Black or Right?

In the spat between Peter Black and some Plaid bloggers on how to react to the BNP I am firmly on Mr Black's side of the argument.

I don't like the idea of thought crimes. I am fully in favour of political correctness as a form of etiquette, but etiquette should never have a basis in law.

The problem with making opinions illegal is that those opinions become unchallenged in the public arena. If it is illegal for me to make my prejudices known in public, then my prejudices cannot be challenged in public. If my prejudices cannot be challenged they will be confirmed by the fact that they are never challenged.

The only way of defeating the BNP's obnoxious opinion is by allowing them the freedom to express it, and using our freedom of expression to show how unacceptable their opinion is in a decent society.

The wider problem, however, is not the BNP itself, but certain newspapers, who claim that they oppose the BNP but push propaganda amicable to the fascist cause on a daily basis. A campaign against buying those newspapers would be more beneficial than a campaign to stop the BNP from having a small tent in the Llaregub Village Show


  1. I mostly agree with what you say; censorship is a stupid idea but a newspaper boycott is not likely to be effective, unfortunately.

    The bit I don't get is that too many Plaid bloggers - and 'Brit Left' elected members - are totally hung up on this small British nationalist faction while ignoring the much wider threat to our nationhood and independence. These 'rent-a-quotes' constantly give them priceless publicity in conjunction with media tarts who just have space to fill. Silence would be a good discipline for them on this issue.

    Meanwhile, sucked into the Cardiff Bay consensus -largely Labour hegemony - they virtually ignore the wider growth of British nationalism in sport (the Olympics, Lions, Ashes, etc), militarisation (Sain Tathan, Parc Aberporth, working class recruitment) education (school and university courses), resource-rape (water, energy) and many more. I am a socialist - Welsh and internationalist, of course - but fear Plaid is in danger of becoming the Mini-Me of the British Left.

    The answer, of course, is strong national campaigns on real issues which affect our people's present and future. But that might be too much like hard work for for many of the current crop who easily rode into office on the coat-tails of 1999. Devolution might really have neutered our national movement, quite unlike Scotland. Plaid desperately needs some new Welsh nationalists in the Assembly.

  2. If it is illegal for me to make my prejudices known in public, then my prejudices cannot be challenged in public.

    This is the line I take at my blog.

  3. fflamau'r ddraig06/09/2009, 20:01

    Strange post from Anon. The left in Plaid has exposed the British Army's targetting of schools in Welsh working-class communities, has pushed for a clear anti-St Athan line and is unambiguously pro-independence. I think Plaid has been clear in attacking the Olympics and people like Adam Price have been calling for a Welsh team in 2012. Despite my reservations, the Lions can't be seen as a brit team because of the Irish (and it doesn't replace the national team) while I think we all need to be pushing for a Welsh national cricket team.

    National campaigns don't drop out of the sky - they have to be built patiently (unless there's an obvious one like poll tax that drops in your lap).

    The Brit Left is deader than its ever been - especially here in Wales. There are signs that the English left is developing a distinctive voice that acknowledges and supports Welsh self-determination, something the Brit Left never did.

  4. do you still agree with Peter after he started trivialising racism by using the BNP as a tool to attack plaid?