At one time people said what they meant, and those hearing it responded appropriately. It was usual for individuals and even corporate entities to be somewhat forthright in their expression, particularly of local pride.
Our nearest town is Falkirk in Central Scotland. Falkirk FC, a local football team, is known by the nickname the ‘Bairns’. This is not because they play like children but because of the town motto, the gloriously direct, ‘Better meddle wi’ the De’il than the Bairns of Falkirk’. This can be translated into modern Scots as roughly. ‘Mess wi’ folk frae Falkirk and we’ll gie ye a right doin’.
Whilst this may lack the cultural value of the biblical mottoes of Edinburgh and Glasgow, or the pretensions of the Latin used by many other towns it makes up for it in directness. Falkirk was a town known for its iron and engineering industries. It was composed of plain people who got things done. Plain speaking is something valued by plain people.
Unfortunately, today we seem to fear people actually saying what they mean, especially if it includes expressing pride in one’s locality, people or nation.
Words which incite to violence should be regulated. The latest batch of letters sent to Muslims in the North East of England naming 3rd April as ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ is abhorrent and the perpetrators must be apprehended and punished.
But there is a world of difference between awarding points for acts of violence – from 25 points for removing a woman’s headscarf to 500 points for murdering a Muslim, and expressing concern about the future of Western culture and civilisation.
The establishment appears terrified by expressions of pride in or defence of Western culture. At the end of last week, Austrian Martin Sellner and his American fiance Brittany Pettibone were detained at Luton airport and denied entry to the United Kingdom. Both are Identitarians. The Identitarian movement is a hotchpotch of right-wing European hipster movements, archeofuturists who attempt to marry archaic values with futurist technology, and traditionalists.
Like Antonio Gramsci, identitarians hold that any change to society is impossible as long as its culture and language remain unchanged. Unlike Gramsci they don’t wish to see the culture of the West change and, therefore, argue to keep Europe as it is culturally as well as politically.
The Canadian Christian Conservative Lauren Southern has recently made a series of YouTube videos on the threats faced by white farmers in South Africa. Southern has been detained in Calais on the grounds of racism in order to prevent her from entering the UK.
It is easy to dismiss the Identitarians as conspiracy theorists inhabiting the political fringes We can ignore Southern as someone with a bee in her bonnet. So what?
The danger lies in the ever growing limitations on free speech. Banning people from entry to the country for what they might possibly say is not only unBritish it gives rise to the very things the establishment wishes to prevent.
At one time Speakers Corner in Hyde Park was the somewhat eccentric pride of Britain. Gathered there on a Sunday anyone could say anything they wished. Marx and Lenin, Bernard Shaw and George Orwell, Marcus Garvey and Winston Churchill have all unburdened themselves there. It was a matter of pride in Britain that anyone could say what they wanted, and be met by robust reply.
If there is something with which you disagree meet it with vigorous counter-argument. Banning speech does not stop it, it only drives it underground. There it festers in resentment and eventually emerges in the hate mail being spewed out concerning a supposed ‘Punish a Muslim Day’.
Meanwhile, despite the return of about 350 fighters from Islamic State, a key terrorism power intended to control British jihadists has been rarely used. These jihadi’s have effectively renounced British citizenship and enlisted in the armed forces of a foreign entity dedicated to the overthrow of the United Kingdom and the West. Amber Rudd, the same Home Secretary who bans people for what they might possibly say, cannot stop people who have participated in armed rebellion to re-enter the country.