The home office here in england has just published a list of undesirable people who are banned from entering this country, they include a famous right wing American talk show host and a certain Mr Phelps.
This sort of raises interesting issues, the first one being should you ban someone from entering a country simply because you don't like what they say?
The other issue is that according to the home office the famous right wing radio talk show host would be be treated no differently than other extremistist and would be under constant serveilance by security services if he were an English national.
The question being why aren't these right wing extremeists under constant surveilance by American secret services?

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Personaly i would say that the reason they are not under constant serveilance is that the american public are so docile and brainwashed that they accept that these wingnuts should be free to run around unchecked for some bizzare reason.
Yup
This anti patriotic yank agrees.
We did have something in broadcast media called the "fairness doctrine" up until about 10 years ago that prevented nutjobs from spewing hateful tripe over the airwaves. I tend to think that trying to shut them up just gives them and their followers the persecution complex they need to go really ape-shit, and their being in the open just lets reasonable people get a good look at them and shake their heads knowing just how wrong they are. It's like having a crazy person on the street corner shouting about the end of days. As long as he's not hurting anyone there's no real harm in letting him have his say. No one who isn't already convinced of his point is going to believe it anyway.

These idiots are generally full of hot air though and they run around unchecked (as far as we know) because they tend to be too fat, lazy, and hooked on pain killers to declair jihad on "The Libruls". They'd rather seek the holy ratings.
Why, that would be "religious persecution" in our country. You can do pretty much anything short of threaten the life of an elected official and as long as you claim you're doing it in the name of your "deeply held religious beliefs" you can get away with it. Don't screw with commerce, on the other hand, or you'll be on the DHS list in a heartbeat. Those veg*n and animal rights groups who dare to hint that corporations shouldn't be using animal testing are on every watch list in the nation.
Didn't the famous right wind radio talk show host once suggest that a US president should be assasignated ? That kind of thing is kind of illegal, in its simplest form its incitment to murder
From what I've seen he implied that the Clintons might have Obama killed so he couldn't get the presidential nomination but he hasn't made any actual threats against any presidents. I may have missed something though.
Hi Tara
To quote the home office website 'The Home Office is the lead government department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, counter-terrorism, police, and science and research'

Its very rare for England to ban people from entering except for terrorists, known criminals etc so for them to not only put Mr phelps and The famous right wing radio talk show host (TFRWTSH) on the list but also publish the list is almost unheard of.

They have been banned from entering because they are likely to incite violence/hatred. We have laws against that kind of thing.
I don't know if the US does anything similar, I suspect it would be viewed as unconstitutional.You must allow any old neo-nazi wingnut to run round doing exactly what he wants for some bizzare reason.
It is considered free speech here as long as it isn't inciting riot, violence, mayhem, and the like. The idea is to allow someone their say even if you don't agree with it and let the ideas and points of view debate themselves out. The crazy ones tend to weed themselves out and just be fodder for jokes. The right-wingers are a pretty big fluke of a bad idea grown large driven by playing on people's fears, racism, easy (but usually wrong) answers, and religiosity.

To Karl or any others from the UK: is there any sense that this banning might be something of a publicity thing to show that the UK is politically trying to shift away from anything resembling the right-wingers here in the US? I really can't imagine any radio blow-hard here would have the balls to do anything but run their mouth.
Karl: The question being why aren't these right wing extremeists under constant surveilance by American secret services?

They are, and so is the entire population of the US. Echelon. Carnivore. Narus, AT&T and the NSA.

Personaly i would say that the reason they are not under constant serveilance is that the american public are so docile and brainwashed that they accept that these wingnuts should be free to run around unchecked for some bizzare reason.

That's the disposable, rote answer. It's actually because the US has a functional constitution that actually works, unlike the disposable asswipe we have to protect us in what's left of the Commonwealth. Y'see there's a problem with their laws that protect civil liberties, freedom of speech and freedom of association. They don't just protect you, they also protect people you don't like. Man, doesn't that SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!
That is just complete and utter bollocks felch if you dont mind me saying so.Its still bollocks if you do mind.
How the hell does freedom of speech protect people? It what possible way can allowing any random nutter the freedom to run round saying whatever comes into his head possibly protect people from the effects of what the nutter has said?
Karl: How the hell does freedom of speech protect people?

Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the ground. PLEASE print that off and put it into a time capsule for yourself in 20 years time.

That is just complete and utter bollocks felch if you dont mind me saying so.Its still bollocks if you do mind.

I don't give a fuck. Never mistake me for someone who does. Don't assume your opinion matters.

Who decides what a "random nutter" is ? You ? The problem with these "rules" is the slippery slope - gagging nutjobs like Phelps may seem like a good idea to you. But the trouble is, the definition of unacceptable is so grey, it could extend to apply to virtually anyone. Given the time and the inclination, an "unacceptable" dossier can be compiled on anyone - even you. All you need to do is compile a bunch of awkward pieces of data about you, recontextualise them, and voila!, you're an undesirable, hate mongering terrorist. Don't be stupid enough to assume that any of your activities on the 'net are private in any way.

Author and Al Qaeda scholar Abdel Bari Atwan was denied a visa to Australia (later over-ruled because of a public outcry) because of what you think is a "good idea". The grounds - "consorting with known terrorists". His crime ? He was the last westerner to ever interview Bin Laden. The author of one of the best studies of Al Qaeda we have. It got noticed because he was a public figure and was invited to speak at a writer's conference. But how many others are there we don't know about ?

I need to put these quotes in a paste bin, because despite all claims to liberal and open mindedness here, its all talk and no practice (and FSM forbid, actually wasting time thinking about these things when there's a steady supply of politician's soundbites) -

"The path to hell is paved with good intentions" - unknown

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin


I find it disturbing that you claim to be an atheist (and by extension, I assume a freethinker), you live in the most heavily surveillanced police state in the western world, and yet you seem to think that things like this are a good idea (because it feels good) and want to give your authorities even more power ? These laws can and do extend to musicians, artists and political activists, and the more they become entrenched, the more they get used out of pure expediency and with no regard for the actual reasons they were drafted in the first place. If they become entrenched enough, merely questioning the laws will become a stain on your own dossier.

My take on this whole thing is what I've said before - the best way to discredit nutjobs is to allow them to speak freely. They destroy themselves. That applies as much to Phelps as it does to holocaust deniers. By censoring, banning and criminalising them, you give them a sense of credibility they do not deserve. You drive them underground, and suddenly there is a "conspiracy" to gag them, because they are the holders of some great and secret truth the government doesn't want you to know about, and their poison actually spreads far more effectively.

I am quite content to deal with the dangers associated with freedom. It's an acceptable price. However, if you feel the need for safety and protection from government certified evil, there are places where it is guaranteed - like Saudi Arabia or North Korea. Why don't you ty there ?

You're young and you're allowed to be dumb for now. Enjoy it while you can. But do yourself a favour and sit down and really think about these things. If you do so, you'll give yourself an incredible headstart over your peers.

Of course you could just be trolling. In which case, I've just been done like a dinner.

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