Reading the Amazon reviews of a book I intend to blog about sooner or later, I came across one review which recommended another book, controversially entitled “Enoch was right”. In case you haven’t come across Enoch Powell before, he was a conservative politician who promoted racist ideas in the UK in the 1960s and later. This was captured most memorably in his “Rivers of Blood” speech, and appealed to a racist, anti-immigrant tendency within the UK at the time, which of course has some worrying parallels with the rise of UKIP today.

Following the link to “Enoch was Right” Amazon’s helpful site told me that customers who bought this book also bought these others, and gave a list of recommendations.  Each of the recommendations were, to be blunt, Nazi filth. Holocaust denial material which in other countries it would be illegal to print, sell or promote are being sold on Amazon without any warnings or qualifications of any kind.

I don’t expect Amazon to censor what its readers can buy, but there have to be limits on this freedom. Amazon wouldn’t sell child pornography would it? So why sell holocaust denial material? Worst still, why allow this material to be sold unfettered, with descriptions eulogising about the scholarly and authorative nature of the books, and supported by clearly placed “reviews” confirming how wonderful the books are, and recommending others of the genre? I will write to Amazon and ask for details of its policy on this issue, and keep you my imaginary readers posted.

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