Most of you won’t know who Gareth Bennett is (AM for Cardiff West and Chairman of UKIP Cardiff) and very many of you won’t be interested in the apparently parochial goings-on in the Welsh Assembly – but this extraordinary incident is important beyond the confines of Wales.
While the national MSM weren’t that interested, the gagging of Gareth Bennett AM did provide the WMS (Welsh Mainstream Media) with a welcome opportunity to smear UKIP.
What ought to concern us Kippers as well as the other national Parties and Parlamentarians is the reason why one of their colleagues has been gagged – for a year!
Firstly, there’s the strange fact that a Labour AM who was present at the debate raised this Point of Order only on the following day, not during the actual debate or immediately afterwards, when declaring that Gareth Bennett’s speech was ‘hateful’. I’m sure you can connect the dots between a Labour backbencher’s late intervention and the now common attitude by the Left of seeing ‘hate speech’ everywhere, with the accompanying ‘feelings’ of being offended on behalf of others who weren’t event here.
Secondly, there’s the even stranger fact that the Labour backbencher said Gareth’s speech was ‘homophobic’ – a favourite slur, as useful nowadays as calling someone ‘racist’ – but there was not one word at all in Gareth’s speech relating to gay rights.
Thirdly, the Presiding Officer (who was present at the debate the day before, so must have heard everything unless she was asleep) didn’t once intervene as the speech happened. When asked by Neil Hamilton AM where exactly Gareth said something ‘homophobic’, she couldn’t say.
Fourthly, because the Presiding Officer felt (!) there were ‘hateful elements’ (??) in the speech, such as ‘deviating from the norm’ (huh?), she demanded Gareth to apologise, else she would not allow him to speak in the Chamber for 2018.
You read that right: an elected representative, an AM who spoke in a debate in the Chamber of the Welsh Assembly, is told by the Presiding Officer to apologise or else – apologise for what? – ‘or else’ being gagged, not allowed to speak for one whole year!
In case you wondered, the Presiding Officer, Elin Jones, has her political home in Plaid Cymru. In case you wondered, let me also point out that the Welsh devolved government has, since its inception, been run by Labour, with the occasional Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition. So it’s no wonder that the Assembly is full of Labour/Plaid precursor-snowflakes (they taught the current generation).
One might also ponder how come these ‘equality’ Labour and Plaid ladies have been so very silent in the case of their Labour colleague Carl Sargeant who committed suicide because of allegations of sexual misconduct, the facts of which he was not told, he was just thrown to the wolves. That was just … inconvenient, but something deemed to be ‘hate speech’, ‘hateful’: that needs to be attacked with the full force of the Standing Orders!
Furthermore, this Welsh gagging order is important because it shows two things:
a) that when it comes to political correctness, Free Speech, even in the protected environments of a Parliament, has to give way to PC, and
b) creating precedent in this way, UKIP councillors on local councils might now equally be hounded by the hate-speech brigade.
I wonder if it has occurred to that Labour backbencher and to the Presiding Officer that by their actions they have nicely illustrated the point which Gareth raised in his speech, in which he stated that there had to be a limit as to how far society went with these minority rights. The problem being, he said, is that, at some point, minority rights will interfere with the rights of the majority:
“There is only so much deviation from the norm that a society can take, before it totally implodes,”
These words, ‘deviation from the norm’, are precisely the words for which Gareth is told to apologise.
But perhaps I’m not sufficiently snowflakey to understand that ‘deviation’ is now a hateful word, especially in combination with ‘norm’. What the ‘hate-speech’ screamers don’t seem to grasp however is that any society, human or indeed animal, is based on a ‘norm’.
A society can allow and accept deviations, as long as the majority, the norm, is not affected. A society cannot sustain itself when proponents of deviations – and I don’t mean just sexual deviations – are accorded the right to dictate what the ‘norm’ in a society should look like. But that’s precisely what the Labour backbencher and the Presiding Officer were doing – and that’s precisely what Gareth warned about in his speech.
This is how the one-year-gagging actually came about:
Gareth was told in the Chamber by the Presiding Officer Elin Jones that a Point of Order was being raised by the Labour backbencher Joyce Watson. She was one of the hecklers during that speech the previous day and claimed to be speaking in her capacity as the Assembly Commissioner for Equalities, stating that Gareth’s speech was ‘hateful’. The Presiding Officer upheld this, and agreed that there were hateful elements in the speech, particularly the phrase “deviation from the norm”.
So, suddenly, the speech as such was now no longer hateful, now there were just ‘elements’ which, strangely enough, nobody noticed at the time, just as they hadn’t noticed that the speech was ‘hateful’. Interesting …
Then, Gareth was directed by the Presiding Officer to apologise and withdraw those comments. He rose and replied:
“Thank you Llywydd [Presiding Officer]. There will be no apology. There will be no withdrawal.”
He was told that he would not be called to speak in the Chamber by the Presiding Officer in 2018 until that comment was withdrawn, whereupon he left the chamber with the defiant words
“so be it”.
And that is how you challenge the precursor-snowflakes, the snowflakes and all those who dictate how we must speak and think: nothing wrong was said, therefore no apology is needed!
Some suitable Anglo-Saxon words come to mind, but they are probably too rude for snowflake society. So I suggest we just say “Agincourt”. After all, who doesn’t know that particular hand signal and what it means …!