It's all about the company you keep...
The government published a blacklist on Tuesday of people recently banned from the country including a Hamas lawmaker and a Jewish extremist, as well as anti-gay protestors and a far-right US talk show host.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she decided to publish the "name and shame" list -- which identifies 16 people banned since last October -- for the first time to clarify what behaviour Britain will not tolerate.
"I think it's 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," she said.
"If you can't live by the rules that we live by ... we should exclude you from this country and, what's more, now we will make public those people that we have excluded," she told the GMTV broadcaster.
Ouch. That's gotta hurt. Michael Weiner Savage is up there with fellow hatemongers Fred and Shirley Phelps, as well as a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, two Russian skinheads responsible for 20 racially motivated murders and -- I'm sure this is just killing Weiner Savage -- several Muslim clerics accused of whipping up hate and fomenting terrorism within the Muslim community. Full list here.
Weiner Savage had a predictably snide response and is planning on suing...someone. (link goes to WorldNetDaily)
"Darn! And I was just planning a trip to England for their superior dental work and cuisine," he recalled thinking.
"Then it sank in," he told WND, "and I said, 'She said this is the kind of behavior we won't tolerate? She's linking me with mass murderers who are in prison for killing Jewish children on buses? For my speech? The country where the Magna Carta was created?'"[..]
Savage said he wants top First Amendment attorneys to represent him "in a major international case."
"I want to sue the British home secretary for defamation," he said, "for linking me up with murderers because of my opinions, my writings, my speaking – none of which have advocated any violence, ever."
Savage said the last time he was in Britain was about 20 years ago, and he had no immediate plans to return.
In an interview with the BBC, Smith said Savage, the No. 3-rated radio host in the U.S., is "someone who has fallen into the category of fomenting hatred, of such extreme views and expressing them in such a way that it is actually likely to cause inter-community tension or even violence if that person were allowed into the country."
Savage said his message for Smith and the people of the U.K. is, "Shame on you. Shame that you've fallen to such a low level."
"It's interesting to me that here I am a talk show host, who does not advocate violence, who advocates patriotic traditional values – borders, language, culture – who is now on a list banned in England," Savage said. "What does that say about the government of England? It says more about them than it says about me."