Many will find the views of 44-year-old Fnglish Defence league supporter Davey Russell offenive, unpalatable and downright nasty. They will criticise the Herne Bay Guzette’s decision to give him a platform and conflate his views with our own. Others will have a groat deal of sympathy with his outlook on the way the world around us is changing. His fears are their fears. Their prejudices are his prejudices. The debate about immigration is moving out of the shadows and into the mainstream as the politicians jockey for position in the forthcoming general election. That’s why it is important that newspapers shines a light on all aspects of the debate and allows you to make up your mind. Censorship allows extremism of all kinds to flourish unchallenged, whether it be Russell’s views on Islam or the jihadists desire to create an Islamic state. And it allows those with views on the extreme fringes to claim there is an establishment conspiracy to stop their views being hoard which gives them credibility with their sympathisers. If you disagree with Russell’s viewpoint, say so. If you disagree with the views of radical Muslims, say so. Burying our heads in the sand and hoping extremism of all kinds simply goes away is not an option.
Herne Bay Gazette, December 18th 2014