In all this excitement about some bigoted old ex-Hitler Youth fool popping over to Britain to
spread prejudice develop closer links with the many millions who adore him up and down the country, another story has slipped under the radar. It's a story about another hatemongering idiot making a visit to the UK - Geert Wilders, the anti-Muslim filmmaker who was previously invited over by UKIP big cheese Lord Pearson but wasn't allowed into the country over security fears.
I wonder if there aren't some comparisons we could make between the two, both of whom should, I think, be welcomed through gritted teeth and allowed to do whatever the hell they like, so long as it's not chucking horse-shit at a mosque or absent-mindedly doing Nazi salutes. They're both deeply unpleasant human beings who cause division and anger - but that doesn't mean they should be prevented from visiting. I'm a little squeamish about the red-carpet treatment offered up to them, from the politicians who court the hateful ferret Wilders and those who will welcome Il Papa, but I suppose that's the price you pay for being a free society. A little squeamishness is OK.
One thing that strikes me is that there shouldn't be double standards. For example, I'm very relaxed about immigration, and about allowing immigrants to behave pretty much however they want and say whatever they like, so long as it's within the law of the land. I think that's fine. So it would be a bit wrong if I suddenly said that different principles should apply to guests or visitors. If the Pope wants to visit Britain and tell us we're all shit, that's very much up to him. Unlike the Vatican, we're quite comfortable with dissent. And if Wilders wants to pop over here and spout his bullshit, that's fine too, as long as he isn't especially provocative about where he does it. Freedoms of this country shouldn't just be there for those who were born here, in my opinion.
And yes, we'll be footing the bill. I don't like it, but I'm afraid these things happen. My tax pounds, few though they are, go to paying for all kinds of things I don't like - including wars and needless deaths. They pay for a lot worse things than simply allowing some ridiculous old cunt to be prejudiced without getting a bullet through his head. And all sorts of murdering bastards have been welcomed on state visits down the years, munched swan with Her Maj and had cheery talks in Number 10; sometimes you wonder if the carpets are coloured red because it hides the bloodstains. For diplomatic purposes, Cardinal Ratzinger, like dignitaries from other vile regimes, is someone we bow and scrape to. I don't like it any more than I liked seeing George Bush getting all chummy with the royal family or Tony Blair. But. It's one of those times when you have to wince and remember that you're being the bigger person.
I know the odious Ratzinger is not just a very nasty piece of work, but also someone who has openly criticised the policies of the current Government, but that shouldn't affect our ability to be decent towards him either. We can't just say that we'll provide decent security for the people we like, and not the ones we don't. Ratzinger, like Wilders, deserves not to be assassinated.
The same freedoms of course extend to anyone who wants to protest about the visits of these hideous men. If they want to shout abuse at Il Papa while he's on his way to a meet and greet, then that's fine, and people doing the protesting should have their right to do it protected. If people want to call Wilders all kinds of names as the silly-haired bastard is on his way into the House of Lords, that's fine too. And our tax pounds will pay for that, as well, and I don't object at all.
All I would say is that Wilders, unlike Il Papa, would probably delight in a victim mentality. He'd love to be prevented from screening his shit-smeared film and claim that he's the one on the receiving end of prejudice, rather than being the instigator of prejudice. Little racists like him love to portray themselves as being the true minority; they crave the victim status of the genuine minorities they loathe so much. Let anyone have their say, by all means, but not prevent him from speaking, as that's playing into his hands. As well as that, it plays into his agenda, and that of certain media outlets; they will get to show Muslims as being shouty, aggressive, people who close down debates and squash freedom - they may well be portrayed that way anyway, but the less ammunition that gets handed over for free, the better, I think.
No related posts.