20 October 2009

We need to give the BNP enough rope to hang themselves

An interesting debate has been raging about whether the British National Party should be on Question Time this week. Several prominent politicians, including Peter Hain and Alan Johnson, have said they shouldn't.

Clearly the BNP is the biggest bunch of fascist assholes operating in the UK. Nick Griffin is a fatboy version of Adolf Hitler. It would be funny if millions of people weren't voting for this shit.

But because millions of people are voting for this shit, the BBC is quite right that it has to invite the BNP on to Question Time - it is, after all, meant to be impartial.

I think that if the BNP was kept off the programme they would be able to present themselves as the victims of a witch-hunt, which in the long run would work to their advantage.

Instead, if Griffin goes on the programme and talks what will undoubtedly be a load of fascist claptrap, he will be exposed as one of the most dangerous people in Britain, with stupid and incoherent arguments, and it is unlikely that BNP support will go anywhere but down the plughole. This process will be made easier if the other participants in the programme - Chris Huhne, Bonnie Greer, Jack Straw and Baroness Warsi - are even halfway competent. And I think they will be at least that.

One problem for the major parties, of course, is that their own rhetoric - particularly on issues like immigration and national security when they try to 'talk tough' - often sounds like the BNP, and one can't blame voters for being confused. But that's the major parties' fault. Griffin could quite reasonably claim that Gordon Brown's phrase "British jobs for British workers" sounds like something out of the BNP manifesto. Because, let's face it, it does. So Jack Straw might have a bit of explaining to do there. But if this process helps other parties become less like the BNP that's surely a good thing.

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