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Banned DJ Michael Savage appeals to Gordon Brown

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  1. I wouldn’t even have heard of this bigoted egit if they hadn’t banned him from entering the country. The problem with banning people like him is it gives them international media coverage and a platform they wouldn’t have otherwise had. Now he gets to be a self-styled martyr. Do we even know if he intended to enter the UK?
    As far as I’m aware our broadcasting regulations would probably scupper any attempt he would make to spout his opinions to a mass UK audience. I don’t count him in the same category as Fred Phelps as prior to this storm in a teacup I couldn’t see him aiming to disseminate his brand of bigotry through the UK mass media. I say they should have given him the freedom to visit, then his presence here would be a complete non-event, except for those unlucky enough to be sat next to him on a crowded bus.
    This is a classic case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

  2. A stupid decision to ban this person. Imbecile he may well be but the government’s decision actually prevents us from having the chance to change his mind…..

  3. Brian Burton 11 Jun 2009, 6:23pm

    This vermin is a verbal terrorist. The Home-Sec. can ban people on whatever grounds they want to.

  4. What’s the problem keeping him out? Lots of people are turned away at customs. Well, probably not a high percentage but still a high number of people. You try to go to someone’s home, they don’t want to let you in, now you’re going to sue them for not letting you in? The mere fact that he can be kept out is because he needs a tourist or other visa to get in. If he needs a visa is because he doesn’t have an automatic right to be here.

    The US are constantly deciding arbitrarily that some people can’t go in and you’re not even allowed to ask why, you just get on the next flight out. This guy really doesn’t have a clue.

  5. Brian/ Valerio – Whilst I agree he’s a hateful bigot and shouldn’t be encouraged, I think the act of banning him has just turned him from an unheard of nobody who wouldn’t have merited 2 coloumn inches this side of the Atlantic into some kind of newsworthy celebrity martyr playing the “freedom of speech” card.
    I even saw someone defend his case on Newsnight via a satellite link. In that respect, turning him away has backfired bigtime. I’d sooner that Michael Savage visited without the bells and whistles and left and no-one was any the wiser. In fact there’s no suggestion he was even going to visit the UK anyhow. Now he’s a self-styled cause-celebre.

  6. Flapjack, I see your point but even if this has made this one specific man more famous this side of the Atlantic, I think that when a government that’s reasonably respected internationally takes such a strong position against this kind of rhetoric, it does send quite a clear message as to what is considered acceptable.

    I think that it’s wrong to just focus on whether this man will be able to capitalise on this. That may well be. But we should look at what statement this makes. And the statement it makes is that it’s not ok to be a homophobe and a racist, and it can get you kicked out of the UK.

  7. Monkeychops 12 Jun 2009, 12:03pm

    Flapjack – I’m with you on this. Fred Phelps has actively shown violence, made threats and hurled abuse (especially to the families of dead soldiers). It’s been documented so many times. He should therefore not be allowed in should he try to enter. Shock Jock hasn’t yet committed any physically violent acts, he’s just voicing a point of view that most would disagree with. Banning him was a bit over-reaction – these things should only happen when there is risk to public order. No-one even knew who he was until Jacqui Smith made her list and now he’s become a celebrity because of it, d’oh. Let him in, let him speak and watch him dig his own grave. I felt exactly the same about Nick Griffin speaking at the Oxford Union. Let him come, let him be torn to shreds by rational thinking. Common sense will prevail in the end and we’ll all be better for it. Stifling right-wing voices like this means they go underground, remain unaccountable to their actions and then garner more support. What do you get? Two BNP MEPs!

  8. Monkeychops – Thanks. I have to admit the whole freedom of speech debate is a bit of a grey area for me. On the one hand, total freedom of speech allows extremists of all stripes to come out of the woodwork and diseminate their views unchecked, often at the expense of minority groups. But banning freedom of speech always begs the question “who watches the Watchmen?” i.e. who gets to decide who has the right to speak and who can’t? Plus the extremists get to act the martyr and drum up support as in this case. Both cases are open to abuse.
    I think John Stuart Mill’s assessment in his treatise “On Liberty” is a reasonable compromise: to paraphrase he supports freedom of speech in all circumstances but with the caveat that it should be curtailed where the speaker intends to incite physical harm to another [by inciting lychmobs etc.] though even this isn’t a cure-all.
    I think for that reason Jacqui Smith was right to ban the Phelps with their proven track record of picketing funerals and Fred Phelp’s history of physically abusing his family and diseminating hatespeech but this guy didn’t pose any immediate threat to the UK. If you were going to make it government policy to deport all bigots, that would be a third of the population gone. It’s simply not realistic. Educate for sure, restrict access to media in extreme cases, but I’d only use deportation as a last resort. Any thoughts?

  9. Monkeychops 12 Jun 2009, 4:14pm

    Flapjack – a very sensible reply, you’ve obviously done a bit of research on the merits and pitfalls of free speech. I suppose overall free speech means that the playiing field is levelled and everyone’s chances are the same as everyone else’s. You have to realise that if you espouse hate, you will get hate back. You show a willingness to compromise, and it will be returned. Of course, nothing’s perfect, but until someone comes up with an improved system, I’d rather we just allowed to people to speak – so long as it’s in a civilised manner and does not involve threats or violence.

  10. America has banned plenty of Brits in its time. Some for being prominent homosexuals and civil rights activists, Americans always hold double standards.


    Calling the Chinese “little devils,” Savage called for dropping nuclear weapons on the country and said that Chinese-Americans should be put in internment camps if they wouldn’t sign loyalty oaths.

    “So you’re one of those sodomists. Are you a sodomite?” Savage asked.

    The caller replied: “Yes, I am.”

    “Oh, you’re one of the sodomites,” Savage said. “You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How’s that? Why don’t you see if you can sue me, you pig.”

    “Apparently it’s OK to call for the death of the vice president, but it’s not OK to say that you find lesbian marriage disgusting and nauseating and it makes you want to puke. This shows you why liberalism is a mental disorder.

    Apparently a death threat is not as bad as homo — let’s say homo — it’s not even homophobia. What it is, from my point of view, is not homophobia at all. I don’t fear lesbians who are married raising children. I have contempt for them. I think it is child abuse.”

    On his February 26, 2007 broadcast, Savage commented on Melissa Etheridge’s acceptance speech for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards, in which she thanked her long time partner Tammy Lynn Michaels, with whom she has raised two children. He said, “I don’t like a woman married to a woman. It makes me want to puke…I want to vomit when I hear it. I think it’s child abuse.”

    Later in the same broadcast when asked by a caller how to explain homosexuality to the caller’s child, Savage replied:

    “You say there are people who are sexually confused, who think that they’re men when they’re women. They’re not normal. Normal people are not like that. Normal people are like Mommy and Daddy. Mommy and Daddy are normal. There are people who are not normal, who have a confusion in their head, and they think they’re a man even though they look like a woman. That’s what you have to say to them otherwise the child will grow up confused.”

    “Your children’s future is what we’re talking about, a matter of life and death for their future. The gay and lesbian mafia wants our children. If it can win their souls and their minds, it knows their bodies will follow. Of course, it wants to homosexualize the whole country, not just the children. This is all part of the war that is going on. Maybe you don’t want to face up to it, but it’s a very real war. It’s being inflicted on the American people by the radical gay lobby, which is now everywhere.”

    “The unenlightened, provincial, ‘progressive’ lemmings leading San Francisco have taken another giant leap backward in deciding to pay for sex-change surgery and all the ‘counseling’ and hormone shots for ‘Tommys’ who want to be ‘Bettys’ and for ‘Barbaras’ who really want to be ‘Willys.’ “‘This is very much a civil rights issue,’ said one of the city’s supervisors. ‘This is about equal benefits for equal work.’ Equating sexual insanity with race is a dangerous and demeaning precedent. There is no historical, anthropological, or medical evidence supporting such surgical insanity. Except for religious-inspired mutilation, had the ancients encountered a man holding a knife to his penis they would have restrained him as mad and constrained him to prevent such self-violence.”

    On his March 20, 2007 Savage Nation talk show, he referred to a transgender murder victim as a “freak” and a “psychopath”, stating that the victim “should have been in a back ward in a straitjacket for years, howling on major medication… What’s this sympathy, constant sympathy for sexually confused people? Why should we have constant sympathy for people who are freaks in every society? I didn’t say hurt the freaks. I didn’t say do anything to the freaks. But you know what? You’re never gonna make me respect the freak. I don’t want to respect the freak. The freak ought to be glad that they’re allowed to walk around without begging for something.”

  12. I agree with Momkeychops and flapjack at Comments 7,8 and 9. However, the quote from Mr. Savage’s show posted by Abi1975 at Comment 11 does rather take my breath away and gives me grave cause for concern – primarily about the sanity of Mr. Savage, of course.

    All that said, I am of the opinion, on balance, that people who believe, or vocalise for money, idiotic opinions, as Mr. Savage does, should be handed enough rope. We have to remember that our arguments for equality before the law are reasoned and intellectual and more than capable of withstanding the inane, puerile and illogical hatreds of Mr. Savage and those who follow his lead, and we should not respond to his idiocies in like kind but with reasoned analyses and arguments, for only in that way can we claim the high ground.

    I think, but I could be wrong, that much which he spouts is designed to increase his audience share and maximise his income. One has to remember at this point in this discussion that ‘talk-radio’ presenters just like Mr. Savage, those on all points of the political spectrum in the USA in fact, are fighting for listeners in order to increase, to maximise, advertising revenue. It does not matter to them whether or not a listener tunes in in order to agree with the show or to be angered by the show or to be amused by the show. The name of the game is to capture the highest number of listeners and, thereby, the largest share of the available advertising revenue.

    Shows like Mr. Savage’s show have nothing to do with debate and opinion forming except in the most peripheral of ways – they are about maximising income for the original broadcaster and for people like Mr. Savage and all the other presenters of similar shows on both the right and the left. This is just a silly and childish game played by USA broadcasters which many of us here in Europe find very hard to understand because we operate by different rules and under different conventions in our societies.

    When people like Mr. Savage make a comment about gay people, either in support or aginst, it is impossible to know whether or not that is their real position for the only judgement which has any validity for him, and others like him in the entertainment industry, is the judgement pertaining to what will maximise the number of people who listen to their shows and maximise revenue for their broadcaster and maximise, thereby, their incomes.

    That’s the really deeply dishonest thing about broadcasters such as Mr. Savage – one can never know just how much, or if at all, they actually believe what they are broadcasting or whether they are just in it for the money. I suspect the latter because, let’s face it, the money is rather a large sum and the viewpoints advanced by such broadcasters, no matter what their political stripe, are rather stupid, ill thought through and badly argued!

    Should Mr. Savage be allowed into Britain? In my opinion: yes! Give him enough rope… There is also the whole question of freedom of speech – either we all have that freedom here in the UK or no one does. If some people do and some people don’t then, no matter how much one agrees with those who do and disagrees with those who don’t, that is just the imposition of ones own brand of fascism over someone else’s brand of fascism.

    Freedom of speech, no matter how much one might hate the message, is an absolute perquisite of a free society. It is the huge shame of Britain that we do not have freedom of speech, that one may only voice an opinion that is in conformity to a pre-existing, socialist, government imposed norm.

    That’s not freedom – that’s fascism! That’s: ‘ “Ah, that is different!” said Boxer. “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right” ‘; and that’s: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”; and that’s: “four legs good, two legs better”.

    You may hate everything Mr. Savage stands for, everything which he says and every reason (including the money) which he uses to say the things that he does but you still do not have the right to shut him up for that is not freedom; that is not reasoned debate; that is not democracy – that is fascism, absolutism and dictatorship; the very things which we see ourselves as fighting against. So let me ask you this: when you adopt the habits of the enemy can you really claim to be better than they are?

  13. the uk does not allow people who incite hatred against minority groups into the UK. rightly so. This man broadcasts a radio show telling people that gay people are pedophiles. That is an incitement to hatred against gay people.

    The apologists for this guy who think he shouldnt be banned are so bloody annoying. He thinks we are pedos and he wants everyone else to think we are too. And how do pedos get treated? you wanna be treated like that? you want someone to be allowed to broadcast that crap about us – and you want him to be allowed to enter the UK to do the same thing?


    Grow some balls and keep the fuckers out if they’re gonna say that about us. Good for the government i say. there’s enough hatred on our doorstep without importing it.

  14. Monkeychops 15 Jun 2009, 3:49pm

    If we don’t let him speak, he’ll just go underground and attract a cult following which is more dangerous. He’ll alienate everyone in this country by saying that kind of thing, except those that think like him. Who are a minority. The more rational in our society will just dismiss him. Banning freedom of speech is a very slippery slope.

    John MJ – applause.Very well put. Abi, thanks for the research. Despite advocating his right to free speech, I am still shocked by what he has been saying. Well, kind of shocked, I expected it to be bad. But, don’t fear, he will founder in the face of the overwhelming support for us. equality is for everyone, we can’t be making people more equal than others. He’s got all the rope he needs now watch him walk to the gallows….

  15. Brian Burton 17 Jun 2009, 7:03am

    Poor Old Queen! Keep the Silly Cow at bay!

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