If you don’t protest the forced cancellation of the Britain First conference in Chesterfield, don’t call yourself a supporter of free speech
Let’s skip the near-obligatory paragraph restating for the record just how odious and hateful Britain First are. Britain First’s racism, paranoia, manipulative social media campaigns and grotesque subversion of patriotism are abhorrent; that much really goes without saying.
But something else should also go without saying, yet is not being widely said: no matter how nasty that party’s speech and campaigning activities may be, the decision by Chesterfield council to cancel the venue booking for Britain First’s conference at the last minute is a brazen violation of the dual freedoms of speech and assembly.
From the Derbyshire Times:
A far-right political party has been banned from holding a conference in Chesterfield due to “the risk of public disorder”, it has emerged tonight.
Britain First had booked a Chesterfield Borough Council venue for its seven-hour meeting next Saturday.
But in a letter to the nationalist party’s leader Paul Golding, the council’s chief executive Huw Bowen said: “I am writing to advise you that a decision has been taken to cancel this booking because of the risk of public disorder. Your fee of £379 will be credited to your account.”
And the Huffington Post’s jubilant, gloating report: