The man best known until now for his YouTube video, “My name is Paul Weston, and I am a racist,” was arrested in Winchester, England this past Saturday. Weston, who is running for the European Parliament from the area, had attempted to recite scathing remarks about Islam from Winston Churchill’s 1899 book, The River War (remarks available here). Police arrested Weston for failing to leave when ordered, and a few hours later, charged him with hate speech. Weston was released from custody that day, and is scheduled for a hearing on May 24.
Mr Weston is a self-described racist, and to all appearances, deserves full marks for self-knowledge. However, speech espousing popular views in pleasing ways rarely needs strenuous defending. Fortunately for Mr Weston, his story is gaining exposure. Being arrested in Britain for trying to quote Churchill is a great hook, even if what’s being quoted isn’t Churchill’s best work. I confidently predict that Mr Weston will be much less inconvenienced than Hamza Kashgari was.
Still, doing better than Saudi Arabia in safeguarding personal liberty isn’t much of a boast. Weston was arrested for making an electoral speech that included material that, however unfair and outdated, is part of his country’s history. The Uncertaintist offers Churchill’s words to any visitor who cares to read them. It is remarkable that a candidate for public office in a Western democracy – Churchill’s democracy – isn’t free to say the same thing aloud during an election campaign.
Mr Weston’s signature video is here
and he tells his side of the arrest story here