A moment to seize

I read in the news today that Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has written to the BBC Director General Mark Thompson in attempt to get this Thursday’s Question Time stopped, in which controversial BNP leader Nick Griffin will guest on the panel. Although the reasons for why Mr Hain wants the BNP leader removed from the panel are perfectly reasonable and connect to the legality of the British National Party. This is because of the recent High Court verdict that their membership selection policy breaks Racial Discrimination laws. In my opinion if Nick Griffin is removed from the panel for this Thursday’s Question Time a brilliant opportunity to expose the BNP for the disgusting racists that they are would have been lost.

 

Many who agree with Mr Hain, argue that by giving Nick Griffin a place on the BBC’s flagship political show we are consequently not only legitimising his party but also allowing him to indoctrinate viewers by giving him a platform in which to express his views. However, I believe it would be far more dangerous not to give Nick Griffin a place on Question Time in the long term. The BNP are not going to go away if we simply ignore them and pretend that they are not making political progress. Surely the fact they got two MEPs in the June European Elections emphasises a worrying shift in the political attitudes of certain British citizens. If the BNP are not addressed now this problem will only get worse and the success which they experienced in June could be replicated next June at the General Election.

 

This is a moment to seize, the Conservatives and the other mainstream parties have the perfect opportunity to do considerable damage to the image of the BNP. By allowing Nick Griffin on Question time we can show the British public that the BNP are not a viable alternative by highlighting the obvious problems with their ideology. However, on the other hand if we prevent Nick Griffin from coming on Question Time, it is possible that members of the public curious about the BNP will wish to learn more by looking at their website. This would expose the general public to the propaganda of the BNP without the contributions of opposing viewpoints. Therefore, if we do not allow Nick Griffin and other controversial figures on panel shows such as Question Time there is the possibility that we are actually aiding the growth of racists like Nick Griffin.

 

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”

 

Not allowing Nick Griffin on Question Time and subsequently not questioning his policies in open forum, would be doing nothing and that can only end badly for Great Britain.

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3 thoughts on “A moment to seize

  1. Overall great post and appreciate the sentiment, certainly agree that we have to face down and deal with opposing political ideologies rather than try to ignore them and call them names – which for all the passion and bluster of those shouting ‘racist’ seems to leave a large percentage of the population largely unphased.

    For all that having the BNP on QT might give us an opportunity to tackle them head on (and again I stress that will require more than us calling them names) it is still only a happy by-product of the fact that in a democracy they have as much right to be there as any other political party.

    To deviate from this position is to undermine the very basis of peoples freedom to choose how they wish to be ruled and invites all form of further curtailments upon ones most fundamental freedom and guarantor of justice – the vote.

    Lets not forget that labour operate all women shortlists which (and I forget exactly how it played out) ran up against their own laws on gender discrimination – do you think they turned round and said they should no longer be on QT? should they have had to do so?

    And why on earth should the state be setting membership criteria for political parties anyway – sad to say but freedom as a concept includes the freedom to be racist (at least within certain spheres) and the political is definitely the most important and sacred sphere in which we must be most tolerant of views we dislike. The idea that because a party fell foul of a law (which should have included an exception clause for political activities) and a law they couldn’t afford to challenge in court – is not to give legitimacy to peter Hain’s position but to cast him in the same light, along with his supporters, as the fascists they oppose.

    As offensive as racism is I find socialism even worse. How do we differentiate between such positions, why do we support the one more than the other, who decides? Democracy? No longer.

  2. Trying to prevent Griffin from speaking ‘on a technicality’ is counter-productive. Pragmatically, it’s far too late to start placing technical obstacles on the BNP’s appearance so I can only conclude that Hain’s actions are motivated by ego.

    However, I fear the strong possibility that the QT debate will either not go ahead or will degenerate because of violent protestors. There won’t be many ‘normal people’ in the QT audience this Thursday – TV viewing figures should be good though.

  3. I don’t have high hopes for Thursday, in that I don’t think that the BNP will be shown up that much. Mainly because the entire program has been built up around their appearance, and most people will attack him on immigration, which he must surely be prepared for. In order to show the people who vote for them that the BNP are not going to work in their benefit, it needs to be shown that their ideology is useless to the British people in all policy areas.

    By focusing on a single issue which does concern a lot of people, the BNP are connected with it in the same way that UKIP has become connected with Europe, and the last elections clearly showed that they had benefited from this to the tune of 1 million votes and 2 MEPs.

    In the current political climate, with distrust of politicians running high, the BNP cannot be opposed just for the sake of being opposed, or else this will only stimulate their support. Politicians need to stop treating the electorate at stupid and gullible, and confront the BNP as they would any other party. If you believe somebody’s wrong, you have to convince others, not just tell them.

    I’m pleased that they’re going on question time, because ignoring them has got them 1 million votes, I just hope it’s the start of a process that leads to the loss of that support. Given the reaction of the Labour Party however, I’m not hopeful.

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