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November 10, 2004

Free and Liberal Democracies.

Nice to see that plucky little Belgium has learnt the correct lessons from history about how you create a free and vibrant society:

Belgium's most popular political party was banned as racist by the country's high court yesterday, fuelling concerns that the judicial branch is being used to eliminate political enemies.
The Vlaams Blok, a Flemish independence party promising to abolish Belgium as a nation, now cannot receive funding of any kind, and will have to disband.

We're allies with these people? We really do mean it when we say that we wish to pool sovereignty with them?

November 10, 2004 in European Union | Permalink

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» Tolerance goes up in Vlaams from L'Ombre de l'Olivier
The Belgians have decided that democracy needs to be protected from people who rock the boat and are too popular. The right wing Vlaams Blok has been banned for being "racist". This was not precisely unexpected since the other Belgian parties have be... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 10, 2004 4:41:26 PM

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Tim Worstall covers it. A few thoughts: It is amazing (even by the standards of the BBC) that this story... [Read More]

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Comments

"The Vlaams Blok, a Flemish independence party promising to abolish Belgium as a nation...will have to disband"

Try it this way:

"The European Union, an anti-democratic bureaucracy intending to abolish Begium as a nation...will have to disband"

I wish.

Posted by: Andrew Duffin | Nov 10, 2004 4:04:49 PM

democracy from demos
demos = people (oh dear)
people = race (dear dear)

So you can see that democracy is racist and must be banned. I applaud the EUSSR for it's forward thinking by working outside racist systems of government!

Posted by: Rob Read | Nov 10, 2004 11:10:18 PM

A decision that sets a dreadful precedent. Especially depressing that people like Norman Geras and Harry have nothing to say on this issue.

If a far-right govt came to power in Belgium it could do the same thing. And for those Belgians who stay silent now - they would be in a poor position to protest such a decision.

Tim adds: I agree absolutely. Free speech is actually only worth defending in those difficult cases. Do I like racists, Nazis or, shudder, the various forms of communists? No, but I am with Voltaire, that their right to speak should be defended by me, up to and including at risk of my life, for if I do not defend them, when will someone come for me?
Well, actually, that's not Voltaire as there is too much self-interest in it, I find it hard to be willing to risk all for an abstraction.
Was it Orwell who wrote on the subject? Rather, what was it he wrote? "Pig to man and man to pig, they looked and could not tell the difference?"
Yes, I know, bollixed the quote, but if they come for Vlaams Block this week they'll be coming for the other non-conformists in a year, a decade.
My reaction, my intention? I shall simply make fun of them all with their pretentions. As Bernard Levin pointed out, no dictator can stand, can survive, being laughed at.

Posted by: Laban Tall | Nov 10, 2004 11:58:56 PM

Democracy needs a party like Vlaams Blok. In a country where there is no place for such a party, there is no democracy.

Posted by: Tanguy Veys | Nov 13, 2004 9:55:30 AM