It is always a tricky decision deciding on whether to give extremists who openly promote hatred air time when you believe in freedom of speech!
A fairly well known far right extremist was in Warrington this week endeavouring and sadly succeeding , in getting his face in the media while the BBC’s Question Time was in town.
I made the tough decision to stay away – as a reporter I am meant to be impartial but as a Patron of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace I would struggle to keep my views to myself.
So as an Editor I made an editorial decision not to cover this news item.
Millions have died for the right for free speech – while those who crave media attention to promote their extreme and often evil inhumane views, continue to divide and terrorise our world.
We as a country have become more divided than ever, while terrorism continues to impact on our daily lives.
Perhaps the time has come to question whether some people are entitled to spout their words of hatred?
Extremists were challenged and dealt with long before mobile phones, the internet, tv, radio and even newspapers ever existed – anyone who wants to challenge this individual can do so directly through his own social platforms or on his own doorstep without the need of giving the media exposure he craves.
I later saw on social media violence break out on the streets of Warrington due to the attention given to this issue – how does challenging this individual in the public limelight help anyone?
Without attention he will either crawl back under his rock or eventually resort to something which will hopefully have him locked up for a very long time!
To think this all happened on almost the exact spot where two local boys tragically died due to an act of terrorism 26 years ago makes by stomach churn. Despite all the great work done in Warrington over the years promoting peace and reconciliation, we still have to endure these acts of terror involving people who have nothing to do with our town.
It is a fine balancing act working in the media in a responsible way and I am sure there will be many times ahead when I decide to publish details about some meaningless excuse for a human being – but for this one I decided to give him a miss so I could spend time with my granddaughter on her third birthday- a much more pleasurable and meaningful experience!