, but the meanings are generally similar). Essentially from the beginning of what we now call ‘liberalism’, people have argued for one or the other principle taking priority. When dealing with immigrants, is it more liberal to aim for integration or multiculturalism? Should we tolerate the intolerant? Such questions are as essentially contested today as they were 300 years ago. However, I disagree with your contention that such disagreement is a “weakness”, in quotes or otherwise. For one, unless ideological conformity is your ultimate goal, disagreement is not an inherently bad thing. For another, it would be laughable to say that any other major ideology doesn’t have similar divisions. Are conservatism, Marxism or anarchism in intellectual strait-jackets? Putting John Locke, Barack Obama and Nick Clegg (three people whom I would consider liberal within their environments) in a room would result in much disagreement, but I’d wager no more so than the room next door containing Edmund Burke, Sarah Palin and Angela Merkel.

The above would be largely irrelevant if most liberals were ideological schizophrenics, constantly torn between the two poles of tolerance and perfectionism. However, I think you’ll find most of us (I speak as a member, not a representative) don’t suffer from such an ailment.

@76: Quoting the first line of a Wikipedia article as “proof” is.. lacking a certain analytic rigour, to be mild.

“I think they need to understand liberalism=facist. Its a truism” I think you need to understand a great many things 🙂

@79: “Liberalism is anti-individual” Hmm, that’s “random, unexplained statement” number six or so.

@81: “Where are all these true liberals defending liberalism when the socialists are abusing the name and beliefs.” You had the person you were aiming your post at doing exactly that already.

@Lee

Im not sure where to start! I am responding directly to your comments/reponses so opening my eyes means what exactly? If you can be specific and rebutt anything you disagree with and why I may be able to add additional comment or try and say it in a different manner to enable clarity. We are at different ends of the political spectrum, but these forums are designed to test opinion and refine arguements. The fact I am typing would indicate my one eye at least is open!

The second reference in 84 relates to wider issue’s (I thought that was obvious) but it would seem to me you have taken it as a specific reference to this post (which is fair enough I guess). Again though, the comment is my observation of the obvious (to me) lack of true liberal reaction against illiberal legislation made in the name of liberalism (phew). I cant really make that any clearer. The deafening hush of liberals when policy is produced and put through the system is what I said before, passive aggrement or collaberation!

Perhaps I need to be clearer, I would always admit that what is written is not always what is going around my head. Getting that into a rational post may not always be succesful. Comprehensive education was/is another liberal/social experiment that has failed and I consider myself a victim! 😉

Anyone got the phone number for claims-R-us solicitors I must have a claim against someone!

@Kentron

You just cant help yourselves can you!

And now on to the “I get my understanding of intricate political philosophy from the Daily Mail’s Big Book Of Simple Definitions for Complicated Concepts” crowd.

Smug?

“Can any of you explain why the Right wing is always considered wrong and Left wing is always considered right?” The Guardian is right, the Daily Mail is wrong. Nothing ever reported in the Mail is considered worthy. The G howver has gravitas and has no bias whatsoever. The BBC is not biased either is it? Where would you say the politics of this public service broadcaster lies? The BNP has no policy of any merit, no platform should be given to anything they have to say! Trevour Philips, has a whole industry supporting the left is right conclusion (but Im guessing you wont agree with these examples?) Please ask for more if you feel you need them!

“Liberalism is a curse!” Yey, more entirely random claims but my opinion and as the super brain that you are you must allow me an opinion, please!

@67: … Lee Griffin was entirely correct to say that “left vs right” and “liberalism vs x” are two different spheres of thought. Or perhaps you’d like to educate us?

So there are no links whatsoever between the two? No parallels, no connections, no nothing! Ok, I will defer to your superior intelect. I am totally missng the point again.

The last time I checked, it was led by democractically-elected MEPs and democratically-elected national leaders. What am I missing? Have you not witnessed the wholsale corruption of the EU? Have you not witnessed the bullying of smaller states and bribery of Ireland? I am at a loss if you feel that is democracy, true or otherwise, Greek or South African. When were you allowed to vote for President Barroso? Ever seen his name on a ballot paper? Unless you are a commissioner? More unelected bureaucrats in this democracy of which you speak of! What you are missing is obvious to me!

“Unlike the bulk of the pseudo liberals who are fascist but just dont realise it!” *sighs. More cogent, well-explained analysis of the liberal condition. This is not aimed at you Kentron, you are without doubt far superior in all ways than the people I am aiming this comment at! 😉 Far be it for me to tar all liberals with the same brush, and I apologise for this sweeping statement.

@76: Quoting the first line of a Wikipedia article as “proof” is.. lacking a certain analytic rigour, to be mild. I thought I made the point that the similarities exist and that using those Wiki definitions would be obvious and acceptable. If you have a different reference you would like me to do that comparrison please link me in. I would be happy to apply the same logic to the job at hand. You will also notice I have also pointed out in a later posting the single difference with the analogy and tried again to point out that the argument does stand up! You have made no effort to rebutt the specifics only the general comment. You mock Wiki and yet the article is referenced and moderated. Do you disagree with the article too? Perhaps you are a superior reference and that all should defer to you for information.

Moving on, you dont agree with the premis of the postings, thats fine, but you have made no specific rebuttal nor have you bothered to climb down from your ivory tower http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivory_Tower and answer the questions/points raised. Please enlighten me!

Actually, I do appreciate your comments but feel you are typical in your dismissive, very smug and condescending attitude http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condescending

However, I am more than willing to contest your views and relish the opportunity to discuss all these matters further. I realise you will not find my ramblings much of a challenge but please consider it a civic duty to humour me!

83
Sorry Lee Griffin, after a good night’s sleep, I see that you were not referring to me.
@Kevan750
It’s really difficult to categorise political beliefs as there are so many strands which overlap both right and left. Fascism can be left or riight-wing, the concept of what is ‘right’ and what is ‘left’ is always up for argument as Kentron has pointed out.
Liberalism creates numerous contradictions, we saw this in action when Hitler was democratically elected in Germany, and then that government withdrew democracy
I happen to believe, that.as a socialist.,the concept of socialism is more concrete as it specifically applies to a type of economic organization/theory, which has not changed over the years. This may not be everyone’s view/
The BNP question, from a liberal perspective, is two-pronged, if only a few people object to a BNP member becoming a teacher, (they find thei idea repulsive)then that person should be allowed to teach If, on the other hand, the majority of people find this repulsive, then the BNP member should not be allowed to teach.
Mill, a liberal, would call this ‘the tyranny of the majority’.
Yes it’s probably wishy-washy and I know of many liberals who hold strong views in contention with the majority and, they are allowed to express those views. As a socialist, I get quite a lot of derogatory remarks, LC, however, is a good site for debating,

“The deafening hush of liberals when policy is produced and put through the system is what I said before, passive aggrement or collaberation!”

Then, quite simply, you are not listening carefully. On a variety of issues such as voting reform for the individual, ID cards, DNA retention, secondary legislation to be used to create information control orders, extended detention without charge and the wider issue of the terrorism laws the liberal contingent of the country have been extremely loud. So loud in fact that we are now promised a referendum on voting reform (even if it’s not what everyone wanted, ID cards are temporarily being put on the back burner, DNA retention is being seriously questioned and curbed, detention without charge has not been extended, and information control orders were scrapped.

Liberals are speaking up for themselves, making themselves heard AND getting results when it comes to stopping illiberal legislation. So, where exactly is this collaboration with authoritarianism again?

“So there are no links whatsoever between the two? No parallels, no connections, no nothing! ”

There are links, but they are two different scales. It is like comparing red versus blue with earth versus sea. Liberals care about the individual, fascists about the state. Lefties care about redistribution and righties about personal reward. Is a liberal likely to also agree with economic redistribution? That depends if they have decided that the state is the best vehicle for providing universal freedom to the individual. If you do you’re probably a left-liberal, if you don’t you’re probably a libertarian.

It’s FAR more complex than you are trying to make out, and agreeing on economic policy with an authoritarian doesn’t make you any less liberal, or any more collaborative with non-liberals on pure liberal issues (such as this teacher one) either.

“I am at a loss if you feel that is democracy”

Who said anything about democracy here? That is a whole different kettle of fish!

“Comprehensive education was/is another liberal/social experiment that has failed and I consider myself a victim!”

I don’t know how old you are but it is more than likely you’re a victim of conservative thinking barely changed by a new Labour government than you are of anything liberal. Liberal education is providing kids that would have ordinarily been excluded and abandoned with the teaching that works for them and allows them to develop.

Final point. You talk about legislation being made in the name of liberalism. Politicians will say whatever shit that they can to get support. If the could get away with it they would say every piece of legislation is tough on crime, rehabilitative, liberal, conservative, good for security and enhances our freedoms. Very little that has been made in to law by this government in the last 5 years or so can be described as liberal, so your claims that people are trying to pass anything as such is unfortunately you buying in to a lie…no doubt because of your preconceptions and prejudice.

88. Dontmindme

“on the other hand, the majority of people find this repulsive, then the BNP member should not be allowed to teach.
Mill, a liberal, would call this ‘the tyranny of the majority’.”

Wow thats a helluva statement.

Another view has to be that democracy exists to protect the interests of the minority from the majority. To be otherwise would be to accept that if a majority wanted peoples of a particular colour race, religion to be expelled from the UK then the majority must rule. Surely you dont beleive that?. If the majority thought Darwin was sacreligious, then his ideas should have been suppressed? Surely you dont believe that?

‘Tyranny of the Majority’ has always been a bit of a redundant statement. Tyranny can only thrive with the support of the majority. Indeed the origin of the word simply refers to someone who rules with popular support. One does not need an election to rule with a popular writ. (Henry VIII was only able to completely break the medieval order and church, and reorganise the state, because he was massively popular with the people. He was in every sense of the word a tyrant)

Any old tyrant can keep his job if the majority are willing to go along with it. It takes a skilled democrat to keep his job in the face of an effectively orgainised minority. Thats how it should be.


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  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Article:: BNP: a very British Berufsverbot http://bit.ly/27bkEG

  2. josephjedwards

    I was thinking of making a post about the BNP teacher ban, but Dave Osler’s done it so much better. http://bit.ly/27bkEG

  3. anotherwhitemug.com

    Liberal Conspiracy » BNP: a very British Berufsverbot- Police officers and prison workers are already banned f… http://bit.ly/pZcpD

  4. Liberal Conspiracy

    Article:: BNP: a very British Berufsverbot http://bit.ly/27bkEG

  5. josephjedwards

    I was thinking of making a post about the BNP teacher ban, but Dave Osler’s done it so much better. http://bit.ly/27bkEG

  6. Joseph Clore

    Liberal Conspiracy » BNP: a very British Berufsverbot: I wouldn’t be particularly chuff.. http://bit.ly/CmX0l http://bit.ly/dTpVi

  7. anotherwhitemug.com

    Liberal Conspiracy » BNP: a very British Berufsverbot- Police officers and prison workers are already banned f… http://bit.ly/pZcpD





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