Sunday, February 26, 2006

Irving no free speech martyr

This post is written, in great measure, in response to Z's comment about deniers eating their young [previous post]

Z may be right. Irving wanted to be the showpiece and he may think this conviction is a big win for him. After all look at all the pr he is getting.

I have two responses to that: During my trial he got lots of pr -- especially since I remained silent. Many people worried he would "win" the pr battle as a result. But then came the damning verdict and he also got lots of pr, but all the wrong kind.

Secondly, he is now saying racist and extremist things from his cell [see article in the Independent, I will post in a bit]. And he has recanted his recanting,

Given all that, I think the man is rapidly going to lose any shred of credibility which he still had.

The mantra that must be repeated all the time is:
A) this man was and is an opponent of free speech.

B) British publishers are afraid to publish any book which is critical of him because they know he will threaten a law suit.
If you write about David Irving for UK publishers you are toxic

C) He courted this conviction -- apparently
some of the people who invited him may even have informed the police of his exact whereabouts. And I doubt that they would have done so on their own.

D) He thought it would be fun. And he wanted the media attention

E) And now he is paying the consequences.

Those of us who oppose these laws must keep all this in mind. These fact do not make the laws right. But it does raise questions about whether David Irving is the one we should be defending.

All those of you who are rushing to your compose comment options to berate me and tell me that free speech is for everyone, even those whose views we despise, wait. You are correct.

But, nonetheless, after having made my views crystal clear about my opinions on these trials, I am not going to turn a man who is an avowed opponent of free speech and who got himself arrested because he thought it would be fun and who is now spouting antisemitic comments from his jail cell into a poster child of the victim.

David Irving is an intellectual thug who would deny others their free speech whenever he gets the chance. Does he deserve his? Yes.

Do I have to promote him as a terrible victim? No.

And now it is a beautiful Sunday in Roma. I am going to the outdoor market where the only thing I have to worry about is being cheated [why should this flea market be any different from all others] or pickpocketed [so far Pickpockets 0, DEL 1, i.e. I foiled an attempt on my wallet on Friday].

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