So, free speech. Corner stone of liberal democracy, basic human right, blah, blah, blah.
Being a fully signed up member of the free speech fan club (swearing allowed) I have been quite shocked by the fuss made over Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time.
After all, are our politicians really so lacking in confidence that they don't have faith in themselves to defeat him in open debate?
I know that morale is supposedly low in the Commons at the moment but surely that's because now they have to pay for their own au pairs, not because they have lost the ability to win an argument.
Should you ever be inclined to listen to the goings on in the house (you poor thing) argue is all they seem to do.
Though I have often suspected that they are just making noise and waving order papers around rather than actually using words.
We send soldiers off to fight for 'democracy' in all sorts of remote parts of the world so you'd think that our glorious leaders would relish the chance to show people what's so great about it.
If we're all so worried about Nasty Nick's Blackshirts shouldn't we take every opportunity we can to publicly expose his views?
But wait! There are political points to be scored! What fun! Peter Hain certainly seems to think so....
Or perhaps it's the BBC that politico's have got a problem with. After the expenses scandal MP's have been picking up every stick they can find and beating Auntie with it. Give it a rest. Do your job.
Of course Nick Griffin is repugnant. Of course he's a racist. Of course no one should vote for him. Win the argument. It's not that hard.
Speaking to people like this might be unpleasant but that is the price of free speech. Pay up.