Tuesday 18 June 2019

People have the right to be wrong

Alison Chabloz
Alison Chabloz
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

Have you ever spoken to a Holocaust denier? If you ever get such an opportunity, I highly recommend it.

They will mention vague but inevitable historical anomalies. They will point out already long-debunked notions of non-existent gas chambers. They will say that, yes some Jews died, but then so did lots of other people. They will, sooner or later, bring in the phrase 'Holohoax' and invoke this stupid neologism as a sign of their daring, iconoclastic wit.

I've spoken to several of these clowns and while some are just sad, and some are bad, they are all mad. Ultimately, spending time in the company of a Holocaust denier is to spend time in the company of insanity.

I've also had the privilege to spend time in the company of Holocaust survivors, but you don't need to hear first -hand testimony from survivors of the camps to know that the existence of the Holocaust is not a matter for debate.

Holocaust deniers thrive on being condemned and, ideally, prosecuted because it feeds their conspiratorial delusions; conspiratorial delusions which inevitably place Jews at the centre of everything, still pulling the strings.

Take the case of Alison Chabloz (pictured), currently in the dock in London on hate-crime charges. She performed a few stupid songs on her YouTube channel, insulting the memory of Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel and generally behaving the way you'd expect from her sort.

People complained, the authorities went after her and now she stands accused of writing songs "which are designed to provoke maximum upset and discomfort... By the standards of an open, multiracial society, they are grossly offensive".

To which the obvious answer is twofold: a) yes, they are indeed offensive and b) so what?

The woman is an idiot and a nasty piece of work but these are not crimes and nor should they be.

The best way to deal with nutters like Chabloz - if you must deal with them at all - is not just to ignore them, but to go after them with ridicule and facts and expose them to the unforgiving light of the truth.

What we shouldn't be doing is raising such a low life up to the level of a free-speech martyr and granting her a status she doesn't deserve. What defenders of hate-speech laws don't seem to understand is that the best way to combat awful ideas is with better ideas, not using a legal sledgehammer to crack a nutcase.

Defending this woman's right to speak her mind is not endorsing her, it's actually opening the door for smarter people to demolish her argument.

After all, the problem we face isn't people denying the Holocaust - it's people calling for another one. Chabloz is just an irrelevant distraction.

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