Geert Wilders

Britain is an anachronism as the world goes right

Some of us have vindictively long memories. I am one such person. So let me summon up just two stories from the not-so-distant past that have some bearing on our unhappy present. In 2009 the Dutch politician Geert Wilders was barred by Jacqui Smith, the then Labour home secretary, from entering the UK. In a letter explaining her decision, Smith (or rather her Home Office lawyers) wrote that Wilders’s ‘statements about Muslims and their beliefs would threaten community harmony and therefore public safety in the UK’. Perhaps Smith was partly influenced by the possibility that if Wilders came to the Houses of Parliament and gave his speech (in which he