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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.

Crispin John’s report gives the background, with links to the actual speech and the transcript. Do read it!

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 …!

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About Vivian Evans (324 Articles)
Vivian is a UKIP patron, Vice Chair of UKIP Cardiff and Editor in Chief of UKIP Daily


  1. But “deviation from the mean”, which is the same as “deviation from the norm”, is a well-known statistical concept and term which has been in use for yonks!

    Standard deviation, the principal measure of dispersion, is RMS (“Root-Mean-Squared”) deviation, i.e., the square root of the arithmetic mean of the squares of deviations (differences) from the arithmetic mean of the sample. There’s one wrinkle (biased v. non-biased SD) I won’t mention.

    So, I would use the phrase “deviation from the norm” and without a second’s thought.

    But then, in a widely-distributed letter this spring, I’d proposed, just after its unwarranted interference in the Article 50 bill, a legal “CULL of the House of Lords”. To my surprise, I opened my door the next morning to a uniformed busy who wanted “a word”. I’m afraid he didn’t get his “word”, because I first asked him if he was going to arrest me, and when he said “no”, I asked him if he had a search warrant, and when he said “no”, the rest of any conversation he may have had would have been with my (reasonably gently shut) front door, and not with me.

    Most intimidation relies on the victim’s co-operation or acquiescence in order to work.

    Some issues are exacerbated by the low standard of general education. And by infiltration of Common Purpose within the ranks of our public services.

    There’s nothing at all wrong with the term “deviation from the norm”. Crazy to think that there is. End of!

    • Might I pass on a word of advice in light of Freddy’s tale that he was visited by a ‘uniform busy’ who wanted a word? If that ‘word’ ever progressed to a feeling of the collar it’s as well to be aware of what plod can and can’t do in respect of arrest. Consulting the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE)is well worthwhile. Also look at the case of Lord Hanningfield who recently sued Essex Constabulary and won after being unlawfully arrested by them.

      • Correct. Apparently if one states one needs to consult PACE, they can’t proceed until they procure it and a copy of it has been delivered to you and you have been given a reasonable time to read this voluminous tome.

        Nowadays, if your spellchecker renders “uniformed” into “uninformed”, don’t be so sure it’s got it wrong…
        If they really did cost only the 2p per hour that Diane Abbott said they did, it might be more acceptable.

        I know some smashing folk who are or were cops. They – their words, not mine – is that it was despite their being cops.

  2. In the same way that the EU invites citizens to attend Parliament in Strasbourg (I went last year courtesy of the EU and UKIP), could not a contingent of UKIPpers meet in Cardiff, say for lunch, and then move on to the Parliament and watch these oiks in action? We can only get thrown out. BTW not too long ago the ‘Womans Officer’ at Cardiff University wanted to ban Germaine Greer from speaking there. It must be something in the water.

  3. Viv, It is clear to anyone of sound mind that, in their desperate desire to use any means to silence opposition and debate, they are deliberately confusing DEVIATION from the norm, a statistical phrase, with DEVIANT? The latter is normally (ha!), although not exclusively, used for aberrant and/or abhorrent behaviour. Surely point that out and there is no case to answer.

    It is absurd that someone can be punished for one person’s obvious ignorance, deliberate or otherwise, of our language. The Presiding Officer should have been aware of her responsibilities and put the woman straight. But principles are foreign to many on the Left; smear Ukip, in fact anyone decent, at all costs is now the watchword of these sad, low grade people.

    Fight fire with fire
    every time a Lab or PC AM whether in Assembly or elsewhere makes a ‘controversial’ or ‘hateful’ remark then demand the same banning treatment for them.
    examples – comments negatively about UKIP or conservative values; praises foreign people/EU/foreign nations – hateful subtext against the lovely Welsh people;scour the records of Assembly debates.
    We are in for a painful long haul.
    UKIP HQ is weak and lacks good leadership. There is still a fantasist in place as national chairman.
    Wales because of PR has the chance of keeping a hearty UKIP presence better than most of England.
    Many thanks Vivian for all your endeavours

  5. Another example here: “Oxford Professor Nigel Biggar is the latest target of an attack from the identity politics-driven left, being set upon by campaign groups for failing to adhere to the notion of post-colonial guilt.”
    What’s even more remarkable is that Oxford University are standing by him over this, rather than capitulating and forcing him to resign.

  6. It is good that you have stirred things up, however this has to be seen as just the opening gambit. You have seriously missed an opportunity too, because of your ignorance of Islam. Let me explain. Given that a point of order can, it seems, be raised well after the event (our opponents have created this precedent), you can raise this point retrospectively too. This:

    Scroll down the transcript, to the statement by Mohammed Asghar, paragraph 448: “Nowhere in Muslim religion…is it stated to hurt innocent people” This is true, but it is a half truth. It is classic taqiyya, deliberate lying in order to deceive non-Muslims. And he slipped it past you all, because of your ignorance.

    What the lefty types would be thinking is: “I am a decent person who wants equality and pace and community harmony. Islam is no threat to me, because I am a good, innocent person.” Dead wrong. Every non-Muslim is a guilty person, in the eyes of Islam. Because we reject Allah and his messenger.

    UKIP members urgently have to get up to speed on Islam. You members of the Welsh Assembly in particular. As it stands, you are allowing Muslims to get away with murder.

    Muslims are seriously taking the mickey. And they are getting away with it, because of the woeful ignorance among non-Muslims. Read chapter 9 of the Koran. Look up “abrogation” and “taqiyya” Watch this video:

    And try to educate the lefties that they too are guilty in the eyes of Islam, and are a fair target for assassination too according to Koran 9:5. And there is the death penalty for homosexuals. If there are any gay AMs you can point this out to them, and try to get them on side, irrespective of party allegiances.

    • Hi Hugo –
      Given what has happened in the Senedd – do your really think that doubling down and lecturing the rest of the assembly on islam would have changed the outcome one bit, or even discomfited the muslims in the Senedd?
      Please also remember that the UKIP AMs were elected on policies, not on fighting islam. I find it very strange indeed that so many, in their righteous and understandable aim of fighting islam, seem to be unable to recognise that, in order to achieve political goals, one has to be elected, and that voters may give lip service to denouncing islam and then go to vote for those who have policies to better their everyday lives. I recall mentioning before that you cannot hope to win voters by telling them everything will be good if islam is defeated when they worry about 14-day bin collections. Above all, right now the one aim for UKIP must be to achieve a clean, hard Brexit. I hope you have no illusions that remaining under the heel of the ECJ and Eurogendfor, will make it easier to denounce islam. The news about the arrests of the leaders of Britain first should make you all think … Let’s take the first step (Brexit) before we take the second and fall all flat on our faces.
      And btw – I do not think that the readers of UKIP Daily need to be lectured on islam. Your and others’ articles are testimony to that.

  7. The way to fight back is to go over their previous speeches and pick up everything which is off centre and bring it to the attention of the Assembly. Once it starts becoming stupid they might get the message. He might not be asked to speak but they cannot ignore points of order.

  8. The walls are closing in because UKIP is letting them close in. Not only does UKIP not exist as far as the public is concerned ( pace Russell), it doesn’t exist as far as I, and I suspect many members are concerned.
    If you contrast Henry’s pedestrian five minute tour of what he has done with the hour-long U TUBE with a wide variety of pithy comments from AMW last Thurs night, you can see why. There have already been approaching 6000 hits on her broadcasts, normally given fortnightly.

    • To my knowledge, AMW broadcast her most recent fortnightly talk from her personal page. The reason being that Facebook will no longer publish the page for the ‘For Britain’ party on grounds of hate speech.

      UKIP is wisely steering clear of running a similar risk.

  9. A little off topic perhaps but I’ve just picked up this gem from Paul Joseph Watson. The gem in question starts at 2:21. (Although the whole piece is worth watching in my humble opinion.)

    Whether in Wales or North England the point is the same. Democracy in name only and of course Brexit/Leave in name only.

    Perhaps we need to start leafletting nation-wide on a regular basis and not just prior to elections. The doorstep is one place where we’re still free to speak and more importantly, free to be heard.

    • Leafleting.
      I’ve been thinking about the various methods of Advertising and marketing for many years and tried them all “ad nauseum”. and my conclusion, specifically for politics is that for UKIP, now , with certain provisos, it’s perfect.

      1.The written word is believable and assimilated at various speeds and times.
      2. It is permanent and referable.
      3.As a society, we consider, and becauseof our laws, believe the written words actionable ( as they are ).
      4. It is often handed over personally, or presented in a safe way ( To your home )
      5. Rather more complex reasoning is possible.
      6. Scurrilous rumour, or lies can be disposed of.
      7. neighberhood targeted.

      There are dangers, but most are easily disposed of by simple easy means.

  10. Deviation from the norm :

    negative skew: The left tail is longer; the mass of the distribution is concentrated on the right of the figure. The distribution is said to be left-skewed, left-tailed, or skewed to the left, despite the fact that the curve itself appears to be skewed or leaning to the right; left instead refers to the left tail being drawn out and, often, the mean being skewed to the left of a typical center of the data. A left-skewed distribution usually appears as a right-leaning curve.

    The left do not understand basic statistics.

    • Bernard from Bucks. // December 16, 2017 at 5:20 pm // Reply

      Spot on. That is just what I was going to say. My maths teacher taught us all about deviations. Also standard deviations and even TWO or THREE standard deviations from the norm.

  11. Why is any of this a surprise? UKIP have been gagged for a long, long time. Members have heard very little from ‘the management’ in the 540 days since the referendum, few of UKIP’s spokesmen or women have spoken on any subjects. My inbox is filled with amazing things from all sorts of people and organisations but there’s sweet FA from any official UKIP sources, the website goes untouched for weeks at a time and henry Bolton hasn’t been heard of since Question Time. UKIP should be bombarding the public but they’re not even maintaining monthly contact with the members, never mind weekly. All it takes is intelligent emailing and the occasional video but they can’t even do that. UKIP has almost ceased to exist as far as the public is concerned.

    • Please ring me. Thanks!

    • In its usual stream of consciousness / blog roll format, the official website’s most recent 2 articles are praising the UN and a petition that only got 100,000 signatures (>500k is a real petition response nowadays). Almost as bad as other recent articles praising Amazon. Still nobody managing message or website.

  12. Minor correction: it was Carl Sargeant, not Carwyn Jones, who committed suicide.
    Otherwise, more brilliant stuff as usual, free speech is slowly but surely being whittled away. More people need to stand by what they say, stick to their guns, instead of being forced to ‘apologise’.
    It used to be the ‘fear of offending someone’ that powered political correctness, now it seems offence can just be fabricated.

  13. This is getting beyond a joke and is now moving inexorably towards Orwellian 1984 territory.
    That book by Orwell was supposed to be a warning…not a ‘ How to’ guide for Labour fascists.

    An elected fepresentative being gagged for some specious reason should be national news, yet the MSM conspires to neglect its duty to inform and uphold basic freedoms.

    I blame too much exposure to the EU where this behaviour is the norm.

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