The colorful Nigel Farage and his UKIP are getting most of the attention as the insurgent party of the populist right in the UK these days, but another fringe party, Liberty GB, is making some headlines. Apparently party leader Paul Weston was arrested recently for reading in public Winston Churchill’s infamous description of Islam from the unabridged edition of The River War. (This except has appeared here on Power Line before.*) It is not clear from the scanty news accounts I’ve seen whether Weston was arrested for crossing some kind of restriction against offending multicultural sensitivities, or whether he was in violation of reasonable “time, place and manner” restrictions on public political rallies that are commonplace in the U.S. In other words, this may have been a publicity stunt, not wholly unlike a lunch counter sit in once upon a time.
Anyway, here’s Weston in action, and you’ll see that he takes a hard line on immigration and multiculturalism, and you’ll grasp immediately why he’s politically incorrect (six minutes long):
On the other hand, is Weston really so far removed from what former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair had to say about the matter last week.? From The Guardian:
In a speech to Bloomberg in London on Wednesday, the former Labour prime minister claimed the west was reluctant to look unflinchingly at Islamic extremism because the world of politics is uncomfortable talking about religion.
He said: “For the last 40 to 50 years, there has been a steady stream of funding, proselytising, organising and promulgating coming out of the Middle East, pushing views of religion that are narrow minded and dangerous. Unfortunately we seem blind to the enormous global impact such teaching has had and is having.
“Within the Middle East itself, the result has been horrible, with people often facing a choice between authoritarian government that is at least religiously tolerant; and the risk that in throwing off the government they don’t like, they end up with a religiously intolerant quasi-theocracy.”
Insisting that the west had to take sides, he described Islamic extremism as “not about a competing view of how society or politics should be governed within a common space where you accept other views are equally valid. It is exclusivist in nature. The ultimate goal is not a society which someone else can change after winning an election. It is a society of a fixed polity, governed by religious doctrines that are not changeable but which are, of their essence, unchangeable.”
“The threat of this radical Islam is not abating. It is growing. It is spreading across the world. It is destabilising communities and even nations. It is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalisation. And in the face of this threat we seem curiously reluctant to acknowledge it and powerless to counter it effectively.”
Sounds like Blair might want to check out the Liberty GB Party, or at least contribute to Weston’s bail and legal defense fund.
* Churchill: “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.”
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