Thursday, October 22, 2009

Griffin Bombs on Question Time

Let's be clear, Nick Griffin did not come over well on Question Time. He was nervous, trembling, acting with exaggerated gestures, grinning at inappropriate moments and at times incoherent. But. And there is a but. The fact that with one exception every single question was about the BNP or related subjects played into his hands. He was got at. He was ganged up on, and many people watching will have felt a little sorry for him at times. Five against one is never very edifying.

I stick to my view, expressed earlier this evening, that the programme should have concentrated on the news of the week, rather than concentrate on the BNP. Immigration could easily have been brought into the programme with a question on the topical issue of population growth. We should have heard about the postal strike. We should have heard about the bullying manner of Ed Balls. And much more besides. The viewers were short changed by a production decision which I believe was misguided. It elevated Nick Griffin to a status he did not deserve.

I thought Bonnie Greer and Sayeeda Warsi performed well. Jack Straw got better as the programme went on, but came across as evasive and slippery at times. I am afraid Chris Huhne was the wrong choice for the LibDems. He was too party political and tied himself up in knots over the issue of EU enlargement and the resultant number of immigrants from eastern Europe. Jo Swinson or even Lembit Opik would have been better choices.

I am glad the BBC invited Nick Griffin onto Question Time. But it was just as well he showed himself to be way out of his depth. My fear is what might have happened if the BNP had a truly intelligent and charismatic leader.

Perhaps only then would the political elites wake up to the danger which the BNP has the potential to present.

UPDATE: As someone has written in the comments, frankly it doesn't matter what I or any other middle class person thought of Griffin's performance. It matters what the people of Dagenham, Blackburn and Burnley thought. Were they attracted by Griffin or repulsed by him?

175 comments:

Quietzapple said...

Likely the more plausible Simon Darby next.

When they feel important enough they may or may not go for a split.

The BBC/Bumblbore interest in keeping this rolling is Their interest, hardly anyone else's so best not to pontificate too long . .

Not sure wether to watch my recording, drizzle is so English and enjoyable . . .

Pogo said...

As I've said on an earlier thread, it was the youngest QT audience I've ever seen - which tends to suggest that it wasn't just the panel that was stacked.

I thought the whole exercise largely a waste of time. The highlight was the very smartly dressed black chap giving Jack Straw a rough time over immigration.

Mrs Clayton said...

Bonnie was beautiful. She was reasoned and intelligent and nothing was more funny than Griffin every time being folled into thinking she would defend him.

To be fair Iain it had to be about the BNP today because anyone who tries to get on that website TODAY gets a little of what they are about - one page and nothing

Anonymous said...

Were you watching the same QT that i was?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

"He was nervous, trembling, acting with exaggerated gestures, grinning at inappropriate moments and at times incoherent"

Was Gordon Brown on the show? I didn't see it.

Sophia Pangloss said...

Point is Iain, that that sorry excuse is the best they have. The other MEP is ten times the nutter, and heaven knows what lurks at the bottom of their stagnant pond of a political party. He came across just as he should have. I particularly loved the hippie non-violent Klansman joke.

Bardirect said...

What you mean is that he's a poor advocate for his own cause.

Yet, Warsi never rebutted his assertion that Islam discriminates against women.

I'm more troubled by the latter.

Londoner too said...

Iain, you are right. It was appalling that the programme just revolved around the BNP and Dimbleby threw aside his neutrality in a way he would never do with anyone else. Pathetic failure by the BBC. Warsi was excellent though, and Bonnie Greer very funny. Did anyone else notice that NG appeared to be drooling over Bonnie ( who laud on some southern charm). If anyone wanted to ferment discontent with NG amongst his racist supporters, just show him cuddling up to Bonnie!

Dazed And Confused said...

Iain,

How would you have come across if all of the other panelists and the entire audience were baying for your blood, from second one?

No matter what the public think of the odious Nick Griffin, this will play out as another BBC/New Labour spectacular own goal.

Andrew Neil has already eluded to the point, that the British people seek fair play for everyone, and that just didn't happen on Question Time tonight.
Griffin has more than enough rope on which to hang himself, but to attempt to manipulate that point completely just wont go down well.

Anonymous said...

You're right, they played into a nervous Griffin's hands.

He did make a couple of effective points despite his poor performance.

Churchill saw Islam as a threat.

Other countries are allowed to have a recognised indigenous people but the english aren't. Though not sure it would ever be practical there are so many of us immigrants here now.

Tim said...

I disagree with you on the effectiveness of the rest of the panel. Chris Huhne was highly effective, particularly early on. Bonnie Greer also had a style and elegance the others lacked.

If they had been asked about Ed Balls etc Nick Griffin could have given "me too" answers that would have allowed him to look like the others. He is not like the others, his party is not like the others.

As it was he was exposed as someone who insults people over their fathers (Jack Straw and world war two), who implied that his views on the holocaust would fall foul of holocaust denial laws in many countries, and who defended a klu kluz klan leader (mainly non violent), and who thinks it acceptable to joke about KKK members being in disguise because of their white hats.

No-one tonight could ever think that the BNP are just another party. Well done to the BBC and the panel for exposing him via fair debate for what he is and for what his party represents.

Paul Owen said...

But surely if they had just stuck to normal subjects then that would have enabled Griffin to present himself as just another politician? I don't agree with you at all. I think it was right to confront him in this forum. The audience also ensured that he couldn't get away with it as they don't have to be as polite as presenters and other panellists.

On my blog, considerably less well read than yours, I have said that it is a victory for democracy and I think that is how it will turn out. Griffin was confronted and made to account for himself and failed. Result!

Anonymous said...

I saw Straw being a Mendalsonian 'Chump': as for Griffin I thought he survived the ambush quite well.

Pete-s

Michael Heaver said...

Totally agree Iain, though I didn't rate any of the other panellists particularly. I was irked with Warsi's misleading drivel about Tory government immigration quotas when we're in the EU.

The BNP will never have a truly charismatic, likeable figure thanks to the very things they believe in. They are hateful, divisive people.

Paul Canning said...

Completely agree. There. I said it.

If they had any real power we'd both be killed.

That's a basis for a real coalition.

Anonymous said...

I largely agree with you Iain, but I think Jack Straw did not improve.... he got worse and worse and evaded all the questioing on immigration. I reckon he just lost Labour any chance they had in the next election!

As for the Question Time production, Dimbleby was poor and lacked control. He allowed it to become a Nick Griffin show and should have stayed a as neutral as possible.

It was the right decision, but a poorly executed programme.

MissM said...

Would have liked to have seen more about domestic issues - education, health, post strike etc - after all, if the BNP want to govern they might need to have some vague policies about something other than race. Thought Varsey had a good evening and thought Straw seemed emotional at times - no bad thing.

Kath said...

Bonnie Greer turned her back on Griffin, and basically came across as being arrogant toward him and condescending, in sum, she came accross as a rude woman with a background in culture...!!! A bit of an oxymoron. Her comments on the ice age and history were unhelpful in a debate on the bnp/racism and immigration, in short she looked out of her depth.

Warsi, did come across better but again the programme showed how the main parties were at odds with each other over immigration. This is a huge problem that needs to be tackled, and comments like there is no such thing as a fraudlent asylum seeker would not have gone down with the general public too well.

I think Griffen did well, he was nervous and jittery, wouldn't you in a 5 vs.1, in full view of the cameras while trying to put your best foot forward?

No, the public could see for themselves that he was ganged up on, the demos before the show added to that sense of being ganged up on, in short I felt sorry for Griffen, who tried hard to be reasonable, and most others I chatted to on line privately felt the same.

Merry christmas from auntie BNP!

raincoatoptimism said...

we leftists in the household of raincoat optimism have said pretty much the same thing as this Mr. Dale.

BBC blew it said...

The BBC made the mistake of turning into the "Get Griffin" show instead of the normal QT it should have been.

I'm not sure any of the political leaders of this country would have done much better on a program that deliberately stacked against them.

When was the last time one panelist was the subject of almost the entire show?

It made him look bullied and a victim and i think it was a mistake.

iain said...

Stop kidding yourself.
Griffin wasnt allowed to make his points without interruption by a weak Dimbleby. Straw and Huhne were woeful, Greer was a waste of time and the Baroness, well...she proved she is nothing more than a Tory token.

Ganging up on Griffin and shouting him down didnt win the debate. Whilst he raved on a bit, he wins hands down on an immigration issue which the three main parties are shit scared of debating honestly and openly.

alister said...

The BNP's election has allowed the Conservatives to bring the debate about immigration to the fore. Previous attempts at debate were shut down by the Labour party with cries of "playing the race card" or racist. Well Labour has sown the seeds by ignoring proper debate it has to reap the whirlwind of BNP Electoral sucess.

Hopefully now as Baroness Warsi said we can have a proper debate on immigration? Any attempt by Labour to call Tories racist or playing the race card, can and must be meet with "you're playing into the hands of the BNP!" either have this debate with us or have it with the BNP it's your choice!

As to them appearing - "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

Obsidian said...

The problem is, as I've said elsewhere, is that tonight was about demonizing him in the eyes of people who already dislike him.

It's the people who vote BNP, or are tempted to vote BNP, who needed to look at him in disgust. Instead tonight will only have entrenched views and swayed many to the BNP cause. You don't get the working classes on your side by having someone who purports to represent them ganged upon by an audience of middle-class Guardian readers.

Griffin did badly to those of us who don't like him, his supporters will be toasting his appearance in the pubs tomorrow though.

increasinglymiffed said...

I thought it played badly that the other panellists, especially Jack Straw, laready had their scripts ready to recite, whatever the question asked. As you say, he was made to look a victim.

Griffin performed poorly, but no less than the others.

The BNP are odious political pygmies, but mainstream politics needs to up their game at dealing with them. They can't just ban them.

Mark B said...

Griffin gets enough publicity as it is, without QT. Granted he did badly tonight, but there will have been people out there rooting for his views who will have perceived the mere questioning of him as attacks on the underdog. In that respect, the BBC has behaved as an unthinking recruiting sergeant for racism and homophobia.

By all means invite the BNP onto mainstream outlets - as long as they are properly scrutinised. The sad thing is I don't think Griffin was properly scrutinised this evening. Discomfited yes, but not dissected as he should have been. QT is not that kind of forensic forum.

It's too easy for purist liberal-minded people to knock others who are concerned about the influence of the BNP. I've seen the BNP at work on the ground. I've exposed their unlawful activities publicly and, less importantly, I've had death threats as a result.

There's free speech and there's responsible free speech.

Anonymous said...

i bet griffin buys the daily mail, what a nutter.

Anonymous said...

If that was their plan - to have the whole programme of slagging off Griffin (however deserved) they shouldn't have bothered.

The responses were obviously all pre-meditated and read from notes and the auidence was by in large BME. I think some would look at it and think that Griffin was standing up to the tainted, morally corrupt political elite and for the voice of white people who are not heard.

They should have debated issues as they would with anybody else and let him hang himself with his responses.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

even Lembit Opik would have been better choices.

When has Lembit ever done anything politically serious whatsoever? A comedian was the last thing the show needed.

Anonymous said...

the 'bullying manner' of Ed Balls isn't a news story, it is Westminster village chatter. I am all for QT dealing with real news, but you need to get some sense of what real news is.

Andrew BOD said...

Iain

Spot on. He was right to be on, but because nearly all the issues were BNP-related, and he himself lacked the calibre required to deal with such a panel, it was a slaughter. The British sense of fair play, and support for the underdog, will have certainly helped Griifin's case in the eyes of the viewers.

I myself, felt uncomfortable at this one-sided affair, even though I am abhorred by his policies. I found myself wanting another member of the panel to take a bit of a hit, and thankfully that happened. Straw failed to deal comfortably with Labour's failing immigration policy and how that contributed to an increase in BNP support, and Huhne was markedly overt in his political point scoring. Sayeeda Warsi was excellent.

Andy JS said...

The important question is not what middle-class people from central London thought about the programme (who will never vote BNP), but what white, working-class people from Barnsley or Burnley thought of it (who might vote BNP).

Anonymous said...

It is right that the BNP's views are attacked. However, we should also attack Catholics and Muslims and others for their preaching of hate. We should not be inconsistent on this. Preaching hate is wrong whether from the BNP or anyone else and should be confronted.

Anonymous said...

I got bored with the constant one-upmanship, on who could condemn the BNP the most vociferously. I wanted to hear other topical items as well, but the loony left have to be fed, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

It was an appalling unBritish mob from the panel members including the chair to the ethnically correct audience.

Most British people will look at this and feel repelled, at what BBC connived to produce.

As it was, Griffin made powerful points about British people and the dangers of Islam.

Adrian said...

QT reminded me of the old cartoon about what a dog hears when you talk to it: blah blah blah Rex blah blah blah Rex blah etc. Most people who support the BNP won't have listened to the heckling or the criticisms, only to what NG said, and, although we would wish it otherwise, 90% of what he said will have appealed to them.

So Jack Straw is wrong, and Johann Hari is wrong, and Graham Linehan is wrong, and everyone else who's declared victory after tonight's show. I don't blame them for being wrong; it's difficult to have empathy with people whose values you despise. But when I think of the reaction of people like my dad, I think that apart from the somewhat effective point about Churchill, I know that there was very little in tonight's show to turn people off NG.

castang said...

Griffin well exposed; as was Straw when it came to immigration.
Agree with Iain that it should have been about the week's news - postal strike in particular - and not a party political for the BNP.
Beeb was right - and brave - to do this. Well controlled by Dimbleby as you would expect.

jailhouselawyer said...

Question Time bombed, not Griffin bombs on Question Time. If I paid my TV Licence fee, I certainly would not after watching this dismal bullying performance.

Although some in the audience booed, I thought Griffin scored well when Straw was on about the last war.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Warsi was pick of the bunch, she seemed the most natural and effective (and it pains me to say that seeing as your party isn't going to do anything for me or those who think as I do).

I disagree about Huhne, he wasn't bad at all. I also disagree about Straw, he was woeful. He looked demoralised and easily picked off by Warsi and Huhne. If that is the best that Labour can do, they are screwed (next up, Jacqui Smith - oh joy).

You're correct about the treatment of Griffin, though, and brave to say it. I wanted to see him made to look foolish but it would have been better if they let him finish a sentence every now and then. He can humiliate himself given the chance, this was just bullying.

Robert Barnes said...

Griffin totally bombed on Question Time tonight. Bonnie Greer gave him a history lesson. Huhne was good but I agree with you, Iain, Jo Swinson would have been better. Her Tweets were good.
Jack Straw & Sayeeda Warsi demolished him.
Now, perhaps, people will see the BNP for what it really is, a vile racist party fronted by a cunning, sly & clever frontman.
He had to eat his own words as Dimbleby quoted them back at him.
Loved the line from the audience about sending Griffin to the South Pole.
Those of us involved in politics at all levels need to face up to to the real threat parties such as the BNP, England First Party & the English Defence League pose.
Griffin set his party's cause back tonight.
He must be seething at how badly he performed.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

To focus on your original post: you are largely correct. I demur mainly in your conceit over the production decision which you believe was misguided. As I saw it, much of the time spent was shooting a particular fish in a very small puddle.

Dimbleby came close to being the best Griffin interviewer yet.

Straw's first effort was definitely poor. His jerky and verbose delivery is not the best one for these occasions. Both women panellists were superb: whoever put up Sayeed Warsi for the Tories deserves congratulations.

I doubt that this was a big ticket item in Dagenham, Blackburn or Burnley.

One last thing: why are Griffin & co. allowed to get away with their conflation of all "non-ethnics" and "English"? It's either a historical solecism, or Griffin knows more about the history of these islands c.AD410-900 than any other expert.

The Grim Reaper said...

Well, that was a complete anti-climax. Any chance of the left-wing blogs - yes, I'm thinking of you, Sunny Hundal - now admitting they blew this all out of proportion? There's more chance of the Pope becoming a Muslim.

Griffin did very badly, all in all. And if you come across badly when you're up against someone of such a low calibre as Jack Straw, you truly are stuffed.

Isn't it time that you appeared on Question Time, Iain?

David Lindsay said...

If the BNP wants votes here in the former mining areas, then it will stop identifying with Churchill. But it won’t.

In the Thirties, there were two British threats to constitutionality and, via Britain’s role in the world, to international stability. One came from an unreliable, opportunistic, highly affected and contrived, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, Eurofederalist demagogue who admired Mussolini, heaped praise on Hitler, had no need to work for a living, had an overwhelming sense of his own entitlement, profoundly hated democracy, and had a callous disregard for the lives of the lower orders and the lesser breeds. So did the other one. Far more than background united Churchill and Mosley.

In Great Contemporaries, published in 1937, two years after he had called Hitler’s achievements “among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world”, Churchill wrote that: “Those who have met Herr Hitler face to face in public business or on social terms have found a highly competent, cool, well-informed, functionary with an agreeable manner, a disarming smile, and few have been unaffected by a subtle personal magnetism.” That passage was not removed from the book’s reprint in 1941. In May 1940, Churchill had been all ready to give Gibraltar, Malta, Suez, Somaliland, Kenya and Uganda to Mussolini.

Churchill’s dedicated Zionism was precisely that of the BNP: he did not regard the Jews as British, so he wanted them to go away. The anti-British terrorists who went on to found the State of Israel agreed with him, very nearly coming to an understanding whereby Hitler would have expelled the Jews by sending them to British Palestine, which he and the Zionists would have conquered together for the purpose.

All sorts of things about Churchill are simply ignored. Gallipoli. The miners. The Suffragettes. The refusal to bomb the railway lines to Auschwitz. His dishonest and self-serving memoirs. Both the fact and the sheer scale of his 1945 defeat while the War in the Far East was still going on, when Labour won half of his newly divided seat, and an Independent did very well against him in the other half after Labour and the Liberals had disgracefully refused to field candidates against him. His deselection by his local Conservative Association just before he died. And not least, his carve-up of Eastern Europe with Stalin, so very reminiscent of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

But we have not forgotten the truth about him in the old pit communities. Nor have they in the places that he signed away to Stalin, including the country for whose freedom the War was fought, making it a failure in its own terms. The anti-Semitism and the general racism, the brutality and the contempt for democracy, the admiration for Mussolini and especially for Hitler, are omitted from accounts of those who agitated for war in the Thirties, but heavily emphasised, sometimes to point of fabrication, in accounts of those who pleaded for peace.

If you leave aside Churchill and Mosley, then both sides wished to harness the full capacity of the State to correct the root and branch injustice of capitalism in itself, in order to conserve national sovereignty and traditional values, and in order to prevent a Communist revolution; that was the position of all three British parties at the time, and the reason why certainly Labour, and arguably also the modern Conservative Party, had been set up in the first place. But one side also wished, for exactly the same reasons, to prevent another war in Europe, or in countries beyond Europe to stay out of any such war. The contemporary resonances of both aspects could not be more obvious. Those who held to both, across or astride the political spectrum, deserve to be reassessed.

As, far less sympathetically, does Churchill. The BNP is as welcome to him as it is to Mosley.

Anonymous said...

I watched this and was disgusted at the way Griffin was treated by all the panel and the presenter. I am of mixed race so no supporter of the BNP but came across as grossly unfair. The audience seemed to be packed too. He was barely allowed to complete an answer, I don't think I would be too great confronted with such unthinking hostility. Why not just put him in the stocks and throw things because that's all Q Time was tonight, it was a waste of time watching it.

Rebel Saint said...

Think I'll still vote BNP next GE.

Seems like the main argument the other parties were presenting against the BNP is that they are a bunch of slimeballs who don't really tell you their true intentions but try and put a positive spin on their real intentions!

And they kept a straight face while saying it!!

Nick was a bit like a rabbit in the headlights.

Neil A said...

What amazed me was Griffin's rank ignorance on the fairly simple (and you would think, rather central to his party's philosophy) subject of the "indigenous people" of Britain.

Britain's indigenous people were the Britons. They were invaded and overcome by the Celts (leaving only the Picts in Northern Scotland). The Celts were invaded by the Romans, then the Angles, Saxons and norse, who were in turn invaded by the Normans. All of this took place over the past 2500 years (not the past 17,000 years - what were they on about!). I thought most Englishmen were familiar with this basic sequence. Griffin was allowed to use the words "indegenous" when he meant "white". Only Greer tried to educate him, and fluffed it by going waaay too far back (Ice Age ffs??)

The point being that what Griffin and the BNP see as "Britishness" is the product of centuries of blending and is a moving target. There is no doubt, empirically, that the Britain of the future will be a generally non-white place. But it will still be Britain. No doubt, the coffee-coloured, much-hybridised British nationalists of the far future will be just as anxious to keep out immigrants as the current crop are.

Paul Pinfield said...

Iain, much as it pains me to say, I think Griffin accomplished exactly what he set out to this evening. I would guess that this will have been the highest QT viewing figures for a good many years, and Griffin spoke to the disaffected.

The BBC screwed the show by allowing it to degenerate into a Griffin baiting exercise. There will be many disaffected people across the country who secretly felt sorry for him.

Griffin knew exactly what was going to happen, and he played the game to get his message to his target audience.

Tonight's program was shambolic, and raised the profile of Griffin to a new level...

Norton Folgate said...

Griffin was on the recieving end of a deliberate concerted televised mugging of the like never dished out to any other political party leader.

It couldn't have looked more staged and biased against him from the outset.

He certainly didn't finish covered in glory but he did look like the bullied victim of an organised attack and as has been said many times previously that plays straight into his hands.

Quietzapple said...

The viewing figures for QT will include many who didn't watch, but hold the opinions of the Dully Mail & etc.

Don't believe ourselves . . .

(well . . not me obviously . . . . )

Maria said...

Horrid to see that self-serving and anti-English "Brit" Jack Straw on there - not as bad as seeing Griffin, but two wrongs don't make a right. I well remember Mr Straw's demonising of the "English" on BBC Radio 4 at the start of the decade:

"Home Secretary Jack Straw described the English as having a 'propensity to violence'.

Mr Straw claim that the English had used violence to 'subjugate' their neighbours comes in a BBC documentary to be broadcast tonight."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/597126.stm

Griffin and Straw - two bigoted slimeballs in the one programme. I didn't want any supper afterwards.

tapestry said...

I agree with your assessment, iain.

The BNP are the little guys who claim they are never listened to. The BBC have just confirmed the depth of the determination not only not to listen, but to demonise. Very stupid strategy.

Griffin has good points mixed up with major nonsense. it needs unravelling, to reduce the threat, not to be tied up into an even greater knot.

The BBC Overreacts To The BNP

A bit like Labour overreacting to Kaminski. The smell of a manic season of pre-election witch hunting is upon us.

The signature of the Gordon Brown era?

tapestry said...

Neil A.

Long term skin colour adjusts to climate, I would have thought.

Steve said...

Neil A, you make some good points about the history of the peoples living on these islands, but it does not detract from the fact that we do have a distinct culture, and way of life, in this country. It is not dependent on the colour of your skin, but it is depedent on the nature of your views and beliefs.

I think shying away from this issue, or trying to paint it as some kind of racial matter, is where the BNP and the mainstream parties all fail.

Continuing tension amongst the population is the only trend for the future, while we ignore the fact that people are living their lives independently from, and with little in common with each other.

Junius said...

I disagree that he bombed out Iain - I think this has been a spectacular own goal for the main stream parties and especially for the BBC.

I am no great lover of some of the BNP policies, but you cannot believe that the rest of England - those who are suffering directly the influx of unrestrained immigration, those who are bearing the brunt of intransigent Islam - will not see this as an attempt to shut up the only person/party who is taking those concerns seriously.

I thought that he looked quite smug when he sat back and watched the rest of the parties just tie themselves up in knots over immigration.

No I am sorry - but I think English fair play will be with Griffin on this, and I expect a boost to the BNP popularity - when will they learn that this kind of thing will only backfire.

CelticHammer said...

As an Irishman I was insulted that Nick Griffin counted us as part of his greater British community when it was he and those like him who treated the Irish so badly for decades.
This isnt some swipe at British people, I have spent a lot of time in the UK and worked with a lot of British people and the very small number issues I had were with bigoted narrow minded morons just like Mr Griffin.
Personally I feel that to give these people an airtime is a mistake. While he may have discredited himself with a large percentage of viewers these are people who were never likely to vote for someone like him in the first place and all that happened was their dislike of him was increased. However there will have been some people watching because of the media hype who will now identify with him in part because of how biased the panel was against him. I know it is very difficult to not to be biased against someone who effuses such racist and extremist views but those on the panel should have attacked his arguments with facts rather than trying to fight rhetoric with rhetoric.
Iain is right when he says the show should have been focused on topical matters if for no other reason than to show that the BNP has no genuine alternative for important matters that can not easily be blamed on minorities. Given the ineptitude he displayed on what are supposed to be key parts of BNP policies it would not have taken much to show him for the shallow, one tracked rabble rouser that he is.
Questions on the NHS, education standards, climate, the economy and other matters would have shown that even for those disillusioned and disaffected the BNP offer no reasonable alternative for the countries problems.
If you are willing to give the likes of Mr Griffin quality airtime then it is very hard to refuse it to other extremists. Personally I believe that these people hide too easily behind the veil of free speech. In my opinion an individual should be allowed to only express a point of view or opinion that they can back up with solid facts and not simply be allowed spout whatever distasteful views they wish solely on the grounds of free speech. He can not be afforded this privilege and then have it denied to those like Abu Hamza who's racist opinions vary only in point of view.
Without an express condemnation of any and all racist, xenophobic or homophobic views and a complete distancing of his party from right wing thugs and fascists (hard to do when the BNP are composed of them) he has no entitlement to free speech and certainly none to an hour long prime time televised soapbox or the benefit of the publicity it gives him. Even though he was roundly beaten on all points he can simply fan the flames of hatred by claiming he was victimised by a biased panel. This excuses his shambolic performance and continues to give his publicity. Publicity is the oxygen of the extremist fire. Take it away and he will be back speaking in upstairs rooms in dingy pubs to a few dozen fascist thugs.

Andy JS said...

Sadly, having read a lot of intelligent comments on a variety of blogs, I'm starting to think the show has been a disaster (from the point of view of most of us who are anti-BNP). I think it may have polarised opinion, with people who hate the BNP just having that views confirmed; but with the sort of voters the BNP usually appeals to continuing to believe that it's them versus the London-based, liberal, metropolitan elite.

Bath plugs for the many, not the few said...

The last time I saw something like this was in the school playground, when a small boy whom nobody liked was surrounded by other boys taking it in turns to bash him.

I didn't like this boy either, but something made me overcome my dislike, and my natural cowardice, to stand in front of him and take some of hits.

Yes, Griffin was hopeless much of the time. But who wouldn't have struggled in front of such a baying crowd, with a hostile panel and a prejudiced chairman?

It was a stupid idea to make the whole programme about the BNP; the standard of debate was generally dire (mainly point-scoring) and the patronising and sneering Bonnie Greer was especially distasteful.

At a guess, I'd say that Griffin's performance towards the end, when he was allowed to make some of his own points, may well have resonated with his existing and potential supporters. It could be that he'll have the last laugh.

Ron Todd said...

Jack Straw always comes across as slippery. I never understood how anybody could have ever considered him as a labour leader.

Not that Alan Johnson is much better

cassandra said...

It was a show trial in nature and execution, the audience was rigged perfectly, can you imagine the pressure on Mr Griffin? Who among us wouldnt be nervous when placed in that show trial enviroment?
The political establishment got their show trial and the MSM got their ammunition, the rent a rabble mob got their five minutes of fame, it is a tragedy that our democracy has sunk to the level of the gutter, I am ashamed of what our country has degenerated into when the rent a mob rabble has been used to try and destroy a democratically elected party.
Last night was not a mature democracy in action it was a shameful charade, a sad banana republic style show trial set up by a crooked establishment, look how our national life has degenerated into the gutter! Only a century ago the UK was a beacon of democracy in a savage world, we ruled the biggest empire the world had seen, now look at us and weep!

realist said...

Unfortunately people like Straw loose a great deal of credibility in their attacks on Nick Griffin due to their own hypocracy. Only a couple of months ago Straw was happy to say very little when the convicted Lockerbie bomber was sent home, says even less about Gary Mckinnon, seems to completely ignore Labour's record on uncontrolled immigration. The list is endless. I, in no way share the views of Nick Griffin but the unfortunate point is that I can see from many of the directions he is coming from.

Until the mainstream parties start getting real about the amount of people arriving daily in this country, many of us feel that we have no voice from the bottom of the pile.

Too much liberalism can be just as bad as too much far right. we are sleepwalking to disaster and the political class will only have itself to blame the way things are going.

TomTom said...

One of Guido's posters say the audience was given £30 a head and recruited students in West London. Is that so ?

Funny noone in that audience thought Straw was wrong to oppose limiting immigration to limit population growth.....hardly representative of mainstream opinion.

Where did the audience come from ?

Anonymous said...

As someone has written in the comments, frankly it doesn't matter what I or any other middle class person thought of Griffin's performance. It matters what the people of Dagenham, Blackburn and Burnley thought.

Simple.
The people of Dagenham, Blackburn and Burnley don't watch Question Time.
Being as how they aren't middle class, like ...

Al said...

Straw was appalling; he nearly sent me to sleep every time he opened his mouth. This is worrying since it's Lab vs BNP for votes in many areas.

Huhne started good but in typical "Liberal" Democrat style started being highly illiberal towards immigration towards the end.

Warsi was good until caught out on the homosexuality stuff.

Greer was just excellent. Unsurprisingly it was the non-politician who came over best.

Sinbad the sailor said...

I've come to the conclusion that the viewers/pundits/reviewers will have seen what they WANTED to see on this weeks Question Time and what actually occurred is irrelevent.

strapworld said...

"He was nervous, trembling, acting with exaggerated gestures, grinning at inappropriate moments and at times incoherent"

Of course, Iain, faced with a baying mob outside calling for you to be placed on top of a bonfire! faced with a partial and hostile chairman(who was a disgrace) faced with four other members of the panel who were hostile faced with a handpicked audience with far too many young people and very few oldies, like me, YOU would be on top of your game!

This was bullying in the extreme, mob rule and the only thing missing was a lynch mob!

Andrew Neil correctly described it as a Bear Pit!
Dimbelby will be expected to be as hostile to all parliamentarians from now on or he should resign. What an utterly inept chairman!

I doubt, though, that this will do his party's electoral chances any harm whatsoever in Dagenham,The North etc.

Many people will have watched that and realised it was designed by the liberal left to attempt to kill off the BNP. It failed.

joe r said...

I didn't think Griffin did very well.

However, the program was disgraceful. The Chairman, the Panel, and the audience were stacked against him. The normal rules of QT were suspended.

Speeches were allowed from the audience. Panelists, particularly Straw were allowed to ignore the question at hand, and continue with diatribes against Griffin.

I thought that Griffin made a good point when discussing anti islamic sentiment, when he said that it was Straw's hands, not his, which were covered in the blood of nearly a million muslims.

I fear that Dimbleby has surrendered his reputation for fairness, and for nothing gained.

repossessed house investor said...

It’s sad to say but I really feel that if the B&P spend some money on PR and got themselves a new handsome charismatic leader with charm and personality then they would do very well in politics.

Look what a new set of teeth and a lovely smile have done for Gordon!!

I watched the show during a lock in at the local pub and most of the drinkers present were sympathetic to Old Nick. They are not politic savvy just ordinary drunks who have a vote, the fact that Straw is still a trot and his father went to jail rather than fight the Boch went down really badly and I mean badly!
The main parties should see this as a wake up call and get to grips with immigration, that’s what the general public see as a priority.

Anonymous said...

All the BBC did last night was to strengthen the hand of the BNP in places that it will soon be able to call its' heartland. To have everyone on the panel so hostile against Griffin backed up by inarticulte, so called minorities, attacking him from the audience did nothing but play into the hands of the BNP who prey on the less educated and who will use the programme to drum up even more support in the urban areas of the country. Very, very badly done.

True Belle said...

Hectoring and horrid, and that was not just Huhn!

Is it true that Jack Straws father was a concientious objector during WW2? Straw made HUGE capital out of the fact that he came from a long line of European immigrants.

Who are the BBC serving, Hackney?

trevorsden said...

Your update is the important point. A 'lets all kick the BNP' session is all very well but BNP fellow travellers and people inclined that way will not be bothered about that.

If the LibDems can get a poll bounce from a disastrous conference then this TV exposure will be met and drink to the BNP.

There was no justification for the BBC to invite him, the EU pointless elections were a meaningless yardstick.

The failings of islam is not the point - they should be countered with sanity and logic not racism.

Richard said...

Question Time was like a microcosm of how this country is run with Griffin as the ordinary man being hectored, bullied and assaulted by all three political parties and the BBC joining in to kick him when he's down.

Just like our society, anyone who objects to the "wisdom" of the main three corrupt political parties is harassed and punished with no mercy shown. Any smoker, eater of junk food, drinker, driver of a 4x4 or non conformist of any hue will have recognised the treatment that was meted out to Griffin and sympathised with him.

Anonymous said...

Iain, exactly how many putative BNP voters in Blackburn or Dagenham do you think watch Question Time? Few to zero. This placing of exalted status on this smug, life-expired programme - which no-one outside the political classes watches and everyone within them concedes is a joke - and the BNPs appearance on it was one of many mistakes the anti-fascist fascists and bien-pensants ("I'm only concerned with/looking concerned" - The Teardrop Explodes) have made at every turn of this episode.

strapworld said...

Neil A has an important point but that was changed last evening by the Deputy Chairman of the British Museum, an American by the way, who told us her politically correct version of our multi racial nationality. That Churchill was a red indian and that the romans left behind hoardes of balck and asians, so we are truly a nation of 'Heinz 57 varieties'

But I could not understand the observation from a black audience member who demanded that she be addressed as an African Caribbean......why not simply British?

You see, Norman Tebbit did have something when he asked which cricket team one supported! I support the Welsh!

trevorsden said...

PS - maybe he did, but a better politician than Griffin might have mentioned the decision to have permanently armed police patrols in part of London --- "The unit will will target key areas in North London, where Turkish gangs are engaged in a bloody turf war" (The Times).

These are the serious issues that QT should be discussing without the 3 ring circus distraction of Griffin. But perhaps these are the issues the BBC wants to hide ??

Anonymous said...

Griffin's performance was abysmal, incoherent, rabbits in the headlights. I doubt part of his pre-game strategy was to defend Holocaust denial and the KKK.

The problem is that he did so badly that he can present it as an establishment gang-up. The reality is that the opponents of the BNP didn't need to mug Griffen he did that to himself.

Newmania said...

I thought he did as well as could be expected .The open goals were duly savoured ie on the bizarre cocktail of semi digested rubbish eugenics and the history of the far right in the UK.
One point is this though. The subject of immigration which prior to the economy bombing had been the no. 1 concern of the people was aired with some honesty . Why does it take the BNP to start the conversation , this is a question the BBC and established Parties should answer.
My suspicion is that the BBC and Liberal elite are entirely comfortable with the BNP who undermine the case for the English people based on memory allegiance and shared experience .
I thought for Chris Huhne to turn up and try to play catch up on immigration was disgraceful. I do not agree with his Liberal internationalist ideals but for him to edge towards the BNP is even worse

Houdini said...

You were obviously watching a different programme than me and everyone else discussing it live on Biased BBC.

Pity you are waffling as much as Varzi, Straw and Huhne.

vervet said...

This was 'bear-baiting' on TV ... a typically stupid mistake by the BBC. Any respect previously commanded by this programme and its presenter was sacrificed for the sake of pandering to supposed popular opinion. As others have commented, this will have caused a significant minority to side with Griffin.

David said...

That Bonnie Greer (who?) seem to think that it is up to her to decide who is “British” will have confirmed the suspicion held many of the white working class that they are second class citizens in their own country. Griffin did not do well, but the bullying, patronisng, elitist arrogance of his opponents will have won the beeNpee votes.

Andrew Lloyd said...

I agree with this. I have never been a fan of Jack Straw and I say that as a Labour voter. Sayeeda Warsi was spot on with the point about being honest in admitting that there were people with grievances that feel abandoned by the mainstream. Those people need to feel listened to because the answers that the BNP offer them are divisive and ugly and the mainstream parties need to all raise their game.

Anonymous said...

I thought Straw was ridiculous last night - he was virtually hysterical. Then again, he would be, wouldn't he? It is, after all, the entrenched policies of the Left that have given rise to the BNP.

essex75 said...

Sorry Iain I think you are wrong, Nick Griffin did reasonably well against a totally biased audience, Dimbleby was a dreadful biased chairman, Straw and Huhne were useless, the Baroness showed why she hasn't got anywhere in politics via the voting public, the only surprise was Greer who wasn't quite as bad as I expected.

Anonymous said...

Thought Griffin displayed great dignity in the face of all the blatant bullying - obviously a stitch-up and a hand-picked audience by the BBC.

Seemingly there are no white women left in the country that we had to have a muslim and an american on the panel.

And no I am not from Burnley or Dagenham...

Brian E. said...

In view of the odds that were stacked against him, I didn't think he did too badly. It was entirely one sided, everyone asked questions about him, but he could not respond in kind. Sayeeda Warsi was able to question his views, but couldn't question her and didn't get any response to his points about Islam.
I think the British generally have a sense of fair play and can recognise a stitch-up when they see one, and the fact that everyone ignored his points about Islam will gain him increased support in the very areas where the original population feel they are being sidelined.

Anonymous said...

So whites are not indigenous to Britain according to Greer, and perhaps not even to Europe.

Do we even exist any more?

Lord Snooty said...

"We should have heard about the bullying manner of Ed Balls."

What planet are you on, Iain? Do you have any idea what most of the public actually care about?

You're also wrong, I think, about Griffin's performance. He seemed to achieve exactly what he set out to - massive publicity for his party and confirmation of the left-liberal conspiracy of the media and political elite against his party's views.

The Lincoln Imp said...

So were all agreed then, Griffin is the 'official' anti-politics candidate.

Thats what it looked like to me.

Anonymous said...

the whole episode has been a complete farce, it was inevitable that the BBC would load up the audience against Griffen. This merely served up an image of Griffen being bullied by an angry crowd.

They should have had a representative audience and a proper debate on a range of issues

The problem isnt Nick Griffen and the BNP the problem is that what they say resonates with some voters and mainstream parties are not addressing the issues. Until they do the BNP will continue to grow.
Having middle class intellectuals effectively telling voters off and lecturing them for supporting the BNP is counter productive.

Tom said...

Iain, I hope you'llbe using your contacts within the conservative party to find out more about Baroness Warsi's views on homsexuality. She looked distinctly uncomfortable when the debate turned towards civil partnership. Those of us who remember her unsuccessful campaign in Dewsbury will know why. Her views on homosexuality are probably very similar to Nick Griffin's...

Notts Al said...

Griffin consistently allows himself to be side-tracked into a debate about ethnic origin rather than cultural heritage. He may never be able to recover from his antecedents, but someone will soon- and very quickly win a lot of votes.

Ethnicity aside, it cannot be argued that a multi-cultural approach to society will not dilute the cultural heritage of a nation. That is why the "British" are so uncomfortable. Britain's position in the World was defined by it's culture and it's heritage and so was the persona of the individuals who made up the nation. Most people who came to this Country after the war and until quite recently wanted to assimilate into that culture, because of what it was, not what they might make it differently become.

But that has changed. We are now a very different society, where our traditional culture has all but been destroyed.

Few indigenous or immigrant individuals have any feeling whatsoever now for tradition and the values which used to be so clear. No wonder then that so many people in this Country now feel so disenfranchised. No-one now is getting what they thought they signed up to.

This has nothing to do with race.

It has everything to do with unbridled immigration. If Griffin or anyone else masters the trick of representing this presntation without being shot-down by the PC brigade, watch out for a new force in politics.

Once the smoke and mirrors of multi-culturism is illuminated and everybody begins to think in terms of one-nation, core values will be the rallying flag. We hear many politicians talk the talk, we see none of them walk the walk- yet.

Glyn H said...

On Today this morning Griffin was again traduced; it was stated he said homosexuality was creepy. He did not; he said two men kissing was creepy. It was said he stated that the KKK was non-violent. He did not. He said that the man with whom he shared a platform, was non-violent.

Dimbleby as ever was partisan. The audience was obviously very biased against him. I am no BNP supporter. I don’t like authoritarianism in any stripe but the weight of abuse against a man who seeks to stay the tide of destruction of this country by mass immigration, muslin supremacism and the anti-democratic (not to say totalitarian) EU is eye opening to those of us who hold with freedom of speech. Personally I think Straw, to take one example is one of the most devious politicians of our age, except perhaps Hain, but that does not undermine their right to speak or hold office. What Brown and Heath did to this country is all but criminal; but Brown won’t go to the gallows or The Hague like any old African or Serbian dictator – and slagging Griffin into the ground by bien pensents like Greer leads to retribution when one is not longer in power. Not so liberal after all are these pontificators to the crowds?

Constantly Furious said...

I've got the full transcript, here. Makes interesting reading. ;-)

John Moss said...

I'm afraid this turned in to Question Time about the BNP, rather than with the BNP.

I wanted to know where they stood on the debt mountain, would they cut spending or raise taxes? I wanted to know whether they were economic liberal or socialists and where they stood on ID cards and the postal strike.

I already know they are homophobic and racist as do most people who watched and took part. I wanted their basic politics of jack-boot authoritarian socialism to be exposed, not what we already knew to be re-stated.

Anonymous said...

At 11.00 p.m., I had to stop watching QT when it became obvious that all questions were going to be about the BNP and the presumed impartial Chairman started to interrogate Nick Griffin. The programme became the equivalent of a bear baiting event.

I do not like Nick Griffin and would never even consider voting BNP, but just could not continue to watch.

JMB said...

I suppose that if they had "normal" questions, i.e. not about the BNP, then they would be accused of giving Griffin an easy time.

The audience was remarkably well behaved, I was expecting someone to try and disrupt the programme - I presume there was nothing like that edited out?

Infoholic UK said...

Unfortunately, I think Brillo hit the nail on the head - BBC's Have Your Say overwhelmingly backing this up at present.

Anonymous said...

Griffin won.

Dimblesmug used public money to stage a show trial with himself, four other panellists, and an obviously picked-for-the-job audience as accusers and would-be judges but they still lost.

They were obviously outraged that there should be any English people in England at all. Every time the liblabcons open their mouths the noose tightens around their neck.

They showed that they are so scared of the truth that they had to shout down anyone disagreeing with them. For the most part NG was not allowed to complete a sentence. When he did get a chance he wiped the floor with them.

The working class will continue to be repulsed by these middle class parasites. NuLab goes at the next election and it will never be coming back. The rest of them go in the next period of time, including Al-beeba.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

I don't vote BNP, nor will I ever but Griffin the Underdog will score highly in the polls following this BBC/media QT shambles.

Apparently, next weeks panel will include the disgraced former Home Secretary Smith.

I wonder whether or not next weeks audience will be allowed to barrack Jacqui Smith as much as they were allowed to get to Griffin.

I wonder whether there will be any protest - rightful protest, in my view - outside the BBC about a woman who owes us £116,000?

I wonder if it will be the Jacqui Smith QT Show, as last night was clearly the Nick Griffin QT show?

Answers on a postcard.....

Anonymous said...

Actually,it showed how much Straw is out of his depth - another example of total mediocrity.

Griffin is no threat to this country - the threat lies with Brown and his thugs - ruining this country every day of every week and another 7 months to go.

Anonymous said...

I vote bnp an proud to say i do. Infront of an anti bnp selected audience that wer out to ridicule him he handled himself well an will get more votes. They are not a racist party.

Anonymous said...

One of the traits of us indigenous English proles is to feel sorry for the lame duck and all the BBC managed to do last night was to paint NG as the underdog. Yes he did grin inanely at all the wrong times but what would you have done when being attacked by everyone in the room in front of millions of viewers?

He wasn't allowed to answer a question without being interrupted constantly (which my mother taught me was the height of rudeness) and he didn't have a script like Jack, no-one knew what the questions were going to be? yea right!!

And that last question he wasn't quick enough.. When asked if QT was a xmas prezzie for BNP he should have said NO it was for Jack though, as guess what he tried to sneak in this week in the C&J Bill while the media were obsessing over my appearance on here.

I have no allegience to any party at the present time, none of them seem to care about the working class, but if the BNP can scare them enough so that they reconnect with us then they will have served a purpose.

Anonymous said...

Wether i agree with their bias or not, the BBC is clearly biased, the show was a complete setup.

The thing about the BBC and BNP, is that only one of them forces me to pay them money.

trevorsden said...

We are still in recession folks.

The ONS has just kicked Brown in the nuts.

True Belle said...

Why do my blue eyes make me feel guilty now?

Will I be shunned as an indigenous rare species of English countryside origin?

Patrick said...

The programme was a complete shambles.

The program format appeared to be abandoned.

At the very least the chairman should have been impartial.

I had to turn it off; it was so awful.

Anonymous said...

Anecdotally, from someone flirting with the idea of voting BNP this morning:

"Griffin was a pathetic little man but he'll never get elected so what does it matter. At least he went into the lion's den. All the politicians were lying and they're more polished performers. He'd be no worse than Gordon Brown, people defend Gordon Brown. Why was it in multi-ethnic London? They're all immigrants on the panel defending their own, not dealing with the issues."

DocRichard said...

BBC news carried a flag saying Griffin: "I am not a Nazi". In fact he is a Nazi. http://bit.ly/2k211a

Unsworth said...

And the realpolitik is this: The BNP now has a higher profile than it did before QT. That was the prime object of the exercise for Griffin.

The BNP is not (yet) aiming to recruit from the intelligensia or the middle classes. For the BNP's target audience Griffin's performance last night is not the issue. If anything he'll be seen by them as the victim, worthy of sympathy.

So his protagonists should now rethink their entire approach. They have misunderstood the game plan.

Bardirect said...

In the clearer light of day even the BBC's comments thread http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?forumID=7145&edition=1&ttl=20091023105409 seems to be critivcal of the programme for the anti Griffin bullying.

Anonymous said...

It turned out to be a storm in teacup. As expected Griffin had nothing to say and it is unlikely that he will have picked up any support on this outting, probably the opposite. To my mind the biggest loser was Jack Straw who appeared more nervous and fumbled his replies. He inspired no confidence in the current regime and this just played into the hands of the BNP. Warsi was good but an ethnically Asian Baroness is unlikely to find a great deal of common ground with the man on the street - or more likely on benefits in areas witnessing high immigration!

Anonymous said...

"He was nervous, trembling, acting with exaggerated gestures, grinning at inappropriate moments and at times incoherent"

You are presumably referring to Jack Straw?

Anonymous said...

@Bardirect
Yet, Warsi never rebutted his assertion that Islam discriminates against women.

How could she rebut it?
It happens to be true both in their book and in practice around the world.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the BNP has been part of the news this week so it wasn't surprising it was going to dominate. The BBC would have been wiser to have not announced the week in which Nick Griffin was going to be on. This would have allowed for a normal audience and a normal location. I hope that in future they either keep his presence unknown or at least announce it after they have the audience booked.

Last night was boring to say the least. The audience was non-represetative of the country, London perhaps but not the 50 million rest of us who are slightly more easy going with differences of opinions, so it wold seem. The odds were stacked against Griffin, not that I support him, but last night was not a debate so much as a slagging match.

I don't believe he articulated himself well by any means but nor was he really given the opportunity. What last night did illustrate was a certain amount of bigotry from the Left, in the form of having no tolerance whatsoever for those who foster more traditional views supremely exampled by the condemnation Griffin received after daring to voice opposition to seeing men kissing in public. Like it or not, the world I live in at least (and it's not as small as you might wish it to be) public displays of homosexuality do not sit well with people. You don't have to be a homophobic to take this view so I was appalled by the condescending tone the audience happily displayed. They baited Griffin and thought they put him on the spot, I believe instead they've actually highlighted a clear divide in society which the liberal half are willing to live in denial about.

If any good comes from the BNP's presence it will be that the main three parties will acknowledge that they are leaving a sizable amount of the country behind when they take 'modern views' on acceptability be it, immigration or whatever. I would like to think that we will now find a new centre ground as the current status seems to have been shown to rest squarely on the left.

S

Anonymous said...

Point of correction Mr Dale:- It is Barking not Dagenham where the BNP popularity lies. In Dagenham they have man of the people Cruddas representing them so the BNP vote is not as strong there while in Barking they have New Labour opera-loving luuvie Margarat Hodge so understandably the BNP do quite well there. Diane Abbot on This Week seemed to also forget about Barking pretty much saying the BNP was a non-existent problem in London and it was only a Northern thing.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what made straw mention the laws about holocaust denial in other countries?
This is the UK, it isn't yet (though labour have being working their way their in many areas) illegal to have dissenting views (and to voice them, though saying anything nasty about muslims is a no no even quoting the koran) on anything; let alone historical facts and their interpretation.

It is a shame that straw wasn't hauled over the coals on illegal immigration and those not deported even after being denied asylum.

Too many marginal labour seats with large muslim populations.

Twig said...

"Bombed" Iain? - Not really, but there is an anagram of that word which could describe what happened last night.

There's little point in asking him questions if he's not allowed to finish his answers.

He must have felt a bit like you did Iain when you were interviewed by George Galloway on Play Radio, and he kept turning your mike off halfway through your answers.

As they say, more heat than light.

I notice the BBC already twisting what he said on the Toady program this morning. What a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

I can't claim to be working class, but I am from Derbyshire! Why was this pantomime version of QT run from London? So the BBC could truly be certain of a reliable lefty metropolitan and spotty baying mob.
From where I stand it looked like a pathetic own goal from a load of townies.
Why wasn't it run from somewhere up here away from the politically myopic cosy world of central London?

Anonymous said...

Why on earth do you give Lembit O'Grope-it even a modicum of credibility? Political pygmies don't come much smaller or sleezier than this MP for Hello.
Yes, Griffin should have been on the programme. No, the BBC did not handle it well. Where were the politics?

John K said...

Iain

Your post and the 100 plus comments demonstrate the truth of the old Paul Simon song:

"A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest".

As far as I can judge from their conclusions, no two of your commentators were actually watching the same programme. There must have been thousands of different programmes being beamed into houses all around the country.

So whether Griffin made any sense (he didn't - 17,000 years of the English!!) is beside the point. Griffin wasn't speaking to us, he was speaking to the sort of people who might vote for him.

Simples!

ps Jack Straw was disastrous. How anyone can take anything he says seriously is beyond me. He makes me cringe. I suspect the BNP will do well in Blackburn!

Hay said...

On reflection I would say that Jack straw came out of this worst of all.

Any hope he may have had of being PM are now dashed.

Paddy Briggs said...

"... frankly it doesn't matter what I or any other middle class person thought of Griffin's performance. It matters what the people of Dagenham, Blackburn and Burnley thought"

Iain

What a staggeringly prejudiced remark!

(1) Are there no middle class people in these three towns?

(2) Are there no potential BNP supporters in the leafy shires? Some of the most racist/sexist/homophobic/islamaphobic remarks I have ever heard have been in the 19th hole bars of home counties golf clubs!

(3) Griffin himself is a Cambridge graduate. David Irving went to Imperial College. Enoch Powell to Cambridge. There are plenty of people around from middle class backgrounds who make common ground with the BNP - and they are doubly dangerous.

Devis said...

Thank you for this article

John Woodman said...

I didn't watch the programme: it was just a publicity stunt for Qurstion Time,and all the associated comment made that aspect worse.

But the (mainly middle class) comments I've heard from people who did see it suggested a wide degree of sympathy for Griffin: the focus of questioning on the BNP, the carefully picked negative audience and the ganging up by the rest of the panel, all representatives of a widely disliked establishment, clearly did the BNP a lot of good.

So all round, badly handled by the BBC. They shouldn't have done it as a publicity led matter.

Stu said...

Nothing has changed, those that see the BNP as the only alternative to failed Labour (and Tory) policies won't have been watching and if they were their problems remain.

The parties have no policies that address these electors concerns, politicians like Margaret Hodge, who to her credit have spotted the problem, only talk about listening, no new policy, not even a famous NewLab "review".

BNP activists will be out and about not even blinking about Griffins media weaknesses.

So, come on Cameron, what will YOU do?

Dave W said...

Sticking to normal sunbjects would not have allowed him to present himself as "just a normal politician2

This goes to the heart oft he problem -the widespread ignorance as demonstrated last night about Facism/Nazisims.

Too easily the issues of immigration/religious debate//racism and facism were blurred together.

If Griffin is a Nazi, then he will have a particular approach to econmics, social welfare, law and order, health care, education etc.

Those views are wrong and Conservatives should be able to articulate (but that would have allowed a good conservative to differentiate thmeselves from Lib Dems and New Labour too).

Anonymous said...

Did I hear Jack Straw on TV offering to suspend the Law and allow Griffn free speech over the Holocaust? can Jack actually do this?

And why haven't we the right of free speech anyway?

Dave W said...

Additionally -the attacks were so obvious that you could almost anticipate how a more articulate and charismatic person would have handled them

AG said...

It was like watching four telly tubbies wrestle a drunk

Anonymous said...

Since I can't think like a potential BNP supporter, the very sight of Griffin makes me queasy, I can't judge how much good or ill QT did him.

To state my interest, I am irremediably white English, but elements of Irish, French, German, Scots in my ancestry.

I'm not surprised the event turned into an hour of Griffin time, but I think it was a great shame there weren't more questions on policy beyond race issues. Many of the BNP's policies would hurt Britain economically. Others would resonate with people who aren't inherently racist, certainly wouldn't support repatriation of Britons, especially second or third generation, who happen not to have white skins (to where?!), but are worried about just how many immigrants Britain can absorb whatever their origin. Yet others on education should have been aired.

Even on the race issues nothing much came of it. Concern about radical Islamism isn't racist. Sayeeda Varsi made the very good point that extremists bring both Islam & Christianity into disrepute. Although she didn't address Griffin's point that women are subjugated under Islam. There wasn't enough attention paid to Griffin's opposition to inter-racial marriage... shades of one of the worst aspects of apartheid in South Africa.

Oh... and gays are creepy? I don't particularly like public exhibitions of homosexuality any more than I like public exhibitions of heterosexuality, I simply don't want to read about people's bedroom habits. Griffin should control his voyeurism.

But there was no chance to evaluate these issues, weigh up pros & cons and reach a decision. There was no real discussion, it was all slam bang, I did better than you! The audience was better than the panel: shifty Jack Straw, usual Chris Huhne thinking anyone who has an opinion differing from his own is sub-normal, Sayeeda Vasi refusing to address the position of women under Islam. Exception was Bonnie Greer... she was great!

I was rather shocked that David Dimbleby showed such a degree of antagonism. I understand his desire to show up what he finds unacceptable, but that isn't his job as Chairman.

Griffin is a nasty man, condemned as such out of his own mouth. But all in all I found it a bit of a non-event, and not at all satisfying.

neil craig said...

As Iain says 5 against 1 is not edifying. In particular it was obvious that the use of quotes from all sources was pre-planned. It may not be wrong of all the other guests to get together in advance to form a common strategy, though it doesn't reflect well on them, but it is certainly wrong of the officially impartial chairman to be part of a conspiracy against one guest.

Since Jack Straw was, in his youth a pro-communist "troublemaker acting with malice aforethought" (FO statement0 he would clearly have been equally open to having his youthful & embarassing opinions brought up but Mr Dimbleby, quite correctly, gas never devoted an entire programmme to that subject.

By any objective standards the Green party & its global warming lie supporters, who wish to destroy half our electricity supply & thus half our economy & have the state control every aspect of our lives, are far more fascist & dangerous than the BNP.

They have been on QT for years & never once have the BBC, undeniably a racist & genocide supporting organisation itself, ever orchestrated an attack on the Green fascists - quite the opposite.

Peter said...

For me the program left a lot of questions unanswered. The BBC now needs to follow up with a Panorama program examining the BNP including a 15 minute grilling of its leader by Paxman.

jojoko said...

I do not think that last night's panto (boo! hiss! shriek!) will change anyone's mind one way or the other. Iain is correct is saying they shouldn't have concentrated on the BNP but had a normal debate on the week's happenings. This would have exposed Griffin's incoherent thinking and lack of knowledge. I kept wondering when the eggs and tomatoes were going to be thrown.

Weygand said...

Although I agree that middle class voters are not the issue, only such people are likely to have watched the programme.

Nonetheless stacking the room is as abhorrent as stuffing ballot boxes.

It is disturbing that our liberal intelligentsia are so frightened of fighting on a level playing field and so willing to fudge the rules that they rightly insist others should follow.

Do they not realise that their behaviour will only have further alienated that part of the electorate they were trying to engage?

Far from undermining the BNP, I imagine that last night will only have given that party a boost.

Indeed the only thing likely to linger in the public memory is Griffins comparison of his father's war record with that of Straw's.

JM said...

Part 1:

At the heart of Griffin's odious policies lies a kernel of truth.
This kernel is that those of us whose families have lived in these islands for several generations are fed up of being made to feel guilty for who we are, our history and of seeing our way of life subjugated to immigrant cultures on the grounds that we have to show respect and are racist if we object. The fact is that we are a mongrel nation. People have been coming here and settling here for millenia. Mostly they are pleased to be here and seek to fit in. Multiculturalism has failed. That problem is manifest when one hears talk of different communities. As soon as you talk of different communities you create competing interests. We are a comparatively small land. We should seek to be a single community with a single language and culture. If you are a new arrival and do not want to talk our language and do not like our culture find a country more to your liking. Don't demand that we accommodate you; fit in with us!


JM
Nottingham

JM, Nottingham said...

JM Part 2
Immigration is a multifaceted problem. Like a 50 pence piece it has several faces. Because some of those faces are on opposite sides of the coin they appear to be contradictory. There is no simple solution. Immigration occurs for two principle reasons: genuine refugees (a tiny minority)and the majority who are economic migrants. Compared to most of the rest of the world we are fabulously rich - even the very poorest. Our welfare system puts a roof over your head and food on your table. People do not starve; they don't die of disease because we have the national health service. We have a universal education system. Most of the rest of the world does not this. Furthermore we make it available to everyone who is here. The rest of the world knows this. That is why it beats a path to our shores. That is why they do not stop at Calais. The French are far less accommodating. Equally British workers who chose to sit at home on welfare benefits should not complain about immigrants coming and taking their jobs. There are a lots of jobs that the British worker simply refuses to do. Most of those working in our fields and pack houses come from hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away. Good luck to them. Immigrants who can find work, support themselves and pay for their own accommodation are welcome. However, if they cannot do that do not expect us to support them when they arrive. If we want to stop the flow of immigration we have to announce that first generation migrants will not be provided with a house, an income from the state, access to our healthcare system, or access to our education system. Children born here will. They are British by birth. Their parents will not unless and until they can demonstrate, say, a 10 years record of tax and national insurance payments. Oh, and when you get here, you have to speak English. If you can't you won't be able to communicate with any organ of the state, which will no longer promote or condescend to your culture. If you don't like it find another country. A few further policies: 1.Those already here have to recognise that if they are out of work and a job is offered they take it whatever it is. If not there will be no more benefits. Don't complain of British jobs being taken by immigrants if you won't do the job yourself. 2. All education will be delivered in English. There is no hope of building an integrated and cohesive society unless we all speak the same language. 3. We will end the dishonesty about education and recognise that we are not all equally able to achieve the same if only we were all provided with the same opportunity. It does not matter what opportunity most of us are given, we will not be able to run 100 metres at the same speed as Usain Bolt. No one has a difficulty with this proposition. The same applies to intellectual attainment. We have different abilities. Education should be about identifying what you are good at and providing you with the opportunity to become very good at it. This requires some form of selection process. It is not a question of passing or failing. It is a question of identifying what your skills are so that we can then provide you with the best opportunity to maximise your abilities. This will require a massive investment in facilities. 4. Immigrants who come here and settle must give up their nationality and passport of origin, become British, speak English and carry a British passport. You will swear allegiance to our country and adopt our mores and values.

Victor, NW Kent said...

I thought Straw got worse, not better, as things went on. He started like a very ponderous but scary battle tank but ended up in confused muddle over Australian-style lists where Warsi pinned him down to a vague babble.

Huhne had no idea at all what he wanted to say over EU migration and should have worn a gag.

Griffin is a mental lightweight who grins inappropriately, oddly reminding one of Gordon Brown in that.

Greer and Griffin had some sort of surrealistic exchange over the ice age [why did the ice melt, by the way?] and how we all descended from Africans who arrived here 17,000 years ago. I thought it was 10,000 years but who is counting? That is not the latest anthropological theory at all, but who is counting?

All in all good entertainment after the previous week's QT which was sleep inducing.

norman said...

I am a brown Brit and of an immigrant stock. I have voted Tory for 30 years. Very concerned about the uncontrolled immigration into this country which has many ramifications. London has already a million each of African and Caribbean population perhaps over 1.5 million of Asians from Indian subcontient. Resources are finite and we will have serious problems if we do not control the immigration.

Yesterday's BBC Question Time was planned as a mugging session. Dimbleby as Boulton says was the 6th panel member and not a moderator. Boulton would have done a better job.

Sraw showed that he is a man of straw, Hunne a point-scoring LibDem, and in my borough of Islington ruled by LibDems they are worse than Labour in so far as resource allocation to newly arrived immigrants are concerned.

Baroness Warsi (Cameron has showed here that he is into tokenism) has no gravitas, repeated the line of cap on immigration but as a muslim defended Islam instead of being critical. I would have preferred David Davis. Incidentally he should replace Grayling, who is proved to be clueless and reactive. Cameron can win GE with just one policy- strict control of immigration- holidays for workpermits and economic migration.
The American woman was calm but had limited comments.

Now Griffin. I agree that his game plan was publicity. The Message yesterday that he wanted to convey was that it is a sin to be a white
native and their "whiteness" means they have become second class citizens in their own homeland because of the effects of uncontrolled immigration. This came out load and clear. Straw, Hune and Warsi had no answers to it except Warsi's platitude on cap on immigrant numbers each other, which is Cameron's policy and will not will him votes. I predict two Westminster BNP MPs in 2010. That serious is this immigration problem. Warsi said it is about resources allocation. She is mistaken. It is about changing the nature of the country. Liberal Dutch and Danish are examples.

Anonymous said...

Paul Canning said..

"Completely agree. There. I said it.

If they had any real power we'd both be killed.

That's a basis for a real coalition"

You're referring to Sharia Law right?

Oskar V said...

Are you suggesting that there are no middle class people in Dagenham, Blackburn or Burnley, Iain?

norman said...

Sorry for some typos, should be Straw
and huhne.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I preferred the single-topic. Usually, QT consists of a single question per topic and each respondent giving a party line soundbite.

By concentrating on the BNP, the inconsistencies in their thinking (i.e. populism) could be exposed. Light has always been the best way to get rid of the dark.

If QT moved to being a more in-depth programme, it would be a better way of getting to the nub of certain problems. I'd love to see an Economy special, with Darling, Osbourne, Cable, maybe Mervyn King and perhaps Fred Goodwin(?!).

You could still finish up with 15 minutes of topical quick fire questions to keep them on their toes. But seeing the Chancellor and Shadow Chancellor(s) giving their views on several in-depth questions on the economy would be far better viewing, IMHO.

As for Griffin, I expect that for every voter he gained, he lost nine. Any wavering voter thinking that perhaps they were an option would have seen a ravening racist idiot, and be put off for life.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity I watched Question time,I had thought it a political discussion program I was wrong it was a political assasination program.The main political parties assuming they have now done for Griffin will let immigration slip of the radar thus letting Powels rivers of blood prophecy come to it's fruition.

Fausty said...

You're right - it was a mistake for the BBC to "gang up on" Nick Griffin. Obviously, the panel (apart from Griffin) agreed strategies before the show and had shared videos, info, etc.

The entire event looked staged - from its location (West London), the nature/make-up of the audience, the questions asked and the strategies of the panel. I fear that this might have gained Griffin some sympathy.

The panel and the BBC shot themselves in the foot when they constantly interrupted Griffin, particularly on the topic of immigration because this is one of the main reasons that the BNP has become popular.

It really is time the country had openly and fully discussed immigration and Islamification without the word "racist" creeping into it.

Until we have this discussion, the issue will grow and fester. (Read Melanie Phillips's excellent essay yesterday.

On the few occasions when Griffin was allowed to speak, unhindered, he hung himself, as most sane people expected him to do.

The performance of the participants (apart from Bonnie) was not edifying. Warsi and and Huhne were not entirely truthful or honest, while Straw just plain lied, as we've come to expect.

Bonnie had the best approach - perhaps something the others could learn from.

More sickening than Griffin, was Straw trying to take the moral high ground and being allowed to get away with his government's record on immigration. That will have cheesed of a lot of people, particularly BNP supporters.

Labour was the cause of the rise of the BNP - there's no getting round it.

Finally, the BNP is far-left and not far-right. why is Straw allowed to get away with calling it far-right? The right doesn't espouse collectivism and nationalisation of industries!

Anonymous said...

This wasn't Question Time was it? It was An (Hostile) Audience with Nick Griffin. No issues du jour such as suicide postmen or bankers bonuses. In my view NG was easily the overall winner. He came over as a bit bumbling, a bit naive, victimised and backed into a corner by the rest of the panel (and Dimbledore). In other words he came over pretty much as one would expect an average Englishman to come over... I expect the inquest at the BBC is still going on...

The Sun said...

DO YOU KNOW THE AUDIENCE MEMBERS WHO GAVE GRIFFIN A GRILLING? CALL US ON 0207 782 4104

Eight million watch BNP on Question Time

Paul Donnelley said...

The problem had it been a regular Question Time - Brown, Afghanistan, recession, general election, climate change, etc - is that Nick Griffin might have come across as someone in tune with working class values.

And that couldn't be allowed to happen.

The one question that wasn't related to race was about Stephen Gately and Griffin used the opportunity to say that most people found two men kissing in public creepy. Well, outside of elite liberal/metropolitan media circles they probably do. Most people don't mind what others get up to in private but they would object to certain behaviour in public. Rightly or wrongly, that is their view.

There wasn't a real debate on, say, immigration on the show because Labour and the Tories knew they had no answer.

I thought the best panellist was Baroness Varsi - Britain needs more prominent Muslims to stand up and say people like Abu Hamza are not real Muslims and do not represent nor speak for the majority of Muslims in this country.

David Lammy's comments that the programme could lead to racist attacks and the BBC would have blood on its hands was a disgrace.

essex75 said...

Iain wrote:-"As someone has written in the comments, frankly it doesn't matter what I or any other middle class person thought of Griffin's performance. It matters what the people of Dagenham, Blackburn and Burnley thought. Were they attracted by Griffin or repulsed by him?"

Iain you really are deluded, I am 34 years old, originally from East Sussex (now lucky to live in beautiful North Essex), own my own home outright, my second child is on the way and my wife and I have an annual income of £150-£200k a year, I would describe myself as middle class. I have never been to Dagenham, Blackburn or Burnley but I am sick of what this country has become, I voted for the BNP in the last European election and am looking forward to giving them my vote in the General Election.
The reason people think only the working class vote for the BNP is because many in my position keep quiet about our views due to the hysterical Politically Correct mob who demonise any who veer from their world view.
It's hard to be open about your political views when to be honest about them makes you fear for your job prospects, the safety of your family and even your Childs position at school.
I doubt I am the only one in this position.
This is about the future of my children and I am willing to take a punt on the BNP as the alternative (more of the same-which is all it will be) is much worse.
Things are going to get very interesting over the next few years.

Causer said...

Fine performances from Greer and Warsi, huhne was weak and irrlevant

http://takeonpolitics.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/question-time-verdict/

JPT said...

If you think Griffin did badly out of all of this then I say in the next few days 'just watch the opinion polls'!

Chris said...

What I found interesting was how jumpy and scared the mainstream parties (and the BBC) are over the BNP. This must have encouraged Griffin and his supporters no end. As others have said, Griffin's relatively poor performance last night has to be set against the grotesque bias in the programme. The others seemed to be afraid of appearing to give Griffin legitimacy by being calm and courteous. It's not opponents who give the BNP legitimacy - it's voters. When they bully and insult Griffin they are doing the same to a significant and growing slice of the electorate. That isn't going to win BNP voters back. Mainstream politicians need to take a deep breath, calm down and start tackling the issues. We heard nothing about the BNP's protectionist economic policies or draconian social policies. It was all race, race, race. In short, a really poor programme which will probably have the opposite effect to the one intended.

Anonymous said...

I was appalled by the bias shown by the chairman - it will only have reinforced people's views of the BBC as part of an establishment conspiracy.
The BBC was right to allow Griffin on. It's a pity due impartiality was lost once the program started. But perhaps that the price they had to pay to keep their anti-racist credentials.
They need to distinguish between attacking people for their race, sex, or sexual orientation, which are intrinsic characteristics, and doing so for their freely chosen religious superstitions and the prejudice against women that brings and which they wish to impose on the rest of us (regardless of our race or colour).

David Lindsay said...

This whole thing has done the BNP no end of good. London may look like that audience, as is the first thing that I notice at King's Cross when I get off the train from Durham, but Britain at large doesn't. White British was the choice of ninety-two per cent at the last census.

No discussion of the postal strike, or MPs' expenses, or anything.

And when is anyone going to ask Jack Straw how he won President of the NUS at a time when that organisation was completely controlled by the Communist Party and its nominally Labour fellow-travellers? But we can't have that. It would expose the sectarian Leftist backgrounds, not only of New Labour, but also of many of those around David Cameron.

The Purpleline said...

Iain- The simple fact of the m,atter is this was not Cricket and the British people always support an underdog.

I was listening to Suntalk this morning and it was incredible the number of people calling in support of NG.

I think he and his party have won hands down.

Anonymous said...

"Straw failed to deal comfortably with Labour's failing immigration policy and how that contributed to an increase in BNP support"

Straw's reply was basically to say "you can't blame us, we didn't bring those black people here, it was Enoch and the Tories in 1960"

Ann said...

I live in the Northwest, the area where Nick Griffin was elected an MEP, and I thought he had nothing new to say. However, the BBC let him off the hook by abandoning the usual format of questions on current events. Instead, he will have appeared to some people as a victim of the panel's bullying, which could add to his appeal for them. He was evasive, looked uncomfortable and shifty but, in the end, more heat than light was generated.

neil craig said...

I would agree with Anonymous that a discussion programme discussing 1 subject, in this case the BNP, in depth would be an improvement on the normal Question Time.

Indeed I have suggested that British politics would be significantly improved by a series of formal debates on various subjects chosen by the public. Formal debates do have a rather better gistory of being informative than the 1 sentnece soundbites that is what our broadcasters are always aiming at (to be fair to QT they manage 1 paragraph soundbites. Cynically it may be becasue they would inprove political discussion that the BBC don't want them.

However a formal debate about the BNP would rather require a balanced team rather than 5 to 1.

The BBC's idea of balanced discussion is to have one person saqying the BNP are dreadful & should be totally & completely suppressed in every posible way balanced by another saying that the BNP are dreadful & should be almost totally suppressed.

Considering the BBC record of lying to say that the Labour/Lib/Conservative's friend the openly genocidal (ex-)Nazi Bosnian Moslem leader was "a moderate minded multiculturalist" I trust nobody will suggest that Dimbleby, or anybody else working for that corrupt organisation, is les than 1,000 as Nazi as Griffin.

Sean Haffey said...

I have just watched it on iPlayer.

I loathe what the BNP stands for, but this was an appalling show and can only have given the BNP more support. Other speakers were largely allowed to finish what they said: NG was interrupted every other sentence.

I've heard on Radio 4 an hour or two ago a report of a BNP statement referring to the event as a "lynch mob". That's how it struck me, too. How very very stupid to make NG a martyr.

Paphe said...

I agree with everybody who's made the points about bullying and underdogs.

Typical lefties, couldn't organise a shag in a brothel.

There's a long way to go on this yet ... Doubtless it will come out that, as well as all the rest of the fixing, the audience was completely gerrymandered by the nobs at the BBC.

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase from today's Today programme, "...show 3 angels attacking a devil and the British public will feel sympathy for the underdog". That's what BBPravda achieved with the fixing of the QT programme!

David Evershed said...

Bonnie Greer was claiming she was better than Nick Griffin as she had a history degree and he did law.

However, she seemed unaware that the Neanderthals are thought to have become extinct 24,000 years ago so no one is descended from them today.

Miller 2.0 said...

Iain, most BNP voters self define as right of centre and would vote for the Conservatives as a second choice. It patently does matter what middle class people think; and yes, there are middle class people in Burnley.

Typical Conservative simplification and mischaracterisation of Northern England.

Anonymous said...

Talksport held a poll on whether Nick Griffin gained from this appearance & 93% thought yes.

Iain Dale said...

Tom Miller, you try and spin all you like, but you know as well as I do that most BNP voters are ex Labour voters. Blackburn, Burnley, Dagenham, the list goes on.

TomTom said...

Since Griffin has a left glass eye it was thoughtful to place him on Dimbleby's left where Griffin could not see Bonnie Greer to his left nor that section of the audience.

The field placing was fascinating. Three corrupt politicians - two elected - facing Nick Griffin and Bonnie Greer.

Perhaps Gordon Brown can have his glass eye positioned to reduce his field of view ?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Talksport held a poll on whether Nick Griffin gained from this appearance & 93% thought yes.

October 23, 2009 4:57 PM

Take a look at the BBC'S have your say, talk about shooting themselves in both feet.

sean.

Anonymous said...

the whole episode has been a disaster, BNP membership and support will incraese. the main paties need to address the issues instead of merely lecturing the electorate for supporting them

Anonymous said...

But why did the BBC rig this particular Question Time? What did they think they were doing?

Why did they not put Griffin on the spot over the economy or the NHS providing care based on age?

I think I will join Noel Edmunds and not pay my telly tax. OK we all accept that the BNP is racist but why did the BBC not put them to the test on matters of the day?

Yes it was an orchestrated lynch mob and yes Griffin has cause for complaint. As a result he will gain mucho publicity.

Paphe said...

Totally agree with you anon @7.08pm

Putting all the emphasis on Griffin is missing the point. By all rights Griffin should be irrelevant. What’s making him relevant to people - particularly those at the bottom of the social pile - is that Griffin and the BNP are articulating the big problems that the mainstream parties are creating and so are too scared to discuss in any meaningful way; mass immigration, globalisation, islamification, the middle class elite, the wealth gap.

Refusing to address these problems is driving decent people into the arms of the BNP.

The BNP will continue to grow until one of the main parties takes on these issues, which ultimately boil down to one major problem - globalisation.

Anonymous said...

Griffin's main problem was that he isn't clear what his views are - presumably because he is used to changing them to suit the audience.

John S from Reading said...

A feeble QT. No examination of the issues, which would have exposed the ghastly (very very)FAR LEFT WING views of the BNP. The panelists were almost always trying to outdo each other in moaning anout Griffin. The result in my view was that hardly a glove was laid on Griffin, when he should have been cut to pieces. Straw was incredibly useless.

Calum Forbes said...

I'm afraid I disagree that Griffin was left uncomfortable for most of the show.
I think the MPs on the panel played right into his hands. Instead of having to defend indefensible views he hardly had to speak... Every time he opened his mouth the blabbering Jack Straw or simply patronising Warsi jumped down his throat meaning he didn't have to defend his simply racist views.
He should have been allowed to speak, then the others could annihilate his policy. This has been one of the only proven methods of destroying the almost plausible veneer he has created for the BNP.
If they had done this we would have been shown his true nature, a disgustingly fascist little man...

Anonymous said...

If you think only working class (whatever that means) people vote for the bnp, you need to cast your mind back to when their membership list was stolen and made public.

There were lawyers, police and even clergy among their membership; and that's their actual membership, not just people who would vote for them secretly.

The mainstream political parties could easily burst the bnp balloon by actually adressing the serious concerns of people.

It's not just caucasians who are concerned about immigration levels.

Anonymous said...

The problem with this blog and more so at Guidos is that too many contributors are fellow travellers of the BNP and in denial about it.

The BNP are out in force here anyway, lying, dissembling, ranting as ever.

UKIP are out in force "I'm not a BNP voter but... blah blah blah.. Griffin is right "

Tories are out in force
"Straw was awful, the BBC was awful, Huhne was awful, Warsi was great, the BNP is all Labour's fault"

The truth is you're all supporting Griffin inadvertently. It's no use waving a different bottle around when the drink inside is the same.

The only way to oppose the BNP is to face the fact that there is no immigration problem.

We could fit another 10m people here no problem. In fact we'll need them just to pay for our aging population.

Global warming means we may have to take in millions more very soon anyway in order to save their lives. We'll do it because we're Christains and helping refugees is the Christian thing to do. QED.

That's what makes me proud to be British.

neil craig said...

Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett has said Labour's relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to "open up the UK to mass migration" but that ministers were reluctant to discuss such a move deliberately intended "to rub the Right's nose in diversity" publicly for fear it would alienate its "core working class vote".

May we now expect next week's QT to be devoted to a lynching of the Labour representative for that dishonest & destructive fraud against the people? Or will they censor any mention of it?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/6418456/Labour-wanted-mass-immigration-to-make-UK-more-multicultural-says-former-adviser.html

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that if or perhaps when Griffin is replaced by someone with a sharper intelligence (rather than guile) it will present a more frightening prospect.

However I though Warsi was evasive and impressionistically cold about civil partnerships which is off message and offputting for someone claiming to shadow "communities" - a little telling and in other circumstances she should be quizzed more closely on this matter.

Quietzapple said...

Re opinion in Dagenham, Burnley etc:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/table/2009/jun/09/european-elections-elections-2009

In the Euro Elections the BNP got 6%, the poll in the Dully Tele now gives them 4%.

UKIP pose a larger threat to the Tories than the BNP does to anyone. Check the figures from the election above.