Thought-crime Fightback

Occasionally there is good news to be had. It appears that our courts at least have some grit:

The German Government has backed down from its fight to extradite the Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben from Britain, it emerged today.

The controversial historian was arrested at Heathrow Airport last month on a European arrest warrant accusing him of racism and anti-Semitism. German prosecutors were forced to appeal to the High Court after Britain refused to hand him over.

Well done to the high court. It is a shame that it is the courts and not parliament that resists this pernicious EU policy. When I first read 1984 as a teenager, I believed that thought-crime was confined to the totalitarian regimes of the eastern bloc. Never, I thought, could such an evil occur in a liberal country such as Britain.

How wrong I was.

The prison service and the police take a firm stance on this – not surprisingly, given the potentially disastrous consequences should consumers of their services learn of officers holding racist views.

Beyond irony indeed. It would seem that to the liberal left (an oxymoron, surely) freedom of speech and now, freedom of thought, applies only to those who agree with their particular set of “acceptable” prejudices.

It’s worth bearing in mind the comments made when the bill for the extradition treaty and European arrest warrant was before the Lords:

“But when the draft extradition act passed through the House of Lords in 2002, one of the questions was what would happen if someone was arrested on a European arrest warrant to be extradited to a country where Holocaust denial is an offence.”

“The response was, ‘No, that will never happen.’”

No, of course not.

Thank goodness for our courts.


  1. I missed the conclusion to that story in all the kerfuffle about the BNP list and John Seargeant dropping out of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’…!

    “It’s almost as if people don’t understand what a democracy is anymore.”

    I listened to the Jeremy Vine radio show on Wednesday – they were covering the BNP list hoo-ha. A woman came on to tell the story of how she had discovered her son’s football coach was a BNP member, and she had reported him to his bosses. She was asked if he’d ever said or done anything to worry her other than that, and she reluctantly had to admit he hadn’t, but she still felt the authorities ‘needed to know so that they could take action’. He ran a small shop and she admitted proudly that she no longer bought her newspapers there, preferring to go to a Pakistani run newsagent instead.

    She was asked by Vine if he was still teaching football. The disappointment in her voice when she finally (after a lot of bluster about what should have happened) had to admit that yes, he was, was evident.

    I listened to this hate-filled, smugly stupid woman with a sense of dread that there are far, far more like her. And they scare me far, far more than the handful of knuckle-dragging racists….

    JuliaMs last blog post..They’re ‘Facilitating’ WHAT, Exactly…?

  2. Ah, yes, Jeremy Vine’s Lunchtime show. Where the hard of thinking gather like blowflies around a freshly deposited turd. I stopped listening to that when I realised that I was going to throw the radio out of the window or suffer apoplexy.

  3. “I stopped listening to that when I realised that I was going to throw the radio out of the window…”

    I’ve come close. But the fact I wear headphones has stopped me 😉

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