Support for Free Speech and the tolerance of the Manchester University left wing were on show on Friday when Immigration Minister Phil Woolas visited the campus. He was forced to pass through a mock "border control" and asked to show his passport. Then as he took his seat, he had a cream pie thrown at him for "spouting right-wing anti-immigration policies." So much for tolerance!
Mr. Woolas was invited by the university students´ union to speak on a debate on the e nvironment, but the event was hijacked by activists of "No Borders" - a group which campaigns against border controls. Initially all in good humour the mood turned ugly when shortly before the debate was to start a woman from the audience threw a cream pie at him and ran away. The pie throwing was justified by the No Borders Group as a reason to stop the minister engaging in any debate as they felt Any debate would "legitimise what he was saying." So much for Free Speech! Obviously the only legitimate view to be tolerated or to be debated is one that No Borders agree with?
Maybe I should throw a custard pie at the next MEP I hear standing up to praise the EU? After all I don't want anything that "legitimises" the European Union. However, unlike No Borders I accept that not everyone shares my view on the EU, even though anyone who supports the EU is, in my opinion, misguided to say the least! No borders were quite smug about preventing the minister spouting "right wing anti-immigration policies". According to their spokesman "The danger is that people like him are making such views mainstream." I don't know how to tell these thugs but these views are already mainstream and are gaining more support by the day.
Why is it that extremists of all types always think theirs is the only viewpoint that should be allowed. Intolerant, bullying left wing thugs or intolerant, bully right wing thugs, they are both still just thugs! There are many people out there who hold views I consider to be repellent but I don't think throwing pies at them is any way to go about protesting. Throwing a pie is better than throwing bombs, but once you start throwing anything then you've lost the argument in my opinion!