If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you. (Proverbs 25:21/22)
One of the UKIP candidates for the 'South East of England' (easily the least coherent of the EU 'constituencies') has been moaning about the antics of Unite Against Fascism and Hope not Hate:
Janice Atkinson, as Ukip SE chairman, and MEP candidate, has raised concerns about the way the police may deal with the protestors at the Ukip Margate public meeting, on Sunday,18th May. She has formally asked the chief constable to arrest any protestors who call Ukip's supporters 'fascists', hurl other abuse or any physical assault, for 'hate crime' or under the public order act.
Now I understand why Janice has gone off like this (presumably under instructions from her fellow SE UKIP candidate one Nigel Farage). After all it's exactly the behaviour we would expect from left-wing political parties, student unions and the like when faced with robust debate from the likes of UKIP. So the naturual response is to fight fire with fire, to take Boromir's advice and use the weapons of the enemy 'for good'.
And the response is wrong-headed - just as reporting a green activist in Cambridge for fact-checking Labour's attempt to damn UKIP's policies was stupid. Indeed if UKIP actually believe in free speech (and Nigel keeps telling us they do) then the party should be welcoming UAF and Hope not Hate into their meetings. OK there's a risk but UKIP would be better served treating UAF and its ilk with the contumely they deserve rather than playing the same anti-free speech card that these left-wing groups so love.