An attorney for the British government has reaffirmed the United Kingdom’s decision to ban talker Michael Savage from entry. Last July the new Conservative-Party-led government of Prime Minister David Cameron informed the TRN host it would continue the ban initiated by the previous administration unless he repudiated statements made on his broadcasts that were deemed a “threat to public security.” The U.K., however, has never specified which statements it thought were so dangerous, reports WND.
In May 2009, then-British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that Savage was on a list of 16 people banned from entry because the government believed their views might provoke violence. Smith said it was “important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have here, the fact that it’s a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won’t be welcome in this country.”
In the latest statement from the British government, Michael Atkins, writing on behalf of the U.K.’s treasury solicitor, told Savage’s London-based attorney, “Your client has not provided any evidence to show that he did not commit the unacceptable behavior” that prompted the “decision to exclude him, nor has your client provided any acceptable evidence to show his repudiation of those unacceptable behaviors.”
Atkins said Savage can do nothing at the moment to affect his status and must wait until December, when the decision is scheduled for review.
Savage told RBR-TVBR: “First, if I am guilty of a thought crime so is everyone who reads your epaper. Second, when has speech become illegal? Third, I was never allowed to defend my name and reputation. Fourth, Liberals used to say ‘While I may disagree with that you say I will defend to the death your right to say it.’ But now that Progressives have stolen Liberalism, especially in San Francisco, Freedom of Speech is dead for Independents?”
Savage has received support from Reps. Allen West, R-Fla., and John Culberson, R-Texas, who sent letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging her to review Britain’s ban.
West argued there is no basis for the action: “For a nation who believes in freedom of speech and press,” he wrote, “I have a hard time understanding why such a high level, government department would release this statement when there has not been one incident recorded in the United States regarding Dr. Savage instigating violence, let alone serious criminal acts.”
Culberson, the assistant Republican whip, urged Clinton to use her position to press the U.K. to grant Savage a travel visa immediately. On his website, Savage has appealed to his listeners to sign a petition urging Clinton to act.
Official U.K. government correspondence shows Savage was put on the list to provide “balance,” because it contained so many Muslim extremists.
Savage said last July that the new British government was continuing the Brown government’s “big lie,” based on extracts of radio programs over many years “edited by Soros-backed Media Matters to slander me.”
The U.K.’s list includes Hamas terrorist leader Yunis Al-Astal, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Stephen Donald Black, neo-Nazi Erich Gliebe and radical American pastor Fred Phelps, known for his virulent anti-gay protests at funerals. Smith’s successor as home secretary, Alan Johnson, called the ban a terrible blunder and told the Daily Mail of London he would scrap the policy of maintaining an enemies list. But Savage told WND two days later that, according to his attorney, Johnson’s announcement did not mean his name had been removed from the list.
Savage still demands an apology from Smith. In a legal complaint against her, Savage noted the home secretary’s office said in a press release that the “controversial daily radio host” is “considered to be engaging in unacceptable behavior by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to intercommunity violence.”
The allegations are “entirely false,” the complaint asserts. “At no time has our client provoked or sought to provoke others to commit crimes or serious criminal acts.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Might lead to “intercommunity violence?” Huh? We might be able to sympathize a tiny bit if Savage was cleared all over the UK and just his arrival at the airport would spark protests and violence, but this is just not the case. We’ve heard Savage on the air many times and have never heard him try to incite violence. It has been nearly four years since CAIR came out against Savage and that’s now ancient history (if that might be the root of the UK government’s fears). In addition, CAIR stands for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, not UK-Islamic relations.