The appearance of the British National Party’s leader, Nick Griffin, on the BBC”s prime political debating programme, Question Time, last night has for weeks been the subject of extraordinary media focus, heated debate and political demonstration.
The BBC devoted almost the entire programme to questions about the BNP, statements by Nick Griffin and the party’s policies.
Chairman David Dimbleby pressed Griffin on his history of Holocaust denial and Griffin lamely stated that he had changed his mind about it although he couldn’t express his views because of European Law which might lead to his arrest if he were to enter certain European countries. However, he did say that he had changed his mind on the ‘numbers’ after reading about a German radio intercept of 1945! The inadequacy and ludicrousness of this response was not lost on fellow panel members. Clearly Griffin is prepared to have his mind changed (somewhat) by German radio intercepts but not by the testimony and meticulous records of those same Germans, let alone thousands of survivors and other witnesses.
But the BNP is now no longer anti-Semitic, of course, its main scapegoat now is Islam and Muslims. At one time he was heard to say that ‘they’ can stay if ‘they’ accept this is a British and Christian country. How very generous of him. Where does he propose to send millions of British citizens were they not to accept his terms of tenure?
At one extraordinary moment he made a bid to show his pro-Semitic credentials by saying that he and his party supported Israel in Operation Cast Lead against Hamas. Well thanks for that, Mr Griffin’ with friends like you etc,
But isn’t this so typical of neo-Fascists. They delude themselves that by supporting Israel (Jews), who they hate, against Muslims, who they hate even more (only for now whilst it is politically advantageous to scapegoat Muslims), they are demonstrating some sort of moral purity and acceptability by trumping anti-Semitism with Islamaphobia.
The BBC’s reason for inviting Griffin was that since the BNP now had two MEP’s (including Griffin himself) and a million votes in the European elections, its charter had to be impartial and a BNP member had as much right to an invite as the Green Party or UKIP. But it then chose to atone for a sin it said it had not committed by focusing almost exclusively on Griffin and the BNP, something which has not been the case with other minority parties. So the BNP would be justified in complaining to the BBC about unfair treatment, would it not? Either Griffin is a panel member like all others or he is not. If he is not, then maybe he shouldn’t have been invited in the first place.
Whether the BBC’s biased attack on the BNP has any effect on that party’s standing remains to be seen. I hope there are a million people out there who watched Griffin and who now regret ever voting for him.
The Liberal Democrats might also be given pause to consider that their policy of Proportional Representation in the UK parliament would inevitably lead to candidates such as Griffin gaining a foothold in UK democracy as they have done with a PR system in Europe.
Griffin’s performance was appalling. He showed himself to be an oleaginous, sniggering, cowardly, intellectual midget who had no place on a panel of this calibre.