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Interviewing the BNP

Peter Rippon | 12:05 UK time, Tuesday, 16 January 2007

There is something very ritualistic about interviewing the British National Party on the BBC. We go through the same editorial debate every time, we do the interview, we get complaints. Our experience on Broadcasting House this weekend was no exception (listen to it here).

Broadcasting House logoThere is a body of opinion that says we should never interview the BNP. We should never give it the 'oxygen of publicity'. I profoundly disagree. It is a legitimate political party with a degree of political support. The debate we have is about whether the editorial grounds for doing an interview are strong enough, about how much coverage we should do, and about how the sequence should be constructed and the interview conducted.

This weekend the editorial grounds for doing it were strong. There was the establishment of a far-right caucus in European Parliament, demonstrations outside the English National Ballet, and as Labour MP John Cruddas conceded in the piece, a BNP emboldened by a sense that the debate about multi-culturalism in the UK has shifted. The fact that in the collective memory of the programme no one could remember ever having done a BNP interview meant we were not in danger of giving it more attention that it deserves.

The other issue to consider was how to do the interview. There are different schools of thought on this. Personally I think rigorous but polite, evidence-based, dissection is far more effective than putting on a cloak of indignation and just hectoring a lot on the assumption that everyone agrees with you.

For further debate about this kind of issue have a look here.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 01:04 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • JG wrote:

Haven't you just admitted to breaking your own impartiality guidelines? What gives you the right to treat any legal political party differently than any other? As much as I disagree with the BNP, I am even more worried that the BBC should let its own institutional (leftist) bias affect the decision to interview a party or not. this really shows just how deep the bias is at the BBC, and how much it affects most of its output.

  • 2.
  • At 01:37 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • RSH wrote:

When considering the legitimacy and support of a party, you should look at educated and well-informed opinion. The views of the ignorant and unintelligent do not need to be given equal weight.

Where does the BNP stand on this basis?

  • 3.
  • At 01:39 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Iain Hunter wrote:

The right way is to say "We would have asked the BNP for an opinion, but why ask a bunch of racist xenophobes for an opinion, when there is more evidence of intelligence on Mars."

  • 4.
  • At 02:19 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

When an extreme political faction becomes more than an insignificant percentage of the electorate, that invariably signifies government's refusal to address the legitimate concerns of the majority and the media's refusal to openly and frankly conduct public debate on those issues. The more emotionally charged and the longer the grievance festers, the more dangerous it becomes. The likely cause in this case is the issue of the rate of immigration into the UK, the demographic distribution of the immigrants, and the failure to integrate the immigrants into the mainstream of British society. Britain has refused to examine this issue largely on grounds of political correctness where this topic has become taboo. This chicken came home to roost on 7-7-05 and in the aftermath, Britain discovered it had allowed the accumulation of a large disaffected minority in its midst which threatens its security. Hiding from the problem and pretending that it doesn't exist doesn't make it go away, in fact it only makes it worse. The same is happening all over sanctimonious Europe. The EU's national bird should be the ostrich. The one advantage of keeping your head in the sand is that when the end comes, it is so swift, sudden, and unexpected, that you never knew what hit you. Mercifully the pain is over quickly.

What is the solution? Who says there is one at this point but the first thing you do when you find you've dug yourself into a hole you can't climb out of is to stop digging. As Britain's and the world's biggest mouth, BBC owns some of the responsibility.

  • 5.
  • At 02:27 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • bob wrote:

for those of us who don't know... what IS the BNP?

  • 6.
  • At 02:37 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Shalim wrote:

I have no problems with the BBC interviewing the BNP. This lets the public know just what the BNP are about. However, am I the only person who feels the BBC's Have Your Say forums have been hijacked by the BNP and its supporters? Far right comments are always at the top of the list because they are getting recommended the most, but it seems that a minority of people are abusing the rating system to make their views seem popular. I feel the BBC should do something about the forums which give a highly skewed representation of the views of the general public.

  • 7.
  • At 02:59 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Philip wrote:

Peter, I agree you should be interviewing the BNP. One of the most common claims they make is that they are being 'censored' or 'gagged' and so on.

Interviewing them on the BBC deprives them of the ability to make this claim, and forces them to try and defend their stance. It also exposes them to the searchlight of discussion, so that the attempt to portray their policy as one of 'managed migration' as opposed to out and out colour prejudice can be exposed.

  • 8.
  • At 03:38 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • ingo wrote:

No the BNP does not merit coverage, because they do not mean to serve society. I am saying this because I look back at the last thrity years and have found not much they have ever done except stir up racial hatred wherever they go.
Further, the BBC, by favouring a tabloid style interview out for blood and guts, is focusing on infotainment not reality.
Why does a party that actually achieves and works in local Government, a party that has been Poo Pooed by the BBC for yonks, not deserve the accolade of an interview?
I am speaking of a party that has been providing solutions to present problems for years, a party that has provided policies and leads to all other parties that exist, out of necessity.
Off course I am talking of the Green Party here, stop ignoring those who REALLY TRY, they deserve to be taken as full, don't just play at it, it might be hard to ignore their rants and threats, but thats all it is. The BBC should inform, but it also has a public broadcasting brief that should be used to inform the liscense payers of positive solutions, sustainable policies that involve all walks of life, so why this constant fixation with a party that manages to organise around a bunch of thugs?
Ingo Wagenknecht, Norfolk.

As a supporter of PR I've often wondered about the pros and cons of debating with the BNP (click the link for an outline). I think the answer depends on whether you're talking long or short term.

In the short term the "oxygen of publicity" might garner them a few extra votes. This is definitely the view of those on the front line such as groups like Unite Against Fascism.

In the long term, however, we can see that ignoring the BNP and letting them campaign on their own terms, which means misinformation and playing off racial tensions, hasn't stopped them gathering pace or gaining nearly 50 councillors.

Pulling them out into the open, such as would probably happen by introducing PR means turning the national media and Parliamentary spotlights onto them, both as individuals but more importantly as an organisation. At the same time PR, if it uses a preferential voting system, avoids splitting the anti-fascist vote in close call elections and also provides a real, mainstream voice for the disaffected left (especially the white working class) that the BNP are currently feeding off.

Ignoring the BNP will not make them go away.

  • 10.
  • At 04:27 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • max wrote:

surely letting people be educated in who the BNP are and why their views are so wrong is better than letting someone read a biased leaflet written by BNP and let them make there decision from that?

  • 11.
  • At 04:43 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Bernard wrote:

The BNP interveiw was quite frankly akin to badger baiting. Every question asked was confrontational. It was nothing more than a witch hunt.

All political parties should be given the same amount of air time by the BBC and be asked the same type of questions. Apart from the party in government, they should have more air time (not party political air time) because they are the ones who make decisions every day that affect our lives.

I really cannot say one party is better than another. They all have their own different ways to create fear into the public. If we were not made to live in fear, we would not need a government.

As for the people who say the BNP are a bunch of thugs, how are they any different to Blairs New Labour. Blair is a thug on a World wide scale.

I have no love for any polical party, they are not there to serve the people, only to control them. I really think though, that before calling any of them racists, thugs or whatever, people should find out for themselves what a particular party is about. Instead of just shouting they are all thugs because some one on the tele said so.

It is time for a government 'of the people for the people'. If the BNP or anybody else will be that. They'll get my vote. I have not voted for the main parties for some time now, because I don't see any difference between the Big Three, their leaders are all Bilderberger Protege's. Or should I say Bilderberger

Thugs!

Bernard.

  • 12.
  • At 04:43 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Mark E wrote:

"When considering the legitimacy and support of a party, you should look at educated and well-informed opinion. The views of the ignorant and unintelligent do not need to be given equal weight."

While it is probably true that many of the people who will vote or stand for the BNP are not well educated or informed. However, does that mean that we should deny them a voice in this country?

I would suspect that many of the people who voted for most of the main parties are also ill-informed of exactly what they are voting for. I suspect that very few voters know exactly what the party they vote for plan to bring in. Does that mean that the BBC should also deny a voice to the main parties? Some of the statments from New Labour ministers show that they are often also ill-informed (they even fall back on it as an excuse to save their own jobs)

I would hate to live in a country when only the educated and informed could vote or stand for election as that would leave large sections of the population without a voice. I would rather the BNP was given the rope to hang itself rather then always appearing to be a censured victim that is never allowed the same rights to free speech as the other parties.

  • 13.
  • At 04:57 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Mark E wrote:

"Far right comments are always at the top of the list because they are getting recommended the most, but it seems that a minority of people are abusing the rating system to make their views seem popular. I feel the BBC should do something about the forums which give a highly skewed representation of the views of the general public."

I have seen very few comments on HYS that I would consider to be "Far Right", yes there have been some that have been distasteful but those are generally removed very quickly (BBC censorship at it's best). I find that the left-leaners on HYS are far too quick to label any viewpoints that they disagree with as "far right" and "racist".

A big part of the problem here is with the way HYS is run (and I would like to say that it is run very poorly). More politically charged debates tend to be "Pre-Mod" so only views that pass the BBC censors are published - which seems to result in a higher proportion of left-wing comments. The "Post-Mod" debates are then the only place where proper "free" debate is allowed and as such people whose views are not displayed on the "Pre Mod" debates try and shift the topic to what they wish to speak of.

I have seen many regular posters who have left-wing views attack any view point that talks about limiting number of immigrants as racist.

Any person who is registered has the ability to recommend a comment - and if the right wing comments are picking up more recommendations then perhaps that is because people DO actually agree with them? If you have a viewpoint that people shared then I suspect they would vote for it just the same.

As a country we are typically centre/centre-right (look back through elections to see that)

Some of the viewpoints I have seen on the HYS have been far-left, and the far-left is just as dangerous as the far-right. When you start to go to extremes you start to get extremists.

  • 14.
  • At 05:12 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Aaron McKenna wrote:

As much as I don't agree with the BNP or its stances, this is still a democracy, correct? As one poster put it, when the BNP starts to get support it means that there is something wrong.

Don't tell me that Britain is full of bigots - if you look closely enough I'd say 9/10 of the BNP's members are ordinary Joe Soaps wanting a better life - hospitals and police are probably as high on the BNP agenda when they go knocking on doors as denying the Holocaust and demanding the expulsion of Johnny Foreigner probably isn't. By ignoring the issue I think you simply allow it to fester.

It seems to me that we worry about creating martyrs of Islamic extremists but we do precisely that to the BNP if we try to stifle their ignorant views. I remember interviewing a National Front candidate in the first 1974 election for my University radio station. Our studios were occupied by the Trotskyites as a result. If they'd actually listened they would have heard the NF candidate make a complete fool of himself, it became comedy not comment. I think most of the occupiers are now working for the BBC. I have yet to see an extremist of any type who does not come across as bigoted and stupid when interviewed. Oxygen of publicity ? Disinfectant of publicity more like.

  • 16.
  • At 05:36 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Matthew Butterworth wrote:

This country is a democracy... which means free speech. There a LEGAL political party.

If you don't like the BNP, go live in China where you can't say anything.

  • 17.
  • At 06:49 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • pippop wrote:

If we suppress the thoughts and desires and aims of the far right, we won't know how to counter the issues they address. We must, if we are to be aware of our political climate have everyone's view aired, if we don't then we don't live in a democracy. Screaming facist or Islmophobic at someone will not move a discussion on. We must all see for ourselves and discuss these deeply right wing views that the BNP and the Islamists are expressing at the moment.

  • 18.
  • At 07:04 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • RC wrote:

I feel that many of the previous posters complain of the ignorance of BNP members and supporters; they show precisely the same ignorance of which they accuse the BNP!I invite all such posters to consult the party's website and learn more about their policies, rather than simply dismissing them as rabble-rousing ignorant racists. After all, who are you to decide what constitutes ignorant opinion?

  • 19.
  • At 07:10 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

The BNP itself is not the real issue, the BNP is irrelevant. The real issue is whether or not there are a substantial number of people who have a grievance with govenment policy whose voice is not heard in mainstream politics and are therefore lured to join extremist parties, the only place they feel they can be heard. The government didn't wake up one fine day expecting to find 25,000 Polish immigrants and found 650,000 instead. They knew or should have known all along what was happening. The problem for the major political parties is that close examination of what Brits want collectively for their nation's future and how it is to get there may run entirely contrary to the contract the government has endorsed with the EU. It could force Britain to choose to opt out of some provisions or from the EU entirely to reclaim sovereign control over itself. This may not be in keeping with their grand designs for the future of Europe. The reason democracies have a free press is to serve as a forum for the debate of just such sensitive issues, if it isn't too late already. Keep sweeping it under the rug or to an extreme corner and it just builds up and builds up. It won't go away by itself. Britain's and Europe's problem is that their governments by and large don't trust the electorate. The politicians are not by the people, for the people, or of the people, they are for themselves alone in pursuit of their megalomaniacal schemes which always turn to folly and end in failure.

  • 20.
  • At 07:32 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • CR wrote:

The BNP should be considerably lower down on the BBC's agenda compared to other non-'mainstream' parties. The Green Party, for instance, gets more votes at elections than the BNP, but this does not seem to be reflected in the BBC's coverage.

  • 21.
  • At 09:28 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Richard wrote:


Alot of my friends will argue to defend the BNP's right to freedom of speech. I defy that. Since when is it legitimate to allow the spread of racial hatred? And their outdated, irresponsible, irrelevent view of society, has not changed, it has merely adapted to fit to the fears people have, that are mostly just read from newspapers, not experience.

That isn't to say that we should ignore them; they should be exposed through honest straightforward interviewing, but also through honest, non-sensationalist reporting; the kind that doesn't pander to BNP's agenda by inflating race, assylum and immigration stories

  • 22.
  • At 09:53 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Ken wrote:

Of course the BBC should interview members of political parties, but I wish it would concentrate on Members of Parliament who have a greater mandate than a few councillors.

  • 23.
  • At 11:37 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • Wessex wrote:

It both amazes and saddens me to read the above piece.

As I understand it the BBC is required by its own Charter to represent all significant opinion and, as much as some on the left dislike the fact, the British National Party does have significant public support.

What I also find objectionable is that a relatively small body of people believe they have the right to dictate what political opinion the nation can, or cannot, hear from - through a broadcasting facility paid for by the people of this country which - incidentally - includes hundreds of thousands and possibly millions, of BNP voters!

By rights, representatives of that party should be regularly seen and heard on the BBC - yet it is the political bias of the bigoted few within the Corporation that has made a mockery of the BBC's Charter by abusing the trust placed in them and required of them, indsirectly by the public.

The question should therefore be not whether the BNP should be given air time - but what is the proportion of broadcast time it is entitled to in relation to its national support and influence!

The present abuse of the BBC's Charter by this politically motivated clique, an affront to our democracy by any reasonable standard, must end!

  • 24.
  • At 07:54 AM on 17 Jan 2007,
  • Russell Long wrote:

Why does the BBC persist in classifying the BNP as a 'far right' party, when it is not? It is a National Socialist party - with the emphasis on Socialist. The BBC has a billion researchers. Why is it that NOT ONE appears to have taken the time to read the BNP's manifesto. Only in one area are they vaguely 'right wing' - namely immigration. The remainder of their policies, including economic policies, are classic left-wing ones - nationalisation of major industry, higher minimum wage, free healthcare for workers.

Only when the media accept that the BNP is anything but right-wing will we start to achieve some decent coverage.

I also wanted to take issue with Shalim's comment at 6:

"However, am I the only person who feels the BBC's Have Your Say forums have been hijacked by the BNP and its supporters? Far right comments are always at the top of the list because they are getting recommended the most, but it seems that a minority of people are abusing the rating system to make their views seem popular. I feel the BBC should do something about the forums which give a highly skewed representation of the views of the general public."

I can think of, perhaps, two 'Have Your Says' which have been, as you might describe it, 'hijacked', Shalim. In the others, you see an outpouring of frustration by the educated middle classes in the only place they can voice their feelings. They are marginalised and disenfranchised despite paying for the welfare programmes left-wingers adore, and are treated as pariahs for wanting a holiday abroad.

I am one of them. I am tired, Shalim. I am tired of high tax to pay for vaunted social programmes. I am tired of being told the government is the only solution when it is not. I am tired of 'social justice' being used as a cover for the theft - and it is theft - of the money I earn to pay for the salaries and pensions of an idle public sector. I am tired of knowing that there are now three left-wing, statist parties, none of whom represent me, and thus I pour out my rage on the internet. You should be grateful, Shalim. The internet is the one thing that stops the middle classes setting fire (albeit genteely) to the House of Commons.

Why aren't the BNP ever interviewed for their reaction to the latest immigration figures? The Green Party, another relatively small and electorally unsuccessful party, are frequently given air-time for their views on the environment!

PS Why was the BBC prepared to infiltrate the BNP yet not prepared to run a similar expose of certain Mosques unlike Channel 4's Dispatches - "Undercover Mosque" on Monday evening?

  • 26.
  • At 10:18 AM on 17 Jan 2007,
  • Clifton wrote:

Of course the BBC should interview the BNP, the more air time you give to their ranting about their nasty little cause the more people will move away from them. Allowing the BNP sound bites does not give a good interviewer time to expose them for what they are. However we should look at why the BNP do have elected people, what are they saying that people are connecting with. We should not ban people on denying holocaust, we all know it happened. Let them stand and be heard for the idiots and bigots they are.

  • 27.
  • At 11:18 AM on 17 Jan 2007,
  • gary wrote:

i really feel bad for democracy in this country when people start hounding others for their beliefs.not everyone is the same!and dont impose your views as the best because others are not dumb but have legitimate feelings and reasons for their actions!if you feel the bnp is racist dont vote for them!but dont tell other who do vote for them that they are stupid.cos your they is not superior to theirs.

  • 28.
  • At 11:21 AM on 17 Jan 2007,
  • ingo wrote:

Snafu comments, no25, are obfusing the subject. An interview on the environment and its state is not comparable to a highly charged and politically motivated issue as immigration. The environment is in everyone's mouth, even that of the BNP so I have heard, all parties are now bandwaggoning this vital issue and it will determine much of what we do in future. I agree with the notion of PR bringing the bile to the surface and am prepared to argue my case with anyone, regardless of them being led by thugs in my eyes. What I fear though is, that some within the BBC who have prominently supported the coverage of N.griffin, during the local election 2005 for example, a whole hour interview on Five live, will take any chance of promoting their island mentality and projecting it to the public, possibly leading to riots.
If the rules of coverage are as pliant as the BBC dictates them, only to then ignore it themselves, out of 'public interest' and when we then are landed with riots in Bradford, because of the publicity surrounding local tensions, then they are part of the problem. I feel that the political coverage of any BNP members, compared to that of Green Party activities, is greater and more accepted, a result of dumbing down and a reduced self awareness that keeps the BBC away from tabloidal behaviour.

  • 29.
  • At 01:01 PM on 17 Jan 2007,
  • Phil Metcalfe wrote:

I remember a BBC news report where a reporter crept back secretly to the marque the party was having a meeting in after dark on Griffin's farm to listen to them singing Waffen SS marching songs.

Are these the sort of people we really want contributing to politics in this country? Personally I think not.

  • 30.
  • At 02:11 PM on 17 Jan 2007,
  • Ben Rawlinson wrote:

JG (see comment) writes about impartiality while stating without any qualification that the BBC is biased ! Utter self cotradiction !
Oops.....

  • 31.
  • At 02:16 PM on 17 Jan 2007,
  • pippop wrote:

RC post 18. We are aware, I hope.

I have heard the views of Nick Griffin and I have heard the views of Abu Hamsa. I have seen the result of Nick Griffin's views. I have seen and still am hearing of the result of Abu Hamsa's views. It doesn't take a genius to see and know just who is the most dangerous to the stability of a modern liberal democracy.

I find it unfortunate that the question even has to be asked.

Unless a party is illegal, or gets virtually no votes, its representatives should be inteviewed.

I personally see no difference between BNP and Respect, in terms of their unpleasantness, but for some reason respect gets a free pass.

Ingo (#28), I've read your comment a couple of times but I'm still not clear whether you believe the BBC was right to interview the BNP or not!

  • 34.
  • At 04:13 PM on 17 Jan 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

I do not like what the BNP have to say but I respect their right to say it. I do not want to live in a country that muzzles political groups. We have laws against stirring up racial or religous trouble. If BNP members break those laws they should be punished appropraitely. However that punishment should not take the form of censoring the party itself. We live in a civilised society and we must respect people's right to hold oppinions we dislike.

  • 35.
  • At 07:11 PM on 17 Jan 2007,
  • andrea wrote:

i dont agree with all of the BNP policies but i do think its time we as a country stood united and told europe to back off, i for one am sick and tired of eastern europeans coming into our country taking our jobs and housing and we as the british public are told to shut up and get on with it. havent these politicaly correct morons realised that crime rates have risen,in the last few years unemployment has risen if the polititions are honest about the figures and freedom of speech has been burried along with our rights. we are the laughing stock of the world for being pushed around by other nationalities its time our government developed a back bone and told europe to mind their own business.

  • 36.
  • At 07:25 PM on 17 Jan 2007,
  • B. Phillips wrote:

Of course the BNP should be interviewed by the BBC just like any other party. Very often when there are debates and programmes about the BNP there is NO BNP representation it is akin to Hamlet without the Prince. And it is unfair.

To compound that, the BBC DOES give air time to other smaller parties like the Greens who get more than their fair share of TV time.

Even when the BBC programme "Qustion Time" came from Burnley, at the time the town with the most BNP councillors, there was still no BNP representatives on the panel!

What if the programme was screened from Barking. Would the BBC ignore the BNP again?

If any other party had gone from zero councillors to over 50 in the space of a few years you can bet the BBC would be doing all it could to feature them. Anyother party that is apart from a patriotic and nationalist one.

No wonder the BBC recently admitted it was biased

The BNP deserve an interview. I am genuinely worried about Nick Griffin's scheme to impersonate a proper political party, and I think giving the party interviews is the best way to expose the reality of the party. They claim not to be racist in press releases, interviews, everything except their manifesto, which commits them to 'ethnic nationalism' and 'micro-genetic differences between the races'. When I say they deserve an interview, I mean a good old-fashioned Paxman grilling. If you can't survive that you shouldn't be in power anyway, and last time I believe Nick Griffin just talked circles around himself.

  • 38.
  • At 12:44 PM on 18 Jan 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Unless BBC first presents some background about the BNP, who their core members are, what motivates them, why they have become attractive to those outside what would appear to be their very limited core constituency and then follows up by examining wider issues in British society which have not found expression in the mainstream political discussion, an interview with BNP alone will be of very limited value to the audience. As is usual for BBC, they will present a highly superficial and distorted understanding of it. I'll bet that's exactly what they do. Way to go BBC. Why not go to journalism school and learn it yourself first before you open one up and try to teach it.

  • 39.
  • At 03:11 PM on 18 Jan 2007,
  • Sean Flude wrote:

Of course you should interview the BNP . It is the responsibility of the BBC as our state owned television company to represent the political views of all Britons (providing that those views don't break the laws of our country).

The very fact that you would even consider not interviewing them is in itself an indication of extreme bias on the part of the BBC .


  • 40.
  • At 10:51 AM on 19 Jan 2007,
  • M wrote:

I sure if you did a "Have Your Say" topic asking for questions to be put to the BNP there would be many interesting contributions.

Are the BNP worried about British-expats integrating well in their host cultures?

  • 41.
  • At 03:19 PM on 19 Jan 2007,
  • J Finnon wrote:

As one of those the left try and label knuckle-dragging-thug I feel i have to comment on an issue which to be honest shouldn't even be one. I'm an intelligent person who has a Masters in Chemistry and is currently studying a Graduate Diploma in Law. To have a democracy you need free speech, to have a free society you need a democracy. Maybe if the media allowed us as a party to debate on all issues not just that of immigration then people would see that in fact immigration formulates just one concern of a BNP member and including myself, a previous candidate. I don't see immigration as a race issue, immigration comes from all races and is an issue that affects all walks of life including health, education and public transport. We need to discuss these concerns not hide from them.

  • 42.
  • At 09:21 PM on 19 Jan 2007,
  • Charles Mather wrote:

I,a retired GP am a BNP member and candidate believe the BBC should give the party a fair hearing on air which we are not getting at present. I think your reluctance to give us air time is that you know our views resonate with millions of people in this country and that we would gain influence as a result.
By all means try to pull our policies to pieces if you can, we would have no objections.
I would have thought you would have lost no opportunity to shoot our arguments down in flames if you had confidence in your beliefs. Your failure to do so inclines me to belive you have no such confidence or have you a more sinister motive, brainwashing perhaps?

  • 43.
  • At 12:30 PM on 20 Jan 2007,
  • Balance, what balance wrote:

In response to J Finnon, not all in the left wish free speech, that is why they are so keen to shoot down anyone who dares to disagree with them as racist.

Calling someone a racist for disagreeing with you is a very childish way to stop a debate you are losing. But it is one that many in the left use all too often.

  • 44.
  • At 09:30 PM on 20 Jan 2007,
  • Kathleen wrote:

Its very depressing in a free country to hear people talk of banning and ignoring a sizeable representation of its citizens. No one held a referendum about uncontrolled immigration from Third world countries which do not and will not share our culture and identity. In appearing to be the Left wing conscience of the Nation the BBC has alienated itself to such an extent that it is no longer trusted by many to deliver fair accurate unbiased news.
Its a sad day when internet blogs and on line newspapers report that which the BBC shies away from or seeks to actively suppress. The Beeb has to take some of the blame for the rise in support for the BNP.

  • 45.
  • At 09:18 AM on 22 Jan 2007,
  • Sam wrote:

More BBC left wing bias it seems, funny how the BBC attempted to have a BNP speaker prosecuted who was found 100% innocent at a huge cost to the taxpayer.

BBC you are not a political party and are not meant to have a opinion so stop it! Why should i pay for a corperation that not only doesn't represent me but who's only desire is to persue its own political agenda and propoganda for it.

Maybe thats also why my previous post was censored? And why this one probably will be.

  • 46.
  • At 12:56 AM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Abigail Orr wrote:

Freedom of speech is one of the things we should be proud of, and that applies equally to all - even those whose views are offensive, and (hopefully) a minority.

  • 47.
  • At 01:32 PM on 30 Jan 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

Listening to some of the leftist views on here make it sound like the BNP is some kind of creature with a life of its own. As it says on their website it is made up of people just like you and me. People like ballerinas for instance and IT consultants like myself.

The BNP are there because a big major issue that affects everyone is not being addressed. Keep ignoring them and calling them racists for all I care because this will only drive people to them.

  • 48.
  • At 01:56 AM on 31 Jan 2007,
  • Alf Kay wrote:

I find it hard to believe we're discussing why the BBC should find it right or wrong to do an interview with the BNP.
Is the UK so gagged now TV news cannot even hint at anything that may be seen as politically incorrect?
The TV news stations were quick to jump onto the Big Brother bandwagon but no mention of a case for someone being called *White Trash*

I feel this was only to avoid having to discuss the *Dispatches* documentary (Mosques in the UK) on Channel 4 just before Big Brother came on!
Why was'nt this even mentioned on the news?, At least the BNP have the courage to bring out what ARE major issues in the UK.
Sure, Most muslims may be peaceful people but we have to sadly look at the facts that a lot could be dangerous..Let me guess, The BBC nor any of it's reporters did'nt see the programme or dismissed it as rubbish.

I'm glad to see the license fee is'nt being wasted on good reporting!

  • 49.
  • At 01:22 AM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • Tom Hoban wrote:

The fact that a growing number of people are leaving the main stream parties to vote BNP should not invite the stigma of them being racist, it does however show that they want to be represented and have their voice listened to.

To make the claim that BNP voters are racist, it would only be a balanced claim that as they are former supporters of the main stream political parties to admit that they also have a considerable proportion of members who hold such views, but they are not treated with such disregard by the media as are the supporters of the BNP.

Many of the opinion formers within Britain's media and the political establishment see the indigenous working class as a defeated force, an under class of uneducated disorganised rabble, a post industrial waste product, ill prepared to accept the new world reality, and helpless to effect change from themselves let alone with the ability to affect a change in society.

Many of the indigenous working class feel this defeat only to well, and they may feel some reservations about trusting the BNP to offer a effective opposition, and redress their state of decline, but they have no real option, they seek only their own salvation, and this is not at the expense of other groups within society..

The indigenous working class feel they have no voice in the political decision making process, they must organise to prevent being further marginalised and learn from ethnic groups the benefit of networking and organising, whether it be as members of political parties or becoming active in local communities to protect their interest, and halt the erosion and stigmatisation of their communities, labels such as "Chave Scum" should be treated with the same disapproval as other unacceptable racist insults.
.

If there were any desire by the established political parties to allow fair representation, then they would have accepted the introduction of proportional representation, so that the needs of all groups in society could be heard regardless of race creed or life style choices.

I am going to vote tacitly in the next election, it is all I can do to express my dissatisfaction, and sense of betrayal by New Labour, if that means voting Tory or Lib Dem, so be it, if the BNP were running a candidate in my area, I would consider voting for them

  • 50.
  • At 10:34 AM on 01 Feb 2007,
  • j joanes wrote:

The very fact that the BBC feels it has the right to block a legal popular political party, it makes me very sad, when other countrys do this there is an outrage by the BBC and civil rights groups.

perhaps the BBC should do a program about the unfair treatment of legal political parties by national TV companies being restricted airtime or a fair say.

especially a TV company who is funded by the people many of whom are BNP voters!

i do feel the BBC and the main parties are in fact scared that the BNP may show themselfs to be a reasonable and well thought out party with support from rich to poor, and left and right. just google the bnp and visit their site and make your own mind up.

  • 51.
  • At 09:31 AM on 02 Feb 2007,
  • j smith wrote:

i am not suprised the BBC will not report fairly the BNP, why? the BBC are racist, anti white no less along with Labour.

they suport the MOBOs the music of black origin awards yet there is no music of white origin awards or even music of asian origin awards.

this one example of many is what the BBC tries to hide under the pc label. what the bbc are saying is `please do not stand up and shout you are proud to white as you will be labeled a racist` however if anyone wants to stand and shout they are proud to be black, asian, green or purple the BBC will give you air time.

the most shamefull of all actions by the BBC however is their refusal to report on the racial attacks on the white poeple in this country, the many murders of whites by blacks and asians which go unreported, such attacks which actually out number the attacks against the minorities.

this is PC gone mad and is in fact racist against the majority white population.

at least the BNP stand against such biased reporting and are more honest than the biased BBC.

i challenge every free thinking person to visit the BNP site and judge for yourselfs. in the meantime i feel the whole population - white, black and asian should stand up and complain of the biased BBC reporting it benefits no one it just hides the truth.

  • 52.
  • At 10:12 AM on 02 Feb 2007,
  • David Hewitt wrote:

Regretfully this and the disgraceful actions by left-wing MEPs is typical. We have a situation where we have free speech, but only if you say what certain culture police allow you to say. I and many others really do wonder if we actually live in a democratic society at all where an intolerant mob os self-styled liberals are anything but.

"I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight for your right to say it..." is the cornorstone of democracy along with protected free speech, do not forget this and interview the BNP and don't ask questions designed to entrap, be fair, and you will be bucking the trend and will make paying the license a pleasure.

  • 53.
  • At 11:14 AM on 12 Feb 2007,
  • Manuk White wrote:

I along with very many others find the
Biased Broadcasting Corporation nothing more than a joke. To refuse to give air time to the BNP - WHY.
A legitimate registered party that you may or may not agree with. Possibly the only political party that is expressing the views of the majority ethnic population of the UK..
Not a fact that editors of News and TV progs wish to accept - will contradict their own Left Wing agenda
I have yet to find one single editor or a single feature writer can point out just where the BNP are racist.
Repatriation was a Labour or Conservative policy, the latest bonus now £2000 for returning back to the motherland. The BNP policy was to offer an increased bonus, hardly racist, unless one refers to the UAF, supported by the Unions and the Labour Party.
Offer the BNP a seat on Question Time along with a selected audience
and allow us the chance to rebutt the allegations made by the media.

  • 54.
  • At 07:30 PM on 12 Feb 2007,
  • Victoria Stiles wrote:

Manuk White: They didn't refuse to give the BNP air time. Did you even read the thing you're commenting on? And do you have any evidence that the BNP speaks for "the majority ethnic population of the UK"? National election results would suggest otherwise.

Of course the BNP has the right to be interviewed, to put forward their opinions and to have their policies questioned, the same as every other political group. On this point you, me and the BBC would appear to be in agreement.

  • 55.
  • At 01:13 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Helena wrote:

I'm sorry I came late to this debate but I was Googling BNP trying to find out all I can about them objectively. There seems to be a lot of support for them locally and a lot of hatred for them from what I'd call Far Left groups. On the point if they should have a platform for their party from the BBC, maybe the BBC could get rid of them BUT.......exempt them and their members from the licence fee on the grounds that they are mutually incompatible organisations?

  • 56.
  • At 04:26 PM on 04 May 2007,
  • Timbo Davies wrote:

In a recent election the BNP pushed racist literature into my letterbox, attacking gypsy people of middle European origin. Gypsies as well as Jewish people died in great numbers in the holocaust. If a fascist party like the "British Nazi Party" had attacked Jewish people or black people as interlopers in British society, inciting race hatred would have been a given in their election literature.

(Contacts with my MP and the electoral commission were fruitless, in dealing with this).

If fascists are to be permitted to participate in the electoral process, they must respect the universal human rights that underpin democracy. (You cannot be a democrat and attack the other persons democratic rights, purely because of their race or nationality).

The British National Party does not support universal human rights or democracy, and should be suspended from the democratic process until they adhere to civilized standards. Then we will be able to have fair proportional representation, without the fear of fascists gaining a foothold in a democratic system they wish to destroy.

They can be guaranteed full free speech and media coverage on these terms, outside the electoral process.

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