Freedom of Speech Conference part 5 – Douglas Murray

[Music] [Music] you our law speakers Douglas Marais is a writer and a journalist and a speaker in many debates is an experienced speaker and I want to do anything more than that so please welcome mr. Douglas Murray [Applause] well thank you very much thank you yawn thank you to all the organizers of today’s event I would just say Mohammed it’s a bit difficult because I’ve been listening to the previous speeches and there’s not very much left to say so unless I start making stuff up I think what I suggest is I’ll speak for about 20-30 minutes and then have as much possible time as possible for questions or argument or whatever it is you’d most like this is a certain fear this might be almost like a Scandinavian tour I’m in the middle of not quite as hope high-profile as Justin Bieber who I see is in town but it’s also very protracted it’s about a year ago I think I was last in the vicinity speaking at the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen for the 10th anniversary of the publication of the cartoons an event was a remarkable for a lot of reasons one of which was that that morning jyllands-posten republished a facsimile of the double page spread on which the cartoons originally appeared and everything was the same except that the cartoons weren’t there and a headline said something along the lines of it the intimidation works you know they had they had hoped to publish them but they’d taken a view on it and decided in the end it just wasn’t worth it in any case Henrik Broder from Germany is a celibate who’s named his first time I will not even attempt to pronounce from Norway the newspaper editor who first republish the cartoons there and mark Stein and I were speaking about the significance of that event and a very jolly occasion it was slightly marred at the moment during the event when Mark Steyn said I’ve just had a message for my assistant saying that the Her Majesty’s is a foreign office in London has given a travel warning advisory about our conference saying that British subjects should not go to the centre of Stockholm today or should at least be very wary of it and the US State Department also sent out a message saying that American citizens should keep away from the vicinity of the Parliament in in Copenhagen and as Mark Steyn pointed out they hadn’t bothered to tell either him or me about this but then he wasn’t going to make any difference anyway but he did also point out the 10 years ago you had to go to Helmand to be in that much danger and now you can just fly to Copenhagen anyhow almost everything that is needs to be said about free speech has already been said but it’s always worth going over some of the fundamentals for myself one of my favorite quotes about free speech words and I’ll give you two of them over the course of this next few minutes but from the American right to HL Mencken who I’m sure some at least of you have read one of my favorite quotes from him he said he once said the human mind has been furthered best by gay fellows who heave dead cats into sanctuaries and went roistering down the highways of the world proving to all men that doubt after all was safe I sometimes thought of putting together a group called the gay fellows but men can meant it very much in the old-fashioned sense and I didn’t want to walk into confusion but that is true in the free speech is best furthered by happy people should we say roistering down the highways of the world having heaved dead cats into sanctuaries and shown that it was all fine and that doubt was worth it one of the oddities I would say the lasts more than a decade now has been the way in which in countries like this in countries like mine I’m from Britain if you hadn’t guessed one of the strange things about it is that it’s throughout this whole period there seems to have been some kind of agreement that we would end up talking a lot about free speech endless books have been published over the last decade about free speech what is free speech with a free speech and so on just recently I reviewed another book by Timothy Garton ash of Oxford University free speech ten rules for interconnected world that sort of thing I’ve come to the conclusion having read far too many of these sort of books that there’s not much point in them we don’t need more and more books about free speech free speech isn’t something you just endlessly talk about is meant to be something you do we don’t need more book saying something about the origins of free speech we just need more books that do free speech endlessly talking about free speech for writers is like ants asking a dance to keep talking about dance when artists keep talking about art or how they do it it’s not the point the point is to keep getting on and doing it and that’s what it seems to me has been most lacking in recent years we’ve had this little get out bit that we can keep talking about the free speech but whilst that becomes a bigger and bigger industry we have fewer and fewer cartoonists we have fewer and fewer novelists willing to write about this area and we have fewer and fewer poets even wishing to write about it or do we it was my great pleasure in my self appointed role as a cat Hiva earlier this year to try to challenge that some of you will have followed the case of the German comedian Yan Bauman another name I’m almost certainly certain to have just mispronounced but he you’ll remember has a late-night comedy show on German television he discovered that another German station had worried about saying something the rude about mr. Edwin the president of Turkey so to prove that it was possible to still be rude about mr. Edwin in Germany this comedian recited a late night television poem about mr. Edwin and unfortunately as often with these things the attempt proved you could do something ended up proving you couldn’t and mr. Bauman was not only the subject of diplomatic complaints from Turkey to Germany but then an attempted prosecution in Germany which I’m sure many of you have read about followed and being equally irritated about for my own part I thought once again this is one of those occasions we could recite the issue of free speech and Germany we could try to remind Chancellor Merkel about the tradition of MIL and milton and and more or all we could just get on and do it so i inaugurated the first offensive type recive edwin poetry competition where everybody had to write a poem about mr. Aird when I led the way with a poem which I was surprised my editor published but the point of it was that you had to be extremely offensive about him it wasn’t allowed just to be rude or snarky or something it had to be gratuitous no non gratuitous poems would make it it had to be defamatory as well non defamatory poems I decided couldn’t do anything with them anyhow I am I did my my opening number and invited my readers to send in their poems also being as rude as possible in defamatory and vile about mr. Edwin and very swiftly a reader a kindly reader offered a thousand pounds cash prize so my readers started to send him poems and even larger numbers I liked to think that they were propelled by a deep belief in free speech but it’s possible they just wanted the cash anyhow the number of poems increased I’m we got some very fine entries and at one point my editor called up and they said well the the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said it has entered the competition I thought well this I must say by the way I owe him a slight apology he was in an interview with a friend who writes to a Swiss paper who said have you heard what Douglas is doing at The Spectator and Boris said yeah absolutely what terrific stuff and so on and this friend said why don’t we make up a limerick right here and now and Boris said yes why don’t we being that sort of chap and anyhow rather unfairly as I say he not knowing he’d entered but it was on record mented and i thought it’d be best if we agreed that he had won he he took the news I have to say quite well he offered to give the money to charity and he was in the middle of the brexit campaign at that point and it was rather it was it was rather difficult for him because the other side in the brexit campaign the remain side were largely at that point campaigning on the idea that Boris Johnson was this sort of idiot who just sort of said things left right and centre that he ended up having to apologize for so I didn’t help with that bit of the narrative but anyway he took it very well there was great silence from his political opponents actually who realized they were about to fall into a trap of saying you mustn’t be rude about the Turkish sultan and anyhow Boris Johnson of course subsequently after brexit who was made our foreign secretary so I did tell readers that in actual fact I just pretended that the prize was a thousand pounds it it was actually the position of Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom Boris of course went to see a president aired on the other day and shook his naughty hand and that was a great pleasure and anyhow it principally a pleasure of course to rub it in the face of Chancellor Merkel because what could be more ridiculous than prosecuting a comic in Germany for a poem only doing that whilst you’re nearby ally has a foreign secretary willing to do the same thing now in Britain we don’t send our foreign secretary to prison for insulting mr. arrow and we make him foreign secretary but I think it would be unsustainable that that jambon man can actually be prosecuted or go to prison for a maximum I think it was a four years in Germany for that alleged crime anyway I this is my view generally on free speech the answer is not having law seminars about it it’s just to do it and encourage one everyone else to do it and do it more and more and break all the rules and laws if they’re there because who do we want to tell us what we can say or think or do who would you appoint to be such a person as I pointed out the person I would rely on last to tell me what kind of joke I would be allowed to tell would be a German judge a point on which I hope you’ll agree so anyway it’s it’s also strange regarding this issue of free speech these days because I have increasingly come to the view that not very many people actually believe in it in January of 2015 when the Charlie Hebdo attacks occurred I was in the studio just afterwards and I bumped into a tabloid journalist from the UK from the U one of the UK’s main newspapers the son and said you know what what are you gonna do about this what-what-what’s plan and he said something which was one the only wise things I heard doing that awful period he said I not sure people in this country of that fond of free speech and we had a short discussion about this but I was sort of persuaded of this in a way just before the blasphemy police walked into that office in Paris the main discussion in Britain had been over whether a female columnist at the Sun a sort of vulgar and idiotic loudmouth to my view called Katie Hopkins should have been sacked for a particular column she’d written and indeed prosecuted now I didn’t particularly columns I didn’t like them at all but that’s my choice I can read them or not read them I can put the paper down or not but only in this ridiculous age does somebody often who’s not even bothered to buy the paper and read the column decide that they must phone the police because of that column or call for that person to be sacked because of that column and that’s simply the prevailing mood of our time and nowhere so much is among young people it’s a very strange thing that increasingly free speech which should be something that the young understand the necessity of intrinsically it’s something that the young in particular have decided to abandon or to put it another way as university campuses across the Western world now show they say they believe in free speech but really they believe in free speech for themselves but not for anyone who disagrees with them free speech for me but not for thee I can say anything I like about anyone else but if they say anything that I disagree with I’ll call the police or retreat into a safe space or moan about intersectionality identif intersectionality has come to Sweden yeah you know you know you know the drill you know the drill if anyone doesn’t is the idea that basically there is a white male patriarchy hegemony which has all the power and in a similar manner persecutes all other groups all of which therefore have to align against this thing one of the of course wonderful things about it is that they don’t realize that the alleged patriarchal majority is by any calculation and incredible minority and the people who claim to be the minorities actually when you add them all together are the distinct majority anyhow they haven’t done the math as they say but this this idea that effectively if you don’t like something you can shut it down shut it up exist everywhere and by the way the strange thing about this is not particularly that young people are doing this so much as the fact that the adults keep on giving in you’ll probably have seen the video from the Yale University last year where a group of of students surrounded one of their professors and were yelling and effing and blinding at him because in the words of one of the students this by the way happened because they were unhappy about a Halloween party Halloween apparently at Yale University is the most potentially problematic event of the year people could dress as something that could upset you my view on this by the way is that if you can’t cope with Halloween you’ve got no right to be at Yale University because if you’re going to be traumatized by a costume you’ve got no hope in hell with Heidegger or quantum physics these are the people who say that they want to leave their seminars in law classes if rape is mentioned who will go on to discover if they are unfortunate enough to become a lawyer in later life they’re no damn use of the lawyer because if they were representing a client who’d been raped they’d have to leave the courtroom with their hands over their ears anyhow these students were standing around their professor and they kept saying to him you don’t understand and in the words of one of them she said you don’t get it we’re trying to make a home here this is a home the remarkable thing about this was that nobody not even the professor turned out round and said no it’s not this is a university it’s very different from a home if you want a home you can go back to your mummy and daddy you can go back and hide under a duvet but this is a university it’s the best chance you’re going to have in your life of getting new ideas getting access to new information being challenged and instead of actually using that period to do all of these great and noble things you’ve decided to cause it yourself and shut your eyes and ears now it seems amazing to me as I say that so many times across some Western world at the moment it’s the adults who don’t say to the kids on this you’re wildly wrong you’re way out of line on this and you don’t know what you’re doing and they don’t they they give in the thing I would like to say on those occasions to students like that and do on the occasional times now I do speak on campuses which I didn’t do it very often now partly because there’s not much point in agreeing to go somewhere where you’ll probably be no platformed anyway and it’s not much of a thrill to do it but but when I do I always say the same thing just tried to reiterate to students that free speech isn’t something which is just one of a set of things you can pick and choose from it is the absolutely central right upon which every other right is based and that awareness of that it strikes me is disappearing all the time it’s absolute centrality I would say is being demonstrated day in and day out at the moment and let me give you an example of that the migration crisis through which Europe is going at the moment has been made infinitely worse at absolutely every step of the way by our inability to understand the importance of free speech absolutely every step of that journey it’s my belief that when the speech goes wrong the ideas go wrong and when the ideas go wrong the politics goes wrong and our politics has gone so very wrong in recent years because the speech has gone wrong because the ideas have gone wrong let me give you a couple of examples in September last year at the height of the crisis she herself had created Chancellor Merkel sat at her lunch at the UN in New York and was sitting next to Mark cazuca Berg of Facebook and Chancellor Merkel unfortunately and as can happen to anybody had a open mic her mic was still on or there was a mic on the table that was on and it picked up about 30 seconds of the conversation between her and Mark Zuckerberg which they had thought was private and in it Chancellor Merkel opens by saying to Mark Zuckerberg what can you do to stop people writing anti migration stuff on Facebook and his reply was we’re working on it now absolutely everything in my view that has gone wrong in Europe in recent years can be traced back to that exchange it epitomizes the problem Chancellor Merkel by the way doesn’t just try to stop criticism of herself she tries to stop tried to stop through Facebook the dissemination of almost any view of the migration crisis that was not entirely supportive of her point of view and when I say that when the speech goes wrong the politics goes wrong here are just a few examples of how that happens then George Orwell said it’s one of the quotes that was on the handout for this conference famously said that if Liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear so let me divide this into two different sections firstly what Chancellor Merkel and other politicians across our continent and particularly I would say the Swedish government did not want people to hear they did not want to hear that letting in millions of people into Europe in the space of months would massively destabilize European society for our long-term future they didn’t want to hear it they wanted to believe that societies cultures like ours are such enormous ly powerful things that you could allow in millions of people from totally different cultures and that they would get with the program on the second or so day they arrived I don’t see cultures like that by the way I see them more as kind of fragile ecosystems which take years and years to grow up decades and centuries to develop and which can be destroyed in the space of a lifetime Chancellor Merkel and her colleagues took a different view but by shutting down the debate at no point did they allow themselves access to the questions that they should have been asking and the remarkable thing about this is that only five years before she made that catastrophic to my mind decision Chancellor Merkel gave one of her most famous speeches in which she said that multiculturalism had failed what did she mean by that she said it herself she said we we the beginning of a speech she said you know we had assumed that the guest workers would go home to my mind this is a demonstration of every single thing in the post-war migration period in Europe having been woefully misunderstood at no stage did any of our Paul petitions ever anticipate the things that would happen next no stage people thought that the people who came in would leave people thought they wouldn’t come in such those numbers people thought they would come in such large numbers but then they would integrate people then thought maybe they shouldn’t integrate maybe people some people said you should integrate and their colleagues said no that’s colonialist thinking and so i said we were we were confused throughout this whole episode and we were partly confused because we deliberately stopped ourselves from having the discussion from having the discussion that we will end up having to have at some point anyway let me give you one quick example it’s been obvious to me for a long time that if you say that if you open the borders as Chancellor Merkel did last year you have an absolute horde of questions follow on next it would seem to me that the most obvious question to ask is is Europe a place in which anyone in the world who wants a better life can legitimately come and live that’s the beginning of a question to ask the current thinking it seems is to stem the flow at the time being but we still haven’t addressed any of the fundamental questions I was asking a German politician about this the other day in Berlin where I was with Daniel Pipes and his group if you go as I have done to all the points of entry in the Greek islands and Italian islands you see an undoubted tide of human misery there is no way of glossing this it is people from across sub-saharan Africa across North Africa across the Middle East the Far East coming to Europe for all sorts of reasons they want a better life many of them are fleeing war many of them are fleeing political persecution there are terrible terrible stories but none of the answers Chancellor Merkel and her colleagues have given could possibly answer this question what for instance do you say to an Afghan refugee like one I was speaking to the other day on the island of Lesbos who said why are the Germans given preferential Asylum treatment to the Syrians the Syrians have only had a civil war for five years we’ve had one for 15 why don’t you make sure you have as generous provision for all the people from Afghanistan who’d like to come to Germany and Europe as you do for everybody else Eritrea which almost nobody in Europe had heard of until the last year he’s a terrible society it’s undoubtedly a society in which very very many millions of people if they had the chance would want to leave and come to Europe the current discussion about this has reduced to the discussion of legitimate asylum seekers and economic migrants let’s say that the Vice Commissioner of the European Commission founds Timmerman’s was right earlier this year when he said in his estimate at least 60% of the people who arrived into Europe in 2015 had no more right to be in Europe than anybody else in the world let’s say that’s right let’s say that there are going to be consequences from that let’s say that Germany is therefore going to deport three-quarters of a million people who arrived last year let’s say that Sweden is going to as one of your government ministers pretended deport 80,000 of the people who arrived last year none of this is going to happen it’s an absolute lie and they must know it as they say it they must know it there is no way on earth that they have the provision or the political will to carry out such an act so they continue to fib themselves and the press and others continue to go along with not asking the questions they want so here is one which gets us towards as it were the point of conclusion faster let’s pretend that Chancellor Merkel and jean-claude Juncker who we in Britain thankfully no longer have to see very much of let’s say that they invented in the coming weeks a machine a sort of body scanner like machine that you get at airports which when you walked through it at the southern points of entry into Europe determined a bleep whether you’re a legitimate asylum seeker or an economic migrant and let’s say that there was the political will to in fact repatriate so they’re six out of ten or so who were economic migrants rather than legitimate asylum seekers does Europe still want to insist on welcoming everybody in the world who is a legitimate asylum seeker now my view is that laudable as that is it’s impossible recently on one of the Greek islands I speak to some young men from Bangladesh they are opponents of the regime there they are enemies of the government and they have a completely legitimate asylum claim in Europe but if you add up all of these countries from Bangladesh and Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iran and Iraq and Syria across the Middle East and you go all across North Africa and down into sub-saharan Africa you’re talking about hundreds and hundreds of millions of people who have absolutely legitimate asylum claims to come to Europe and this is a discussion which I very rarely yeah I very rarely hear any politician willing to get into the long grass on this and talk about it realistically and here is then the second problem of that if the politicians don’t allow the speech then you get bad speech then the speech goes wrong let me give you a couple of examples in recent months I’ve noticed an upsurge in on social media and across some protest groups in Europe of talking about refugees in the most appalling terms you can see protest movements that describe all migrants to Europe as for instance the rape of few G’s or some that will call them for instance refugee had ists and unamusing term a dumb term as well as being an offensive one but that’s what you end up getting Chancellor Merkel pretends that all of the people coming illegitimate all of the people are good none of them will ever do anything bad Europe is their new home and then the response sure as anything is that you get people who say that all of these people including many people who fled from rape and jihad are themselves rapists and jihadists it’s the same thing you can see being played out in the States you get a president who is so unwilling to say the word Islam or Islamist or Islamism or Islamic terrorism and so on that he even when a American hostage is decapitated by a guy shouting Allahu Akbar in the Syrian desert says that that attack probably had less to do with Islam than with any other religion it’s inevitable when you have a US president who says that that somewhere down the road you’re going to get a counterpart who says for instance not one Muslim should come into the States it’s yin and yang is obvious as night follows day that that’s what happens because the generation of politicians who’ve been in charge tried to stop with the debate tried to stop the discussion and so the discussion is turning rancid across Europe this seems to me to be the clearest possible threat to our societies in Europe and one which we are unbelievably loath to admit to you know men can die said I’d give you another quote HL Mencken once also said the most dangerous man to any government is a man who’s able to think things out for himself and without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos but we have so many prevailing superstitions in taboos in our societies and our politicians found them so incredibly helpful for years that we see I genuinely see for the first time I think my adult life how bad this could go in Europe for the last week we’ve gone to Paris to Berlin and now to Stockholm when somebody said to me the other day in Stockholm that they thought that Sweden was the craziest country in the world apart perhaps from North Korea I can assure you that having been to North Korea you’re on a very level pegging there are so many things that one can see going wrong because as I say the speech has gone wrong because the ideas have gone wrong and we never thought them out we never had the courage to go through with them and people try to shut us up and silence us well if there’s any point to a day like today it is to say no to that to say we will insist we will disagree in my ourselves we will disagree with each other and there will be much debate and discussion in the years ahead and things on which we will all disagree but on one thing in particular we have to be firm which is that there should be nobody no German judge no German Chancellor no Swedish politician no Brussels bureaucrat or British politician who should stop us from saying what we think about our own future and that we have that right we will retain that right and will retain it whatever happens in the years ahead thank you [Applause] now I said I said we leave as much time as possible of questions I hope you have so does that mean that yams going to ask the first one or you just know mr. Benton Marburg I know everyone here so-called academics they when they talk about free speech they very very often mix in the world but oh yes what do you think about these people the bats brigade they the bat yeah yes I do love that but whenever anyone does it I have a rule I only start listening after the bat everything they’ve said before the bats useless it’s generally it’s some form of free speech I believe in free speech for me but not for thee that’s really what it is I’m I am good you are bad I am well intentioned you are bad intention so why would you allow somebody who had such terrible views you disagreed with to speak that’s all those people are doing it’s all they’re doing on campus or they’re doing in the press to questions and they’re very different the first time is very dry you either know we don’t you need to bring it just slightly closer to your mouth and just one question at the time okay the when the Geneva Convention came into being it was about people who’d become refugees before the 1st of January 1950 then it was extended and in 1967 the New York Protocol was taken at the UN do you know any thing about the circumstances or could you point me to a book or someone who would know who concept that is no but there might well be somebody present who does lots of books about that I mean everyone who’s been into the Salem law knows these things really really ask the second question is that one question you often get when you say this bizarre migration policy that Sweden is pursuing and to a certain extent other countries is unsustainable immoral anti-democratic illogical and so on is but if you were a poor African wouldn’t you want to migrate to Europe and the answer to that is of course yes yes so how can you then deny someone else to do that and I usually answer that it’s not my decision give the people the right and decide put all the cards on the table what it costs the amount of crime and so on however that’s a fairly dry answer that’s my type of answer do you have another answer there are all sorts of answers everything in the migration a business as I say is is damaged by not really having a discussion out this is a discussion we should have had decades ago I’m the nature of what an asylum seeker is should have is a discussion we should have had decades ago the discussion of for instance how long somebody can remain an asylum seeker if for instance the situation in their country or origin has changed is a discussion we should have had a long time ago if you go to Rome to the marketplace there there are there are Egyptian gangs others who run a lot of the marketplace there they include people working in the black market who are Egyptian migrants who fled from previous Egyptian government’s some of whom not all of him but some of whom want to return home what is the Italian government doing about that nothing they don’t there is no policy for this isn’t it there’s no more policy than there is in Sweden to send back all the people who shouldn’t have come last year there’s no policy for it’s not going to happen there is no political will for it but these are discussions as I say we should have had decades ago if if as everyone agreed multiculturalism wasn’t working in 2010 when immigration was at a comparatively low point why should it work when immigration is at an absolute historic high it makes no sense and as for as far as it were the moral question underneath is I think there is a there is a profound question here which I’m not gonna be able to answer but I can give a couple of pointers on it’s the same question as the one which is in my view haunting Europe which is a question of the Jews the question of the Jews in the Second World War you see this all around the migration crisis there was a very haunting example the other day in Lausanne / one of the Italian papers talking about the route now that the Austrian Italian border and the French Italian borders are very very closed there is there an increasing flow of people walking through the mountain passes in switzer to Switzerland from North Italy the Stamper had a it was just an average day’s news but had a quote from a local who mentioned that this was a route which you know in the winter it’s very dangerous but in the summer it’s passable and just this local just mentions them it’s absolute the Jews used in the war everything is infused in our very old and very guilt ridden continent everything is infused with these echoes and we worry about it and we’re right to worry about it we’re right to worry about whether or not these migrants are the same as the migrants in the Second World War but there are all sorts of other parts of that discussion we need to have for instance how many of the Jews fleeing Nazi Germany for instance arrived in a safe country and then said I don’t find a system here so useful I’ll walk to another how many of those fleeing persecution before and during the Second World War what picky about it I mean it’s a terrible thing to say but I mean this was this is a different type of movement but the follow-on from that is this is this odd thing which they say I don’t have an idea about I didn’t have an answer to but I can just put an idea in your head about which is this odd thing that as I say Europe is a place in which anyone in the world can come and live I think we need to think about this and discuss this very widely and very profoundly because otherwise I say it’s is going to lead to all sorts of problems in the years ahead it seems to me absolutely legitimate that the peoples of Europe should be able to have a place they call home and that that place should not be taken away from them because after all we don’t have another choice there’s that extraordinarily haunting bit in Michele Welbeck’s submission which many of you will know when talking with his Jewish girlfriend the main character discovers she’s going to go to Israel because things have got so bad in France and she’s Jewish and he says I don’t have an Israel that is one of the most important thoughts in Europe now we don’t have an opt-out we don’t have a get out we don’t have a place to run to we don’t have another deal on the side here this is our home and so we should think very very deeply before giving that home up to the entire world because among other things that deal will not be reciprocal when Europeans go to another country by the millions it’s colonialism colonialism thank goodness has ended but we haven’t even begun to think of the consequences of the movement of millions of people into our home for what we agree is in perpetuity I do not believe that it is the right of everybody in the world who wants to be in Europe to be in Europe and it cannot be we have as I say a fragile ecosystem of society like every society and we cannot give it over to the entire world and if that makes us have some pangs of guilt then that’s good we should have pangs of guilt over that we’re human beings we’re moral beings but it should not be the case that our pangs of guilt make us destroy our societies it’s my view as a small sea conservative that that Edmund Burke was right in that a central point of his philosophy that that a culture a society is not simply about us here now that it is a deal between the dead the living and those yet to be born and that you cannot break that pact and that what you have inherited you do not have the right to give away any more than you have the right to destroy future generations of your own family or future generations yet unborn it is a very central pact to civilization that deal between the dead the living and the yet to be born it is a central pact of civilization and if you give it up if you say that the yet to be born it doesn’t matter if so their society represents mogadishu more than it does downtown Stockholm then you are breaking that pact which may not be yours to break have a horrible question to fire away yeah what’s in a pile right in his Rivers of Blood speech 1968 what’s in a Powell right in his Rivers of Blood speech I think it was 1968 you will know the speech and reference this is right in 1968 Enoch Powell who was a conservative politician is generally agreed to have given a speech that made the immigration sort of it almost an undiscussables subject in Britain for decades it’s called the rivers of blood speech it posited that Europe Britain specifically where he won’t particular talking about Europe that you’re that Britain in particular was under massive risk from the immigration from the colonies that was going on several things about this first of all Powell was talking about race and was not talking about religion or ideology and that’s a very striking thing when you read back at that speech and it’s a striking thing because it’s kept on shifting in Europe during the decades since there was a moment in the 90s for instance where and and in the 2000s when having spoken about him in terms of race all these years we suddenly tarted talking about in terms of religion it was suddenly about the Muslim community rather than the Moroccans or and so on there’s a possibility that will shift back by the way I saw to see some of that I hear some of that across Europe people talking about the race again rather than the religion but but that’s one of the things he he had he was fixed on that particular issue by the way and there all sorts of things Powell said which I don’t agree with and I think he was wrong but here’s a very strange fact Enoch Powell was slain by the British press and his his career was over he was sacked from the shadow cabinet despite by the way having the support for his speech of the majority of the British people the majority of people polled I think with around sixty to seventy percent said they agreed with Enoch Powell anyhow one of the most striking things about it was that one of the biggest criticisms of Powell was a part of his speech where he talked about a woman who was the only white woman in a street somewhere in England where apparently everybody else was black now at the time this was one of the things that was picked over by journalists who said there is no such Street there was no such place now I put this to you in 2011 we had another census in the UK that census my other things showed that people who tick the box saying white British were now a minority in London in 23 out of 33 London boroughs people who ticked white British were a minority now if I knock Powell in 1968 have been writing his speech and decided I’m going to use this speech to say that in 2011 white British people will be a minority in London no but everybody would have said to him what are you thinking about you’re a crazy man you may have the eyes and ears of a prophet but you’re a crazy man you’ve gone over you’ve you’ve you’ve gone you’ve gone insane every single thing that even that the do monger said has turned out to be wildly understated it’s the same in France it’s the same in every country all the people if you look back at all of the post-war decades all of the people who your society and mine shut down as the prophets of doom turned out to have vastly understated the case that is a very big problem yes about the brexit process god I came here to get away from to a brexit oh where to start um what you have what’s happening to one I’ll give you a really really quick answer before we go we have maybe another well maybe it would take another happier question to end on because I’m I’m just I’m tired of a brexit because we’ve been having a very long thing about this I think by the way that the brexit thing it’s I was supported a brexit albeit with many caveats I did not think that our future in Britain was best served by the EU of European Commission and even if the rest of the continent wants to have further and further political integration I just don’t think it’s something we wanted in Britain we never really did so it’s best to get out it’s best as Dan Hanna and the MEP said in his farewell speech in the European Parliament the other month to say you know the EU has lost a bad tenant and has gained a good friend but we weren’t always working to be a very bad tenant we didn’t want the same things we didn’t want what the EU and the EC wanted and we could see the direction of travel and we decided to get off I’m in favor of that but I think there’s all sorts of questions ahead and we will undoubtedly be having a very rough ride from the Commission who will want us to fail but I don’t think we will fail by the way I think it’ll be fine and not very much will change on an ordinary everyday basis one other very quickly because I’m very very sure I hate brexit sorry I’m so but but we you have to want know know you’ve asked questions one question from you and then we have this origin finish because it’s gonna be comedy club here yeah six o’clock that’s what I want to say like we’re comedy we are talking in the comedy club and and the whole discussion is in fact highly depressing Oh makes us depressive am but where do you see the hope where do you see the seeds of all the dead cats being thrown on the highway Langtree sanctuaries thank you it’s a very good question like I mean to be quite frank I mean no one’s ever mistaking me for Prozac I I don’t think there’s much hope I really don’t I don’t think there’s much hope we we’ve screwed this up royally in my view and there’s no point in sugarcoating that or giving people false optimism and so on I think there are tiny points of light which may say you’re one of which a small number of others I would include who are people who have fought their own way out of this all sorts of backgrounds all sorts of directions we had one with us this week from Canada Rahill Raza I can think of Majid Nawaz in my country and others who in the ones but significant ones are breaking the taboos breaking the paradigms are breaking the expectations of the elite I think by the way that my own my own view on this is that those of us who deal in ideas and books and articles and speeches and so on overestimate in the short term the power of ideas we like to think that in a in a discussion you think this I think that I will explain this to you and yoga ah now all of you who are married know that disagreements don’t often end that way and often end very differently I think the best I think the best you can do is to make sure the thinking is right when the events change and we are seeing events at a very rapid pace in Europe now and as the events keep happening for ill I’m afraid the best we can hope for is that as they happen the ideas will be in place to give people a better landing my own view is that because of what Merkel and what others have done we’ve got very little hope of a soft landing in Europe but we collectively people in this room people like you of the speaker’s here today can help make that landing a bit softer and can ensure that when terrible things continue to happen they do not take us all down and in the meantime tell Chancellor Merkel and the rest of them that they may well be suicidal but they can’t commit suicide for the rest of us it’s not a third party process thank you very well put thank you the mic the microphone I am me and I am this one thank you concluding remarks well yes thank you the the conference’s now come to an end and I would like to thank we would like to thank all the speakers for their very interesting and thought-provoking contributions to this conference and also thanks to the audience is very nice for you to come and especially thank you to young Jonas on have made was made this conference possible thank you so thank you and as I mentioned this has been not possible without support of middle-east forum so thanks a lot Millie’s forum and Danish free press society thank you for all thank you [Music] [Music]

25 thoughts on “Freedom of Speech Conference part 5 – Douglas Murray

  • Douglas is not telling the truth here about the Jan Böhmermann Erdogan poem incident. I do not know whether he is not informed well enough, or whether he simply decided to tell a more provocative story. Being a German jurist, I can assure everyone that there was never even the slightest danger of Jan Böhmermann being convicted of anything, because of what he did. The simple reason for this is that Böhmermann did not fulfill all elements of offense for the crime he alledgedly commited. § 103 I StGB, the penal law he had been accused of transgressing, translates as follows: "Whoever libels a foreign head of state (…), visiting the inland on official duty (…) shall be convicted for up to three years or pay a fine, in case of a defamatory libel he shall be convicted to three months or up to five years."
    As Erdogan had not been visiting Germany at the time Böhmermann recited his poem, there was zero risk of a conviction. All the rest – the prosecution investigating the matter and Merkel proclaiming that the matter would be investigated – was merely the duty of the prosecution and diplomatic smoke grenades. It may be a nice story, but it is completely untrue.

  • Not gay or anything but Douglas Murray is one man who is so charismatic and articulate that he could probably persuade me to do anything and convince me I liked it, too.

    So when we gonna chill bro?

  • As long as there are wars, famine, poverty & now real climate change turning large areas of Africa & the ME into desert, coupled with no birth control & the consequent over population of these areas the phenomenon of poor people from alien cultures wanting to flee or emigrate to a perceived wealthier & safer part of the world will only continue. We are like King Canute trying to turn back the sea. We tried to emigrate to Australia in the 1960`s but were denied for various reasons I suppose. The open door policy that Sweden has is non selective, so anybody gets to come here, as well as their entire family…..I just hope the Swedish government does not borrow too much to meet the economic challenges we face over the next few decades.

  • Particularly liked and agree with the idea of "this is our home… " -we all need a home! And the idea of the legacy fought for, maintained, shaped, sung and danced and laboured into existence by our ancestors. We are accountable both to them and to the future generations of European descent – what have WE done with that legacy!

  • Just an innocent question here, with no presupposed notions at all (I swear to god it's true): Why is the final image in the introduction video a photograph of the lower portion of the Trump building in Chicago? Seems sort of random for a conference held in Sweden, that's all I'm saying.

  • I enjoyed the unintentionally humorous cut from douglas adjusting his glasses at 1:35 to what could be interpreted as a POV shot of an extremely blurry roomful of people

  • It is often asked whether what the politicians are doing is due to ignorance or malice. But there is also a third alternative. If you have watched the mad behaviour of the swedish prime mnister lately, it can also be interpreted as a panicked fear. Think about it. The multicultural experiment is resulting in the complete rape of the native population. If that is not a blunder of historical proportions, why wouldn't they be afaid of the wrath that the consequences of this might be.

  • The bitch w the question about “if you were poor” answer mine, if you were poor wouldn’t you like to have my house and Car? I’m sure you would but I’m not giving away my shit so you can lay in my living room doing some backwards shit, destroying my house and raping my woman. Of course this is not all of them but the by far majority do they think like they’re still in the 8th century

  • Who’s w Murray? Looks like secret service type body guard. What does it say If he has a serious looking body guard w him for this y’all? WOW if true

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