(Article also featured on "Your News Wire", with thanks.)
On January 28th THA TALKS featured an interview with David Parry, who as well as being a guest presenter for THA also runs “The Extremist Club”, a free speech club in London that has been running since 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAqikT49NLU&t=1296s. Your News Wire also caught up with David for an interview, and we can now lay out the whole story.
David is a marvelous example of the English eccentric. He is a multi-faith practitioner with a deeply spiritual perspective on life. He is also the Rev David Parry, ordained priest of the Old Catholic Church. And his motive to facilitate opposing groups talking to each other is funny notions like “if we listen to each other we can understand each other and solve our common problems”. David is a Liberal in the true classic sense, someone into Freedom: for everyone.
As he tells THA TALKS: “I am very cross and unhappy. This is lying, misrepresentation, this odious and poisonously toxic invective, aimed at myself, without the slightest regard for professional ethics or accuracy”
“Extremists club” started in the summer of 2014, and for 3 years it operated completely harmlessly and non-controversially. A crowd of around 30 would gather in the pub, listen to speakers, and challenge their positions in Questions & Answers. Beer was drunk, commerce was engaged, everyone was happy, and people listened to each other.
And the name “Extremists club” was just a joke, in the 17th century Britain had “radicals” clubs and the idea was just a new version of that. Left-wing and Right wing would meet and seek common ground where they could find it, and in that, David Parry was certainly about “good work”.
But perhaps that is a frightening thing for some people. In the summer of 2017 a young man started to attend, who introduced himself as Eric Helstrom: although it now seems very unlikely that was his real name. For “Eric” wasn’t there for fair play. He covertly recorded people and re-edited them salaciously, then tried to interest Channel 4 in broadcasting his footage. Fair play to Channel 4, they told him to beat it, but it seems Helstrom’s accusations have reached other ears.
Especially, Helstrom’s tall tales are being reported unquestioned on the website of “Hope Not Hate”… “Hobson also spoke on the same subject at The Extremists Club in October 2016, a small monthly discussion group based in Soho, founded by Turner and prominent right-wing occultist David Parry. Raymond was seen entering an Extremists Club meeting in April, which was addressed by veteran anti-feminist and (So called) Nazi-apologist Claire Khaw, who was due to speak on the importance of establishing a one-party theocracy in the UK to eradicate the “matriarchy.” (and they also had a go at free speech podcast THA TALKS).
^ Which is the typical “we don’t like people being allowed to speak” talk from them!
Hope Not Hate is a sinister “political charity” that also gets payments from the British State and the European Union to maintain a private surveillance database of UK “Extremists”. “But Hope not Hate” has extreme positions of its own: Extreme Globalism, Extreme Europhilia, Extreme activism for mass uncontrolled immigration. And in their eyes, to be “Extreme” is to commit the simple offense: of disagreeing with THEM! Blogspot “Nope Not Hope” tracks “Hope Not Hates” activities and reports on their goings-on http://nopenothope.blogspot.co.uk/
The issue of violent disruption of lawful political meetings continues to rise higher and higher as an issue in Britain. The basic requirements of tolerance and respect for opposing views democratic discourse, and free society, depends upon, are being trampled on by yahoos who are so politically immature they can only think shouting and barging about with empty slogans equals “doing politics!”
Popular Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has just had a fracas with an invading mob at a meeting at the University of West of England, Friday 2nd Feb 2018. One young man was right in Rees-Mogg’s personal space, members of the audience were afraid a knife could have been pulled https://order-order.com/2018/02/02/rees-mogg-protester-identified-momentum-corbynista/
And two months ago, columnist Katy Hopkins was driven out of delivering a speech at a lawful meeting in Lewes: https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/news/police-called-ill-prepared-for-katie-hopkins-event-in-lewes-1-8266081
And those are just a couple of recent examples, from many more, that the political allies of “Hope Not Hate” get up to!
Truth is, people fear free speech when they fear the free marketplace of ideas. Behind the desire to censor is the fear that one's “enemies” ideas are more attractive than one's own. But the reality is, exposing the ideas to the people, is the true test of democracy. Its for the people to make the ultimate verdict on what ideas are good ones: and what ideas are bad!
For many years “Hope Not Hate” hounded the British National Party (BNP). Indeed, its whole identity was based on its opposition to the BNP in its early years and “Hope not Hate” celebrated its success at keeping the BNP censored and off the airwaves, through their pressure on broadcasters. And sure, the BNP was down the “knuckle-dragging” end of the spectrum. But the more “Hope Not Hate” demonized the BNP, the stronger the commitment of the members become to stick together. People glue together against being bullied. While “Hope Not Hate” pocketed big government pay-outs for its “charity work”, its campaign against the BNP did nothing to reduce BNP support. It was only when the BNP did well enough electorally in 2010’s Euro Parliament vote to gain 1 MEP, that the BBC stopped listening to “Hope Not Hate” and put leader Nick Griffen on BBC Question Time. Actually being allowed to hear and see Nick Griffen in action, was repulsive to the majority of the audience. There was a “Car-crash” interview effect: the BNP collapsed the next day and has not been heard of since!
The simple fact is, “Hope Not Hate” has a dark side, a political charity running private surveillance is deeply disturbing, it cheers censorship while being entirely ineffective at reducing extremism: and threatens to criminalize free speech to suit its own bigotry and prejudice.
David Parry sums it up beautifully:
“This madness must stop! We were sent blessings this evening from the Socialist Workers Party… who told me we all end up in the same Jail if this continues…”
In light of these problems, the club is now reforming to the “Free Speech Club” and next meets on February 27th, at the Kings Head, Westmoreland Street, Marylebone, from 7pm. If people want to discover what all the fuss is about, they know what to do! https://www.facebook.com/events/2096910773919063/