BBC BLOGS - Nick Robinson's Newslog
« Previous | Main | Next »

BNP's 'hang generals' just 'humour'

Nick Robinson | 19:26 UK time, Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The leader of the BNP, Nick Griffin, has told me that he does not, after all, want to see two former heads of the British army put on trial and hanged for war crimes.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.


Earlier Mr Griffin was reported on the BNP's website comparing Generals Sir Mike Jackson and Sir Richard Dannatt with Nazi war criminals hanged after the Nuremberg trials. The BNP's leader now says that this was "black humour".

This is what the BNP's website said:

"Those Tory generals who today attacked the British National Party should remember that at the Nuremburg Trials, the politicians and generals accused of waging illegal aggressive wars were all charged - and hanged - together.

"This was the reaction of Nick Griffin MEP to the announcement that Tory lackeys Sir Richard Dannett and Sir Mike Jackson had broken all military protocol with their statement attacking the BNP."

I suggested to Mr Griffin that the families of victims of World War II and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan might not get the joke. He did not respond.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    this party ... the BNP ... has no place in UK politics

    it should be banned

  • Comment number 2.

    "The BNP's leader now says that this was "black humour""

    Does he do irony?

  • Comment number 3.

    Three blogs in one day , we are busy aren't we? Does anybody care all that much what Nick Griffin says ? Methinks it serves as a great distraction from the state of the economy and the government's incompetence. Let the electorate decide whether there is any legitimacy in the BNP's claims,or are the politicians afraid that they are ticking the boxes the big parties are afraid to mention? Maybe Brown wishes he had claimed the images of Spitfires and Churchill for his own in his great crusade to save the world from economic disaster and climatic catastrophe.

  • Comment number 4.

    Nick

    Please don't waste a blog entry on the BNP - you are just giving them free publicity and I'm sure that was their objective.

  • Comment number 5.

    It is the political season and the media must be attracted....something that stinks works best..

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    And Peter Hain wants to ban this guy from QT.

    This shows the level of his arguments, any politician who can't win against this man should not be involved.

  • Comment number 9.

    I am surprised that the BNP chose to use World War II imagery in their election publicity - after all their side lost that conflict.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    #1 sagamix
    "this party ... the BNP ... has no place in UK politics
    it should be banned
    "

    A bit harsh when they're only a little more authoritarian than your favourite NuLab Britnat party. I'd have thought you'd be more concerned about those lefty, libertarian Britnats like UKIP and the Tories.

    More's the pity that home rule parties have so little impact on Westmidden, from any of the four home nations, but good to know that Britnat influence is in decline outside England. That will make for interesting politics rather than yet another party joining the Britnat Tweedles.

  • Comment number 12.

    One small point...

    They do realise that Spitfire (the one in the image they're using, wearing the codes RF-D) belonged to No. 303 Squadron RAF?

    As in, No. 303 *Free Polish* squadron? (Note also the Polish Szachownica chequerboard marking on the engine cowling).

    They can't even get that right...muppets...

    Dan Ibekwe

    Manchester

  • Comment number 13.

    #7 No, this is exactly the reason they should be on question time. Don't let them breed in their own little dark corner. Get them out in the open and give them some rope. They will soon hang themselves.
    The only (bad) reason for keep them away from mainstream TV is because somebody is scared the majority of the UK population actually agrees with them.

  • Comment number 14.

    Banning the BNP or shunning Griffin is worse that stupid, it is counterproductive.

    Given enough publicity rope, Griffin will hang himself.

  • Comment number 15.

    Does Nick Griffin seek to pre-empt the Iraq enquiry?

    I would be quite happy for Bliar to suffer the fate of those at Nuremberg, after being found guilty of leading the country into an illegal war

    The fact that the media are having a field day with the BNP does, however, hopefully point out the fallacies of the BNP

    Now all you have to do is point out to those electorate that wish to vote against Labour but would never vote Tory, should not be considering the BNP

    As to the others who wish to Ban, I consider that they are the ones who deny the debate and education, and are realistically part of the problem by advocating simplistic discrimination. Working on the same principle who else's views would you ban?

  • Comment number 16.

    I suppose BBC journalists and others are obliged to be critical of the BNP and its leader now that they have been given so much publicity. Stand up and be counted time eh? Griffin is capable of defending himself, but it does strike me that the politicians attacking him - and lets suppose everything they say about him is true - have been very cuddly with far worse than him, among the dictators in Africa, the Middle East, and so on.

  • Comment number 17.

    Well sadly for the UAF, Peter Hain and a lot of people on this forum the BNP are a LEGAL entity and have LEGALLY AND DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED Councillors and MEP's. I live with an African lady and would have everything to lose if Nick Griffin and the BNP ever gained power. But that has to be decided by the British people AT THE BALLOT BOX not by mob-rule, banning, being made illegal, harrassing, assaulting etc. This behaviour plays into their hands. I detest Sinn Fein and the IRA but the same rule applies to them also, and I certainly wouldn't justify any assault on Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness-they are LEGALLY ELECTED representatives of their constituents. Let the Electorate decide with the BNP having their say. The National Front came a cropper in the early Eighties when they were defeated at the Ballot Box not by mob-rule etc.

  • Comment number 18.

    brownedov @ 11

    they're only a little more authoritarian than your favourite NuLab Britnat party

    no comparison ... the BNP have a racially based constitution and a racially based set of core beliefs and policies

  • Comment number 19.

    It's not about banning the BNP. There's just no reason to invite Griffin on to Question Time. As I said before, I can understand the idea of letting them 'hang themselves' on live TV but I just wonder how many people who watch that show would consider voting BNP in a million years.
    I'm assuming the majority of BNP voters don't watch Question Time so this show is unlikely to make much of a difference. The concern is that by involving a fascist Party on a flagship show somehow gives that party some sort of legitimacy. It'd be far better to have a primetime show explaining exactly what the BNP were about, remember a show a few years ago where a reporter when under-cover. That would be the way to expose the BNP.

  • Comment number 20.

    Hanging is going to far. But the generals have a case to answer along with Tony Blair for ordering the invasion of Iraq. It was their duty to refuse to obey illegal orders.

    Did they really believe it was legal? It is true that the Attorney General said it was, but if the Nazi war criminals had used the excuse that they were told by a lawyer appointed by Hitler and sackable by him that what they were doing was legal, would they have got off? I doubt it.

  • Comment number 21.

    The BNP mask is starting to slip...

  • Comment number 22.

    If someone had said it about the politicians it would have been seen as a valid point. In fact I heard many people from normal media and political saying just that several times in the past, especially about Tony Blair.

    Terrible when a valid point gets ignored due to an idiot being the one who said it.

  • Comment number 23.


    I am very concerned about the recent rise of the BNP. Their message is very seductive because it not only touches on concerns about levels of immigration but because it is so simple. For those who usually avoid politics because they find it too difficult, a party which tells them that, once they get rid of immigrants and ethnic minorities, their lives will become much better is very tempting to vote for. The amount of publicity being given to the BNP, fuelled by public curiosity, may well have helped them and in a democratic society this is hard to control. It seems unlikely that the BNP will ever form a government but their influence will certainly lead to a less tolerant Britain.
    This is not a call for uncontrolled immigration. Sucessive governments have tried, and to some extent succeeded, in controlling it, which is not such a simple task as some would make out. But our lives would be a lot poorer without some migration between countries and my family history would be a lot different.

  • Comment number 24.

    #12. Danibq:

    Chris Woods, a brilliant Singer Songwriter (imho), wanted to write about the Spitfires that fly over his home in Kent. When the BNP leaflet dropped on his doormat he realised the significance/irony of the Polish emblemed Spitfire pictured there. So, in the best traditions of the English Folk protest song he wrote 'Spitfire' and claimed it back for us all:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvkK-8LBjLk&feature=related

    The full story has been clipped off here but I heard Chris tell it at Shrewsbury Folk Festival a couple of weeks before this performance.

    Btw there is a Folk Against Fascism movement now in the UK because the BNP have been taking and using existing recorded Folk music without consent. Just look up the FAF website of the same name, and the FAF YouTube TV channel where you can enjoy the inaugural concert. It's our music and we want it back.

  • Comment number 25.

    At the Nuremberg trials, the German armed forces, including members of the SS, put forward the traditional defence, “We were only obeying orders, which is the duty of all servicemen (and women!)” The Allies and the learned judges, did not accept this defence, so some defendants were hung or served very long or life sentences. This ruling was incorporated into international law. If someone “obeys orders” and engages in a war which retrospectively is considered “illegal” by those who judge these matters, then those combatants are guilty. Were and are Nato’s recent wars, (in which Britain has played a significant part) against Serbia, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan illegal? If so, Griffins comments to the Generals are apposite.

  • Comment number 26.

    I'm just gutted we still need to have this kind of debate with people like the BNP. The road of hatred leads to the Holocaust, which Griffin has denied alongside his anti-semitic rants when editor of The Rune, comments he has attempted to distance himself from. So therefore we should not go down that road. Griffin has been caught on tape lamenting to a French fascist that there is no tradition of intellectual fascism in this country. that intellectual liberalism and tolerance is at the heart of why neither communism nor fascism took popular hold in this country. This argument was lost decades ago, I am astonished that people still think it is the way forward, but if it's there it must be confronted and defeated. Surely the "Al Capone" tactic surely is better than giving them the oxygen of publicity / the credibility of an appearance on Question Time. By "Al Capone" I mean shut the BNP down on tax evasion, or in this case the illegality of the BNP's membership policy) rather than bother with refuting long-defeated fascist/racist ideas

  • Comment number 27.

    The BNP on Question Time? Bring it on! If the BNP website is any indicator, it should be a laugh a minute - having looked at it for the first time, tonight, I truly laughed at the rabid articles and illiterate, error strewn comments - it's more South Park than political party.

    As a reviewer might say of a book 'A rollicking good read, a laugh a minute, just the thing for a dull October evening. Suspend reality and enjoy!'

    I don't really understand why anyone could fear the BNP - they are mere caricatures, more to be treated with amusement than anything else.

  • Comment number 28.

    My God, you are so sanctimonious. I cannot see what was so offensive about Griffin's comments. He has a point anyway hasn't he? If, as most legal experts appear to think, the war in Iraq was illegal (and I have no doubt at all that it was) then would that not make those who perpetrated the war potentially guilty of war crimes? What that has to do with the families of victims of the second world war heaven only knows. As for those soldiers - they should butt out of politics, especially Mike Jackson who makes me cringe with his obtuse comments. And to argue that the British army is somehow synonymous with tolerance and fairplay is absurd. Tell that to the hotel owner in Iraq whose son was beaten to death by British soldiers and who never got justice or the families of the soldiers at the Deepcut barracks. Do they recall Bloody Sunday? Good old British tolerance and fairplay at work wouldn't you say? And I wouldn't be at all surprised if sqauddies were exactly the sort of people who would vote for the BNP. I have no time at all for Griffin and his BNP, absolutely none. But the more he is attacked by people like you, by Peter Hain, those generals and by a frankly wholly discredited establishment, the more support he is likely to get.

  • Comment number 29.

    The Military Generals = The Voice of the Establishment.

    Nick Griffin reminds me of the 'taking on the Establishment' spirit of the 1960's/70's. In a way, he's kind of like the Johnny Lydon of British politics - a thorn in the side of the establishment!

    The story of a small party battling against the odds, taking on the establishment and winning is like a script from a Hollywood movie. There's something so romantic about the BNP winning it's first seats in the EU, it's a true David v Goliath story. The story of the humble natives, scrabbling together what little money they have to form a political movement and challenge the interests of giant multi-national corporations and the globalist elite. They didn't have the backing of wealthy Russian oligarchs, or rich Saudi oil billionaires. All they had was their grit and determination, and a vision of a better future for Britain. It was a tough stormy ride, they faced a vicious onslaught from the rich and powerful media barons; countless smears and intimidation, but they held steady and refused to be bullied by the big powerful corporations. They knew their vision was worth fighting for. They took on the establishment, they stuck to their beliefs and they won 2 MEPs.

    Now they will be able to provide a voice for the formerly forgotten and unwanted. Representation for the underprivileged, ignored white working class. It has been a triumph for democracy, a triumph for the voiceless. It is a truly heartwarming tale of indigenous empowerment, it will make for a great movie in years to come. We will look back on all this in the future and feel truly humbled to have around when it happened.

  • Comment number 30.

    There are two opposing ways of dealing with the BNP, each diametrically opposed to the other. They are as follows:-

    (1) Either ban them completly; something that I am against. PROSCRIBE them so that they are so completely illegal that every move makes them liable for arrest. Is this not a free country where all views are tolerated even if against certain individuals ideals, all that results is an underground movement. No my view is as follows:-

    (2) Allow the BNP all the freedom that we enjoy. Give them the oxygen of publicity that will cause a 'burn out' of anything that is contrary to natural justice. This country dealt with the pre-world war II brown-shirts, this is just another manifestation of similar ideas. How many critics of the BNP have bothered to read what they say? I know that I have not, hence my ambivalent approach.

  • Comment number 31.

    Question Time is simply not the best platform to challenge Griffin (or ANYONE for that matter). It's just spectacle and confrontation dressed up as debate. It's entertaining, it's well-chaired by Dimbleby, but it's not the place to engage in serious debate. The bar is set too low.

    And that's my fear with Griffin - that this plays to his advantage. There's the very real risk that he will come across well - as the underdog, the anti-establishment figure. He'll reveal his anti-war credentials, he'll correct some of the incorrect myths about the BNP (legitimate ones) and he'll attack the 3 main parties, which is always a popular thing to do. I hope I'm wrong, but I honestly think his party's image will benefit from this.

    If the BBC was serious about challenging him, they should have got him a 30min slot on Hard Talk where he can be grilled with real questions by someone like Stephen Sackur, and where each point is followed-up. Now that would have exposed him.

  • Comment number 32.

    Give the BNP enough rope and they will hang themselves -their true colours will show through.

  • Comment number 33.

    "Please don't waste a blog entry on the BNP - you are just giving them free publicity and I'm sure that was their objective."

    I think it is the contrary - when everyone avoids talking about the BNP they have been able to gain strength and support in the shadows. When their opinions and actions are publicised it shows them for the unintelligent kneejerk xenophobes they are, and virtually everyone distances themselves from them even if they have some sympathies to their politics.

  • Comment number 34.

    The BNP taking on the successes of the British forces successes is just as legitimate as the generals taking it on. They weren't there either.

    Generals stay, with politicians, out of the line of fire.. they are just as brave as each other.

  • Comment number 35.

    As Ian Dale has pointed out the BNP are not the only socialists using WWII iconography. Good 'Ole Labour used a Spitfire too. The cheek of it! If Labour had had it's way in the '30's the Spitfire would never have been built (for fear of it being used against the Soviets).

    And who was it that went on strike in 1944? Yes, those lions of the Left, the miners.

    Plus if the BNP have no right to a place on QT then why do Respect & others get so many chances? They are all, after all, vile socialist, racists like the BNP, only with fewer votes.

  • Comment number 36.

    I should read my comments before posting... I said "successes" twice.. tautology.. sorry folks..

    The Generals are still unconnected with the reality of war.. it's a board game to them. I suppose I could claim to be as involved as the harrumphing ex-generals.. except I'd rather not claim credit for something in which I wasn't really involved, unless you count paying for it.. as a tax payer.

  • Comment number 37.

    "I suggested to Mr Griffin that the families of victims of World War II and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan might not get the joke. He did not respond."

    What joke? I look at the Britain around me and wondered why they bothered. My parents and grandparents fought for a good Britain and look what we actually got.

    I think these military men ought to concentrate on their jobs and stop interfering with the democratic process.

  • Comment number 38.

    The irony is, in World War II, the British were fighting the Nazis - the very people the BNP appear to emulate.

  • Comment number 39.

    If it is just a joke why does Merseyside BNP feel the need to post pictures of the two generals with Hitler moustaches and swastikas on their blogsite??

  • Comment number 40.

    #5. "At 8:00pm on 20 Oct 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:
    It is the political season and the media must be attracted....something that stinks works best."

    Well, it's that something that stinks that helps things to grow, remember.

  • Comment number 41.

    I know a lot of Conservative voters like 'DeathnTaxis' consider Nick and his boys to be preferable to Labour.

    Many of us might not be too impressed by New Labour, but the prospect of goose stepping down the Mall with a straightened arm pointing towards Mr Griffin fills me with infinately more dread than anything Blair and Brown have thrown at me over the last twelve and a half years!

    I don't much care for 'Gorgeous' George Galloway, but even he commands considerably more 'Respect' than do the BNP.

  • Comment number 42.

    #37 atrisse
    "I think these military men ought to concentrate on their jobs and stop interfering with the democratic process."

    You'd have a point if the UK had a democratic process worth the name. Just ahead of even more unitary France in the race for the democratic wooden spoon among EU and EEA states, it's pretty hard to argue that it has.

  • Comment number 43.


    There must be millions like me that can't wait to see BNP leade Nick Griffin on question time,it will liven the debate on this

    normally dull programme with the same old politicians churning





    There must be millions like me that can't wait to see BNP leader
    Nick Griffin on question time,it will liven up the debate on this
    normally dull programme with the same old politicians churning out
    the same old tripe each week.
    Immigration is the biggest worry for the British people,for it
    is costing the tax payer millions,housing,Nhs,Crime the list goes on.
    No Political Party has addressed this,thus the interest in
    the BNP.













  • Comment number 44.

    Griffin has a very slight grasp of history too.

    At Nuremberg the indictments against twenty one defendants were for:
    1. Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of crime against peace
    2. Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
    3. War crimes
    4. Crimes against humanity

    Not Guilty (or insufficient evidence) verdicts were found for three of the defendants; seven of those found guilty received gaol sentences, not death sentences.
    Eleven defendants were sentenced to death. Goring committed suicide before he could be executed.

    Of those in the military (or connected with military operations) that were executed at Nuremberg:

    Ernst Kaltenbrunner was chief of the Gestapo, the state political and criminal investigation security agencies and the Einsatzgruppen death squads. He was the highest ranking SS leader to face trial at Nuremberg and be executed.

    Wilhelm Keitel was an army general and the Chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, , the High Command of the German Military, throughout the war. He was condemned to death at Nuremberg for commission of war crimes and hung.

    Alfred Jodl was an army general and operations chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht throughout the war. Jodel was active in planning the attacks against Norway, Holland, Poland, Greece, Yugoslavia, and Russia and was responsible for the elimination of the Soviet Communist Party officials (war crime) on capture.

    Arthur Seyss-Inquart was Reich Commissioner for the Occupied Netherlands. He was involved in the shooting of hostages for offences against occupation authorities and the sending of suspected opponents to concentration camps.

    Fritz Sauckel was the Chief of Slave Labour Recruitment for the Nazi regime. The evidence showed that Sauckel was in charge of a program involving the deportation of more than five million people for slave labour under terrible conditions of cruelty and suffering.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A separate set of trials known collectively as 'The Dachau Trials' were held by the U.S. military between 1945 and 1948 on the grounds of Dachau itself.
    These were specifically set up to try for war crimes those individuals that oversaw and worked at the following concentration camps: Dachau, Buchenwald, Flossenburg, Mauthausen, Muhldorf, and Nordhausen.
    A total of 1,941 people were charged in these proceedings, with 1,517 of them being convicted. Of those convicted, 324 were sentenced to death with 278 of those actually being executed.

    The British military also conducted similar tribunals in their zone of occupation.
    1,085 people were tried, with 240 sentenced to death. It fell to the British to try the commandant of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Josef Kramer, and 44 members of the camp staff. Kramer and several of his key staff were found guilty and executed.

    In all, the Allies convicted 5,025 people of war crimes between 1945 and 1949, with 806 of those being sentenced to death, and of that number 486 were executed. The remainder were given prison terms of various lengths.
    A few Nazis were tried for war crimes and sentenced to death by post war Polish courts.

    NB: Hitler and Himmler committed suicide before they could be captured. Other Nazi politicians and military personnel escaped to S America etc.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    Why isn't the BBC challenging Griffin's assertion that British soldiers 'on the coalface' support the BNP.

    THEY DO NOT!

    There is no correlation between military service and the BNP.

    In fact the opposite. The British armed forces to a man and woman are vehemently against what the BNP stands for.

  • Comment number 47.

    i find it incredulous that certain people posting here actually feel that Nick Griffin has some sort of legitimate point of view comparing mike jackson and richard dannett to hitlers henchmen,after what i feel is a fully justified criticism of the BNP by them. yet again the BNP has been allowed to hyjack part of our national identity. as an ex serviceman i find it disappointing yet typical though of a certain arrogant and ignorant minority in this country who rely on media hype and one sided reports on which to base their naive opinions and posts( here's a thought when you have finished slagging us off, pack a bag and go and see these places for yourself and see the good work done around the world by british service personel, which the media won't publicise because it doesn't sell newspapers).

    maybe it is these same naive individuals who are the ones who actually vote for the BNP!!!!!!

    i find it some what ironic that these same people are criticising the very same military machine which enables and maintains their freedom to post such rubbish.it is this freedom that unfortunately gives Griffin and his pathetic party the opportunity to use such iconic image.


    bearing in mind that rememberance sunday is just round the corner maybe some thought could be given to the brave servicemen/women, veterans and their family's, who in my lengthy experience would not give Griffin the time of day let alone a vote at the ballot box.

  • Comment number 48.

    here we have a political party, the BNP, running for office who promote ... base themselves on ... something which is illegal in this country ... racial discrimination

    no thank you - ban them

    come on, let's stop messing about!

  • Comment number 49.

    A lot of commentators here have lost the plot. Perhaps the BNP are racist, are they national socialist or facist ? What about the SNP ?

    We are all slaves in the New World Order, and indebted.

  • Comment number 50.

    Surely it would be much more appropriate for the BNP to use symbols like a Messerscmitt or Joseph Goebbels than a Spitfire and Churchill given their policies

  • Comment number 51.

    What Griffin was trying to achieve with this latest ramble I haven't a clue.

    Then again the British Legion trying to get him to 'not' wear a poppy was more trouble that it's worth as well!

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    #47 britblogger
    "maybe it is these same naive individuals who are the ones who actually vote for the BNP!!!!!!"

    Maybe so, but perhaps it's all just a little close to home for all you Britnat supporters who post here having a new Britnat kid on the block. Why do you think the BNP are not making inroads in Scotland and Wales? Could it be because they have democratic home rule parties to vote for, perhaps, instead of fighting for which Britnat Tweedle wins the bemired Westmidden rattle?

  • Comment number 54.

    On the second world war propaganda, I've always thought it in terribly poor taste to use any large conflict, particularly one which killed and maimed so many, to make political mileage - whatever the party. It's the same feeling I have for politicians who deny the holocaust because they don't like Israel's policies today. The unfortunate victims of WWII are long dead. Leave their memory in peace, don't defile them by involving them in our current political squabbles.

  • Comment number 55.

    #42. At 10:31pm on 20 Oct 2009, Brownedov wrote:
    ==#37 atrisse
    "I think these military men ought to concentrate on their jobs and stop interfering with the democratic process."

    You'd have a point if the UK had a democratic process worth the name. Just ahead of even more unitary France in the race for the democratic wooden spoon among EU and EEA states, it's pretty hard to argue that it has.=====

    True but it's people like these army folk (who have a cheek anyway given the legality of the Iraqi war is in serious doubt) and Peter Hain who would stifle what remains. Given the legislation attempting to outlaw even our thoughts and ideologies, surveillance and Labour's increasing pressure to silence opposition, it's high time these people are silenced.

    I'm fed up with hearing foul-mouthed scorn poured on the BNP simply because they don't accord with the liberals. I'm fed up with the word "racist". I just want to hear what the BNP have to say. With an increasing share of the vote they are obviously representing SOME part of the population - maybe working class people who lost their representation with the arrival of Blair in 1997. I don't know. But I'm sure that if these self-appointed moral guardian angel generals and Peter Hains have their way, the problem, if there is one, will be driven underground - and we'll never know until the whole thing erupts. Better to keep things out in the open. And democratic, in this case.

  • Comment number 56.

    Tell me to but out if you like as I'm an Irishman living in Britain but in my opinion this whole furore over the BNP is farcical. I was of the impression this country was a liberal democracy, that is... tolerant of views no matter how much they seemed to go against the grain. I've a sneaking suspicion there's ulterior motives at play here. Both Labour & the Tories look to be losing working class votes to the fascists & are scrambling to try & recover. With the Tories pulling out the four grand old generals to convince veteran & serving soldiers, while Labour pulls out Hain with his anti-apartheid credentials. Let Griffin speak on QT, don't make a martyr out of him, but show him up to be the moron that he is. The more you try & silence him, the louder he'll become.

  • Comment number 57.

    They just sound like thugs to me. I wouldn't vote for them. There is a veil of violence beneath the weird bitter rhetoric. I suppose as long as they exist then we can treat them with derision and as the distasteful spectacle they are.

    Anyone who in this country and in this day and age references Nazi's and Nuremberg trials lacks any real perspective. Why can Griffin not present his arguments in clear coherent English? I think it is likely that he does not possess the intelligence or really care about the development of civilisation. Instead he wants to incite racial, nationalistic, homophobic and whatever else he can, hatred.

    Every time his veneer thins we see the Francis Baconesque savage that lies beneath. Lets hope this country can sort out its problems swiftly after the next general election and put these clowns in the shadows again for as long as possible.

  • Comment number 58.

    The BNP exist and are achieving some small levels of success because none of the major parties show the least bit of interest in controlling immigration or in promtoing the interests of the white working class who are feeling increasingly alienated and overtaken in many cases by immigrants.

    The liberal establishment are in denial that they themselves are therefore ENTIRELY responsible for the growth of the BNP: all they need to do is to curb immigration, return failed asylum seekers and cease to undermine the white working class by giving them first choice in social housing and jobs. Nothing for example has been done to address the educational underperformance of poor white working class which is worse that any ethnic minority.

    We all know that social housing is in short supply - whose fault is that - and that immigrants with families take precedence over white couples for the small number of new tenancies that come available every year. This policy has helped to undermine and alienate established working class communities in areas of high immigration, a point recognised by the Labour MP Jon Cruddas. He wrote "But growing insecurity – in such areas as housing, education, public services and low pay – means that they are often the focus of the kind of hostility that has been successfully whipped up by the racist British National Party".

    Cruddas recognises the problem but refuses to address it, along with the whole liberal establishment, and most of the people who commented on this blog.

  • Comment number 59.

    #31 Very said, and the best answer i've seen so far in this free speech vs censorship debate regarding the BNP

  • Comment number 60.

    Nick Griffin seems to be trying to start a fight. Is he nothing more than an over educated football hooligan? We get angry and his sympathisers rally round. We shouldn't take him too seriously, it will only encourage him.

  • Comment number 61.

    Noam Chomsky said "If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged."

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    #50 Jermaroo

    "Surely it would be much more appropriate for the BNP to use symbols like a Messerscmitt"

    A good point, but perhaps this might be better

  • Comment number 64.

    #57. At 11:17pm on 20 Oct 2009, doctorbreezy wrote: "Anyone who in this country and in this day and age references Nazi's and Nuremberg trials lacks any real perspective."

    So...are you saying we should not bother with history?

    "Why can Griffin not present his arguments in clear coherent English?"
    I think that's what QT is supposed to be about, no?


    "I think it is likely that he does not possess the intelligence or really care about the development of civilisation."
    I think you'll find he was educated at Cambridge and is perfectly cogent and intelligent in debate.

    "Instead he wants to incite racial, nationalistic, homophobic and whatever else he can, hatred."
    What's wrong with being nationalistic? What is the Scottish National Party about? Besides I think you'll find that the Race Relations Act did more to incite racial troubles by suppressing the problem and the symptoms rather than listening, discussing and reconciling (which we would all have loved but it was not to be, thanks once more to the hysterical reactions of the mainstream politicians). It would have been a challenge, sure, but it was one that would have to be faced one day, like now, for instance.

    I've heard a lot of rumour, disdain and rubbish about the BNP based on hearsay and media antagonism. I'd like them to have a chance to speak openly. For personal reasons I'm unlikely to vote for them but you never know, if their policies made sense and accommodated my circumstance. My current position is that I cannot, as a rightminded person (I like to think), vote for any of the three main parties. Look at them - liars, spivs or drama divas. And I do want to waste my vote.

  • Comment number 65.

    There are some pretty extreme groups worldwide, some of which are very violent. The vitriol concerning the BNP that has emanated from some sections of the population has been frantic to say the least and in some cases, probably exceeds any, that might have issued from certain of their number. This legitimate party,the BNP, until such time as it takes to the streets with banners advocating extreme measures such as we saw just recently from a certain "other religion" has every right to voice their opinion to an electorate that elected certain of their number recently.

  • Comment number 66.

    I'm assuming the majority of BNP voters don't watch Question Time so this show is unlikely to make much of a difference. The concern is that by involving a fascist Party on a flagship show somehow gives that party some sort of legitimacy.

    -----------------------------------------------

    It is this kind of ignorance, bigotry and incorrect use of the term 'fascist' that is increasing empathy and support for the BNP. The questioning of the BNP's 'legitimacy' is just another spineless attempt to undermine Nick Griffin in the run up to his appearance on Question Time.

    It is proof that both the Tories and Labour are afraid that over the next few months many voters wll see through the despicable maintream media bias that attempts to smear the BNP. If Nick Griffin is actually allowed to speak on Thursday (without a pantomime like audience) many viewers will see what he really is; articulate, educated, well-informed and best of all politically incorrect.

  • Comment number 67.

    Until I read #31 I thought letting him on QT a good idea. But I think dotconnect has an excellent point. The quality of debate on QT is very limited. With the usual liberal/PC audience booing him he could look like the credible underdog. In such an areana Griffin may do 'well', which would be a disaster.

  • Comment number 68.

    I have and still do contribute a phenomenal amount of value in what ever way I can to this country as do many millions of others is it reported no, is it noticed seldom by a few usually the family.

    At the same time we have a useless and provocative damager of the reputation of this country who is courted and swooned over quoted and printed by every journalist who can work his name into a story.

    Don’t you think we are sinking a long way down in the standards battle why should we even see this twerp NGs name in print we are encouraging the scoundrel then complaining at his prominence Hypocritical or what - can we call others for their standards when they are lacking in us.

  • Comment number 69.

    Putting aside all the opinions as to why the BNP are a rising force in British politics, they must be a Godsend to the current Govt.

    Just read most of the 60 odd posts so far sent to this site and they are all champing at the bit to hammer the BNP. Their reasoning has a point.

    What this does is draw attention away from the horrendously repressive regime that Labour has introduced here. The Terrorism Act, in all its Parts and Schedules holds no place in a free society and has already been misused by Local Authorites(schools) and Govt, (Icelandic Banks!).

    Then there is the UK Border agency a 25,000 strong snatch squad recently described by an old eastern bloc emigre as reminding him a living under Stalin.

    By all means protest at the BNPs policies but do not let it blind you to what is here now and what YOU are subject to at the whim of those authorised by this Orwellian legislation.

  • Comment number 70.

    Pushing the BNP into the light of day, might give them rope to hang themselves with.

    Alternatively, they might get smart.

    I've always suspected that if the fascists ever got a seat in the House of Parliament, that they would never get out.

    Most other European parliaments have right wing extremists in parliament. We were one of the few that didn't.

  • Comment number 71.

    Nick - what is it that you disagree with? Many people agree with Griffin that the war against Iraq was illegal - it was wrongly invaded and thousands of innocent people have died. You mention the families of the victims - I suspect they would probably, in fact, agree that the politicians and generals responsible should face trial. Yet you react with outrage to Griffin's comments.

    This is a mistake a number of people are making. The way to effectively address the threat of the BNP is not to react with outrage, but to address the points they make. The Government has abjectly failed to deal with the points - it has ignored them and swept them under the carpet or reacted with mock outrage. That approach feeds the BNP's cause because many people (of all races) have legitimate concerns about the failed asylum and immigration system, the cost, overcrowding, and the effect on public services. The BNP is the only party directly and bluntly talking about these issues. People are voting for them for that reason alone, despite the fact that as a whole the BNP is a violent and racist party with a reprehensible vision.

    Although the BNP's vision is outrageous, reacting with outrage will not convince those that support the BNP to stop doing so. Rather, the only way to do so is for the Government and main political parties to address the difficult issues over the asylum and immigration system etc. and voice people's concerns. Doing so will ensure that the BNP's popularity will not grow because people will feel that their concerns are being addressed by another party. That will leave only a minority of genuinely racist and aggressive people supporting the reprehensible BNP.

    So: beware of expressing outrage in responding to the BNP - I do not believe this helps and it is the BNP's goal to achieve such a reaction with the aim of stirring up racial hatred and division.


  • Comment number 72.

    Its a shame that Question Time doesn't do guest hosts. Louis Theroux would be ideal.

  • Comment number 73.

    Being in politics means being ready to debate the issues. A seasoned politician like Peter Hain has made a fool of himself by writing letters asking the BBC not to invite Nick Griffin. This obvious reluctance to debate with the BNP directly benefits the BNP because ordinary citizens get the impression that mainstream politicians are afraid of the BNP.

    People should be asking precise questions about why Peter Hain is afraid of the BNP. Just a few months ago Peter Hain left the Labour Cabinet because 'he wanted to clear his name' after being accused of using a pseudo charitable organization to fund his political campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party. One Parliamentary scandal after another has understandably become a major reason to worry for corrupt politicians that do not want to be unmasked in front of the cameras. If Margaret Beckett was jeered on public television, imagine what could happen to Peter Hain.

  • Comment number 74.

    OMG!!! I can not believe the rubbish that is posted on here. A couple of points to bear in mind,

    I am English, I did at one point have a measure of pride in that fact, not anymore. Remember the old saying "Only in America" well change that to UK. Only here can we have a government so inept we allow them to steal our money and blithely return it (well maybe!) when they get caught. Only here can we have three countries all with their own legislative process but with one of them not being allowed to influence the other two (yeah thats England by the way!) Only here could we actually allow a Scotsman (yes a national of one of the OTHER two countries) to be our PM (shocking how bad a job of it he is doing considering!!!). Only here could we allow the average working man (and yes I am one of them) to pay and pay and pay whilst all around us are thieves and scroungers. Only here could we stand and beat our chests with pride and crow to the rest of the world about our human rights standards and our enlightened political correctness and yet tell Mr working class man that he is no longer entitled to his opinion.

    For what its worth I am saddened by all of you. Your opinions lack substance. If you want to talk about the BNP and pour scorn on them and their opinions then at least research and label them correctly for what they are they are NATIONALISTS not racists. And yes they are gathering in power because actually Mr working class man IS fed up with paying for everyone else and doesnt actually give two hoots what colour or religious persuasion they are. But lets also get something straight here, if people are racist then they are also entitled to their opinion whether its liked or not. Personally I cant understand why anyone would hate or dislike somebody because of their colour but I really can understand why people get angry when their communities are overun by foreigners and local and central government allow it to happen. Even melting pots get full eventually!!!

    The fact is I and many people in this country want and deserve a Government that remembers who pays its wages and cuts its cloth accordingly! Ignore Mr working class man at your peril!

  • Comment number 75.

    #70 ScotsSevensNutjob

    "Most other European parliaments have right wing extremists in parliament. We were one of the few that didn't."

    That is why we should be wary of Proportional Representation. A small party with very little support can end up holding the balance of power in a coalition.

  • Comment number 76.

    The BNP have a bigger following than many people think, most deny it or keep it quiet for fear of reprisals from people who've been brainwashed into thinking it's wrong to stand up for yourself and your own in your own country,this will not be the fact if they do become popular, the support will multiply substantially. The asian community certainly stand up for themselves and get laws changed as did the african community before them, why? because they felt they were being ignored...well, now so do a large proportion of the white british community, and that's why the BNP are gaining ground, not racism at all, it's all about feeling ignored and less important. These people feel they are being placed second and ignored because there's no reprisal to ignoring their plea's for help/ support, but heaven forbid, don't ignore an immigrants plea or you'll be prosecuted. Right or wrong, this is how people have been thinking for years now, ignore it at your own peril, politicians have and they think they can make it go away by banning people like nick griffin and the BNP.

  • Comment number 77.

    The story is a complete and deliberate distraction from the bad state of affairs in the UK after 12 years of Labour government and a bid by Peter Hain to rescue his failed career that is mired in sleaze and corruption on political donations and perhaps expenses as well.

    The BNP are simply an easier target for New Labour than e.g. bankers, corrupt MP's and members of the Houses of Lords, terrorists, eurocrats, tax havens, tax dodgers, serious criminals and ... the SNP.

    Some of the comments about and even now made by the British Army about not being this that or the other racist in year's gone by is utter nonsense - we know things have improved quite a bit in recent years.

    More importantly, as an aside, I think that the issue does show an alarming ignorance, contempt and misunderstanding about the so called British 'millitary covenant' amongst our politicians and surprise, surprise - also amongst some of our leading Generals.

    The covenant is not about army equipment and other peripheral issues - it is about WHO joins up and WHY, and WHY these young men and women soldiers fight and are prepared to die for the UK, even amongst all of its current problems. For those like myself having close bonds with a family member /British serviceman who has given their life in active millitary service for their 'country' - there is a different level of understanding of what the millitary covenant really means and how to show respect for that covenant.

    The majority of British service personnel who go and fight and as prepared to die for their country because they say things like 'I don't mind doing my bit if it means that if and when I return, that things (at home) will be the same as before I went to fight'.

    The Labour government has created a climate where this attitude is increasingly being brought into question.

    For those that have heard and can recall this and similar things being said by someone who went away and not to return may be inclined to agree that use of and indeed the argument itself over the improper use of millitary imagery is disrespectful to fallen soldiers. But, in the scheme of modern politics and spin lies and hypocrisy which emanates from our political class, on a daily basis, - Is anyone really all that surprised at politicians using this or indeed any kind of imagery to 'spin their yarns'.

    I cannot remember Peter Hain condemning anyone for protesting violently against British troops who had simply just returned from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and there is much hypocrisy in his rhetoric.

    What I would say to Peter Hain is to ask him - What is he, his cabinet and political party doing to ensure that the millitary covenant is upheld properly on behalf of our armed forces?

    Perhaps the old adage - 'people who live in glasshouses should not throw stones' might be one that Peter Hain might do well to bear in mind.

    Hain needs to bear in mind that the army is far from being diverse and many immigrants who benefit from being in the UK legally or illegally would never join or serve in our armed forces and pay the ultimate price for their new 'country'.

    This is not a racist comment - this is just a matter of fact and so, on this basis, we welcome the gurkhas to come and settle in the UK after a certain length of UK millitary service. This is about the millitary covenant and it is about being British.

    Somehow the BNP, Hain, Labour, the army generals (the 'donkeys' who lead our lions), the 'anti this that and the others' are all missing the point - this is really all about the 'millitary covenant' - and obviously none of them seem to understand this or treat the subject with the respect that it deserves!

    It is no good condemning others who embrace imagery of Britain's millitary history, pride and association if those condemning this practice fail to honour the 'country', its people and its millitary covenant themselves - it is blatant political hypocrisy and 'back stabbing' of the worst possible kind. This means having only 'just wars' and everyone treating our servicemen and women, of all ranks, at all times, with proper respect. If we need a new law to make this happen and enforce the covenant - then let us have one along with conscription for those who are not sure about what this all means!

    Hain, New Labour, Wannabe Winstons and high ranking army political mouthpieces - please take careful note.

    The Lions are still being led by donkeys!

  • Comment number 78.

    So we obviously now live in a country that doesn't allow free speech.

    Be carefull what you wish for people!

    I don't condone the BNP but as a country we've already started telling people what they can or can't say. We're already on the dangerous path of being told what we can and can't say too.

    Might I add: Why are some allowed free speech however hateful and agressive it might be.

  • Comment number 79.

    @77. At 01:29am on 21 Oct 2009, nautonier

    Well said.

    Labour and the Conservatives have brought this on themselves.

    Peter Hain needs to shut up and let the electorate decide.

    I don't support many of the views of the BNP, the racist, homophobic side mainly but some of what Nick Griffin says, particularly about immigration, does appeal to me as a SINGLE WHITE ENGLISH BORN AND BRED MALE living on a LOW WAGE who has seen economic migrants move into his town and push out those who should have first rights to council/housing association housing because they were born in the town/surrounding area and their families for generations going back to WW2 were also born in the same area, and yes people it does happen.

    But like most reasonably civilised and educated people I can see that he is just another MP who wants to jump on the Westminster Gravy Train and that he and his party if elected would not be particularly good for the country, but not on the scale of Hitler as many would like to equate him and his party to, I can also see that the Tories and Labour would not be good either, and the Lib Dems. Hah.

    There is no-one fit to govern this country because the so called Honorable Members of Parliament are all well to do and have no clue of the average persons life, so at the risk of enciting a riot what have people who disagree with letting the BNP onto Question Time and other media outlets got to lose?

  • Comment number 80.

    Nick Robinson:

    What the B.N.P. remarks are not humour..Simply it is a
    remark that should not been respected...


    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 81.

    We all know what the BNP are, how ignorant, arrogant and racist they are but my issue is with the 1 million Britons who actually voted for the BNP in the Euro Elections in June 2009. I hear a lot of excuses in the media for the people who voted BNP such as they felt that other parties let them down or they felt disenfranchised but the bottom line is that these individuals voted for a nasty racist party and it reflects directly on them and shows exactly how low these voters have fallen. Personally I am disgusted by anyone who has voted BNP!

  • Comment number 82.

    Nick Robinson's interview with Nick Griffin summed it up for me (thanks).
    While Nick Griffin is certainly courting public attention, by comparing himself with an iconic leader, he has only dug a big hole for himself. Then by following it up with; - "dark humour", he has shown me(once again), that he is NOT a man worthy of leading any party that calls itself British, in any parliament.
    Thank God he has the freedom to speak!

  • Comment number 83.

    @ sagamix, post #48;

    here we have a political party, the BNP, running for office who promote ... base themselves on ... something which is illegal in this country ... racial discrimination"

    No it isn't, saga. I've corrected you on this particular mistake before; albeit in a different context.

    As you well know; racial discrimination - like the sexual discrimination we spoke about last time - ISN'T actually illegal in this country. It's only illegal in one direction, so to speak. In the other direction, it becomes "positive" discrimination and we pretend like its a good thing and that it's somehow setting right the crimes and mistakes of previous generations.

    But discrimination is discrimination - the "positive" and "negative" aspect is entirely dependent upon which side of it you're on. And increasingly white, middle- and lower-class people - who, for better or worse, do make up the vast majority of people in this country - end up on the "negative" side.

    Now, the BNP are extremists; and like all extremists, they base their radical - and often quite hateful and violent - policies on entirely valid concerns such as this one; the right of white people not to be discriminated against.

    You see this all the time, in different contexts. Terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah garner support by framing their actions as a response to the quite understandable fear of the Palestinian people that they might be killed in the next Israeli airstrike; the IRA latched onto the quite legitimate desire of the Irish people for autonomy from the English. Even Hitler - to keep this in the context of the topic - rose to power intially by playing to the entirely reasonable fear of the German people in the early 1930's that war reparations imposed by the Allies after WWI were crippling the country and causing widespread poverty and misery.

    You don't deal with extremists by calling for them to be declared illegitimate, as you were doing above. You don't fight hate by trying to censor it; this merely drives it underground, and has the secondary effect of giving the impression that you are trying to stifle discussion of whatever valid issue the extremism is based on. This was illustrated recently in the court case the BNP lost, in which it was decided that it was wrong for them to impose an "all-white" membership condition. Which neatly allowed them to turn around and demand to know why it is considered acceptable to have "all-black" or "all-Asian" organisations - of which there are many, in this country - but illegal to have an organisation in which everybody is white? (A question which the Establishment, the media, and I'm willing to bet one-or-two anti-BNP posters here on the blog, seem to have run away from answering).

    Now we have people demanding that the BNP be outlawed based upon this case. Which gives the impression that they're actually trying to prevent that question being asked; it's THIS that generates support and sympathy for the BNP. Not having them on Question Time - that's absolutely the right thing to do. Give them as much publicity as possible; let's face it, the more a person actually knows about the BNP and what they really are, the less likely that person will be to actually vote for them, huh?

    For instance; thanks to our esteemed blog author, we now know that Griffin is the kind of guy who believes in hanging our military for the mistakes (and outright lies!) of the British Government - chiefly, Tony Blair. Even if I had been thinking of voting BNP before learning that, I certainly wouldn't be now.

    Hope you're well, as ever, my dear Saga.

  • Comment number 84.

    @ Tim_Power, post #74;

    "...at least research and label them correctly for what they are they are NATIONALISTS not racists."

    No, I must disagree with you on that one. Certainly, they do have Nationalist aspects. But I think the "all-white" membership policy not only proves that they are racists, but also that they're NOT actually really Nationalists.

    Fact is, whilst the majority of British (or English, if you'd prefer) people are white, a great many British people are not. There are many non-white British people who's families have been living here for many generations - they were born here, raised here; they're as British as you and I.

    A true Nationalist, then, would seek to be representing them as well; Nationalism is concerned entirely with Nationality, not race.

    But this is what I meant above, in my post #83, about extremists latching on to valid concerns; I agree with most of what you highlighted in your post, they're things which are of grean concern to a lot of people, right now. And because the BNP claim to be representing these interests, until you know more about them, you might well end up believing that Nationalists is all they are - which is the sentiment you're expressing, above.

  • Comment number 85.

    49. At 10:44pm on 20 Oct 2009, newspaceman1 wrote:

    A lot of commentators here have lost the plot. Perhaps the BNP are racist, are they national socialist or facist ? What about the SNP ?

    Let's clear this up. The SNP does not have any racial or ethnic requirement for membership. This implied comparison is totally inaccurate. It has had minority candidates such as Osama Saeed.

    Nationalism does not equate racism. Khrystalar put it well: A true Nationalist, then, would seek to be representing them as well; Nationalism is concerned entirely with Nationality, not race.

  • Comment number 86.

    Nick

    Glad to see that you ARE actually capable of challenging a politician. You should do it more often.

    The BNP are a pretty lothsome lot, so what we ought to be asking is why around 1 million people voted for them at the european elections. I'm drawn to the conclusion that it's down to the left and the labour party. You check out most people who vote BNP and they are working class. Traditional Labour voters But they have concerns about immigration, rightly or wrongly they have concerns. But what do they get from the left? Screeching bellowing that they must be racist. No attempt to listen or engage in a dialogue. So what do they do? They are drawn to a party that DOES say they will listen.

    The BNP are another sad legacy that the Labour party have left the country.

  • Comment number 87.

    "48. At 10:43pm on 20 Oct 2009, sagamix wrote:
    here we have a political party, the BNP, running for office who promote ... base themselves on ... something which is illegal in this country ... racial discrimination

    no thank you - ban them"

    The BNP have opinions we don't like so let's ban them.

    That's left wing democracy in action.

    What is it you do? I forget.

  • Comment number 88.

    " The leader of the BNP Nick Griffin has told me that he does not, after all, want to see two former heads of the British army put on trial and hanged for war crimes."

    I think you are being deliberately obtuse by suggesting that Griffin was seriously calling for these former generals to be hanged.It makes a headline but I'm sure you know what he meant and in what context he said it.
    As long as people like you in the media snipe with childish and trivial criticism the BNP will continue to grow

    There is a lot in their foreign and domestic policy that would not stand up to intelligent criticism ,yet the media is made to look foolish in every interview with Griffin because they cant get past trying to set "traps" and crying...racism!
    "I suggested to Mr Griffin that the families of victims of World War II and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan might not get the joke. He did not respond"
    No wonder -anyone with average intelligence picked up on the fact the you were playing to the gallery.
    Invoking the families of the victims of war in Iraq and Afghanistan to make your point is counterproductive, as a lot of those families feel the same way as the BNP ,even if they don't support them.





  • Comment number 89.

    Nick, how brave of you to join everyone else in getting indignant at Nick Griffin, but the kind of point he is making about the double-standards of the establishment over the invasion of Iraq is the sort of thing that wins applause in liberal circles when it is made by fascists of a different sort... Just shows the limit of the kind of "expose the double standards" debate that dominates the political world today. In truth time and memory makes hypocrites of us all. In the end it is about knowing whose side you are on.

  • Comment number 90.

    So the BNP come up with a random rant because someone criticised them...

    and are then forced to back down when it comes under scrutiny.

    Hardly news, it could probably be applied to virtually anything the BNP say. (unless of course it was just an excuse for Nick to quote the term "Tory lackeys").

    The only reason anyone would really want to ban the BNP and drive their views underground and let them play martyrs is because they think the public are too stupid to see through the tripe they peddle.

    Its ironic to see people wanting to silence others because they're "fascists".

  • Comment number 91.

    # 75. DistantTraveller wrote:

    "That is why we should be wary of Proportional Representation. A small party with very little support can end up holding the balance of power in a coalition."


    The extremists still represent the views of a proportion of the population which under the current system is disenfranchised.
    Sacrificing democracy because you don't like who would get in is a dangerous path to follow.
    As to having undue influence via holding the balance of power - only if the major parties allow them to. A gentleman's agreement to counter the votes of extremist MPs would serve to negate them using the position to gain concessions elsewhere.

  • Comment number 92.

    Nick,

    Throughout your interview with Mt Griffin, I had the schoolboy thought running through my mind that, in the words of the great line from Dad's Army, 'your name will be on ze list'! You have made an enemy there: fortunately it is a pretty feeble one judging by the incompetence of Mr Griffin's response to you.

    Mark

  • Comment number 93.

    11,14#

    You may as well talk to a wall, I tried all day yesterday to get him to see that side of the argument.

    Clear Thinking Progressive should probably be substituted for "Closed Mind" Progressive instead.....

  • Comment number 94.

    No 12 Danibq
    Great stuff and well spotted!!
    I would like to think that given enough rope the BNP will be their own worst enemy. However, it seems that a lot of people dismiss them as caricatures/idiots (both of which is true) but if i remember that is exactly how Hitler gained power? Hindenburg regarded Hitler as a caricature/idiot?? he thought Hitler and the Nazis could be controlled. I agree with a lot of what you guys are saying, but just be a little carefull. These people must be watched and discredited. Only problem is, as Winston Churchill once said "you have no defence against an idiot"

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    # 61.

    What a good point, and Chomsky is a hero for the Guardian-reading politically-correct types who will be foaming at the mouth about the BNP being allowed on TV.... Why OK for hero of left Chomsky to say at greater length (theorectically putting to death by hanging every US president since WWII except Ford; you can find the whole piece on Chomsky's site) what Griffin says more briefly? More double standards then... Since for most of the so-called left these days exposing the double standards of the establishment is enough to prove whatever it is it wants to prove, does this therefore make Griffin (a victim of double standards as well as a perpetrator of them) OK? Or is there more to politics than exposing the double standards of your opponents? I think there is a lesson here for the left which has given up on solutions and simply carps from the sidelines about hypocrisy and cultural relativism. Their rage at Griffin is the rage of Caliban at his image in the mirror. What was once the left has become a permanent sneer and has lost so much ground among the working classes of this country that some of it is now voting BNP. Where are the socialists on the street fighting for the real working class interest? And I don't mean the idiots uselessly and self-indulgently smashing up every city that hosts a G8/G20... or the self-righteous rent-a-mob that will be baying outside the BBC on Thursday... Keir Hardy must be turning in his grave.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    I personally think its great that the BNP will be on QT for once our politicians will be forced to confront them and not hide. I thing Griffen will be shown up for what he is and will be completely out of his depth.

  • Comment number 99.

    RoS @ 90

    the only reason anyone would want to ban the BNP is because they think the public are too stupid to see through the tripe they peddle

    correct

  • Comment number 100.

    Waste of space

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.