"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Saturday, 24 January 2009

For Freedom: Stand With Geert Wilders

I think it's important to follow this situation as closely as possible, so I offer an update on developments so far.

First, the good news; 19,343 people have signed the online petition at the time of posting.

As far as I'm aware it was only created late Wednesday or early on Thursday, so this is obviously fairly significant, even as a little morale booster. For anyone able and willing who has not yet done so, once more I would respectfully urge you to sign the petition in support of Mr Wilders here and donate to his fighting fund here. The only people who are going to be able to make any difference are the usually silent majority; the sort of people who, were they Dutch, would actually vote for Mr Wilders. According to Klein Verzet, online polls show something like 85-92% of Dutch people being against the prosecution of Wilders. Perhaps there is yet hope for common sense to prevail.

Bear in mind this is not a trivial situation, and Mr Wilders deserves none of the sanctions or mud being so eagerly slung his way (as an aside I love this link; yep, drag him before the international courts! Or, maybe, defeat him in reasoned argument... What's that? You're unable too? Ah, now I understand).

This is a direct assault on freedom of speech. That would be significant enough in itself, but this situation is only partly about Mr Wilders and his fate; it's actually about all of us, whatever our views or principles. Because the Dutch government is drawing its battle lines, and actually transmitting the message that they will ruin anyone who happens to disagree with them. They may be the first, but they won't be the last; this 'hate speech' legislation is now firmly entrenched in most Western countries.

More than that, they are prepared to shred their ancient traditions at the request of foreign governments. Why, you ask? Well, it can't be because they agree with them. I mean, after all, we stand for tolerance, for freedom, for equality. We're against oppression, imperialism, racism, discrimination, etc etc. Sure. But if all that's true, haven't we picked our allies rather oddly?
That makes me suspicious. Clearly much of the talk above is not genuine; these things only apply when it comes to undermining our culture, our traditions, our confidence and sense of unity. Other than that, they don't seem to be very important at all. It's also of note that when Muslim thugs are calling for Jews to be taken to gas ovens, smashing Jewish businesses, shouting insults in the Anne Frank House, or even when prominent figures call for the expulsion of all Israelis, Western governments are remarkably silent.

Because, after all, isn't Mr Wilders being prosecuted for actually speaking out against most of the latter statements above, and in favour of most of the former?

Obviously there is a possibility that Mr Wilders will be convicted and go to jail; but whatever decision the court makes, he and his PVV political party will be bankrupted and effectively finished. As far as I can tell, this is the whole point; he must be silenced. I don't think it's stretching a metaphor too much to say things like this happened all the time in the Soviet Union. Any critic must be silenced, but that in itself is never enough; they must be humiliated, denigrated, completely stripped of their will to resist and their credibility.

Why? Generally, it's only necessary to treat people this way when they're dangerous. To a regime that exists solely on the corruption of facts and reality, what could be more dangerous than the truth?

Sadly, it seems that more and more the formerly free countries of the Western world exist in this false reality, with its perversions, its double standards, its deliberate and selective mass blindness, its attempts to push down any who dares to stick their head above the parapet and say 'enough!'

Now, it seems we shall be treated to the show trials, too. Did I mention that they're coming after Mr Wilders' second in command, Hero Brinkman, and want to ban the PVV?

There may be some who are reading this and vigorously shaking their head; this is not true, it's a paranoid distortion!

Is it? OK then. But the most disturbing thing about this is that Wilders is not a Holocaust denier or some fanatical misfit; as far as I can ascertain, he's telling the truth. Have his detractors ever read the Koran? Ever glanced at the Hadith? Ever actually listened to one of the cowardly murderers who makes his own perverted little 'Candid Camera' spot before he slaughters innocents, without warning or compunction? Maybe, even, you know, watched some of the footage taken in the last fortnight at pro-Palestine rallies?

I support free speech, no matter how vigorously I disagree with the ideas of the person speaking, because I believe the truth has a special weight all of its own. It always comes out, it generally prevails, unless drastic steps are taken to suppress it. Logical, rational people are drawn to it, like moths to a flame, and why shouldn't they be?

I am a free-born Englishman. I have ancestors who spilt their blood, gave up their own lives for this country; I have others who faced hardship and deprivation and came out the other side, but were still willing to sacrifice. Why did they do this?

As far as I'm concerned, they didn't really do it for a flag or a King; they did it so that I and my children would never know the fear of waiting for the midnight knock; never have to show deference or respect to those who imposed themselves on us by force; never have to know the pain of carrying the truth in our heart but being afraid, on pain of legal sanctions or even death, to express it.

This isn't fantasy. This is how the majority of the world still lives. But freedom is our legacy, and the price of obtaining it was not cheap; in far too many cases it was paid in blood and suffering.

So are we going to just roll over and give up? Someone, somewhere wants Mr Wilders and all of us to spout lies on pain of punishment; inconveniently for some, Wilders has decided to stand up and tell the truth, despite everything, even the very real threat of a horrible death.
Let us also remember that he is not an ordinary citizen; he is an MP, elected to speak on behalf of a fair proportion of the Dutch population. Yet for those who wish to silence him, democracy is only good when it's producing the right answers. Anything else is 'undemocratic' or 'populist', and the proles who follow such notions must simply be educated better.

Geert Wilders is a very brave man, but you don't have to be brave to follow him; all you have to do is value truth, value our freedom, and never knowingly parrot a lie. Take the trouble to inform yourself, and make your own decisions; don't let the government tell you the difference between right and wrong. Islam is a set of ideas; challenging those ideas and the often horrific consequences of them is not bigoted, nor racist, but sensible. After all, maybe if it underwent the same scrutiny as other religions and political belief systems, it might be ready for the 21st Century some time around the 25th.

In our heart, we all know what's right; young and old, left and right, black and white. Thousands of people risk their lives every day for a taste of what we take for granted, and are in the process of squandering forever.

Our freedom.

If Mr Wilders is convicted or even simply driven to be silent, the West will have lost more than it realises.

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