Both the men they have invited are convicted Holocaust deniers. Both are neo-nazis whose attempts to appear respectable have the sole aim of building up their stength to the point where they can settle quarrels with "well-directed boots and fists" (to use Griffin's phrase). Everywhere they speak, everywhere the BNP stands for election, racist violence increases, sometimes by as much as 300%. But to get votes in elections they have to put on a facade of rationality. This is why the BNP has described the Oxford Union's invitation to Griffin and Irving as a "big breakthrough for our party". This breakthrough has been handed on a plate to the BNP by Oxford Union hacks, a small proportion of the society's membership, who voted on Friday not to cancel the invitations to Britain's two most prominent neo-nazis. Of course, even to get a vote in the Oxford Union you have to pay £150 to join their organisation. This being the case, the Oxford Union Society is inevitably dominated, and has been for decades, by none-too-intelligent pubescent Tory boys. These privileged and stupid people have shown their contempt for the whole of the rest of society, with the sole exception of those few fascists who want to destroy it. They may be assured that the whole of the rest of society has nothing but contempt for them.
They have tried to do this before, inviting Irving to their platform several times over the last decade, but always chickening out when they saw the scale of the opposition. This time they seem to be hell-bent on digging themselves as far as they can into the putrid hole they have long been sctatching out. That is why we cannot stop after this evening's demonstration. We can and will ruin Griffin and Irving's evening, but unfortunately there are going to go on being fascists, and there are going to go on being upper-class adolescent morons who think it's a jolly jape to organise meetings for people who try to excuse the industrial mass slaughter of millions of human beings. No-platforming fascists when they are offered a platform is all well and good. But if a platform keeps being infested by the same vermin, time after time after time, then there is something structurally wrong with it and it has to be dismantled.
Keeping fascism permanently out of Oxford means driving the Oxford Union Society, as it is currently constituted, out of existence. Platforms within our community belong to our community and we, the people of Oxford, who are vitally affected by the presence of fascists here, have a right to veto it. The Oxford Union hacks say this is an issue about "free speech", but the assertion of the right of a privileged private members' club to ignore the public and do something outstandingly harmful to the public is a grotesque perversion of "free speech". They claim that their aim is to "crush the fascists in debate", but they are lying through their teeth. The event is advertised not as a "debate" but as a "forum" about free speech, at which the only two named speakers are Griffin and Irving. They will not be asked to justify their adherence to fascism or their racist views, but will be allowed to whine on in their usual demagogic way about how their right to "free speech" is being suppressed by laws against inciting racial hatred. Judging by the result of their private "vote" on Friday, the Oxford Union hacks seem to agree with the neo-nazis about this.
The Oxford Union hacks claim to have valid votes on issues like this, of such vital public interest, in which the right to vote has to be bought. With such a perverse idea of democracy it is no wonder they have such a perverse idea of free speech. It is the very idea of the Oxford Union, an exclusive "debating" club for people who can afford it, which is the root perversion leading structurally to their repeated invitations to fascists.
Everybody come to St. Michael's Street this evening at 7. Let us unite in defence of our city and its diverse community, and in the strongest human solidarity with all the millions who have been murdered by fascism, from the 20s and 30s through to Stephen Lawrence. As university Labour campaigner Joe Wales says, "History teaches us that we can defeat fascism only when we stand together, and at times like this our silence is morally indefensible".