A Home Office spokesperson described the decision as disappointing, saying:
"The government opposes extremism is all its forms. The decision to refuse Wilders admission was taken on the basis that his presence could have inflamed tensions between our communities and have led to inter-faith violence. We still maintain this view."So does this mean we can now look forward to a visit from Wilders? I wrote at the time that I found the whole banning affair regrettable, as it gave Wilders the status of a free speech martyr, which is something he quite frankly doesn't deserve (this is, after all, a man who would like to have the Koran banned in Holland). Even people who find his politics and his film Fitna repulsive (I happily include myself among those people) were forced to support him in relation to the government ban on the basis of free speech, which gave him a handy surge in publicity and allowed him to present himself as the great defender of Western values he likes to believe he is. In short, the government played into his hands.
Personally, I'd like to think we've heard the last of Wilders in Britain. It's right that he's no longer banned from the country, but wouldn't it be nice if he decided it wasn't really worth coming here
after all (or at least decided that if he does come, it'll just be for a quiet week in the Lakes or something).
Sadly, I don't think that's the man's style.
Update: And there we have it - he's on his way this Friday. Something for us all to look forward to, then...