After a suspiciously quiet summer from Nick Griffin MEP it seems his controversial and in my opinion ridiculous musings on Twitter last week has landed him firmly back in the headlines, as he vented his animosity toward the gay couple who won a court battle against a Christian bed & breakfast owner who denied them a stay in a room with a double bed due to her beliefs. Shortly after Nick Griffin caused outrage on the social network he found his account to be suspended although he claimed to be a massive technophobe and had no idea what was going on, but I'm sure he got the message loud and clear. Then came his statement.
Griffin, a member of the European Parliament, now subject to a police investigation into his twitter games - where he published the address of the gay couple and called for protest - has expressed his view that everyone has the "right to discriminate" and that the couple had "abused the system to persecute" he insisted in the statement that followed. While in the UK we are lucky enough to have the right to free speech, there is not such right to "discriminate" and Nick Griffins party, the British National Party, have come under fire from all directions over the years for doing just that, discriminating.
While the line between free speech and free discrimination and hatred can be a very fine line and since the rise of social media that line has become blurred for many resulting in arrests and sentences for status updates targeting celebrities or sensitive issues. But I think with common sense, while the context online can be hard to distinguish you can identify free speech from discrimination and hatred and they certainly are not free. While the couple at the end of Griffin's outburst bravely push the MEPs comments and call for action aside it still constitutes to a worrying trend of 'free speech' that is packed with discrimination.
While arguably parts of Nick Griffin's tweets echoed the sound of lines from newspapers such as The Daily Mail and The Express he still passed out the address of the targeted couple and encouraged action which could of resulted in anything happening. For a person is position of power, representing the UK in Europe his actions on twitter were fundamentally inappropriate and is a further cause for concern when it comes to his place in power, his party the BNP and his ease on the topic of discrimination.
Overall, while I support the right to free speech and feel that should be protected from the street to the World Wide Web, I believe we have no right to discriminate against anyone for any matter, especially when it can effect the discriminated and inflame stereotypes further, which only holds back the positive progression of society and humanity. It remains to seen if Nick Griffin will be allowed to return to Twitter or face action from the police but I'm sure it won't be the last time he feels the need to freely express his discriminatory views.