Alex Massie

The Wilders Tale

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Peter is quite right. Both in his own analysis of the Geert Wilders fiasco and in recommending Philip Johnston's excellent piece in the Telegraph. It's worth remembering, reiterating even, that Wilders was, we are told, in Britain just two or three months ago. That visit went un-noticed and passed off without controversy as would this one had the lumpen idiocy of the Home Office not decided to intervene. What changed in the intervening period? I doubt he's more "dangerous" in February than he was in November. Wilders is a boor and a bigot and no kind of poster-boy for liberty given his own views, so it takes a particularly stupid, incompetent government to elevate him to his current celebrity and status. Bravo.

Watching Question Time last night was, as usual, such an enraging, depressing experience that it was impossible to make it all the way to the end of the programme. I confess I was suprised, however, to discover that Salma Yaqoob of Respect made more sense and was more reasonable than any other member of the panel. Even by this government's non-swimming standards Liam Byrne seemed out of his depth while if Justine Greening (who she?) was less infuriating that was only because she's in opposition, not power.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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