A British Court of Appeal handed down its judgment dismissing our appeal challenging our ban from entering the United Kingdom. The key element of its decision is its emphasis on the fact that “this was a public order case where the police had advised that significant public disorder and serious violence might ensue from the proposed visit.” In writing that judgment, Lord Justice Tomlinson (with whom Lord Justice Patten and Lord Justice Floyd agree) has only made it clear that the British government has decided to set aside established law and the freedom of speech in order to appease violent Muslims.
Will the British government now ban Jews from the country so as to “prevent public disorder,” since the presence of Jews has been shown all too often to upset some Muslims and cause them to riot? The judgment permits such a Nazi approach.
In upholding our exclusion from the U.K., the judges relied heavily on a November 2014 British Supreme Court ruling that Maryam Rajavi, an Iranian dissident, could be lawfully excluded from entering Britain because her doing so could damage Britain’s relationship with Iran.
Their reasoning is deeply flawed. Our ban was put in place in June 2013, so a November 2014 ruling should have no bearing on it. This is tantamount to changing the rules after the game has started. What’s more, one of the judges in the Supreme Court decision applied by the British Court of Appeal wrote stating that the Supreme Court case was “not a judicial review of the lawfulness of the decision of the Secretary of State that the admission of Mrs Rajavi to this country would not be conducive to the public good.” Rajavi was excluded because her admission would supposedly hurt Britain’s relationship with Iran, but there were no foreign policy issues in our case where the exclusion is alleged not to be in the public good.
Even more ominously, this dismissal of our appeal sets the precedent that those whose speech is unpopular with the British government can be banned from the country. It strikes what could be a fatal blow to the very heart of the doctrine of the freedom of speech: that speech that is unpopular, and may even be offensive to some must be protected, as a safeguard against tyranny. Offensive speech is permissible even in British law, which the British Court of Appeal ignored in order to appease the government.
The dismissal of our appeal also asserts that the “the court is entitled, and perhaps bound, to attach special weight to the assessment of the Home Secretary of the question whether a restriction on freedom of expression is necessary in order to prevent public disorder.” This view is based on the Supreme Court case which has no application to our case since there are no foreign policy issues involved giving rise to the special weight referred to in that case. Judicial review is another pillar of stable republican government. If courts cannot review and, where necessary, overturn decisions of the executive, the executive can work its will without any accountability at all. Lord Judges Tomlinson, Patten and Floyd have now abdicated that right and responsibility.
The heavy use of a ruling that came down after our ban, the canonization of the heckler’s veto, and the blithe disregard for the freedom of speech and the responsibility of judicial review all bode most ill for Britain’s future, far beyond our case. And it makes it clear: our appeal never had a chance of being considered fairly on its merits. Rather than rule on our case on the basis of established British laws in a fair manner, Judges Tomlinson, Patten and Floyd moved the goalposts and disregarded core British principles in order to uphold our exclusion.
Our case has turned out to be a milestone in a way we never expected: it marks the British government’s confirmation of its descent into authoritarianism and its suicidal path of appeasement of Islamic jihadists and supremacists. If there any future historians in Britain with a free mind and access to the records of our foolishly prodigal age, they will note our case as a significant point at which Britain rejected freedom, and instead chose submission to the mob that would, ultimately, make the very idea of a free Britain a dim memory.
We are determined to fight on. And we will prevail. Of course the deck is stacked. Of course the fix is in. Of course the playing field is shifting and unstable. We know that. But these authorities will answer for their cowardice: they will answer to the world about why they would ban those of us who stood for truth and freedom in the face of tyranny and Islamic supremcism.
They will answer to the world.