Saturday, 24 October 2009

The BNP must be beaten by honest debate!

The unedifying sight of the BNP's Nick Griffin sitting on a public platform with serious politicians is both distressing and yet another result of the deteriorating relationship between politicians and the general public.

It sickened me to see Mr. Griffin sitting on the BBC's Question Time panel yesterday, but given that nearly one million British citizens voted for his Party at the recent European Elections the BBC probably had little option.

Before yesterday's programme I listened to all the arguments for and against allowing Mr. Griffin onto Question Time. Of all the contributors to the debate I was particularly struck by that of one self confessed anti-facist BNP hater who called in to a lively Radio 5 Live phone-in. I paraphrase his words but essentially he concluded:- We have laws in this country as to which organisations are prescribed and outlawed and the BNP does not fall into this category. We have laws in this country as to what it is illegal to say and Mr. Griffin is careful not to fall foul of them no matter what we might think he actually believes. The BNP now has two Members of the European Parliament, which is an identical number to the Green Party and they are regularly allowed onto Question Time and a host of other national broadcast media forum.

As distasteful as the facts are, this summary as to the evidence before the BBC as it made its decision to allow Mr. Griffin the oxygen of publicity afforded to him through an invitation to appear on Question Time speaks for itself and the BBC were left with little alternative.

From listening to this debate, and my own involvement with the good people of Britain, I have concluded that if our mainstream political party politicians are any good they should be able to take Mr. Griffin and his fascist party activists head on in debate. My good friend Baroness Warsi did this very eloquently last night and gave Mr. Griffin a metaphorical hiding, as far as I am concerned. She did this by being straight forward and honest in her answers, never ducking an awkward question and never doubting that her political principles would see her alright.

Baroness Warsi on her recent visit to Mearns Castle Golf Academy

In contrast Jack Straw tried to squirm his way out of a question put to him by a Mr. Lisle who asked, 'Can the recent successes of the BNP be explained by the misguided immigration policies of the Government?'.

Having tried at first to avoid an answer David Dimbleby pressed him on the issue only to find Mr. Straw keen to hold to a Party line that there has been no failure in immigration policy over the past 12 years - a line even Lib Dem contributor Chris Huhne derided as nonsensical.

24 hours on you cannot escape the fallout from yesterday's events. Every news channel is covering Mr. Griffin's complaints of having been treated unfairly (largely because he lost all the arguments) and every newspaper has its own take on the events of the day.

Elaine is an avid Daily Mail reader and pointed me to an analysis piece written by Max Hastings which I feel pretty much sums up the events of the day and the context in which political parties, including my own, should view the task ahead of us in defeating the racist bigots of the BNP. Tackle the public perception of the immigration issue successfully and you cut off the BNP's raison d'etre. Do this and you expose the BNP as simply a bunch of racists with nothing to offer the people of Britain.

Baroness Warsi was entirely right to tell Jack Straw he was "in denial" about this issue and as a British Muslim woman she was at least honest enough to tell the audience "we have to go out and say to these people - who have voted for the BNP - we are prepared to listen. We (the Conservatives) are prepared to deal with this. We need a cap on the numbers."

Good on you Sayeeda. Only honesty will restore public faith in politicians and you demonstrated this in abundance last night.

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