As was to be expected, the fallout from Nick Griffins appearance on Question Time continues apace. Those who favour a ‘no platform’ policy with regards to the BNP have looked upon the subsequent media coverage of the event to claim that the BBC were in fact wrong to invite Griffin onto the programme; and that events during the past two days validate this view.
A YouGov poll in today’s edition of The Times indicates that 22% of people in this country would ‘seriously consider’ voting for the far-right party in an upcoming election. Let’s just look at that: 1 in 5 people asked would ‘seriously consider’ voting for the BNP – that’s consider, not WILL vote for the BNP. Eight Million people watched Question Time on Thursday night; as a result, I’m not at all surprised that support for Griffin and his dubious friends received a little boost, this is to be expected, and hopefully over the coming weeks this will reduce significantly. Of course, this poll makes a great headline, but let’s not forget the other 78% of voters in this country who would hopefully NEVER consider voting for that pathetic bunch of fascist fuckwits.
I still think that the BBC were right to include Griffin on the programme. Those who favour ‘no platform’, including Peter Hain, look upon this as a massive early Christmas present for the BNP, providing them with massive exposure, and possibly leading to a large increase in their overall support. The answer to this is very simple; by censoring Griffin and the BNP, the media storm does not in fact dissipate – it remains and it makes a martyr out of Griffin to his misguided supporters. You see, with a character such as Griffin, you really can’t win; if you invite him to speak on Question Time he claims he was bullied; if you don’t, he’ll claim he’s being censored by the ‘liberal elite’. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s far better to let the fascists make absolute fucking fools of themselves. Personally I’m just as concerned about the lies and filth peddled every week in the Daily Mail and Express.
The way in which we react to the BNP in the coming weeks and months is vital. Let Griffin have his five minutes in the spotlight, this will soon fade. There is a view that says that you can’t reason with a racist – this might be true enough, however, through debate and conversation, we can hopefully persuade all but the most hard-core BNP supporter not to vote for them in the future.
There is undoubtably a huge task ahead of the major political parties to reconnect with those voters who have unfortunatly drifted towards the BNP and their policies of hate and division. It may be that Labour has the most work to do here, especially in the North and the Midlands. However, it would be misguided and wrong to lay the blame squarely at Labours door. Yet, this is what certain Tories are now trying to do; Iain Dale has kicked things off in predictable fashion on his blog by claiming that Labour are responsible for the ‘rise of the BNP’. This was followed up by an appalling performance by Nadine Dorries last night on Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’, during which, she launched into what can only be described as a hesterical rant on the subject, the end result of which ended with Jacqui Smith asking her to ‘calm down’. Typical behaviour from Dorries I’m afraid – continuing to live in her own little fantasy world.
The responsibility to tackle the BNP remains with all of us, regardless of which political party we follow or support. All of us have a duty to protect and nurture the fair and tollerant society in which we live, and it is pathetic and unfair of the Tories to suggest otherwise.