Wednesday, October 21, 2009


NIck Griffin on Question Time

Nick Cohen gave us a good run down of Nick Griffin's rise from a Suffolk educated child of a Conservative family, through an early personal rightwing epiphany-he read Mein Kamp aged 14- to a Downing College Cambridge degree in history-to an apprenticeship at the feet of notorious National Front organiser, Martin Webster until he finally replaced John Tyndall as BNP leader in 1999. In June his party polled 6.2% of the national poll in the euro-elections and won two MEP seats from northern constituencies.

That was when the BBC felt it had to invite Griffin to join the Question Time panel, a programme which has become a kind of popular, dumbed down version of parliamentary debates, albeit policed by the benign dictatorship of David Dimbleby. Several questions have been hotly debated arising from the programme which will air tomorrow evening.

1. Should a party which does not fully endorse the rules of democracy, be allowed to exploit such rules when seeking power for itself? The example of Hitler's Nazi party is usually wheeled out to support the negative response to this question.

2. Should a party which advocates and practices violence,['Defend Rights for Whites' with well-directed boots and fists,"] be allowed to benefit from this kind of exposure alongside parties to which such methods are anathema?

3. Will he receive a rigorous interrogation? Cohen suggests this might not happen as the populist context with a studio audience militates against forensic questioning.

My feeling is that we should trust to democracy and hope that the thinly disguised racism of the BNP will be exposed and dismantled. However I have two fears. Firstly that Jack Straw might not be on top form- he's a bit too avuncular and maybe not hard edged enough for this confrontation. Secondly I fear a fair numberr of neanderthal viewers will ignore any intellectual demolition and merely react to the poisonous emotive appeal of Griffin's arguments. But in a democracy it's a risk we just have to take. Please God the panel will be on tip-top form.

1. Yes. It is not our place to say which parties are acceptable and which are not. BNP members pay their licence fees. Their votes at the European elections were just as valid - and in many cases plentiful - as any other party's.

2. Yes. Lots of parties have policies that I consider unacceptable - the Greens would destroy the economy, Labour nearly have etc etc. The establishment has no right to exclude those parties whose views it doesn't like - that is a dictatorship.

3. No. It's BBC Question Time. No politician receives a rigorous interrogation and Griffin should not be an exception to this.

The bottom line is that you don't have to agree or disagree with Griffin(I disagree with him). You have to respect the right of others to hold views different from yourself. Anyone who doesn't believe this is literally a fascist. Some "liberals" in this country as not as liberal as they think. The only people who give him a chance of succeeding are the loony liberal establishment who refuse to address the immigration shambles and pander to Islamic extremism at every opportunity. Oh and the people who give him so much publicity over an appearance on a little watched late night political programme dominated by proles.
We're a small tea shop in Brighton - read about our recent experience of Nick Griffin and whether we think he should be on Question Time:
It is unfortunate that there are people with the same views as Griffin. They should not be allowed to be in politics.
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