No Platform

September 6th, 2009 § 7 comments

No Platform is a political position that actively opposes allowing alleged fascists to express their views in public

It is a little controversial about whether a No Platform policy actually does anything at all. Everyone has their opinion. This one is mine.

I do not believe in the no platform policy. There are ocassions where direct action and not allowing the fascist to speak is justified but not to, say, go on a programme or be in a debate because the BNP is also appearing is handing the fascists a chance to spout their perverted logic unhindered.

I believe that the direct action, of the type the UAF use is excellent.

In a situation like that, where the fascists are giving a statement, not debating or discussing things with other parties or public, then shutting them down, stopping them speaking, closing off the stream of racist propaganda, is the only thing to do.

In that situation they have a preprepared statement, they have a plan, an expected sequence of events. They are not interested in justifying themselves, they are just trying to get the words out there into the open so they can enter peoples consciousness and start to propagate and put doubts in peoples mind so the hearer can fill in the gaps in the logic themselves.
Because the anti-fascists have to go against what is, in the mind, now considered fact, they have to go much further than just assert that Fat Nick and his gang are wrong. The anti-fascist has to prove that Fat Nick is wrong. With evidence. That takes much longer and is harder to do than just assert things and always puts you on the back foot.

In that situation it is imperative that the message the racists want to get out does not leave their lips. Once it is out there it is much harder to counter and so harassement, heckling, disruption is the weapon of choice.
You go to a statement with the intention of argueing it, you’re not gonna get anywhere. You might as well saw your own cock off with a rusty cheese-knife for all the good it will do.

As I say above, direct action is good in some situations, but what about when the bigots are invited, due to impartiality rules, on to a TV debate?

The thing is, whatever you do you have to think about how it looks otherwise you end up in the position the UAF are in now

[the] UAF finds itself in the unusual position of having to defend themselves for organising a protest against a party that the majority of people would probably accept are racist, and in general oppose.

With this in mind, you’ve got to be a bit careful about how direct action is used because you can make yourself out to be just as fascistic as the fascists.

In a debate environment, direct action doesn’t work.

Another option is to direct action is to go on the TV/radio programme, enter the university and debate them. But when you do, you have to remember you are not trying to change the mind of the racist, it usually takes something much more profound to make them come to their senses. When you enter a debate with these people, you are going to make them look stupid, you are going to pick holes in their logic, you are going to ask them awkward questions that they would rather not answer in case they make themselves look like the cunts they are…
Jonathon Bartley expresses it well here (go to 5:57)…

When shutting the message down is not appropriate it needs to be shown up then and there. It needs questions, unexpected questions asked of it. The people listening need to go away with any questions or gaps in their thoughts from the fascists message answered already with answers that show up the contradictions, fallacies and bigotry for exactly what it is. If their message is not challenged at the time, what’s gonna happen? Are most people gonna look up all the anti-fascist writing on the internet? Of course not. It needs countering at the time.

So now, in a debate situation you can either make yourself look like a cunt and make the fascists look the victim or you can make themselves look the cunts they are or you can do one other thing.

Adopt a No Platform policy and let the fuckers get on with it unhindered.

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§ 7 Responses to No Platform"

  • […] from the Continent Soho Politico: Iain Dale doesn’t understand freedom of speech Sim-O: No Platform · About the author: This is a guest post. Paul Sagar is a part-time researcher for the Tax […]

  • “I believe that the direct action, of the type the UAF use is excellent.”

    Oh, you mean that use of violence to oppress political opponents? How wonderfully ironic that a supposedly anti-fascist organisation should behave in such a way.
    .-= Letters From A Tory´s last blog ..The state of the Labour blogosphere =-.

    • Sim-O says:

      Yes. To a degree.

      When that political opponent is advocating the expulsion of my family from their home, their country, I think it is entirely justified.

      The BNP is based on violence and the threat of violence and the stripping of rights for whole swathes of this countrys’ citizens. Against an opponent like that a bit of egg throwing to shut them up is not a bad thing.

      If the UAF escalated their egg throwing to drilling kneecaps or executions then obviously I would have to have a rethink.

  • LFAT is twat, a real twat.

    Ahywho, I agree that the BNP in a deabte situation should be allowed to speak so that the paper thin ideas can be torn apart.
    .-= Daniel Hoffmann-Gill´s last blog ..Gordon Brown is a Sexy Bitch =-.

  • […] have been kindly invited to respond to a previous blog that argued the No Platform policy advocated by UAF is not the correct approach. Whilst I […]

  • leicesteruaf says:

    It is a common misconception that the ‘No Platform’ position means denying freedom of speech to fascists. However this is not true. Of course anyone is allowed to say whatever they want in this country. However it must be said that there is a massive difference between allowing someone to say what they want and giving them a soapbox and megaphone to say it with. ‘No platform’ denies them the opportunity to speak to a wider audience. Whether Griffin’s racist arguments are destroyed on question time or not is pretty irrelevant because the fact that they have been allowed on question time lends them a massive amount of respectability to the average voter. In several other countries where Nazis have been accepted into mainstream political life in this way, their power has increased tenfold. The ‘No platform’ stance taken by British anti-nazis put so much pressure on the NF in the seventies that they split, and their movement went ‘underground’ (where it belongs, frankly). Ironically the only reason we are allowed to have this debate now is because ‘No platform’ in the past has worked. We should all remember this fact.

  • […] have been a couple of posts on this blog recently, debating the policy of No Platform with regard to the […]

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