Thursday, 17 April 2008

Free speech benefits local communities

THERE'S a report on the Hold the Front Page website that the revenue generated by Archant from running adverts from the British National Party in their newspapers in the run-up to the local elections in London will be donated to local community charities.

The publisher ran advertisements from the BNP in a number of its titles including the Hampstead and Highgate Express although some Archant newspapers, including the Hackney Gazette, declined to carry the ad, which was appealing to voters ahead of next month's London Assembly and Mayoral elections in the capital.

The website reported:
"The content of the adverts didn't breach any laws or guidelines.
Company spokesman Keith Morris said: "The BNP is a legally constituted political party, advertising in the lead up to the May 1st elections in London.
"In making the decision to publish we took input from our editors and balanced the liberal principles of free speech against the potential impact on the communities our editors serve.
"Any revenues generated from the BNP adverts will be donated to local community charities."

That's excellent news for the communities where the British National Party adverts appeared as they will benefit directly from the publicity allowed to the BNP, but it's not good news for the communities where the editor of the newspaper has suppressed free speech and interfered in the democratic process by banning the adverts - they will miss out on this unexpected windfall.

David Cameron was in Hastings in Sussex yesterday and took time out to give the BNP a plug. The Hastings Observer reports:
"Mr Cameron advised voters in Hastings to vote for anyone but the British National Party (BNP), and said: "They are the enemy of democracy. The BNP is just a despicable party."

As with the Northern Echo for the past two days, website readers of the report were quick to voice their thoughts on Cameron's statement via the 'comments box' with one reader summing up the thoughts of many when he said:
"The mainstream parties of this country are the only despicable parties here. They are destroying our country under our very noses and still have the brass front to sell themselves as our 'leaders.' They are an absolute disgrace to their own people and I long to see the day when they are made to pay for being the traitors that they are."

Last day in Silloth today and it's a lovely one to remember this town by. Early tomorrow morning its back to Wigton after four years away. If I manage a blog tomorrow, it probably won't be until quite late.

"Farewell dear Silloth" - This is the view that has greeted me for the past four years when I opened our bedroom curtains in the morning. But sadly, from tomorrow, no more.

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