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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Not about rights or free speech

So I've been reading all the hullabaloo about that Galloway character in the news. He's a really bizarre British MP that wanted to enter Canada to make a speech. Canada barred him from entering. He then had a tempter tantrum, saying this was against his "rights," and is threatening to sue Canada for defamation. He and his supporters are also making a big deal about how barring him is somehow a blow to free speech.

Well, here's my thoughts on it.

No one has any "right" to enter a country they are not a citizen of, just because they want to. None. Nadda. Zip. Doesn't matter if it's for a job, to make a speech, or for a holiday. It could even be for charitable or humanitarian purposes. It doesn't matter. Any country has every right to bar any non-citizen they please, for whatever reason they please. Full stop. Whether or not we agree with the reasons is besides the point. Canada doesn't have to let in anyone and everyone who tries to enter, can bar anyone that attempts to enter, and often does. If anything, I think Canada should to it more often. Far too many unsavoury types are being allowed in as it is, including people far more offensive and harmful than Galloway.

It's not a rights issue.

It's also not about free speech. No one is telling him to stop spouting his idiocies. So he can't come into Canada and give his speech in person - so what? With the communications technology we have today, he can send a video or audio, or do a live video speech. It can even be interactive. So long as the organizers for the event he was supposed to speak at are willing to spend the money and take the time to set it up. If they're not... tough patooties for Galloway. Being barred from Canada doesn't stop him from saying what he wants to say.

It's not a free speech issue.

So if it's not about rights, and it's not about free speech, what is it?

Looks to me like a loudmouth bully who's upset he didn't get his way, and is making as much noise and controversy as he can. He's milking this for all he's worth. Too bad Canada inadvertently gave him a platform to do so.

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