Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What the hell is going on over in the U,K.?

As far as I can tell, there is no bright side to what is happening in the United Kingdom. With Sir John Mortimer dead, this cannot even serve as a straight line for the next Rumpole of the Bailey novel.

What am I talking about?

Apparently the current Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has allowed his cabinet to go ahead with a new policy where they deny entry to people. Now, on the surface, this is not such a big deal. All countries have policies to deny entry to people. In the case of the United States, if you've committed a variety of crimes, the law states that it is perfectly acceptable to deny a foreigner a visa to enter the country.

However, that is not what is going on over the U.K. The United Kingdom has decided that its not enough for a person to have committed actual crimes to be denied entry into their country. It's enough that they have views which are not approved of by the government.

Not only that, but they have promulagated a list. According to the Times, the list includes:

Apparently, the list does not include Geert Wilders, even though the United Kingdom has recently denied him entry.

Now interestingly, on this list, the following people have actual convictions for crimes: Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky (both for attacks on foreigners as part of skinhead/racial superiority groups), Shirley Phelps-Roper (for encouraging a minor to trample an American flag as part of a protest, conviction currently on appeal), Samir Al Quntar (aka Samir Kuntar, the glorious hero of the terrorist for killing a little girl by bashing her head with a rifle), Fred Waldron Phelps (misdemeanor battery cases from the 1950s, a disorderly conduct charge in 1994 as well as a contempt of court citation), and Stephen Donald Black (convicted of violation of the Neutrality Act for attempting to overthrow the government of the Dominica Republic). However, that is not the reason that these, or the rest of the people on the list, were banned from entering the United Kingdom.

According to the press release,

The list covers people excluded from the United Kingdom for fostering extremism or hatred between October 2008 and March 2009.

It follows the Home Secretary’s introduction of new measures against such individuals last year, including creating a presumption in favour of exclusion in respect of all those who have engaged in spreading hate.

That's right. Not for their actions. For their beliefs. Apparently the U.K.'s Home Office is afraid that British society is to fragile to be exposed to those whose beliefs are at odds with the government's idea of what people should believe.

Don't get me wrong, I am not fan, nor do I endorse, the views of any of the people on the list. They are, with exceptions, people who advocate violence, who advocate intolerance, and who, quite frankly, advocate for my extirmination. The exceptions on that list preach intolerance that I cannot agree with. I wish they would just shut up.

However, Prime Minister Brown's government has decided that instead of allowing for free thought, free debate, free ideas to be exchanged, that it is better to issue badges of honor to these miscreants as being "too dangerous for the U.K.".

This from a country which gave us the basic blue print for our fundamental freedoms (check out the 1689 Bill of Rights and then go back and look at our Bill of Rights). Churchill must be rolling over in his grave. A nation which deposed kings, staved off invasion, and consistenly opposed authoritarian rulers for more than three centuries, is apparently too fragile to withstand the viewpoints of foreign, predominantly extremist, radicals.

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