The Secretary of the Lawyers’ Secular Society (LSS), Charlie Klendjian, has reigned his position and membership. He cites security concerns following the now cancelled Mohammed Cartoon Exhibition which he supported and after a vote the LSS did too. Lack of spare time and after three years tenure time for a change are also mentioned in his resignation letter.
I have written several posts criticising the decision by Klendjian to support a platform being given to Paul Weston. When he pulled out as speaker for the event, I questioned why no one had been named to replace him as speaker after about two weeks. The answer we learn today is “The LSS was unable to find a replacement speaker.” That spoke as much as the vote in favour of supporting the event did.
It is grown up to have disagreements, and Charlie has done the honorable thing in stepping down to give the LSS a chance to work out a new direction in the aftermath of all this. I wish him all the best for the future.
Anne Marie Waters on Cancelling Exhibition
There’s a very real possibility that people could be hurt or killed – before, during, and after the event. This, together with the fact that our venue had indicated it wanted to pull out citing security and insurance concerns, and given the fear that people were feeling generally, the only responsible thing to do was to pull back and try to learn some lessons. I have not learned lessons as much as I have had my suspicions confirmed. There are two major messages to take on board from this episode: 1) Britain is a frightened nation, and 2) our freedom is not going away, it has gone.
What though is fascinating is how Waters responds to what Paul Weston said, which to recap is wanting to ban muslims from public office and that muslims will breed more fighters for the coming white genocide in the UK. These views made him unsuitable as a guest speaker for a solidarity free speech platform.
Some of the attacks aimed at us (from those who ought to support us) were allegedly made because of Paul Weston’s planned presence at the event. Weston is the leader of the Liberty GB political party. He has made some speeches about the future of white people, and according to those who set the rules, this is a step too far. The demographic-that-cannot-be-named was named, and this was more than enough to cancel Weston’s speaking rights thenceforth (though of course if it hadn’t been Weston, it would’ve been Wilders).
This brings me to point two.
We’re no longer in a place where we risk losing our freedom; now there is a pressing need to take it back. It’s imperative of course that we confront this “racism” accusation. It is a given in public debate that a racist is just about the worst thing you can be, and a racist standpoint is the worst political position one can hold. “Hate speech” is a crime. At no point however has either “racism” or “hate” been clearly defined, and so it bows to the definition of the one who screeches it loudest.
How about saying non whites will commit genocide in the UK as “racism”, and banning all muslims from public office as “hate”? Might fit most people’s definitions of those terms. This fudging of what we know these terms to mean, and stating what Weston said as “some speeches about the future of white people” are disingenuous.
Some of us think we need to confront the far right who promote hatred, fear and deny others equal human rights. That is why Paul Weston was the wrong choice as guest speaker at a Mohammed Cartoon exhibition. It was an error of judgment by Anne Marie Waters, which did not help gather support for the event which would otherwise have been possibly more universal.
Instead of recognising that, she mounts an incredible deflection of what Paul Weston has said. People will draw their own conclusions regarding that, and how the concerns we did raise about his suitability for the event were ignored. Free speech means we get to know what people think and say. It does not mean that we do not oppose them when they speak against the very principles of free speech and human rights that a platform stands for.
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