First they came for the neo-fascists… | spiked
By threatening a political organisation with civil legal proceedings unless it changed its constitution – a constitution which reflected that group’s beliefs – the state is effectively deciding the nature of opposition in the political sphere, what views can be tolerated, and what views can’t.
That the object of state-enforced configuration is the BNP ought not to detract from what is a serious affront to democracy. Yes, the BNP holds obnoxious views, and yes, its membership and employment policy was repellent – but freedom of speech, and its accompaniment, the freedom to associate with those whom one agrees with, ought not to be negotiable. Just because in this case it’s the freedom to hold racist opinions, and to associate with those who hold similarly abhorrent views, it does not mean that fundamental democratic principles should just be abandoned.