Sunday, September 06, 2009

The BBC Is Right To Give BNP Seat on QTime

All along, I have said I believed the best way to beat the BNP is confront them and to take on their racist arguments. The BBC has now decided to give the BNP a place on a Question Time panel. Predictably this has provoked howls of outrage from the usual suspects on the left whose relationship with freedom of speech has always been tenuous at best. The Sunday Times has the story...

The move has caused consternation among politicians, with some Labour MPs and at least one cabinet minister pledging to boycott Question Time. They fear the BNP will use the publicity to promote a racist agenda.

The change in policy has also triggered dissent within the BBC. One senior correspondent, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s barmy ... Public servants can be sacked for membership of the BNP and yet the BBC wants to give them airtime with the main political parties.”

The BBC changed its position after the party won two seats at the European elections. Its share of the national vote at that poll was 6.2%. “They got across a threshold that has given them national representation and that fact will be reflected in the level of coverage they will be given,” said Ric Bailey, the BBC’s chief adviser on politics. “This is not a policy about the BNP. It’s a policy about impartiality.”

Quite right too. Democracy is never comfortable. It throws up results most people feel queasy about. People are elected who we would rather not deal with. Tough. The BBC has done the right thing, and if Labour empty chair the programme, it will say more about them than it can ever do about the loathsome BNP.

79 comments:

IanVisits said...

If people think the BNP will use this to promote a racist agenda, then I can only presume they haven't actually listened to Nick Griffin when he is interviewed on TV.

(actually, I strongly suspect they turn the telly off and sit there fuming while firing off a letter of complaint about something they didn't watch)

Having seen him being interviewed on occasions, I conclude that Nick Griffin is often is own worst enemy, as he squirms and wriggles to avoid answering simple questions about racial identity, culture and plans for repatriating immigrants.

The best thing that could happen to reduce support for the BNP is to put their representatives in front of a mainstream audience.

You could almost put up Peter Snow with his live swingometer to wacth the BNP support collapsing during the show.

Dippyness. said...

I totally agree. By ignoring them you are giving them you are forcing the issue underground.
Being hysterical about a persons radical views gets you nowhere.
Rational debate will deny them the opportunity to claim, the other parties are afraid of talking to them.
Excellent blog Ian.

John Moss said...

Yes, I agree.

It is difficult to be on the same platform as revolutionary communists and facists, but if you don't kill a cancer, it grows.

We should also not have allowed the Labour party's refusal to sit on platforms with the BNP to contaminate us on the back of our policy of not appearing unless Labour were present.

Anonymous said...

The equation is simple; they are either prescribed or legal. If legal then treat them as such, if we have to put up with theiving, corrupt, incmpetents as Labour then we can live with the BNP.

Pete-s

trevorsden said...

It was 6.2% of a low turnout and not in an election for a national govt - ie a meaningless election to the people who voted.

The point about public servants is surely a valid one - how can you sack a policeman for supporting the BNP and have Dimbelby hobnobbing with him?

The best way to defeat the BNP is to pursue sensible policies which negate the plausible basis for their argument. Then they would indeed only be left with a head-banging racist support.

Giving the BNP airtime and respectability can only damage labours blue collar support. No wonder they are twitchy.

Anonymous said...

Well said Mr Dale

keep up the good work

prj45 said...

Would you sit next to a member of the BNP in a public forum?

Frankly they are best ignored.

I'd be happy for the whole panel to walk off.

Anbody who entertains the concept of the BNP being in any way able to change its views or can engage in reasonable debate has already been lost to fascism I'm afraid.

And if anybody is annoyed at the BNP not getting a say they too are lost to delusion that the far right should be involved in politics in some way.

It's like debting evolution with Intelligent Design proponents; pointless.

wonkotsane said...

The BBC is full of left wing extremists, as is the BNP. If it wasn't for their opposition to multi-culturalism, the BBC would be having Griffin's children.

The decision is right. Denying the BNP a platform is undemocratic and counter-productive. Let them go on the telly and spout their racist clap-trap, people can then hear what odious little shits they are for themselves. Give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves.

Dick the Prick said...

Absolutely spot on. I guess it's fine for Labour politicians to whinge and absent themselves but the BBC has absolutely no choice whatsoever. I guess we can look forward to Sharmi, Shirley and Dimblebore with some dreadful lefty faux celeb all against Nick in some 'culturally representative' location.

OT - Marr did an ok interview with Farage!!!

Anonymous said...

looks like the empty chair is now New labour's first line of defence.

Pete said...

One senior correspondent, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s barmy ... Public servants can be sacked for membership of the BNP and yet the BBC wants to give them airtime with the main political parties"

This is so wrong - if the party is accepted as a legal political entity (which it has been but maybe shouldn't have been)- in a democracy surely anyone has the right to join it?

Liam Murray said...

I agree.

But did you feel similar about Mrs Thatcher's policy of not allowing Sinn Fein voices to be heard in the mid-80's?

Seemed equally ludicrous and counter-productive to me...

Alan Douglas said...

The BNP is actually just the other face of the fascist Labour Party, mo wonder they cannot look into that mirror ....

Your policy on Euro-election night of giving them air-time (to hang themselves) is the right one.

Alan Douglas

Alan Douglas said...

To answer Liam Murray, Sinn Fein were actively MURDERING people at that time. There IS a difference, FFS.

Alan Douglas

nosnerwal said...

Absolutely agree. I have felt for some time that starving the BNP of publicity is counter-productive. People can choose to ignore the "bad bits" if you don't challenge all the policies and the only way to do that is to engage them in debate. Well done the BBC, although I would like to think they wouldn't be tempted to fill any QT audience with anti-BNP crowd as that would give them further sympathy.

On that note I couldn't help relating this post with that of Ali al-Faraj, the Saudi property investor, and West Ham after reading fairly racist comments, not on your website but on another well known WH site. Must be difficult combining a serious political blog whilst engaging with a (small?) hard core racist element at the Boleyn.

Curmudgeon said...

Perhaps the issue with Sinn Fein was that they were giving active support to terrorism which as far as I am aware the BNP are not doing.

Anonymous said...

It's a step forward that a popular grassroots political party will get a platform on the BBC alongside the three loathsome mainstream parties.

Chris Paul said...

Excellent point from Liam. Though excepting the soho nailbomber, various East Lancs and Yorky bazooka wallahs, and a host of bedsit fascho-terrorists Griffin doesn't have all that many competent Provos ...

Nominations are open at http://tinyurl.com/chrispLOL273 Who Do You Think You're Kidding Mr Griffin? Choose BBC QT panel! #bnpLOL!

Ralph said...

My worry is that, like with other minority party bigots like Galloway, they'll put him up against someone of the quality of Sion Simon or David Lammy and he'll look good.

talwin said...

More patronising dross from MPs and a cabinet minister who think that I and umpteen others will fall for, and react to, a 'racist agenda' from some nutter because he pitches up on late-night TV.

And do they think, that some as yet impressionable, union-flag-tattooed, shaven-headed Neanderthal is watching Question time? Give it a rest.

Oh, and public servants can be sacked for membership of the BNP can they? This is a naive red herring. Surely, only if polical activities and affiliations are part of a contract willingly entered into.

Look. Remind these condescending MPs and journos (why should I give a toss about their generally feather-bedded, done-bugger-all opinions, anyway?) that fascists have been floundering about in Blighty since Oswald Mosley and his pathetic lot in 1932. His spawn are still pathetic and the sky still hasn't fallen down.

Let's get the BNP on QT and see the audience do to them what they did to Margaret Beckett a few months ago. Lovely!

Chris Paul said...

PS Generalisation about "the left" is more of your lazy twaddle Iain. Many of us see the skewering of Nick Griffin on BBC QT as the very thing to see him crash and burn for good.

I'm hoping for fearless comedians rather than Geoff Hoon or Polly Toynbee myself. The game has changed with the BNP election to Europe. But "no platform" didn't make much sense whether it's IRA, BNP or Hizb_ut-Tahrir.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Ian, don't agree.

We should not give the BNP any platform. Just look at the riot that has taken place in Birmingham this weekend.

I would hope our politicians would show leadership and refuse to take part.

This is political correctness in action. It is ironic that it is the 70th anniversary of the start of World War 2, or have we forgotten how and where this started?

Spartan

AMW said...

Yes the BBC should give the BNP a seat on question time.

Time after time the BNP come out with the most awful racist politics yet when challenged by the public they simply just wriggle back under the rock they came out from under.

Putting the BNP on a program like Question time would give the audience and other politicians the perfect platform in which to challenge the racists and show the people at home what they are really all about.

Denying the BNP a place on programs like question time will only make them spill out more racist lies on the streets because no one will be able to properly challenge them.

I would love nothing more than to see the BNP leader sit on national TV and being lambasted by other politicians and the audience.

Anonymous said...

Banning legitimate Political parties because somebody doesnt like what they say?, from England to Soviet McBritain in 12 years!.

The BNP speak a lot of sense, the man and woman on the street will agree with a lot of heir policies, however they then ruin it by going to far, and its obvious they do have a sinister edge with a percentage of odious racists and extremists.

But then again so does McLabour and theyve somehow been in power for over TWELVE years, albeit being the far left and not the far right.

This is the way sheeple are programmed now.

Far Right.....Bad!

Far left....Good!

Now look, listen and repeat!.

And remember, the EUSSR's predecessor, the USSR, didnt ban elections, they just banned Parties that didnt agree with them, sound familiar yet?.

Steve said...

I do hope all the right-wingers queueing up to 'debate' the BNP were also eager to debate Sinn Fein during the eighties, in defiance of the media restrictions imposed by... oh, who was it? Can't remember exactly.

What's amazing is how certain everyone here is. I believe, on balance, that no-platforming is the better route, but I'm not 100% sure it's right and I respect people who've come to a different conclusion. I might hope for the same courtesy, but ho hum.

Wifflebammer said...

Well it didn't take the labourlist brigade long to show up shouting no platform and equating a legitimate political party with a terroist group.

When are you going to realise these tactics doesn't work anymore?

You know things have gone wrong when the leader of the BNP has more democratic legitimacy than the Prime minister.

strapworld said...

And the BBC will ensure that the audience is filled with Anti Facist protestors and other left wing malcontents. I do hope they will get the description correct.

The BNP Is a left wing organisation! certainly not right wing.

The BNP should recruit a very telegenic female to be their spokesperson. Nick Griffin is no brain of britain and would lose out if he was alongside the likes of David Starkey, Will Self,Peter Hitchins and Esther Ranzen ?

strapworld said...

trevorsden said...
It was 6.2% of a low turnout and not in an election for a national govt - ie a meaningless election to the people who voted".
--
IF it was such a meaningless election, why did Cameron make so much of their success in the North West?

You cannot have it both ways. You yourself welcomed the conservatives success in the EU elections and considered, on those results, that labour would be finished in the general election!

Please be a little consistent.

Anonymous said...

Sinn Fein?

What terrorist organisation are the BNP a mouthpiece for?.

Ive got news for people they should already know.

The "extremists" are ALREADY in power and have been for over 12 years!.

The Reddest Tory said...

To be honest, I am not quite sure why some posters on here keep bringing SF into the discussion.

As a Conservative Party member, I have no problems whatsoever with stating that SF should have been accorded a platform on some kind of national politics show in order for the views being expressed by them to be comprehensively examined and debated for mass public consumption. Simple as.

Its the same with the BNP. I have no problem whatsoever with according the BNP a seat on QT. As much as I might despise the odious politics espoused by them, they are a legal political party with representatives serving in a political institution as a result of the electorate putting them there. They have as much right to a seat round the table as the Green Party or UKIP. And I have no doubt whatsoever that one of the best ways to combat the BNP on a national level is to debate them and show them up for what they really are. Having done that, if the likes of the AFL want to stop sending bus loads of unwashed students to places like Barking in order to tell us how to vote, that would be a massive help. For whilst you mean well, it would be much better for you to support those of us active on the ground who know the community and can make a difference within it.

Rant over

Anonymous said...

Tha far left calling the far right extremists and racists, how amusing and ironic.

Talk about the Pot calling the kettle non white!.


Video: New Labour's Communist Red Brigade

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEl1pVe4NT0

Gary Elsby stoke said...

Whatever the outcome of this debate is,the theory of confronting them to win is flawed.

If the BBC decide to fill a Nazi chair in and the Labour Party empty chair themselves, it will do nothing but see a rise in support for the BNP in certain areas of no consequence.

There is only one way to beat the BNP and that is for National HQs to spend money in those seats and beat them by financial might.

Those with an anti EU stance who will vote on May 6th may vote Tory/UKIP this time (no difference) but if defeat is the presumed outcome, the Tory strong hold will go BNP.

The notion that 'good' candidates can hole the racist agenda is more down to myth than anything the Conservative Party can evidence as proof.

This is simple. In a Tory majority seat for the GE, Cameron should outspend any threat by the BNP. The same for Labour.

In the Council elections, regional HQs should do similar.

Has Iain Dale beaten Nick Griffin into submission and made him see the light? What makes you think the local ravings will cower at the thought?

The only way to beat the BNP is to bring out the party support that may not come out under their own steam.

Should Labour 'empty chair' QT? I'd love to fill that chair, but in this Socialist Republic of Stoke (10 BNP councillors)my guess is the vote would by 75% NO.

I predict a near total wipeout of the BNP on May 6th.

True Belle said...

It will be like giving the Klu Klux Klan a voice. Still, the BNP may be like any extreme. right wing arm of any political party, they will be listened to but loathed.

It is my view that all parties are full of bigots and intolerant fools. The British as usual at their very tiny minded worst.

Soho Politico said...

Why are you trying to make this a freedom of speech issue (by suggesting that Labour opposition to the decision reflects their 'tenuous' relationship with free speech), when it isn't anything of the sort. It's about the BBC's impartiality charter, but that's it. Nick Griffin's freedom of speech doesn't require that he be given an audience. Or, if you think that it does, I shall look forward to your inviting me to write a guest post on this blog, to ensure that my freedom of speech is properly protected.

Twig said...

My question is:

"why are BNP members discriminated against regarding jobs in the public sector?"

Little Black Sambo said...

You had to say "loathsome" didn't you, just so that we didn't think you supported the BNP? This Government is every bit as loathsome, and they are in the position to do untold damage, which the BNP will never be.

Little Black Sambo said...

Prj45: "It's like debating evolution with Intelligent Design proponents; pointless."
OHO! this subject is really flushing out some fascists.

edf said...

"OT - Marr did an ok interview with Farage!!!"
Dick @ September 06, 2009 9:27 AM

They would mate. UKIP have the power to seriously damage Conservative support, so it fits nicely into the BBC "Get The Tories" strategy.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, sort of thing? The bastards.

Much as I admire UKIPs principled stand and some of their policies, it should be bleedin obvious any support they get dents the tory vote and helps keep/get the much more pro eu Labour and Lib Dem in power. There might be a time and a place to take the tories on but a GEneral Election ain't it.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to Shami Chakrabarti & Nick Griffin on the same panel - she would make him squirm a bit.

What would you say to him, Iain?

Anonymous said...

A society's commitment to freedom of speech is not and never has been measured in its willingness to allow the expression of popular opinions; it is measured in its willingness to allow transgressive speech - speech that is contrary to social norms, speech that is unabashed and unashamed in its hostility to the status quo.

A society which is scared of transgressive speech is a society that is unwilling or unable to make a verbal case to defend itself.

If you disagree with the BNP, debate them. Prove them wrong. Show that you are cleverer than they and that your arguments are better than theirs.

If you're not willing to do that, you're tacitly admitting that you can't do it, that they're right, that you're wrong and that you're scared of them and scared of the truth.

Debate them. Challenge them. Prove them wrong. Or admit that you can't do any of that and that you're scared of them.

John B said...

Democracy, like pregnancy, is a binary condition, you either have it or you do not.

To prevent people working in certain occupations or denying them public debate exclusively because of their political affiliation means we do not have democracy.

Ironic when we pretend to spread it to other countries in the World.

How can one possibly understand, challenge, argue, defeat, perhaps even persuade others if they are not allowed to speak openly.

When the political route is cut off for people, particularly minorities, to have their voice heard and to take part in the political debate and process, we lay the way for frustation to become violent action to get attention.

trevorsden said...

Mr Paul - people like McGuiness were actively members, leaders even, of the IRA, not simply some party fellow traveller. The odious Griffin did not plot the Soho bombings.

All the whilst actively plotting to kill British soldiers the BBC went out of its way to let us hear McGuiness' words.

Copeland Copeland was diagnosed by five psychiatrists as having paranoid schizophrenia and a consultant concluded he had a personality disorder --- but as none of them was paid by the Libyan govt I suppose you will not give that much consideration.

If that is not good enough for you - Copeland was not a member of the BNP when he carried out his attack he left to join the British National Socialist Movement (which grew from Combat 18) - whose leader actually converted to be a Muslim. I commend the 'socialist' bit to you.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"[Democracy] throws up results most people feel queasy about"

Three Labour terms, for example.

Sam Ellis said...

I agree Iain. Nick Griffin is not the best media performer and the only way people will see the BNP for what they are is by sticking him on TV. People say they'd vote BNP but they bet they don't have a clue what they're voting for.

At least this way we all know what they're saying and can keep an eye on them. We don't want the BNP going underground.

Man in a Shed said...

Behind all this is the extreme and totalitarianism agenda of the left who wish to establish the precedent for no-platforming and then extend it to all the things they believe people shouldn't think or hear about.

So of course the BBC should put allow any popular politicians to have their short quota of fame on question time - if we still live in a free country.

Will said...

Iain, On 18DS you once said "I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than have the BNP on".

I'm more inclined to agree with your current stance than your previous one - I am interested in when/why you changed your view on this.

Anonymous said...

SohoPolitico.

The simple answer is for you to open your own blog.

Then we could all comment on your thoughts of the day.

In the meantime keep poll dancing!

neil craig said...

They should be on not because it will discredit or help the BNP but because the BBC should not be in the business of censorship on party political lines. Actually they shouldn't lie & censor on any lines whether it is to promote global warming frauds or to help our (ex-)Nazi friends publicly committed to genocide in what used to be Yugoslavia but this is a start.

I await with interest seeing how Dimbleby impartially interrupts him & how the BBC impartially selects its audience.

strapworld said...

edf.

Perhaps, to suit you sir, all parties, other than the tories, should be banned from putting up candidates in the forthcoming general election. Then your plea for a conservative government will come about.

You do, though, display a rather negative view of the tory party winning!

Cheer up. I reckon Prime Minister Farage would do quite a good job. Bringing back grammar schools, ending mass immigration,leaving the EU, referendums on the death penalty and a return of national service. Every tory's dream surely?

The Purpleline said...

This is excellent news from the BBC finally acknowledging that the majority of British people actually want to hear debate and learn the truth behind the BNP and not have an underground movement, which gains support from disaffected non –members of our society.

The left have dictated the political agenda, through indoctrination techniques for too long, we must allow debate and through that debate; we will move forward.

If the only thing in the end the BNP can be seen as is supporting racism, then they will be shot down in flames and eventually make enough mistakes to lose their base and more importantly provide the legal ammunition to have them taken through the courts.

It is my belief that the BNP rather like playing the victim, a little like Millwall, no one likes us we don’t care attitude. Well being under the public spotlight in open fierce debate will open them up.

Therefore, I propose the BBC screen the Question time live, with a three-minute delay to avoid any bad language from the audience or overt dangerous comments, whether judicial or racist. Open the debate up to a wider audience by adding streaming internet participation and make the programme at least ninety minutes.

You never know the BNP may have some good answers to some pressing questions on the other hand they may be well out of their depth and sink.

I also propose more of Richard Littlejohn and Jon Gaunt and perhaps James Whale on the show because these guys can see the light of what has gione wrong over the last twelve years.

Soho Politico said...

@ Anonymous, 1.47PM:

I do have a blog, and yes, you are more than welcome to come by and comment on my thoughts. Equally, Nick Griffin can start his own TV channel, if he thinks he isn't getting enough airtime...

Anonymous said...

wonder if griffin would happily share panel with blacks and asians etc

Liam Murray said...

Alan Douglas - insufficient a difference to excuse throwing away the principle of free speech.

In the end it wasn't some silly ban on their voice that brought the troubles largely to an end - it was direct engagement and argument, the very point Iain's making.

In the clamour of those saying the BBC has done the right thing here it's just worth remembering that Mrs T done the wrong thing back then...

Liam Murray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jabba the Cat said...

If the BBC can have raving loony lefties like Tony Benn on QT, why not have the other cheek on that particular arse to balance it up, and equally show everyone yet another set of morons on the fringe of life and politics that need avoiding.

Or could it be that the BNP are uncomfortably close to the loony lefties positions to start with.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

I agree Iain. The BBC are happy to have other extremist lefties in the form of the Greens & Respect on their shows why not another bunch of socialist extremists the BNP?

If the BBC were to ignore the BNP it would just give them another way of getting votes by playing the "victim" card.

Damn them with their own words.

prj45 said...

IanVisits said... : "The best thing that could happen to reduce support for the BNP is to put their representatives in front of a mainstream audience."

Anybody that spends more than three seconds researching the BNP and the attitudes behind it (i.e. stormfront, the BNP's own website etc...) can find out what an odious group it is.

And if they spend more than three seconds looking into the party and still don't find it revolting then, well, that's quite scary.

Patrick said...

I agree Iain.

The more people will see of Nick Griffin (& co) the less inclined they will be to vote for him.

prj45 said...

strapworld said... "The BNP Is a left wing organisation! certainly not right wing."

Right wing, in the classic sense, is mostly aligned with staunch royalism, and the BNP are certainly that (not reciprocated by the modern royal family I'd imagine).

It also appears practically allergic to marxism, which would be rather strange for a left wing organisation don't cha think?

Martin Wellbourne said...

So long as people are walking out of their front doors and experiencing that which the BNP condemns it won't matter how many eloquent intellectual arguments can be mustered against them on Question Time or anywhere else.

Cynic said...

I detest the BNP but find some of the comments here very odd.

Individuals wouldnt sit on the same platform as the BNP but would happily share one with (nay support) members of a Government that:-

* lied to justify an illegal attack on Iraq that has left hundreds of thousands dead

* hounded an eminment scientist to his death because he spoke out and told the truth

* sent troops into battle in vehicles and with equipment that they knew was inadequate and didnt offer protection

* failed to provide sufficent helicopters to reduce casualties and casevac those who were injured

* in the middle of a war targetted the reputation of a General who spoke out for his men and women

* was preparing to target the daughter of another General because she worked as PA to a political opponent and to send him a message not to step out of line

* from inside the PMs persaonl office in No 10, ran a smear campaign to try to destroy political opponents

* lied when they were caught out

* lied to try to have an opposition MP and a whistleblower prosecuted because of the leak of embarassing information on how the Governmnet had mishandled immigration and covered it up

* lied about their party funding and took illegal donations on a massive scale

* accepted money form various commercial organisations and then conveniently changed legislation or policy, telling us it was all planned anyway

* orchestrated the release of a mass murderer on commercial grounds thereby severely damaging our relationship with a close ally

* is pursuing another war in which hundreds of our own troops and thousands of civilians are being killed and where one of its own senior members and advisors has resigned because there is no strategy, no plan and no exit route

* taxed us to the hilt then squandered the money on public 'services' that have often got worse

* made such a mess of bank regulation and economic policy that it wrecked the banks and has led to a devalutaion of the £ by about 30%

* spent billions on 'fixing' this running the national debt up to its highest level ever thereby beggaring the county, us in our old age and our children

If I was Nick Griffin I would be concrened about sharing a platform with a Labour speaker.

trevorsden said...

"an illegal attack on Iraq that has left hundreds of thousands dead" SIGH ... the attack was not illegal and it has not left "hundreds of thousands dead".
There are lots of legitimate reasons to decry this government.

Strap - dream on. Farage would not bring back grammar Schools. It is a physical impossibility to do that.
Bringing back Grammar Schools would mean bringing back Secondary Modern and presumably the Technical schools that were meant to compliment them.
It would cost a fortune just to get the infrastructure and you would have to conscript teachers to work in them.

This is not to say that education cannot be improved. Bad education is not because of no Grammar Schools, it is lack of streaming in Comprehensives and lack of decent standards.
Conservative policy seems pretty radical enough for me.

Me said...

The 'loathsome' BNP, eh, Mr Dale? I think you'll find they speak for millions who have been deserted by the main parties and have seen their towns and cities turned into third world ghettos and fear the complete Islamification of Britain.
But then I doubt you and most of the posters here live in areas which are worst affected. You will one day - and your children will too.

Pogo said...

Iain, both you and your commenters are missing the salient point. It makes absolutely no difference whatsoever whether the BNP get airtime on Question Time or not, or if they do, whether they get "empty chaired" or anihilated in debate by the "respectable politicians"...

Why? All you "political nerds" who are the majority viewership of QT would never contemplate voting BNP and the present and potential supporters of the BNP never watch QT.

Simples...

Rose said...

I could not agree more with the comments by Martin Wellbourne, and Cynic. Loathsome is the word I'd apply to the Labour party and to the BBC for their acts against the British people. No one has get convinced me why it is 'loathsome' to campaign for an end to the importation of foreign cultures that clash with our own. And why it is so bad to call for the voluntary repatriation of people who want and would be happier living in their own culture and country. It is a point of view, it has some merit, and it should be debated. Was it 'loathsome' of our ancestor to resist invasion in the past?

Anonymous said...

They may be feautured on QT, but it's pretty clear it won't be a platform. There will be the usual mix of 4 guardianistas, one Tory before sticking Griffin in as the dancing-bear. Plus a suitably diverse audience to howl and boo on cue. Lot's of heat and zero light.

One only needs look back to the DP's 'bold' decision to feature Griffin a few months ago. Andrew Neil simply spent the whole interview discussing Holocaust denial.

If extreme left parties such as the BNP help to eat into Labour's core vote, you won't find me complaining.

David Lindsay said...

Having MEPs was the reason given, quite explicitly, for putting UKIP and the Greens on Any Questions? and Question Time. So the Beeb has had no other option.

And why not?

If utterly unrepentant old hands of the Communist Party (at the time the paid agents of an alien power), of Trotskyism, of the International Marxist Group, of the nominally Labour faction of Soviet fellow-travellers, of the “free”-marketeering agitation for everything from the legalisation of heroin and cocaine to the legalisation of sex with children, and of the hired help of apartheid South Africa and Pinochet’s Chile, are allowed on, then why not the utterly unrepentant old hands of the National Socialist Movement and of the National Front?

If supporters of the funny money PFIs, or of the wholesale privatisation of local government services, or of NHS charges (though only in England and only for those under 60), are allowed on, then why not those whose views on, say, race or the death penalty may be wrong, but are nowhere near as unpopular as any of those?

And if supporters of the Iraq War are allowed on, then why not those who probably do not hold a single opinion, however odious, anywhere near as unpopular as that?

terence said...

This has nothing to do with the BNP and everything to do with the survival of the BBC. The BBC thinks Call Me Dave is going to parcel them up and sell them off to ameliorate our national insolvency. Expect more of the same.

Cynic said...

"the attack was not illegal "

Well, it was mounted on a totally false premise using data that was knowingly inflated to justify the action. So why lie to justify it?

I was happy to see Saddam toppled but what a shambles we created

13th Spitfire said...

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Reed said...

These Labourites that are planning to boycott say that giving the BNP a place on the programme will legitimise them. Too late. They were democratically elected. They already are legitmate, whether we like it or not.
What are they affraid of? Are they not intellectually capable of demolishing the arguments of a man like Nick Griffin?
It's this kind of political cowardice that has helped increase support for this group of nasties.
This Labour government have failed repeatedly to address the concerns of many decent people regarding the extent and rapidity of immigration into this country over the last decade. Instead, they chose to throw around all manner of labels (racist, Little Englander, Xenophobe) to close the debate down by making it seem socially unacceptable to question their immigration policy, or lack thereof. Unfortunatley, some of those people who live in the areas most affected by mass immigration have chosen to support the one party that will talk openly about it.
The lesson is simple. If politicians in the main parties refuse to address people's genuine concerns in a decent manner, some will turn to any alternative that will address those concerns, even if in a thoroughly indecent manner.

No wonder Labour types are reluctant to appear on the same stage as Nick Griffin. They are well aware that they helped to put him there.
Their refusal should not be seen as principled. It is cowardly.

One only has to think of the invitation of the Iranian President to speak at an American university. Cue howls of indignation, from the right this time. It will give him a platform he doesn't deserve, lend him legitimacy etc.
Once given the platfform, he proceeded to make to complete prat of himself in front of a wide audience. This is the correct approach.

Anonymous said...

PRJ45

Don't be disingenuous. The left is not solely populated by those of the Marxist faith. It is populated by all who prize equlaity over liberty and who think that the Government is more important that the individual. A Nazi is a lefty, just as much as a Communist., as both belive in totalitarian rule.

The taxonomy of political thought should only be based upon political factors, marxist ecomnomic drivel is irrelevant.

neil craig said...

It is a statement of fact that the Iraq invasion was illegal. At Nuremburg it was decided that planning & launching aggressive wars was the prime war crime "from which all others flow". Despite Bliar's 45 minute claim, which is what is technically known as a lie, Iraq was not attacking or planning to attack the USA, UK or indeed Solomon Isles. Hence the war was illegal.

The "left" nonetheless show total hypocrisy in supporting the Yugoslav bombing which was inherently even more illegal & in which the war was conducted overwhelmingly by bombing civilians (also a war crime0 & for the purpose of participating in a KLA campaign of genocide (vrime against humanity).

Both wars were opposed by the BNP & UKIP which makes them a lot bnore decent than the main parties.

David said...

2 comments on this from the Guardian today (hardly the house journal of this blog):

From Mike White struggling to think who amongst the Cabinet would be good enough to deal appropriately with Griffin (not histrionics, not over-the-top rants, but firm, clever and a bit of humour).

From Jackie Ashley regretting that even in the dog days of the Major administration, you'd still have Ken Clarke, Michael Heseltine, and the odd other person making the case robustly and well for a Tory Government - and that there just isn't anyone amongst the present Cabinet who's willing to take the case for a Labour government anywhere.

English First said...

Cowardly senior BBC correspondent says, “It’s barmy ... Public servants can be sacked for membership of the BNP and yet the BBC wants to give them airtime with the main political parties.”

But its ok for Public Servants to thieve and lie though!! ie Politicians.

These stupid individuals, who incidentally are salaried by people just like me, just don`t get it do they? Arrogant fools!

stever said...

trevorsden,

Grammar Schools could be recreated quite easily!

There would be a problem recruiting teachers, not because they would not wish to work in one, but because teachers of sufficient quality would be hard to find!

It seems so strange and unfortunate that schools can select for sports excellence, artistic excellence, technological excellence, but academic excellence is to be derided.

Ask yourself would you want yourself or a family member operated on by a Doctor who excelled at school, or someone who got by, had a bit of help, had someone to read the exam questions to them, repeated each exam module until passed.

Let me make it very clear, people do not posses equal ability, you can not enforce equal outcomes.

The Purpleline said...

Stever, I agree with your comments about Grammar Schools. One idea I have had, which I would like you chaps to shoot me down in flames is this one.

To ensure adequate levels of first class quality teaching, it would appear ideal in these days of quality cheap video technological to hold joint lessons for core subjects, video teaching, where a master at a top public school or grammar school takes the class session via video link, while teachers on the ground perform the necessary control function.


I am convinced this would push standards up, and would not affect the public or grammar school pupils. Who would still be getting the personal one to one direct contact with the Master.

With this approach of using technology, we could cut Teacher numbers (The bad ones) move resources around and even record the video content to keep for additional teaching.

Twig said...

"A society that puts equality -- in the sense of equality of outcome -- ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests."
Milton Friedman