I have no time for the arguments of the European far right.
They are essentially based on the fallacy that one people is somehow intrinsically better than another, and that geographical coincidence at birth somehow endows a birthright at the expense of others.
But however stupid that sounds, banning Nick Griffin from speaking at a Trinity College debate on immigration is a breathtaking act of cowardice.
The organisers say that they “cannot guarantee” security at the event, which of course is horse manure.
We’ve had visits from the Queen and the President of the USA this year, but somehow we can’t deal with a few protestors and supporters of a holocaust-denying racist?
The truth is that either they don’t want to do it, or they are using it as a flag of convenience to deal with an uncomfortable situation and muzzle Griffin without saying so. Either way, the result is the same.
If the point of their intellectual cowardice is to silence Griffin and stop the spread of his daft ideas, it has already failed.
Shallow, hateful ideologies like his thrive in the darkness- drag them out into the light and, like vampires, they wither and die.
I once debated with a far-right racist who attempted to batter me with facts about immigration.
Not knowing that I lived in Scandinavia, he proceeded to throw out all kinds of statistics about a “muslim rape wave” (his words, not mine) in Sweden in particular.
My simple response was that I live there, and I had never heard of it.
The debate ended abruptly.
But it is virtually impossible to guarantee the democratic rights of one person whilst impinging on those of another.
And doubtless those protesting his appearance are the same people who whine hysterically about Bradley Manning being incarcerated.
But freedom of speech is not an “a la carte” idea- you’re either for it, or you’re not.
Let Griffin come to Dublin, and let him speak.
Let people here his hysterical ramblings about Muslims and blacks and how they threaten our way of life and how all they want to do is get welfare and have babies.
Then remember what was said about the Irish in America and in the United Kingdom over the last two centuries, and ask yourself which is true.
As a rule, political parties like Griffin’s ultimately fail because those involved have neither the interest in nor the skill for politics required. Their first taste of power and money is often their undoing.
As an example, the poster boy of the Sweden Democrats, William Petzäll, has become a political cuckoo.
He was one of their success stories; elected by SD voters, he has struggled with drink and drugs and since left the party but not resigned the seat.
Rumour has it he demanded money from the party to do so.
Petzäll’s lack of political nous was quickly shown up in both the chamber and the media, and he continues to embarrass himself and his former party comrades every time he opens his mouth. Needless to say no other party would touch him with a barge pole.
As it would be with Griffin.
If the bluffers of Trinity’s Philosophical Society ultimately want to stop the spread of Griffin’s poisonous ideas, they would do well to give him a platform.
Nothing would contribute more to the collapse of his philosophy than seeing his hatred stillborn on the floor of an Irish debating chamber.