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British National Party Gains Further After BBC’s Question Time Fiasco

After the BBC staged an attempt to humiliate him and a mob storms the studio, the unlikeable Nick Griffin looks better, not worse, to Brits. (Also read Richard Fernandez: "Alone.")

by
Andrew Ian Dodge

Bio

October 27, 2009 - 12:00 am

While some of the world ponders All Hallow’s Eve, the state of the environment, or terrorism, the British establishment is gripped by a political nightmare — the British National Party. The terror is real, as the party won two seats in the recent European Parliament elections. Now their leader is appearing on political television shows and getting attention the BNP was never supposed to receive.

There is nothing wrong with disliking the BNP. They are neo-Nazis. The problem is that the political establishment is in a tizzy, and they have no idea how to deal with them. Normal people are wondering if the BNP should be denied their rights to free speech, assembly, and even existence. Of course, they are missing the point that such discussion is allowing the BNP to drape themselves in the “martyr” attitude.

The major parties are not addressing the subjects on which the BNP are gaining votes. Citizens are expressing concern about the present level of immigration, Muslim extremism, and lack of equal access to jobs, education, and social housing. These topics are being addressed by the BNP, leading to increased support throughout the UK. The BNP received six percent of the overall vote in the May elections, gaining seats for the first time, and their support appears to have increased since then.

The “anti-fascists” are calling for violence against the BNP. Opposing them has become an end in itself — witness this little ditty:

Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put Nick Griffin on the top, put the Nazis in the middle, and burn the f***ing lot.

Recently during the BBC program Question Time, the so-called anti-Nazi lot stormed the BBC broadcasting building, set fires, and rioted. Policemen were injured, and there were a handful of arrests.

The BNP is reaching disenchanted Labour voters who have socialist instincts — the row over the scheduled BBC appearance raised the party’s poll rating by three points. An ex-Labour minister acknowledges this:

Diane Abbot told the Politics Show last night that Labour has abandoned its core vote and let in the BNP.

Ultimately, the political establishment does not know how to handle anything out of the ordinary. After the May Euro elections and the BNP’s two-seat gain, they used the same rhetoric against BNP as they have used in the past against UKIP, the anti-European Union party. Melanie Phillips addressed the issue:

The selection of the other panelists has been decided around one question alone — how to contain and demolish Nick Griffin. The reason for the frenzy is the fear that the high-profile BBC1 Question Time panel format will enable him to present himself as a reasonable politician. Alas, despite all the uproar, his opponents have settled upon the wrong strategy. And the reason they have got it wrong is precisely why Griffin has made the headway that he has.

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.

And then there was Griffin’s point on Islam:

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.

Andrew Ian Dodge blogs at Dodgeblogium.
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