"Sixteen people banned from entering the UK were "named and shamed" by the Home Office today. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she decided to make public the names of 16 people banned since October so others could better understand what sort of behaviour Britain was not prepared to tolerate. The list includes hate preachers, anti-gay protesters and a far- right US talk show host.
"I think it's important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have here, the fact that it's a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won't be welcome in this country," Ms Smith told GMTV. "Coming to this country is a privilege. If you can't live by the rules that we live by, the standards and the values that we live by, we should exclude you from this country and, what's more, now we will make public those people that we have excluded.
"We are publishing the names of 16 of those that we have excluded since October. We are telling people who they are and why it is we don't want them in this country." She said the number of people excluded from Britain had risen from an average of two a month to five a month since October.
The list of the 16 "least wanted" includes radio talk show host Michael Savage, real name Michael Weiner. "This is someone who has fallen into the category of fomenting hatred, of such extreme views and expressing them in such a way that it is actually likely to cause inter-community tension or even violence if that person were allowed into the country," Ms Smith told BBC Breakfast.
Also named are American Baptist pastor Fred Waldron Phelps Snr and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper, who have picketed the funerals of Aids victims and claimed the deaths of US soldiers are a punishment for US tolerance of homosexuality. Hamas MP Yunis Al-Astal, Jewish extremist Mike Guzovsky, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Stephen Donald Black and neo-Nazi Erich Gliebe are also on the list released today.
There is nothing wrong with this in principle. If I am entitled to say who is allowed to enter my house, surely a nation has a right to say who will enter it.
That the aim seems to be to suppress certain speech is however disturbing, but not as disturbing as it once would have been. I would guess that this ban is the best free advertising these guys could have got. Young people are inherently rebellious and many will resent attempts to hide things from them. And these days it takes only a few minutes on the net to find out all that these guys stand for. The British government has just given them all a huge boost towards getting their ideas out.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here