David Ceserani wants to ban free speech to fight the BNP, whilst the BNP want to ensure free speech is protected - so who is the fascist ?
My favourite comments on the article are ;
1) Nothing screams democracy like banning ideas that you don't approve of.
2) Well, genius, it so happens that a country which outlaws Holocaust denial and Nazi symbolism has just elected the far right to nearly a third of the seats in Parliament. Try again.
3) So, Mr Ceserani, we should deport those that don't agree with you?
Are you sure it's the far right we should be in fear of?
4)Secondly, there is something profoundly disgusting and self-serving about a Government who introduces legislation - and a Parliament that passes it - to stifle the message of another political party, in this case the BNP. It seems entirely lost on people that the reason that Hitler rose to power was because he diluted his message so as not to alarm an electorate who merely wanted to see Germany become great again, a natural patriotic instinct for many people, modern Brits included. Once the Nazis were in a position of power, they systematically removed ever barrier to absolute control (within the military and judiciary) and they were allowed to achieve this because they had previously diluted their message to ensure their popular. Listen to Hitler's speeches of the time - they were as bland and diaphanous as anything penned for a New Labour conference. No-one would have taken them seriously on a manifesto to exterminate the Jews of Europe. By forcing the BNP to excise the more unpalatable parts from their message they are tuning them into an electable party.
Restricting the freedom of speech, whether by legislation or by mere social stigmatisation, is incredibly dangerous if it does not allow the individual to make up their own mind about the opinion being espoused. The vacuum is filled by conspiracy and martyrdom-myth.