The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Criminalising Stupidity

Posted by rantingkraut on August 29, 2007

Udo Voigt, leader of Germany’s thinly disguised neo-Nazi party NPD is facing charges for suggesting Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Heß for the Nobel peace prize.

Germany’s equivalent of Nick Griffin is undoubtedly a politically unpleasant character and this is undoubtedly a very stupid idea. Aside from being a less suitable candidate for the prize than even Henry Kissinger or Yassir Arafat among others, corpses are generally excluded from receiving the award.

What is less clear though is why this daft proposal should amount to hate speech. Yet, the German police seem to have superior insights in this matter as they have now charged Mr. Voigt with inciting racial hatred as a consequence of his suggestion. If this charge gets anywhere, Germany’s tiny classical liberal minority should worry: it is clear that in this case the charge is motivated by membership of an unpopular political organisation rather than by actual incitement to anything.

[Update: added links and corrected factual error. 12 Oct 2007]

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