Monday, August 14, 2006

Whose Freedom?

I caught this post on the B4L daily e-mail some days ago, but accidentally lost it and forgot who blogged on this until now, when I had the chance and time to do a little research (so a belated post here and a belated hat tip to The Daily)
I have to say I am saddened, but not surprised that The Freedom Association have taken this stance. It has always been on the fringes of British politics and has attracted members of the hard right of the Conservative Party. Admittedly it had a huge following in the 1970s, although I suspect that that had more to do with understandable frustration with actions of the more millitant trade unionists, the culture of the times, and public sympathy due to the fact that it formally came into existence within a week of the callous and brutal murder at the hands of the IRA of one of it's founders, Ross McWhirter (a man who, with his twin Norris, was better known by the general public for dealing with world record statistics than dodgy right-wing politics).
The organisation takes a scattergun approach to it's targets, is guilty of hypocricy (Some of it's prominent members supported the Gatting tour of South Africa, but wanted a boycott of athletes to the Moscow Olympics), and can be rather shrill in it's statemnents.
It's members include Ann Winterton, Nicholas Winterton,Gerald Howarth (a prominent frontbench Conservative), and Christopher Gill.
It's links with the BNP with the Better Off Out campaign only show how out of touch they are.
I only hope that politicians who I thought were more reasonable, such as Austin Mitchell and Lord Weatherill will disassociate themselves from the "Better Off Out" campaign a.s.a.p.


Anonymous said...

Don't you believe in freedom of association? You damn an organisation just because it allows a BNP supporter the right of membership.

Paul Burgin said...

I agree with broad political groups, but the BNP are not exactly a political party that allows the same freedoms that are supported by many in mainstream politics.
I am simply pointing out that TFA have been lacking judgement on this issue and that their past history and the sort of political supporters it attracts makes it an organisation I am wary and suspicious of