A blog by Patrick Crozier

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November 11, 2004

Vlaams Blok banned

Tim Worstall covers it. A few thoughts:

  • It is amazing (even by the standards of the BBC) that this story hasn't received higher billing. Actually, I don't think it has received any billing at the BBC.

  • Are there other examples of this sort of thing happening in Europe? We shouldn't forget our rather pointless broadcast ban of Sinn Fein. And I seem to remember the Spanish banned Herri Batasuna, the political wing of ETA. But these are terrorist organisations ie ones that don't accept the outcome of elections, so I suspect an exception can be made. And I'm not going to get that upset about the Germans banning the Nazis even though a better approach might be to allow them to get thrashed at the polls. No, this seems to be unique.

  • Someone will doubtless tell me that it has not been banned and then go on to bombard me with details. I don't care. Obstacles are being put in the way of a peaceful political party. That's all you need to know.

  • Where next for the Flemings? I don't think the Belgian state is nasty enough to violently oppress its own people. And if democratic avenues are blocked then only undemocratic ones are left.

  • This is a hell of an admission of weakness. "Belgium is such a good place that we have to silence all those who think it should be dissolved."

Footnotes

Vlaams Blok is a Belgian Flemish political party that (depending on who you talk to) either wants to secede from Belgium or are a bunch of neo-Nazis.

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