Yes I know I’m posting for the second time in quick succession, but something recently got me thinking, in an irksome sort of way. Those of you in the UK will no doubt be aware of the student protests taking place against the raise in tuition fees, which is absolutely fair enough. Indeed, were I in London and had nothing better to do, I would probably go along just for kicks. I would, however, be put off by the fact that the whole protest is an NUS project, given the proverbial beef that I had with them last year, and indeed still do. Just the association with them would be enough to dissuade me, unless they decide on some radical about-turn in violence policy. Because they sort of like it, this whole violence to make a point thing. Remember Durham last year? Apparently it would be OUR fault if the NUS and UAF brought up coachloads of people to incite violence, in order to effectively quash free speech (yes, the BNP are a hateful group in every single way, but tough – this is how a free society works – they get a say, no matter how deplorable and ridiculous their opinions are). But I digress. The whole thing sort of got me thinking about Nick Griffin (NG) again, and led me to compare his actions with an interview I heard earlier this week with Shirley Phelps-Roper (SPR). For those of you who are unaware of this bastion of tact and sanity, SPR is the daughter of Fred Phelps, a batshit crazy American fundamentalist preacher-cum-ex-lawyer who has his own church in which it is predicted that the rapture is about to happen ANY FUCKING MINUTE. Tinfoil hats at the ready etc. They’re even more famous for being the lovely individuals who stand around outside dead US soldiers’ funerals picketing, claiming that the fact that these young men have died is part of their god’s wrath at the USA’s tolerance of homosexual activity, among other things. So yeah, a wonderful lady.
So why compare the two? Yes, NG (I was tempted to use the first two letters of his first and second name to create an ironic abbreviation, but didn’t wish to inadvertently offend anyone) and SPR are both depraved lunatics whose political (the former) and religious (the latter) opinions are testing the boundaries of the free speech/hate speech debate. However, the way in which they deal with their publicity is completely different, and certainly interesting to notice. What NG does is squirm and avoid the question, pretending he never said the hateful things he actually did say, despite recordings (both in audio and paper form) of his having done so. SPR on the other hand is straight up about her beliefs, merrily shouting to all and sundry that she’s right and that everyone should just (and I’m quoting verbatim here) “shut up, stop thinking and just obey”, all while spitting vitriol at anyone she deems to be immoral (that’s everyone by the way apart from the majority of her family). Oddly enough, I sort of respect her a little more for that; at least if you’re going to be an ignorant, callous little cunt (I beg forgiveness for the word – I don’t use it lightly, but some situations require severe expression, and this is one of those occasions), at least have the decency to admit it and be consistent with your views, rather than hiding behind a veil of respectability before plunging once more into the mire of racism and bigotry, in NG’s case. So in a sort of wonky way, SPR leads the credibility stakes, though only in terms of consistency of action and the fact that she’s not actually running for political office or anything. Regardless, the world would be a better place without these dreadful people, yet we must soldier on as best we can.
Sorry for the rant, but it needed to be said. Love to you all.
P.S. There are no words in the English language that exist to encapsulate exactly how I feel about SPR and her ilk. To understand where I’m coming from, give the interview a listen on the link below:http://www.irreligiosophy.com/audio/phelps_roper.mp3