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Heard the one about the shock-jock, the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and the Lebanese terrorist? 

The Home Office might be working on the punch line but it has already become the joke. Previously, the only thing these three had in common was that they didn't want to come to Britain. Now they're united in the fact that they couldn't even if they wanted to. As the banned American talk show host Michael Savage said, "Damn, there goes the summer trip where I planned to have my dental work done."

Earlier this year, Standpoint readers will recall, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith barred Dutch MP Geert Wilders from entering the UK because his views "would threaten community harmony and therefore [therefore?] public security in the UK". Wilders is currently riding at the top of the Dutch polls and it will be interesting to see whether the Conservative and Labour parties are able to sustain the ban if he ever becomes Holland's Prime Minister.

But of course it was clear the moment the Wilders ban was imposed that the precedent was unsustainable. Almost immediately afterwards, the spokesman of Hizbollah, Ibrahim al-Moussawi, was due to make one of his annual trips to the UK. A number of us lobbied for him to be kept out and after threatening to take the Home Secretary to court, he was finally excluded. Hizbollah is, after all, an illegal terrorist organisation.

But it became evident then that the Home Secretary was making up policy on the hoof. The Home Secretary's job is huge. It appears that Smith would now reduce it to the role of a radio critic armed with a visa stamp.

Trying to construct a coherent policy from the wreckage of her earlier judgments, Smith recently produced a UK "least-wanted list." The "initiative" proved a typically strenuous attempt to equate the dangerously real problem of Islamist extremists who come to Britain to preach violence with those who have views that are disagreeable and offensive. The only thing the stunt truly did was to draw a blanket of moral equivalence over the carcass of Jacqui Smith's
career.

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Johan Smith
July 7th, 2009
4:07 PM
Well thank the lord for Alan postman Johnson! I hope he'll take a stronger vie---oh sorry, this is Labour isn't it? I miss John Reid.

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