Nick Griffin has complained, correctly, that the program aired was not the usual Question Time but a lynch mob. The studio audience was packed entirely with his opponents and every question was a set-up to trash the BNP. Some are now saying the BBC are trampling their reputation, such that it still exists, of impartiality, and some see the setup invoking sympathy via the British sense of fair play:
As the average English person dislikes people ganging up on others, they are already expressing sympathy with Griffin and I predict that the popularity of the BNP will rise.
Before you can show up a policy you have to debate it, and not one of the other so-called politicians [on the panel] had any intention of engaging in a debate. It was a set-up, it was despicable and it was enormously counter-productive.
In my neck of the woods the comments go more like “if they spent so much time trying to shut him up, he must have summat to say they don’t want us to hear.”
Nick Griffin managed a couple of good retorts against the onslaught. In response to fellow panelist Jack Straw calling Griffin a Nazi, Griffin pointed out that Straw’s father went to jail for refusing to fight while Griffin’s father was in the RAF fighting the Nazis. There was also this, as reported by GQ:
The direct hit of the night goes to Mr. Griffin himself, who, in six words, explained a large element of the BNP’s appeal. “Why would anyone trust a politician?” he asked. Voters have no faith left in their representatives, and while nominally a politician, Griffin is an outsider, untainted by the mechanisms of Westminster. A breath of hot air, you might say.
Griffin was strongest on Islam — when he was asked to explain why he believed that Islam was a cruel and wicked faith he did so quite openly, citing the stoning of female rape victims for “adultery” and the Koran’s instructions to murder non-believers as evidence of its cruelty. There were a few disagreements from the audience and from Baroness Waarsi who insisted that that wasn’t what Islam is about (despite it being in the Koran).
If the BNP continue to rise in the polls, there is a decent chance they will win several seats at the general election, expected in May of next year. If the UK were foolish enough to have proportional representation in the House of Commons elections as they do in Euro elections, the BNP would be headed for quite a few seats.