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.