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""The right to oppose, mock, deride and even insult people's beliefs is essential to a society where bad ideas are superseded by better ones. There is no right to have one's emotional sensibilities protected, for it is no business of government to legislate for people's feelings. Mr Wilders' views are obnoxious, and (not but) his freedom to express them must be defended.""

I agree with the Times and have to say that I am disappointed that we are not making a similar statement as a Party.

Well someone has to say it - the Tories don't want to lose potential Muslim votes and know that they are more likely to suffer electorally by making a statement than if they keep quiet.

PS I'm not saying I approve of that attitude, it's just how I suspect the leadership are thinking. For what it's worth I think Cameron should be kicking up a stink about this even if it does lose us some Muslim votes.

So not even we stand up for freedom of speech anymore.

Geert Wilders goes out of his way to upset people, but at the end of the day, he doesn't say anything that outrageous. As far as I can see he is trying to defend his country's admirable liberal tradition, much like the late Pim Fortun. Unfortunately, we no longer have a liberal tradition in this country.

I don't know enough about his beliefs to comment in particular, but surely nothing should be beyond discussion, and as far as I know, he has never icited violence.

Incidently I'm not saying I approve of that attitude (I don't and think Cameron should be kicking up a fuss about this even if it does lose us votes) but I suspect that's how the leadership are thinking.

"He said that the Conservatives would be against any change in the free movement of workers as it was an aspect of the single market that they "strongly support".Hague

except where it involves democratically elected representatives from EU ciuntries


The Tories are damned by their silence.

Avoiding the Iron Doctorine.

That's right Tim, let somebody speak out for the sake of freedom. Just so long its not me, or you. If an MP broke ranks and condemned this out of hand, which is what it deserves. They would shortly become that "dreadful chap" snigger snigger.The political establishment will not rock the boat over this or similar issues.

The Tories will not win the respect of Muslims by this appeasement but will fuel a sense that they can be bullied into giving more ground to their insatiable demands.


I would have expected more from Chris Grayling.

The right to Free Speech is the most important right we have. Bar None. Without it, no other right can be defended. Consequently, I find myself horrified at our government's constant erosion of that basic, vital right.

Let the guy in. Let him speak. If you don't like what he says, defeat him in debate.

I'm curious Tim if you care to respond, what do you think of "laughable", "inflammatory" and "illiberal?"

So again they agree with more of labour's disgraceful actions by staying silent when they should be outraged.

...and people wonder why the "others" are getting a bigger share in the polls.

This issue and the Jacqui Smith expenses claim are highly likely to come up on Question Time tonight. Let's hope that Justine Greening is able to show some courage on both of them, in marked contrast with the official silence so far.

"Tories choose silence "

Sould we expect anything else from our plastic politicians ?

@Steevo.

It is The Times - not me - who used those adjectives Steevo.

I don't know enough about his views to reach a conclusion but I'm certainly on the side of wanting to hear what he has to say.

Geert Wilders should be banned from visiting this country. So too should many of the muslim extremists who have either entered illegally or in some cases been invited here.
People who preach a message of hate have no place in Britain whatever their religion or colour.
This just looks so weak and our party by its silence condones that weakness.

Cameron's silence on this issue will dishonour not only him but the entire party.

we should stand up for freedom of speech against islamic extremism once more another example of cameron caving in to extremists-simply not good enough.

It is very disappoonting to see the party's craven stance.

One wonders if the effort to get them elected next year is worth it. I may well stay at home.

Have you seen the film, Malcolm? It is strong stuff but it actually shows how the verses of the Qu'ran can be interpreted and twisted for evil ends. Nothing (I have to say) with which I disagreed.

"People who preach a message of hate have no place in Britain"

From what I gather Geert Wilders isn't preaching anything he's just put Islamic preachers on film saying their bit, the very Islamic preachers who the British Government have allowed to spew their hatred on our streets, and done nothing about.

Being afraid is quite understandable if the reaction of some Muslims is anything to go by,but after seeing our police turn tail in London before the mob,I thought the Conservatives would be able to summon up at least one Hero......seems not..how far down has this Nation come, when all someone has to call you is a racist ,and your life is down the swanee,because that is what they are frightened of ,not votes,Labour has all the Muslim votes.

Personally, I do not believe that any foreigner should have the “right” to enter the UK, or much less to live and work here. This should be a privilege which we grant to those whose presence we value.

So I agree with Malcolm Dunn that Geert Wilders, whose motives are clearly suspect, should be kept out of the UK along people who we have reason to believe might be extremists, potential terrorists and criminals of all types, from the EU or the rest of the World and whether or not they are “asylum seekers”

It's pathetic, but no longer surprising.

Almost the entire political class has acted in a contemptible fashion since the 2001 9/11 attacks on the USA, and especially since the 2005 7/7 attacks on London.

I thought we had more guts, but a combination of Gramscian Marxist-inculcated self loathing and Islamist inculcated fear have destroyed the integrity they once had.

We stood against Hitler. We risked nuclear annihilation in the Cold War. We didn't give in to the IRA (until they started talking about peace).

Why now? Why this?

It amazing how little it takes to completely turn you off your your own party. The realisation that actually we have a load of spineless fecks in the shadow cabinet, although that's unfair as some are very decent, hard working and dedicated Conservatives. But! I'm being routinely annoyed and have a growing suspicion that Cameron has actually on the whole chosen an insubstantial lot with no real conviction in their beliefs, if they actually have any that is. But I guess having drones who follow the whims of DCs "core values" which change direction like a broken compass is a good thing... right?

I was hoping that we had a leadership that would have the gravitas along with a sense of duty to the values of Britain that have been steam rolled by Labour in the name of the excuse of the day, security, social cohesion, multiculturalism, secularism, etc each one used to further erode British value for this "socialist paradise" which I guess Labour had hoped would be permanently funded by taxing the successes laid in place by the last Conservative government, which they corrupted to produce the situation we are in now.

That we appear form time to time make various noises that indicate we will follow many of the same policy directions laid down to by the left wing appeasement hacks.

Whill I be proved wrong? I hope so. maybe it's this "feeling" that appears to be pushing more and more people into considering the smaller parties, as demonstrated by the last couple polls, fringe partioes are doing better each week.
It's reached a point that I can quite easily see myself in the voting booth within the next fifteen months looking at the vote slip thinking "Does this party actually believe in Conservative values? Is what we get just lip service? are they actually going to initiate the change that this country needs or will it be more of the same?"
I'm more and more starting to think the latter will be the correct, as the actions, or lack of them, further to strengthen my ever evolving and changing view.

"The approved word is "criminality". As Murray told me: "It's as if they can't see the difference between stealing a handbag and setting off a car bomb outside a nightclub."""

No, it's as if the braindead common thugs who commit those acts don't need to be glamourised, don't deserve any special treatment, and should be treated with the contempt and disgust they have earned. They are criminals, about that nobody could dispute - and 'terrorist' attacks, 'terrorist' atrocities make the news, give them airtime, spread their activities, exactly what they want. There is no need for us to do their work for them. Like a child who's throwing a tantrum, they want a response - and the most mature, and at the same time most effective response, is to go as far as we can towards denying them that.

"People who preach a message of hate have no place in Britain whatever their religion or colour."

Britain is a land of freedom of speech. The fact that that speech may be hateful and nasty is irrelevent. Right to free speech trumps the right not to be offended anyday. Islamic clerics should be allowed to call for the extermination of Christians and Wilders should be allowed to call for the extermination of Muslims (although I'm well aware that he doesn't).

I find it shocking that a country that was able to conquer a quarter of the world now gets its knickers in a twist and starts crying because some bad men say some nasty things. I for one do not fear to hear the opinions of hate-mongers, loons, political extremists or eccentrics. To put it bluntly, don't be so bl**dy wet.

Another weak kneed failure of the Tories to defend free speech. Where is David Davis ?

Our capitulation too Muslim sensitivities is now just about complete.

The rush to appease obviously has now infected the Millitary top brass with this ridiculous ' punishment'of prince Harry by sending him on an 'equality awareness' course. Referring to an Asian as my 'Paki friend' seems of of little consequence when one of the most visited websites by Asians is Paki.com

I would give a lot to sit in on one of these Equality Awareness courses - is it something like Alchoholics Anonymous ?

"preach a message of hate"

was there ever a better catch-all PC cliche for the government to justify doing just as they like ?

the chap said that if Hitler's book is banned then so should the Koran as they contain similar material and messages.

Just as stating that someone looks like a gollywog can get you in deep do-do so can stating the obvious about a book

If we can't maintain freedom and democracy because of the competition for blocks of religious voters then its time to rethink how we elect our governments.

YMT you speak for me as well, I too have come to believe this of Cameron's Conservatives, they appear to be the Shadow Labour party, which has got them into a hole on more than a few occasions, eg on the economy, and I presume they pursue this policy as it means they don't have to defend or argue a position. But this begs the question why do they want power? To want power you must want to do something , you must want to change something, you must want to take the country in a new direction. What is the burning desire of Cameron's Conservatives ? To be slightly less useless managers of the same policies hardly seems like a blue print for office and power.

It amazing how little it takes to completely turn you off your your own party.

This seems to be happening too often.
There's been a few issues where they have been lilly-livered, silent or just wrong and I've been turned off, but they seem to be happening more frequently now, adding to the fact they have been generally inaffective of late.
I'll obviously still vote for them if a general election came, but when my membership is up for renewal I'll be on the hunt for a party more deserving.

This all may be a ploy to get as many votes as possible, which may be better in the long run as they'll get in power and can then be reasonable after that, but I'm starting to worry that they would act the same as laboure if they were in power, plus we need action against them now so they should worry less about votes in over a year's time.

RichardJ:

"Britain is a land of freedom of speech. The fact that that speech may be hateful and nasty is irrelevent. Right to free speech trumps the right not to be offended anyday. Islamic clerics should be allowed to call for the extermination of Christians and Wilders should be allowed to call for the extermination of Muslims (although I'm well aware that he doesn't). "

Freedom of speech is a sacred value, the foundation of all our liberties. I certainly don't think either the Koran or Mein Kampf should be banned. Both should be read, and criticised. However I would not support the right to call for the physical extermination of religious or ethnic groups, or anyone else. All rights and liberties have their limitations; that's one.

If the Tories are to become the party of individual rights they need to stand up for basic principles like freedom of speech. The UK governments actions are completely shameful and I hope they back down on the decision. The implications of banning someone from a country because of what they say has terrible consequences.

Far be it to defend David Cameron and the Cameroons but I cannot quite see why, on this occasion, all you Tories are so upset about your own party’s silence. Who is allowed to enter the UK is a matter for the Home Secretary and she is part of the Labour Government.

It seems to me that there are more important matters which are of far greater concern to the electorate, such as “British job for British Workers”; you might all be more gainfully involved in lobbying your leadership about that.

The Party has better things to be doing than making itself the bosom friend of people like commenters on this blog who get very obsessed with issues like bashing Muslims which are of ephemeral concern to most. It would be kicking up a stink which would have absolutely no impact on the decision, so what is the point?

If this blog is so influential, why doesn't it find the rent-a-quote backbenchers to sound off? I'm sure you could find at least five of the 2005 intake to jerk that knee.

Our liberties were bought over hundreds of yours and at a huge human cost. It is appalling to see the government sell them so cheaply.

As a party we stand for the freedom of the individual, now is the time to live up to that belief.

I'd just like to say that the editorial line of the Times is laughable and imflammatory to anyone with a functioning brain. Quite possibly its illiberal sometimes too, I couldn't say. As far as I can see its policy is to stick as close to Labour as possible as is possible without this being obvious unless,as here, it would invite universal derision to do so.

Also I wonder if the desire to win Muslim votes is behind their silence. If it is they want their heads examined as however much they pander they won't win those votes -which will go to some party that is percieved to be more clearly anti-British. I wonder if it isnt fear of the BBC that drives their appoach -whcih might be more rational. However the strange behaviour of "David Cameron's Conservatives" defies my understanding at least.

I'm curious Tim if you care to respond, what do you think of "laughable", "inflammatory" and "illiberal?"

Posted by: Steevo | February 12, 2009 at 11:22

The Times is its self laughable; it used, imho, every phrase in the book to more or less label Wilders a charlatan and to dismiss what his film was conveying about Islamists - sorry, I mean the Tory terminology, criminalists - and then tell us that Wilders should be allowed into Britain for the sake if free speech, but we should not bother to listen to him. The weasley Times piece was pathetic. Shoot the messenger, in fact. What the hell are we doing in Afghanistan if we are just fighting criminals? The editor of the Times could do with reading "The Islamist" by Ed Hussein (and so could a few others on this site). Thank God for the likes of Lord Pearson: a rare politico with guts.

I think it is right for the Conservatives not to politicise this incident. It adds nothing for Cameron to engage in his long-winded attacks on a discredited government.

I would prefer the Dutch to boycott the upcoming G20 Summit in London, for the Dutch to subject the Home Secretary to strip search if she enters Dutch territory, and for the Dutch public to form their own opinions on Londonistan.

The Blogosphere will carry the story - and Westminster is unimportant, a sideshow. The real politics of the present and future is going on across Websites and the Dutch I believe have more than any other Continental European country.

Wilders views politics as being run by elites for their own ends, and that Dutch coalitions rather like Italian ones under Andreotti always have the same cast of socially elite legislators who have contempt and disdain for ordinary voters unless they can be parcelled into voting blocs.

There is no point in Metropolitan Parties trying to persuade the general public otherwise and this incident is the very best Geert Wilders could have hoped for.

Have read the comments. Most are disappointed, like me, over the deafening silence from Cameron & Co. over this, or has he said something we have missed? Well,like the LibDems he and his party supported the government on the Climate Change bill and on the EU (yes that again!) you can`t put a cigarette paper between them.

If we don`t stand up for free speech now these Islamics will be delighted about their victory and much worse will follow. I can remember Chamberlain`s appeasement policy and don`t want a repeat. Come on Mr. Cameron, just say where you stand, with none of this, "on the one hand, on the other hand" stuff.

Do you support the decision to ban this man or not?

Francis - desire to avoid BBC disapproval certainly seems to be a big factor, yes.

I watched Question Time last week. Carol Thatcher was discussed. Tory Theresa May was as appalling as Shami Chakrabarti (of Liberty - there's a joke), and the Labour goon. Nigel Farage of UKIP avoided taking sides.

The only person standing up for liberty and arguing from principle was pop singer Will Young. Maybe he didn't get the memo.

Umbrella Man: Why did you expect more from Chris Grayling? He's on record as saying that he wants to focus less on "abstract civil liberties" and now we know what that means. The Tories will not defend free speech. Utterly shameful.

If the main parties will not defend this, then we will have to, if necessary, by fighting this latest version of fascism, just as our parents and grandparents had to.

I sent the attached to Cameron yesterday. I'll be interested to see his reply.

"I hope the Conservative Party is going to oppose the Government's disgraceful ban on Mr Wilders' visit to the UK. He has threatened no-one; rather is those who don't like what he has to say who have threatened him and threatened violence if Parliament debates what he has to say in his film. This is a disgraceful attack on free speech by a Government with no principles, apparently more concerned about appeasing its favourite minority group, doubtless because there are few others who will now vote for them. It is rank hypocrisy when this Government has done little or nothing to stop Islamist terrorists from coming to this country or to deport them, no matter how dangerous they are to us.

This is important and I would like the Conservatives to take a stand on this.

Free speech is fundamental to a democracy. Muslims will have to learn to take criticism just like the rest of us.
Standing up to bullies is vital. (Lord Ahmed's interview on the radio today was a disgrace. He is not fit to be a member of the British Parliament.)
Standing up to threats of violence is vital.
Showing the world that we don't appease religious fascists - and those who would silence people who point out that your so-called holy book is full of incitement to violence are religious fascists - is vital.
Showing solidarity with a country (Holland) whose citizens have been harassed and attacked and murdered by Muslim fanatics is vital.
The government's decision is a disgraceful craven piece of appeasement, yet another nail in the coffin for what were once traditional British values. I hope Wilders takes the British Government to court over this, wins and dares our spineless political class to face down the bullies amongst us. I hope that the Conservatives will take a public stand on this and state that they oppose this ban and will overturn it when in power.

You don't have to agree with the very strong views of Dutch politician Geert Wilders to worry at the British Government's decision to ban him from entering Britain.

I'm not worried by the fact he has been banned from entering the country. I'm worried by the fact that the government has double-standards on this subject. It should ban everyone who is intolerant or no one (unless they're an actual security risk).

The Tory silence says alot, especially to the moderate Muslim members of the population.

I would like to see Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders on the same platform at a meeting the Houses of Parliament. Tickets should be sold to the public and an independent chair appointed for the event. This is what a democracy is about. We not should be skulking in fear.

Further to my last comment, for all those who want this Dutch chap in please raise your hand if you also backed Yusuf al-Qaradawi's visit to London.

The thing is, our politics is so shallow now that many politicians (the government) cannot distinguish between defence of free speech and, in this case, defence of anti-Islamicism. This would then transfer to some in the electorate. I don't blame the Tories for not speaking out...in an ironic way, their speaking out would only undermine freedom of speech.

Raj:
"Further to my last comment, for all those who want this Dutch chap in please raise your hand if you also backed Yusuf al-Qaradawi's visit to London."

Qaradawi seeks the Islamic conquest of the West. Wilders seeks to prevent it. Anyone who wants Western civilisation to endure should treat them differently.

Treating free speech as an absolute does run the risk of treating evil and good as equal. That's the big danger of liberalism; a refusal to draw moral distinctions. Personally I think Wilders is wrong to call for banning the Koran, though that might make more sense in a society where other texts are banned for advocating violence. But he's on the right side.

We - those who support Western civilisation - need to develop a defensive strategy if we are to endure the next half century. That means identifying threats and, with caution and forbearance, taking appropriate and necessary defensive measures.

" for all those who want this Dutch chap in please raise your hand if you also backed Yusuf al-Qaradawi's visit to London. "

Qaradawi has promoted the killing of Jews and Homosexuals, I don't believe Geert Wilders has said Muslims should be killed, just that he dislikes the infulence its having on Western culture.

A big difference!

Raj: the difference between Al Qaradawi and Wilders is the difference between those who themselves threaten and support violence by their supporters (Al Qaradawi) and those who say things that others don't want to hear and which may even upset or offend people(Wilders).

The Government's hypocrisy is that it has let in and allowed to stay far too many of the former and is now banning the latter largely, I suspect, because (a) it does not believe in free speech anymore; and (b) it thinks it can get or keep Muslim votes. Despicable. And this hypocrisy is dangerous for us because it strengthens the hand of those who want to do us harm so that the government is failing in its primary duty to protect the British people (including its Muslim citizens) from harm. That the Tories are deliberately failing to say something on this vital issue shows that they are not fit to be the government of what is still meant to be a liberal democracy. A bad bad day for Britain.

An utterly craven silence.

If the purpose is to avoid offending some section of the electorate or other, then we should really ask if we want the support of those who would suppress the right to free speech?

Simon

Qaradawi seeks the Islamic conquest of the West. Wilders seeks to prevent it.

That's a very simplistic statement. Even if I agreed with the first part of it, one could argue that Wilders is playing on the fears of people like yourself to bash Islam.

=====

Iain

Qaradawi has promoted the killing of Jews and Homosexuals, I don't believe Geert Wilders has said Muslims should be killed, just that he dislikes the infulence its having on Western culture.

Wilders compares Islam to terrorism through his videos - not just saying that some terrorists are Muslim. Just because he doesn't advocate Muslims be killed or stoned doesn't mean he should be let off the hook if others are to be kept out.

=====

I'm now worried that at least some people here are defending Wilders not because they think it's wrong to keep people out for their views but because Wilders isn't all that bad, or some such. Is this sort of sentiment going to get the Tories re-elected, or is the view that they're going to win anyway so don't worry about offending people who haven't done anything wrong and aren't planning to break the law to have their views heard?

The Americans let in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to give his views which include wiping Israel off the face of the earth.

How craven, spineless and intolerant does that make Cameron and friends in the case of Wilders?

If someone said boo to Prime Minister Cameron would he back down?

I like and agree with most of what the leadership say, but their silence on this is worrying. Very concerning.

Whether you agree or not, this man has a right to come to this country and express his views.

We know where the government stands it has banned Wilders, we have a right to know where the main opposition party stands, there should be a statement forthwith.

Richard J, I do believe in freedom of speech. But I'm not in favour extending that right to foreigners be they Muslim, Christian or Jew to come here and cause trouble.Keep them out and in the case of a number of muslim extremists who are already here then throw them out.
I think you'll find that is a less 'wet'policy than that of this government or any other in the west.

The Americans let in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to give his views which include wiping Israel off the face of the earth.

Lindsay, if you're talking about the UN meeting they had no choice in the matter. He has certainly not visited the White House or Congress!

This is not about the Conservatives losing Muslim votes, since few of those likely to be "offended" would have voted Tory anyway, but about Cameron's continuing mission to seek out floating LibDems.
Yes, those nice Liberal types who will definitely be supportive of the authoritarian crushing of the free speech of anyone with whom they disagree.

I congratulate David Cameron and the front bench for not following the racist core of the party and attack the government for there decision.
Freedom of Speech is important but it is not as important as racial harmony.This evil man as no right to come her and preach the politics of hate.

"Wilders compares Islam to terrorism through his videos - not just saying that some terrorists are Muslim. Just because he doesn't advocate Muslims be killed or stoned doesn't mean he should be let off the hook "

Let of what hook? The terrible crime of exercising free speech? Gosh how terrible, polluting a democracy with a different opinion and free speech what ever next ?

It may or may not be right to ban Geert Wilders from this country; he is in the Pim Fortuyn tradition of opposing Islam so that the Netherlands can remain a drug-addled, whore-mongering country where the age of consent is 12, contrary to the wishes of its general public either in the staunchly Protestant north or in the devoutly Catholic south.

That is not any West that I for one wish to defend. But then, it is not in fact the West at all. It is only the most extreme, and in that sense logically consistent, manifestation of the pseudo-West proclaimed by the neoconservative movement (or what's left of it these days).

But this ban does at least show that such a ban is possible, even against an EU citizen, never mind against anyone else. So, yes, by all means ban Islamists. Ban Avigdor Lieberman and the members of his revolting party, just as we banned Meir Kahane when he was alive.

And since we rightly ban David Duke, who has never really mattered but whom it is still right to keep out, so we should ban the signatories to the Project for the New American Century, and the Patrons of the Henry Jackson Society. So we should ban those American and other ecclesiastics who have expressed racist views about Africans and others who do not share their liberal sexual morality. And so we should ban Hans Küng, whose disparagement of the late Pope John Paul II’s Polishness made and make them the authentic voice of the age-old Teutonic racism against the Slavs; Küng only gets away with it because he is Swiss.

Neither the neocons, nor the liberal-racists, nor Küng really matter any more. But that is not the point. They could still do damage, and we do not want them here. Like the Islamists and like Yisrael Beitenu, let them be excluded from the United Kingdom. Their presence would most certainly not be, and periodically is not, conducive to the public good.

Jack, you come here every day and preach the politics of hate... but with all that do so there are people that agree. It's that willingness for reasonable debate you get with conservatives instead of just banning/blocking is why you're still commenting here and would have been banned from labourhome (apart from you'd be agreeing with them)

Freedom of Speech is important but it is not as important as racial harmony

How can you have racial harmony without freedom of speech?
There's a difference between inciting violence and peacefully inciting those who incite violence.
The latter is essential to prevent the former.

Raj, I was thinking of Columbia University, September 24 2007.

It appears all I have to do to keep out of the country anyone who says things I don't like is to assert they're "preaching a message of hate"

I hereby charge Gordon Brown, anyone French, and that lady in the Viagra commercial, with preaching hate. Plus anyone who responds negatively to this post.

This is fun!

Freedom of Speech is important but it is not as important as racial harmony

That is one of the saddest comments I have ever read. Freedom of speech underpins all our other freedoms, it is not some luxury that we can afford to discard.

Only incitment to violence should be proscribed.

Mr Cameron is being rightfully cautious. It is politics.

Coming from a predominantly Muslim area, my Muslim party members were alarmed by this video being played in Parliament.

But it doesn't help when Labour politicos are purposefully lying to elders and saying that Baroness Cox and Lord Pearson are both Conservative peers

"But I'm not in favour extending that right to foreigners be they Muslim, Christian or Jew to come here and cause trouble."

They do not cause trouble, the loud and violent minority who react to them cause trouble. Mr Wilders will not be the one rioting, smashing up property or injuring the police - those protesting against him will.

The fact that a minority of Muslims choose not to exercise emotional self-control is not sufficient reason for banning someone from entering the country. To ban a man for the way his oppoenents threaten to react is to surrender to the threat of violence. We are better than that.

Relevant historical fact re Mein Kampf & Koran.

Hitler said he wished Islam had been the religion of Germany, instead of Christianity.

Source: 'Inside the Third Reich' by Albert Speer.

I understood that he was invited to show his film and discuss it at a private meeting. It was only the threat from Lord Ahmed and his followers who have given it public oxygen.Of course I never saw much action taken against Muslim preachers in the street, nor outrage over a Channel4 programme showing hatred to non followers of Islam. The conclusion I make is that politicians are craven cowards and once again it will be the ordinary man in the street who will suffer.

I think its a bad day for democracy when a man is not even allowed into the country to explain himself. All I know for certain is that Geert Wilders is supposed to favour banning the Koran as a "hate book". I would like to hear his reasoning for this extraordinary suggestion and I also belive peopole should have to right to question him fully. A we now so scared of allowing frredom of speach, that we cannot decide for ourselves if a view is right or wrong.

"If Geert Wilders has expressed views that represent a threat to public security, then we support the ban."

So, if someone expresses a view that upsets, in particular, a section of the population who might break the law in response, we support keeping them out.

Are you sure that's what you wanted to say, Chris?

It is BEYOND DISGRACEFUL that the Conservatives apparently support the ban on Wilders, a politician they apparently don't know the first thing about.

If they are weasels like this in Opposition, one would have been to be delusional to expect anything from them in Government.

What a let-down.

I'm less worried about the Dutch guy, than I am about all these other nutters they let in. agreee with Grayling... we need to apply it consistently. That's all.

threat to public security

I don't think this phrase actually means anything...

Any one care to enligthen me?

Very disappointing leadership. From what I can gather the video is based on true accounts of the terrible carnage that has been done in the name of Islam. It may well be biased as is all news including that of the BBC, but nevertheless it should be seen and then debated. Isn`t that called Democracy?
liz kemp

Well, at least they've said something but they've hardly come off the fence for us to decide if they are as bad as labour... which still makes them as bad in my eyes.

"We have consistently called on the Government to tackle extremists. If Geert Wilders has expressed views that represent a threat to public security, then we support the ban."

WHAT THE HELL?! Wilders isn't the one threatening public security, it's the people getting in a tizzy about his visit.

Who will be the ones responsible for violence?

(a) A Dutchman doing a controversial presentation in the HoL or
(b) a bunch of bad-tempered protestors charging police lines, damaging property and possible even trying to kill aforementioned Dutchman?

Do you smell a UKIP plot.

Impressive and unflinching, They have stolen the high ground again. You have to admire the subtle brilliance of inviting the man in the first place. Geert Wilders is it seems an Orange Pawn. Who can find comfort in the belated support he is receiving here?

A very bad day indeed for freedom and common sence.

Grayling should understand they are being 'consistent' consistent in regards to appeasement that is. threaten and riot and you get your way with the British Government. A lesson the indigenous people here had better learn very quickly, you threaten violence and you get your way.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN.

"If Geert Wilders has expressed views that represent a threat to public security, then we support the ban."

Weak! Weak! Weak!

So in light of Wilders being denied entrance to the UK because of his anti Islamic views , is now illegal to hold anti Islamic views in the UK?

And the inability of the mainstream parties to tell the truth that is as clear as day, and allow people to express that view means an increase in the vote for....????

The idea that Wilders is a threat or a preacher of hate is absurd. It's crazy.


So, Grayling's off to a pretty dreadful start when it comes to standing up for Liberty. Where's Davis to smack Grayling down and put him back in his box?

He'd probably be happy to support this dreadful bit of totalitarian apologia from Milliband:

He [Milliband] says several times “Wilders was here to screen his hate-filled film”.

Then Stephen Sacker asks him: “Have you actually seen the film?”

Answer from Miliband: “You and I both know what is in the film.”

For those of us who haven't seen the video that Lord Ahmed, David Milliband, Jacqui Smith, Chris Grayling et al., seem eager for you not to watch, Wikileaks has a copy here:

http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Fitna_anti-islam_movie_by_Geert_Wilders

Happy to see pretty universal condemnation for Grayling's disgusting weasel-worded capitulation here.

He should have kept this drivel to himself.

Grayling's statement is PATHETIC.

“If Geert Wilders has expressed views that represent a threat to public security"

Please clarify.

Given that Mr. Wilders was invited to the House of Lords, it is hardly likely that he would incite noble lords to go out attacking Muslims on the street. They are after all our Parliamentarians, and I believe deemed capable of rejecting specious or invalid arguments.

Therefore the only possible case for banning Mr. Wilders is that by coming here he will cause Muslims to attack HIM.

This cowing to extremists is utterly immoral.

"then we support the ban."

Explain please, you wan craven cowards, what is or is not sufficient behaviour to exclude a foreign Member of Parliament from this country?

Don't say "if this, then"

The facts are here for you to assess. There is no more information required. Condemn this illiberal Labour government that has a history of arresting dissenters under antiterrorism legislation, even for wearing T-SHIRTS denouncing Blair, reads our correspondence, taps our calls, and wants to fingerprint and ID card us all.

The pathetic cowardly Tory party has not issued a single word in support of free speech.

Will be interesting to see what happens to Grayling in the next ConHome survey. I for one will be giving him maximum negative marks. I actually rated him positively in the last survey, a decision I now regret.

For increasingly common reasons like this, I'm done with the party. It no longer represents me I'm afraid.

Someone asked why Conservative act like Labour? The answer is clear - to uphold the appearance that we have a Democratic system when in reality, both parties are working towards identical ends.

So this episode shows that we have free speech as long as Islamists don't threaten to riot. In that case our right to free speech will come a very poor second to their appeasement, and as pretty much everything we are and do 'outrages' Islamists, that means any opposition to Islam is illegal.

What is worse is that our spineless politicians seek to justify this appeasment.

@RichardJ:

Me too. His first notable act as Shahos seems to have been a weasel-worded, snivelling, equivocal, disgusting, authoritarian statement of foul intent.

I hope we all express our extreme displeasure at this man for acting in a way which is entirely unnaceptable to Tory mores.

What a spineless stance the Tories take yet again, as usual trying to face both ways. Sickening!

"If Geert Wilders has expressed views that represent a threat to public security, then we support the ban."

Weak! Weak! Weak!

Don't you mean: Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!
The true voice of a mouse-like Conservative Party.

Grayling would have been better remaining silent and being thought an appeaser, than opening his mouth and removing all doubt.

So now we have the Labour government implementing the ban, the Liberal Democrats supporting it 100% (no surprise there), and the Conservatives also supporting it but asking 'please include some of those Islamist nutters to make it look better'.
A black day for this country.

To think, that this so-called man Grayling, was made SHAHOS in lieu of bringing back David Davis?

It's enough to make one weep.

"If Geert Wilders has expressed views that represent a threat to public security, then we support the ban."

Would he support a ban of the Koran if he was shown conclusivly, that it encourages ethnic cleansing, civil disobedience and countless hate crimes? Should we not at least be free to debate this question.

" a threat to public security"

If there is a threat then somebody must be making it. We are not suggesting that Geert Wilders is a threat to national security are we?

In which case who is doing the threatening and do we not have a right to know?

Should a British government be seen to be giving way to threats?

The more you think about this the worse it gets.

So the Conservative leadership have changed their minds. After the Lib Dems have made a statement. Vacillation gives such a good impression, dosen't it?

In past, Team Cameron tended not to make public statements unless they quite deliberately advanced the 'decontamination' narrative. This isn't good enough any more. A government in waiting must be willing to tell people where it stands on all issues of public importance. It also can't hide behand the ProgCon agenda of the BBC.

So, I would like to know:

1. Does the leadership accept that there is a clear and present danger to this country from Islamism - externally and internally?

2. If elected, would a future Conservative Government reassert freedom of speech and the rule of common law, not least of all in Parliament, in place of the pernicious ideology of diversity, applied arbitrarily by political and public bodies?

Should a British government be seen to be giving way to threats?

The British government, now with the full support of HM loyal opposition, will never negotiate with terrorists.
They will, instead, just cave in completely to their demands.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN

Perhaps supporters of free speech should vote BNP in protest. I may not support what they say, but I support their right to say it.

A copy of a speech given by Wilders introducing Fitna at a conference in Jerusalem in Dec 08 can be found at the following link.

http://facingjihad.com/sitefiles/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/andrew-bostom-141208.pdf

Some of the language is a bit extreme for my liking, but there's no express or implied threat of violence to Muslims. Perhaps it is just neatly written like BNP speeches - drafted to avoid speaking aloud stuff that would definitely cause risk of criminal sanction. I don't know. At the same time, I would be surprised if a meeting at the HL would be used to make an "off the record" nasty version, or if their noble Lordships would actually tolerate it if that happened.

It certainly strikes me as substantially tamer than many comments made by Islamists. The nation didn't descend into race-hate-fuelled anarchy when Wilders came over a couple of weeks ago.

Has Silvio Berlusconi been banned yet? He's made many comments substantially less ambiguous and more potentially offensive than Carol Thatcher, so it's the least I'd expect for consistency's sake.

Lets face the truth. This action proves that terrorism is working. The fear of reprisal motivated this decision by the government as is illustrated by their attitude towards other hate figures.

The Islamists have succeeded where the Stuarts failed. In the country of Magna Carta and the Glorious Revolution they have successfully used the threat of violence to curtail free speech.

I don't agree with Mr Wilders' views but speech, even when incorrect, should still be free. This simply provides more rope for the Islamists to hang us with. Why should they stop using terror to get their way when fear is clearly dictating Labour's attitude as Douglas Murray highlighted?

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