Well, I’m not the first blogger who’ll mention this and arguably – with an hour or so to go until it airs – I’ve left it quite late, but it’s all I’ve heard on the radio all sodding day and so I wanted to have my own short(ish) rant about it. Craig’s already written a letter on his blog that I largely agree with, but need to summarise some extra thoughts myself. Because I can.
My first impressions of the whole affair (including the ‘protests’)? The country is overrun by single-minded idiots. Sorry, but there we go. I’ll come to why shortly.
As for where I stand on politics, I’m largely neutral. I have no sense of support for any party (major or minor) and long for the day the ‘state’ is little more than a thing of the past. I’m also realistic and doubt strongly that will happen in my life time, so I feel I can get involved in little arguments like this. On top of this, I despise being encouraged to vote for a ‘major’ party in order to stand against the BNP – if no-one can give me a convincing reason to vote _for_ them, I won’t. I strongly believe that whilst the argument has limited merit as to what it hopes to achieve, it will never fix the fundamental problem, and as such will just prolong its symptoms from rearing their head again.
Anyway, moving swiftly on to some of the arguments against the BBC playing host to Nick Griffin this evening:
- I don’t want my license-fee being spent on the BNP
Short answer: tough shit.
I don’t like _my_ license-fee being spent on far worse and (completely) uninformative programming, such as Eastenders or Stictly Come Dancing, but I’d rather pay it and not watch those shows if it means it can also be spent on pressing political programmes (yes, such as Question Time), or exceptional documentaries (a la Blue Planet, Life, Planet Earth). As it is, I’m prepared to ignore the shit in order to receive the good. If you don’t feel you’re getting that value for money, don’t pay it, and go do something more pro-active, like reading. Either way, don’t bitch about it. Because it’s a baseless argument.
- The BBC has a moral obligation to not host the BNP
I’m not so sure on the actual truth of this one, nor the morality of it either way. I guess I would come down on the side of, ‘Surely it is more amoral to pretend the voice in the wilderness doesn’t exist (and so let it fester unseen) than it is to give that voice the same chance the others get’. If you’re so concerned that you will be that easily swayed by the ramblings of such a party, I suggest suicide. Before you kill us all.
If you don’t believe you’re that easily swayed and that the views and propaganda of the BNP are built on a pack of lies then you have nothing to fear. They will embarass themselves in their own time. Either way, face facts: Just because you can’t see / hear them, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If you would rather force them underground and hope that will solve the problem, I encourage you to think harder.
- Nick Griffin as holocaust-denier
This seems to get brought up every time someone mentions Nick Griffin and the BNP. And whilst I can understand why (citing an easy example as to why this man’s a moron), it carries no real weight in the sense of the argument. I believe the Holocaust occured. And I believe that on the balance of the facts I have seen and studied. In just the same way that I do not believe in a god, based on the facts and evidence I have looked at. Just because I have friends who do believe doesn’t mean I shouldn’t discuss and debate such issues with them ultimately in the pursuit of knowledge.
Is he a holocaust-denier? Then good for him. Just means he needs to go back and actually digest the facts. Nothing more for me to worry about except that he’s an idiot. Whilst it’s a very good reason he should not be in politics, it does not change the fact that he is and as such deserves the same chance to talk as we would give any other politician.
- Allowing him on Question Time provides a valid platform to spout their racist diatribe
No. It gives him a valid platform to partake in a public discussion, fielding questions both from the public and his opposition. This is not a BNP Political Rally being broadcast by the BBC, it’s a political debate. And in many ways I would like to think the questions don’t become just a bashing of BNP policies, because that’s not what the debate is about. And if that does happen (as I fear it inevitably will) then the situation has been changed by the very people claiming to protest it. And that gives Griffin every opportunity to use it to his advantage.
Treat him like any other politician in the way you ask your questions and respond to his answers and he will be exposed as the flawed individual he is. If you try and attack BNP policies and him explicitly, it will be easily manipulated to make you look the fool, and garner further support. Any shouting, pointing person can be very easily made to look like the mad man. So don’t do it to yourself. Let them do it to themselves.
- He’ll manipulate it to appeal to a broad audience to garner support (disguising the more sensitive views they may stand for)
See above, largely. But moreover, I disagree in terms of scale. Pissy little protests incorporating such views as listed above do far, far more for the extremist politician in their ability to manipulate that reaction to their own advantage. It’s already happened countless times (MEP Elections, the ‘Egging’ incident, etc.). And here’s the thing – it doesn’t matter if what he responds with is lies (to the general public), he’s still coming across as far more in control of the situation than you will in your hate-filled moments of shouting and demonstration. And that is what’s dangerous.
Well, I wrote a bit more then than I wanted, and it’s nearly time to actually see how it did turn out. I hope at least some of that is coherent, if a bit ranting. I’ll be interested to see what the reaction is to the broadcast in the end.
*sigh* Time to get a pot of tea ready me-thinks.