Austria marches to the right. Don’t Panic!Is free speech to blame?

A bit of a hyperbolic headline there but that is how we must play the game now to get keywords into the title and links and thus earn brownie points from the Googlebot that indexes our blogs.

To business. In last week’s election in Austria the far right political party did well, far better than anybody expected a party broadly sympathetic to holocaust deniers to ever fare in a democratic nation.

Predictably and unfortunately this has led to calls for new international laws limiting free speech. In this article, The Limits of Free Speech it is hard to know what the writer’s point is exactly other than that he thinks neo-nazis are very nasty people and should not be allowed to argue their case or contest elections.

Little Nicky Machiavelli has said before, when commenting on calls to ban the BNP, the best way to raise the profile of far right politics and racist movements is to ban them. Such organisations are highly skilled at exploiting victimhood.

The best way to incite violence against Muslims is to support those extermists who demand that criticism of their religion by non-Muslims be declared an offence. The best way to strengthen the case of Fundamentalist Christians is to try to silence them. Look how they have profited in America from the myth of their being driven out of England by official persecution for trying to practice their own religion.

There is a sliver of truth in that but it grossly misrepresents the reality. Nobody stopped them worshipping as they wished, what got them in trouble was their trying to opt out of the Church of England which was then as much an agency of government as a Christian Church. In effect they were trying to opt out of paying the Church’s tithe and that was like refusing to pay income tax and national insurance.

So trying to gag the far right might turn out to be very counter productive. Better to let them enjoy their handful of victories in local elections. “Free speech” has always been a pipe dream, even in the USA where it is iconised there are plenty of laws available to deal with those who step over certain lines.

The Cases Against Obama

An ongoing story of the American election that has ben fascinating me is the lawsuit filed by Pennsylvania attorney Philip J Berg alleging Barak Obama is inelegible to run for President. BERG – OBAMA CASE: LATEST which has also been chronicled here ( BERG vs OBAMA )

Following this story on the blogs (somehow it has missed traditional media completely – funny when you think how in the past rumours with less substance have brought down candidates) has led me to another ongoing thread, that concerning the relationship of Obama with the convicted mobster Tony Rezko. Stories of Obama’s “business” association with Rezko surfaced when the gangster was arrested on corruption charges. Now convicted on numerous counts Rezko is reported to be looking for a deal, trading information on hia former associates in the Chicago political establishment for a reduced sentence. Again it is strange that the widely rumoured favours Obama received for helping people in “the olive oil business” (if you know what I mean) are ignored by mainstream media where in past campaigns and even in the present election less substantial stories have derailed well supported candidates.

Obama must have a fairy godmother I guess.

Finally there is the Larry Sinclair affair. Former rent-boy Sinclair alleges a sex and drugs encounter with Obama in 1999.

No wonder the Democrats are getting so desperate in their efforts to focus attention on Sarah Palin’s bra size.

What I want to know is why can’t our elections be this interesting?

LINK: Clinton suddenly keen on Obama. What’s going on?

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