Saturday, March 13, 2010

Will MacShane Stop Writing for The Guardian?

There's been a lot of talk among leftish bloggers about boycotting Total Politics over the fact that we are publishing an interview with BNP leader Nick Griffin in our next issue (out next Friday). They cling to the old student union idea of 'no platform'. Labour MP Denis MacShane even resigned from the Total Politics editorial board over the issue.

Today, The Guardian's John Harris has written a lengthy (and very good) analysis about the BNP campaign in Barking, which includes a detailed interview with Nick Griffin.

I await a tweet from Denis MacShane announcing that he will never write for The Guardian again, and a series of blogposts from various leftist bloggers boycotting The Guardian.

I suspect I shall wait in vain.

UPDATE: Someone just sent me a link to a video about the BNP and Denis MacShane last May. Watching it again, I don't take a word of it back. And at least it shows my view is consistent! The BNP must be taken on - on the streets and in the media.

39 comments:

Manfarang said...

Something tells me that this "interview" is a load of nonsense.

Gordon Brown-Nose said...

I agree with your policy of letting them air their views as banning usually has a negative effect (Radio 1's policy was great for record sales for FGTH and The Sex Pistols).

Most people have enough sense to realise what the BNP are really like and having them out in the open allows us to see why we shouldn't be voting for them.

No platform = no debate

Funny how the same people advocating no platform are usually all for free speech...

Wondering when Denis MacShane will also quit the Labour Party as Ed Balls now appears to be giving racists an open platform.

Just Wonderful said...

I suspect if he earns a good deal of money from the Guardian then MacShane will find a reason to continue writing for them.

Then again if Lord Ashcroft was to buy a stake in the paper his head would probably explode. :)

Hotspur612 said...

MavShane has never been noted for his intelligence !

WriterPaulB said...

Back in the late 80's i had this debate with many left wing people. That is if repeatedly saying "they shouldn't be allowed to be heard" a debate.

If you can't debate a argument you can't win an argument you can only lose.

sarah said...

I always remember that line from Shakespeare's Hamlet -

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks"

javelin said...

The clue in the word "Total Politics" is "Total"

ps. yasmin Ali brown just said she would vote lib dem on the BBC news.

Silent Hunter said...

Would this be the same Dennis Macshame who claimed his garage was his office?

An 'office' which turned out to be . . . . a garage!!!

What an honest guy! LOL

How many LABOUR MP's are currently being investigated for fraud? Not to mention the hundred or so euphemistically "leaving Parliament at the election" because they have been caught red-handed with their fingers in the till.

I think the word for Mr Macshane that we're all thinking of here is . . . dishonest.

trevorsden said...

Good point well made Iain.

You cannot protest too much about Labours lying hypocrisy.

Dick the Prick said...

MacShane is a la Steven Pound - far too tribal and the last person anyone should listen to but no-one else is trusted by high command. Hmm..a tricky and understandably complex dilemma.

I guess all is fine really in the run up to the election but this one seems to be an error on the face of it.

As regards the lefty bloggers wanting to boycott Total Politics - well, I guess some of them have a valid point but not having met them or probably read much of it, I can't possibly be in a position to distinguish.

badconscience said...

Iain,

Saw your comment at my blog.

I have to say, you must have laughed your head off when this Guardian interview came out. I would have if I were you.

To answer your question: yes, I'm going to be a massive fucking hypocrite. I'm not going to boycott The Guardian - why? because it would cost me too much personally.

There you are. I'm a hypocrite. I said it.

But at least I'm not an attention-seeking friend to fascism, eh?

john in cheshire said...

I believe that fascism is in fact a form of socialism. So any socialist is probably a friend to fascism. And Isuspect that anyone who hasn't made the connection between socialism, nazism and fascims, is, as the Americans might put it, a dumbass.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

At the heart of all those who silence, or attempt to silence the airing of diverse opinion, is a childlike emotion; the rage of Caliban seeing his face in a mirror, and like all fascists who live comfortably within the arms of the left, they don't mind free speech, as long as they agree with it.

HM said...

MacShane = gesture politics

cherami said...

Is MacShane leaving the Guardian, fact or fiction?

Why on earth does anyone pay him for his drivel.

Jason Myers said...

I think that the BNP won 2 seats in the European elections last year so they do have a platform. I don't agree with what they say but freedom of speech is really important & I'd hate to lose it in Britain.

I don't agree with Labour policies to keep spending like there's no tomorrow, but I wouldn't ever stop them putting their case forward - no matter how naive & wrong it is.

Bill Quango MP said...

Nick griffin should be allowed to speak wherever he likes. He should be interviewed often. mainly because he is so awful at being interviewed. He's similar to an early George Bush. He doesn't spot the traps and if he does he doesn't know how to avoid them.

He makes Sarah Palin look like an accomplished politician.

Benny said...

Have you got a new carpet yet?

Thatsnews said...

That would be your mindless prejudice, Manfarang. Or your psychic ability to read what is not yet published. You must be a Labourite.

As for Denis MacShane, good riddance to bad rubbish, Iain.

tapestry said...

Brown doesn't like pavement politics. Not in his control from the bunker.

T England said...

Iain!

What’s wrong with you!
Surely you can clearly see how well the no platform has worked, a million people are now prepared to vote for the BNP :O)

Iain, I believe you have balls & big ones at that to take on the BNP all on your own, because that’s how it seems to me.
All I ever see from others who say the BNP should be dealt with do is talk about how the BNP should be dealt & nothing more, they just talk.

The main parties have ignored the concerns that have drove people to vote BNP & now we have two BNP MEP’s, the no platform hasn’t worked either, the BNP are gradually getting more & more airtime as the weeks go by, in fact it’s no longer a big deal to see the BNP on telly any more, it just seems damn obvious the only option left is to engage with them.

I look forward to seeing the interview, I’ll let you know how well you did ;O)

Ps!
I just had to show you this smiley the kids are using now! I think you’re gonna like it!

smiley

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Magical_Mist said...

A good video Iain.

But I would suggest that before any more impromptu media events you get some medical attention for your frantic arm movements!

pete-s said...

While we have in power the best recruiting Sargents, the BNP could ever wish for, then you are wasting your time. Rid this country of Broon and his Mrs Rochester clones and you stand a chance.

Elby the Beserk said...

Now, where did I leave that laptop...

Manfarang said...

Thatsnews
No it's Griffin's mindless prejudice that is the nonsense.

Iain
How good is his German?

javelin said...

If in doubt Iain I think your interview should (1) get the full policy facts out in the open (2) ask about the contradictions between the policies and the broader legal, moral and social context.

Readers can then ask themselves (1) were all the policies fully enumerated and if not is anything being hidden and (2) are the policies inconsistent, immoral, anti social and acceptable.

It will then be up to the voters to decide.

The aspect I think motivates the no platformers is a fear that for some people in some situations a party like the BNP (or Stalinist) is their best option, regardless of morality.

So if a party, let's call it Stalinist, starts to attract voters what does that say about the other parties. I think most people understand morality. I think most people understand that over bearing individualism (in the form of racism) or an overbearing state (in the form if police brutality) is wrong. Nearly all people understand that, but we have to believe people vote rationally, or we undermine democracy.

Stephen Wigmore said...

Well, I agree with every word of that Iain. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Unless these truly bizarre efforts by the human rights team to have the BNP declared illegal succeed, the fact is the BNP have a platform already, elections and elected posts, not to say all the media attention they are given by supposidly "no-platform" people.

No platform has, hence, failed. All it does now is gag us from actually confronting the BNP. What we need to do is confront and expose their vacuous racist nonsense while at the same time avoiding giving them the hysterical media coverage that usually exudes from left-wing sources. I.e. Precisely the opposite of the left's current favourite plan.

tory boys never grow up said...

Difficult to boycott something that you never purchased in the first place, but i'll shall reserve my judgement until I see whether Griffin's views were challenged by the interviewer. What would be wrong would be if Griffin were to be given a platform where they were not subject to challenge e.g. have you invited Searchlight to provide a detailed repudiation of the points raised by Griffin, have you given Griffin's opponents (e.g Margaret Hodge) the right of reply in the same issue? Or does the sole source of opposition in the next issuer come from the interviewer asking questions?

Andrew McKay said...

You can't blame one particular party for this.. and Iain don't try and talk about the white working class it doesn't suit you or the Tory party.

Dick the Prick said...

Assuming I don't get sacked tomorrow (which is a bit of an assumption),it's become a bit of a joke at my town hall for me (a lad who'll talk gibberish to anyone and quite friendly with Labour) and the BNP councillor to smoke fags outside and for us both to say hello to socialists. They really aren't too personable with the lad which seems odd considering we're usually gonna talk about bins, grit, planning or other practical stuff.

Sometimes the Westminster bubble also moves into bullshit issues that not many people care about.

Immigration has been too high - fix it.

Housing is too expensive, in the wrong areas, its allocation system opaque - fix it.

These folks think that people look at the BNP as if we're in the Weimarr and any vote gives rise to mass scale social manipulation. For any seasoned observer of Westminster politics, the mere notion that MP's can do anything is somewhat nieve.

British politics is run by Gordon Brown's executive, senior civil servants and the utterly opaque European Commission. To think a load of BNP MP's make a damn bit of difference is disgustingly specious.

(soz for length)

Thatsnews said...

Manfarang, perhaps you failed to put your point over clearly. If so, I am sorry.

Dave said...

They're getting bitchy now, unable to win the argument they're coming up with lame stuff like this..

@DailyQuail What's all this stuff about boycotting Total Politics? You can't boycott something nobody reads in the 1st place.

Twig said...

Why are you on the naughty step?

blemster said...

I am a British National Party member, shock!! horror!!, I often hear the old hacks, putting the BNP down all the time, but please stand back and ask yourselves this Why are people joining the BNP, surly not everyone has just become a racist overnight?
The BNP is not funded by Leftwing Crackpot Unions that have payed for The Labour Party, to turn a blind eye to immigration, The BNP is not got Big Business Sugar Daddies that payroll them, NO, The BNP is paid for by Joe Public, who has seen our economy wrecked, jobs lost, family`s destroyed and society broken, while Parliament has sent our Lads and Lasses to go of to far of lands to fight, and being woefully under equipted. for illegal wars. most of our Laws are coming from Brussels, The rise of the BNP is not due to them having racist views but having common sense policies, The NULUBOUR QUANGO EHRC just tried to close a ligitimate Party down, where was the Tories and Libs Protesting about our hard won freedoms? nowhere to be heard as they can stay in the Westminster Club House, with no competition.
Well thanks for talking the time for reading this rant!!, I think I may have a little steam coming out my ears lol, Cromwellian

blemster said...

I am a British National Party member, shock!! horror!!, I often hear the old hacks, putting the BNP down all the time, but please stand back and ask yourselves this Why are people joining the BNP, surly not everyone has just become a racist overnight?
The BNP is not funded by Leftwing Crackpot Unions that have payed for The Labour Party, to turn a blind eye to immigration, The BNP is not got Big Business Sugar Daddies that payroll them, NO, The BNP is paid for by Joe Public, who has seen our economy wrecked, jobs lost, family`s destroyed and society broken, while Parliament has sent our Lads and Lasses to go of to far of lands to fight, and being woefully under equipted. for illegal wars. most of our Laws are coming from Brussels, The rise of the BNP is not due to them having racist views but having common sense policies, The NULUBOUR QUANGO EHRC just tried to close a ligitimate Party down, where was the Tories and Libs Protesting about our hard won freedoms? nowhere to be heard as they can stay in the Westminster Club House, with no competition.
Well thanks for talking the time for reading this rant!!, I think I may have a little steam coming out my ears lol, Cromwellian

Jason Myers said...

NO, The BNP is paid for by Joe Public, who has seen our economy wrecked, jobs lost, family`s destroyed and society broken

^ All great reasons not to vote Labour, but no reason to vote BNP. Tories & Lib Dems are the credible parties for government. BNP is great party for angry poor white men, but for everyone else it'll never be acceptable. I don't blame immigrants & ethnics for all that's wrong with Britain - I blame Labour for having the wrong policies.

tory boys never grow up said...

"The BNP is not funded by Leftwing Crackpot Unions that have payed for The Labour Party, to turn a blind eye to immigration, The BNP is not got Big Business Sugar Daddies that payroll them, NO, The BNP is paid for by Joe Public,"

Those with an understanding of history will appreciate that the economic stance portrayed here is pretty much identical to that of the German Nazi Party in the 1920s and 30s which saw the trade unions and big business as their targets -and of course the Jews were seen as an immigrant and an alien culture. And of course the EU has replaced the League of Nations and foreign governments occupying "German" territory as a target.

And note the quote about "not due to them having racist views but having common sense policies", which is a common BNP formulation, is hardly a denial that they are racist. They just want to try and make it respectable to be racist. It isn't.

KenDee said...

So as you say Iain its all 3 main anti British party's lib/lab/con against the BNP.

When will you ever see the tories getting involved in door step politics,never the tories are a bunch of snobs and think they are better than the working class.

Also Iain what BNP policies are dangerous?