I went to Speakers Corner on Sunday for one reason. Because others could not.
Two enthusiastic young people known for their outspoken views were barred from entering the U.K. and held in a detention center. One is Austrian, the other American. The reason? To prevent future hate speech as yet unsaid; silenced to avoid offending local communities in the U.K.
The third — a young Canadian — was hauled off a bus at Calais, detained and deported. Her crime? Making fun of Islam during a previous visit to the U.K. She questioned: “Is Allah gay?”
A fourth met the same treatment — detained at the airport in the UK and deported. His crime? He had a copy of the speech for Speakers Corner in his bag. Just more harmless words, again, as yet unsaid. You can read them for yourself if you like — it was a speech that was going to be delivered by Tommy Robinson the next day in Hyde Park.
Now you may say you hate Tommy Robinson. Perhaps you can’t stand him? And you may have good reason.
I’m not trying to change your mind. Frankly, I am not universally loved either. But right now, it’s not relevant. Just as my personal feelings for Hilary Clinton have no place here in this piece.
But I am very clear. I did not go to Speakers Corner to defend freedom of speech. There is no such thing as freedom of speech in the U.K. today. It was taken from us a long time ago with the advent of hate speech which only needs to be perceived to be believed. As an example, over my Easter weekend in 2016, I was investigated by Greater Manchester Police for race-based hate for daring to suggesting Pakistani men are involved in grooming gangs. Which they were. And are.
Ask regular Brits if they feel free to speak their minds. Ask whether they can say what they really think on anything from trans-rights to immigration. They will laugh in your face.
What does matter –– as we speed ever faster down the slippery slope to complete oppression of individual thought — is that medieval blasphemy laws have been de-facto reinstated, even though they were abolished under section 79 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act of 2008.
But as evidenced by the detention of individuals at the border, this de facto blasphemy law IS being enforced in the U.K. in 2018. Criticizing Islam, or making a one-off, even off-color comment: “Allah is gay,” is sufficient for the Home Office to prevent you entering the U.K. in order to better protect the feelings of local communities.
And once you start enforcing a non-existent blasphemy law, what’s next? Arrested for failing to learn the Koran? In custody for failing to show sufficient respect to Islam? Your own son or daughter arrested for breaking a law that does not exist on paper?
I was at Speakers Corner in defiance of the creeping invasion of Sharia and a blatant perversion of border control by the Home Office. The person in charge there — Amber Rudd — sided with the Islamists of Luton. And it really SHOULD matter to you that Britain now excludes innocent people with an opposing view.
I stood there in there in the cold, hiding under my massive coat, not wanting to be recognized. Just another stranger to put boots on the ground where the feet of young people who tried to come should have been. I wanted to show my physical support for a growing army of people who can only be pushed so far.
And I saw something special.
I saw that we are many. And we are in fine voice. And I saw that we could all feel it too — like the soft buzz of electricity in the air.
And I was proud to be a part of this army of good people, who had spent their own money getting to this place in the freezing cold. I felt uplifted by the Union flag, flying proudly. And it felt good to touch against this growing network of people I know exists beneath the thin veneer of nothing-speak forced down our necks by the media in my country.
Briefly revealing my face to more honestly defend a man (who had become encircled by a noisy Islamic element), I was set on as might be expected. I was kicked, sexually insulted, called clapped (ugly) and told I was a whore. They laughed that I might collapse.
But let’s not be distracted by that either. It’s as irrelevant as your personal feelings for Mr. Robinson.
It might appear shocking, because we can see me being threatened and intimidated. But I have had enough experience in moments like these to understand how the mob behaves. Some would say I deserved it.
I would rather turn your attention to how it must have felt to be those young girls — Lauren and Brittany — who paid to come to Britain to follow their passions, but were held in solitude and detained in a cell. Or Martin, fuelled by his passion for his country, rejected by ours at the border.
Questioned by unhelpful men in uniform who seemed to think it was all a bit of a game in a foreign country where they rightly believed their country is a friend of ours. Deported without reason or recourse by a government that welcomes returning jihadis and warmly embrace criminals from Europe. But rejects Conservative-leaning young people with qualifications and a clean sheet at the cop-shop.
What matters is that we stand together.
We don’t have to like each other. We don’t need to agree on the detail. We can be united by our determination to defend the secular freedoms of this country we used to call home, regardless of your politics.
If you have a de-facto blasphemy law, what next? Stoning after a de-facto adultery law comes into force?
You know, we do not “carry on as normal” after each jihadi attack on our country. We do not “stand united” with those who put Muslim migrants ahead of British nationals, and have let another culture ride roughshod, and dominate our own. That is a lie for the cameras. The Mayor of Londonistan — Sadiq Khan — does not speak for us. And he certainly does not speak for Britain. I’d argue that to ordinary people in the Rest of the UK, people like myself, the Establishment is not our ally.
We have to stand up for ourselves. No one else will.
We remember our truths. We get furious and we fight back.
I will stand right there at your side.
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