But it's quite another to defend speech that would make your progressive chums a bit hot under the collar...
Councillor Graham Partner – who quit the BNP to sit as an independent – has been censured "in the strongest possible terms" for sending out the New Year message to more than 5,000 voters in his Coalville division.Gosh! What did he say?
The leaflet, which featured part of an article from a national newspaper, said victimhood "comes easily" to followers of Islam.
The leaflet said: "Every terrorist atrocity, every blood-soaked massacre is justified by reference to imagined grievances. But the greatest persecutors of other faiths are Muslim, themselves."Is the truth not a defence, then?
It criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, for being "woolly in thought and appearance".I repeat: is the truth not a defence then?
It appears the answer is 'No':
Coun Partner, who did not attend the hearing, saying he had to work, was found to have breached the code of conduct on two counts by showing disrespect to others and bringing the authority into disrepute.I think your former council leader has that latter role sewn up, doesn't he?
In his statement, Coun Partner, who had signed a declaration to abide by the code of conduct, said: "The claim that the leaflet caused distress to any minorities has not been demonstrated, but it was seen as an opportunity to feign offence on their behalf by political rivals who are incapable of defeating a single independent councillor by fair and proper means."Sounds like a job for the head of advocacy at Index on Censorship to me!
I bet I shouldn't hold my breath, though...