Friday, April 27, 2007


I went to the Stop the War Coalition Hustings last week. Though I hadn't been invited I was, after a bit of a push, given a place because the Tories & Labour had both decided not to come.

They didn't really know what to make of me since on the one hand I spoke strongly against both the Iraq & Yugoslav wars & got a rousing cheer for saying that, under the precedent of Nuremberg, Blair was guilty of war crimes & it was in the interests not merely of justice but international legality, that he be brought to trial.

On the other hand, being basically a coalition of socialists my freemarketsim didn't go down well & saying that we are going to have massive blackouts if we don't build new nuclear went unanswered. Finally my answer to question on whether the BNP should be allowed to stand my liberal commitment to free speech, even for people we disagree with went down like a lead balloon. Nonetheless I believe it.

At the end a nice young lady took my photo & said that while she was a left wing socialist her husband was a classic liberal & would almost certainly vote for me. I assume in that house they throw copies of Marx & Adam Smith rather than crockery.
Unfortunately I have not been invited to any other hustings, mostly organised by the churches. I assume, apart from being more convenient, this is a handy way of de facto banning the BNP without discriminating against them. If so it is an example of how censorship, once started, tends to spread.

It is said that the public meeting is dead & I am certain I reach for more people on the net here & on newspaper online sections than I could at meetings. Nonetheless it is a bad thing for democracy that the choice of what people willing to make the effort of coming to hustings are allowed to hear is being censored. I am also convinced that I could speak as effectively on my policies as any of the others with the possible exception of Tommy, who does have an extremely effective form of bluster.

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