BNP On Question Time

Thursday, 22 October 2009

I am a supporter of Freedom of Speech, and I happen to think that it is essential to a free society that people be allowed to express themselves freely.  With curbs at law allowing compensation for such things as slander, on the whole we, in principle at least, have a reasonable and decent set up.  Yes, the walls have been closing in quite a bit in the last few years, but I think this has been broadly acknowledged, and as soon as this particular Government is ousted I believe on this issue under the Conservatives we can return to a normal debate and square some of those issues away.

As Newton pointed out, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  Though this is a law of physics, it can sometimes be applied to situations in our lives.  To allow for Freedom of Speech there is a cost or in this analogy opposite reaction, which is that we don't just then hear what we want to hear.  We have to allow for the fact that people are going to have opinions vastly different to yours and mine and that those opinions may well cause offence.

The equal reaction is that The BNP, and in this case Nick Griffin is also subject to this and he will have to hear what those of us who do not support the BNP have to say.  I think it is right that the BNP have their say, as much as I disagree with them it is the price of free speech and one I am glad to pay.  And on this score the BBC are right to have allowed Mr Griffin onto their flagship politics show.

If you cannot allow for this, even broadly, then I do not think you can really be a advocate for free speech.

I hope that the fellow panel members take the full opportunity to debate Griffin on TV.  Over one million people voted BNP at the EU elections, and I wonder how many of them have actually heard Nick Griffin speak on TV or Radio?  I would wager not that many; certainly a low percentage considering he is a party political leader.  The concerns expressed by those who do not want the BNP on TV are that he will be "recruiting" - as if National Socialism and Racism were some unstoppable irresistible force that must not be allowed into people's ears.  I just do not understand this rationale.  Informed debate and giving people ALL of the facts is what is needed, and the mainstream political parties need to get better at doing that, even if it means we learn more about them than they don't like.  Let people hear what he has to say, it may turn out that instead of recruiting new people those that did vote BNP may now not do so again in the future.

I know Jack Straw and Chris Huhne are due to appear, and they will need to up their game for this.  I am not sure who the other two panellists will be*, I hope someone from the conservatives and someone from the centre-right press.  Question Time does tend to swing four lefties to one centre-right panellist many weeks, so tonight may well be no different on that score.

I happen to think that if the panel spend an hour screeming "raaaacist!" in Nick Griffins direction, they will themselves not come off too well.  In my opinion, they should try to draw out some opinions and policies that go beyond what will have been rehearsed off screen prior to an apperance, and then look for an opportunity to explain how poor those policies and opinions are, and how they would adversly affect the country and the people that live here if widely implemented.

I also just want to say that despite my absence from the B-BBC live blog in recent weeks (due to the unseemly time I have to get up these days, QT is on when I am usually in bed) and though I will be annoying the wife, I am going to make the extra effort to be there tonight so we can deliver our own collectively unique commentary on events.  I would urge others who would like to join to be there early, as the unmoderated slots will go quickly.

Cross-posted

* Baroness Warsi and Germaine Greer are the other guests.
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6 Responses to “BNP On Question Time”
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Fausty said...

Ah, that all-encompassing term "racist", which Labour adopted, instead of the word "racialist".

The former term allows Labour to target more people, more easily, because it can even cover culture and religion.

22 October 2009 at 14:08
Dungeekin said...

They have to be debated, which is where they will be revealed in all their hatefulness.

Or, we could just attack them in song.

D

22 October 2009 at 14:10
Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree.

let's hear what their policies are on the economy and so on. I would imagine they haven't got much.

However, and I bet this happens, it will turn into a huge angry exchange on immigration which will play right into the BNP's hands and win them more votes.

The panel (and audience) if they had any sense would quiz Griffin on anything but immigration thereby showing him up as a one trick pony.

22 October 2009 at 14:57
JuliaM said...

"Over one million people voted BNP at the EU elections, and I wonder how many of them have actually heard Nick Griffin speak on TV or Radio? I would wager not that many.."

No, indeed. Lots will be protest votes - which is why this fuss is so counter productive...

22 October 2009 at 20:23
Metrodeco said...

We're just a small tea shop in Brighton but we had a very recent encounter with the BNP. Read about our experience of Nick Griffin and our take on the Question Time debate here: http://bit.ly/3CJcaQ

22 October 2009 at 23:31
GCooper said...

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Trendy Brighton tea-shop owner doesn't like either Griffin or Jan Moir's article about Gately and feels the need to puff his blog here! Extra! Extra!

Meanwhile, much as one might have expected, the BBC's loaded audience and hand-selected panel of predictable idiots probably did Griffin more good than harm among the sort of people who would vote for him.

The only time he looked really uncomfortable (and well he might) was when he was cornered on holocaust denial.

Sadly, his odious economic policies escaped unscathed, so obsessed is the liberal Left with screaming 'racism' at every opportunity.

23 October 2009 at 00:22