Agreeing with Nick Griffin and the BNP is the easiest way to lose an argument in UK politics, be labelled a racist, and be mocked politically forever. However I liked the headline so I went for it.
Nick Griffin spoke to Leeds Student today, and amongst his homophobic rambling and general nastiness he (probably accidentally) hit upon a valid point…
‘Plenty of gay people are now fed up of so many straights going to their clubs, particularly in my constituency in Manchester. They want the right to discriminate against heterosexuals, and I’m the only politician in Britain who would give them that right, because I believe people should have the freedom of association.’
I have no idea if homosexual people actually have told Mr Griffin that they are fed up with heterosexual people going to gay clubs but that is beside the point. Griffin supports the right of the Christian B and B couple to refuse service to gay people, and supports the right of gay clubs to refuse service to straight people. I have absolutely no problem with this either.
When you own property, a house, a hotel, a bar, it is yours. No one else has the right to use your property without your permission. In a free society you must have the right to reject service to people for whatever reason, otherwise your property is no longer your property. When the Government is able to tell you who you can and can’t refuse service to or allow into your property it is no longer your property.
The sad fact is that we do not even need to have laws forcing people to serve people. In the recent Christian B&B example they have been so thoroughly shamed in the media that I am sure their business has suffered. Look at the BNP itself, it was forced to change its white only policy, but can anyone see any ethnic minority citizen of sound mind joining the racist BNP? We should let the BNP have a white only membership policy, not only will no person of an ethnic minority join them anyway the policy also hammers home to white people their racism, and further put people off the BNP.
In a free market, businesses that discriminate based on race, gender, sexuality and so on would see significant bad press because we live in a tolerant society. A racist shop owner would not only lose business from ethnic minorities but from white people who are disgusted by the racism. How many of you would go to a shop that had a sign saying ‘No Blacks’ on the door? I certainly wouldn’t.
Discrimination is part of life, shops currently discriminate based on price, I am sure we have all discriminated based on personality when we choose our friends or partners. If a shop owner wants to discriminate based on race, gender, religion, sexuality etc we must let them, that is their right. However we too have the right to voluntarily boycott that shop and persuade others to voluntarily do so as well. We have a right to discriminate against discriminators.
Update: Jason Kay has made a similar point about the right to discriminate here
Authors Note: While I agree with the right to discriminate I personally find discrimination based on grounds of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, religion etc disgusting, and unlike Mr Griffin I fully support Equal Marriage
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