Thursday, January 11, 2007

Uncomfortable Affiliations

A few weeks ago I joined a loose association of bloggers called blogpower. There are some good thinkers and writers in the group, and we link to each other's sites. The group has helped me find some great sites, and brought some welcome traffic this way.

Some of the crowd are concerned to varying degrees by the inclusion of Central News because it is written by a BNP supporter. He has at times contributed comments on this site. And from memory, I think I've commented on his. I've also posted on issues relating to the BNP - not supporting a BNP position, but opposing restrictions on free speech.

Currently there is hot debate on what to do about the blogpower situation. Some want to ask him to leave, some have suggested disbanding blogpower. Other's have already withdrawn their blogs from the group eschewing any association.

To be clear, this is not an issue of free speech, it's a question of who and what bloggers want to be associated with and linked to.

If blogpower asks him to leave, then exactly what is the criteria for being part of this exclusive circle? Where is the master list of acceptable opinions that we must adhere to? Or where is the list of blasphemous views that will see a blogger cast out? Who is this new authority to decide? Is the majority view to decide what is acceptable? - That would really be disconcerting!

This all sits uneasily in the blogosphere. Simply by being on the Internet you are by definition connected to the rest of it! I see this as a place where we can speak and disagree freely. If you disagree with Central News or the BNP, then say so! Blogging is an ideal medium for this!

If it's the BNP's support for capital punishment that offends you, then make your argument. If you disagree with their immigration policies, then state your case. (It's their restrictive immigration based on race that I object to - far too prescriptive. Like all left wingers, too interested in curtailing freedom. I think of the BNP as 'far-Left'.) If you just think they are a pack of racist bastards, you can say that too, but don't expect me to keep coming back to your blog. I'm looking for something a little more thoughtful. (Of course, if you say it in a funny or clever way, then that could work too.)

Now, if a blogger wants to withdraw from the association, of course they are free to do so. If those working to maintain and host the group can no longer do it, then that is their choice. But I thank them for their work and I hope they keep it up.


youdontknowme said...

It isn't about them asking me to leave. I don't think they are going to give me an option.

If they ask I will probably just say no though. so the only way is by kicking me out.

I didn't know my blog was so offensive to people.

Ian Grey said...

Onyx Stone, good piece. Youdontknowme, there is a certain herd mentality which causes some people distress when others like yourself go against "perceived wisdom" and challenge Taboo topics. I blame the corrosive effect of political correctness myself- they are self-censoring so why aren't you?

BNP say many things that people think but don't want to admit they think.

I personally don't have any time for BNP as it is diametrically opposed to my world view, but that doesn't stop be being pleasant to Chris Beverley.

youdontknowme said...

I blame the corrosive effect of political correctness myself- they are self-censoring so why aren't you?

I never censor my opinions. I am like this in real life.

I see no reason to lie about what I believe in.

Peter said...

Sorry, coming from Australia, I don't know what BNP is, but from the comments above I dare say it's a little inflammatory.

This raises an interesting point. How should we deal with dissent? Black listing someone avoids the issue rather than solving it.

A great man once said, "Truth needs no defense." I don't feel I need to shelter and defend my principles by excluding opinions I don't agree with. If truth needs no defense then it stands on its own against all comers.

Take for example E=mc squared. If it's right, if it accurately and truthfully describes the world around us then all manner of assaults upon it will only strengthen its position. If it's wrong, then it should be revised. But it needs no defense. It either stands or falls on its own merits.

Can the same be said of BNP? Can it stand the rigors of open debate? Rather than isolating and avoiding, what happens when its principles are called in question? Does it stand or fall? The reach out to those like youdontknowme with reason rather than force.

Onyx Stone said...

Sorry, coming from Australia, I don't know what BNP is

The BNP is the British National Party... socialist and opposed to large scale immigration. Currently in Britain, membership of the BNP seems to be incompatible with positions like school-teacher, fire-fighter or ballerina.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

I prefer the term Neo-nazi scum.

Onyx, my father stood up to Moseley's black shirts in 1936. The *N* is the same camp. Just because they strut around in suits and get seats on local authorities doesn't make them any better.

Of course, they wouldn't get any publicity if Her Majesty's opposition had a tougher line on immigration, wanted to get out of the EUssr, stood up to PC, et al

james higham said...

Think we may have the solution tomorrow, boys.

Serf said...

I prefer the term Neo-nazi scum

Whilst I am sure that many members of the BNP are unpleasant racists, I think that name calling counterproductive.

By doing it, we just fall into the trap set for us by the left, who happily call us names as well, rather than involve themselves in a proper debate.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

maybe, but you probably not Jewish or Black. If you were you may take a different view. But I do take your point.