The Corner

Savage Nation vs Halfwit State (cont)

I wrote two years ago about the British Government’s decision to ban Michael Savage from the United Kingdom. In his letter to Secretary Clinton, Congressman Allen West points out that Her Majesty’s Government chose to add to a list of Russian mass murderers and Hamas terrorists the name of a law-abiding citizen of the United States – and, as I pointed out back in 2009, did so on an utterly cynical and fraudulent basis

I’ve lost touch a bit with the case since then, but I can’t say I was surprised to discover this week that the new “Conservative” Home Secretary has upheld the exclusion order of her Labour predecessor. The letter from a bloke called Michael Atkins, for the Treasury Solicitor, is a remarkable document – not least the reference in 3 (c) to the “allegation” (as Atkins puts it) that Savage “has many homosexual friends and respects Islam as a great religion”.

Why should admission to the United Kingdom be conditional on either of these no doubt splendid attributes? Is there a minimum number of homosexual friends you need to get past Heathrow? Indeed, how many of the many immigrants to Britain who “respect Islam as a great religion” have “homosexual friends”?

I can’t help feeling (in light of my own experience up north) that it was a waste of time for Savage’s counsel to get into the weeds with HMG on this stuff. The issue here is a once free society’s grotesque embrace of ideological enforcement at the border. A land that was once the crucible of liberty betrays its own inheritance. How could any English solicitor, even a government hack, write the following?

Your client has not provided any evidence to show that he did not commit the unacceptable behaviour.

But the Home Office has never specified what if anything Savage “committed”. In civilized societies, the burden of proof is on the accuser. Here it’s not even clear what Savage is required to disprove. So much for the presumption of innocence. Everything about this squalid business underlines how quickly free speech is shriveling in Europe and how comfortable governments have grown with the ideological regulation of public discourse. Shame on Britain. 

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

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