Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Making Unnecessary Martyrs

David Irving is a vile man. His political beliefs are disgusting; his historical ability is terrible, and that he has been able to get away with the title "historian" is insulting to all those who aspire to actually study the discipline of history.

Historical inaccuracy, however, is not a crime. Denying the Holocaust, as stupid, insensitive and crass as it may be, should not be a crime. Indeed, it is far better to let these idiots open their mouths and identify themselves to the world than to force them to operate with a shroud of secrecy.

Can't Austria see what it has done? A man who, six years ago, was made a laughing stock in Britain because of his defeat in a High Court trial, is now on the verge of receiving something approaching public sympathy. For those who trust him, he's been turned into a martyr.

This is how the fascists and the racists operate. Why are they scared of us, they say? What's so dangerous about our arguments that they have to silence them? We're telling you what they don't want you to hear because it serves their own purposes.

And so far from keeping the far right downtrodden, the Austrian authorities have actually just given them a boon this week. Conspiracy theorists everywhere must be having a ball.