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Is all publicity good publicity?

Nick Robinson | 08:09 UK time, Wednesday, 21 October 2009

This week will put that old maxim to the test. The British National Party are getting more publicity than they can have dreamed of, culminating in a controversial appearance for Nick Griffin on Question Time.

Nick GriffinMany will be deeply uncomfortable with this. Others argue that it is the inevitable consequence of the BNP's electoral - albeit limited - success. What's more, one senior Tory argues, the BNP leader's linking of two distinguished former generals with Nazi war criminals shows the value of exposing the party's arguments.

Until recently, most mainstream politicians have gone out of their way to avoid even talking about the BNP in order to deny them the oxygen of publicity. Ever so quietly behind the scenes, all the mainstream parties co-operated to try to head off the threat from the BNP - sharing intelligence about them and working to ensure that they faced proper opposition wherever they stood.

Then a number of Labour politicians who saw the party's rise in their areas - Margaret Hodge in Barking and Jon Cruddas in Dagenham - abandoned that approach and tried to force their own party to address the anxieties of white working-class voters who they feared were defecting. Some used anti-BNP campaigns to rally Labour activists who were otherwise reluctant to campaign for their party.

Now Conservatives are reacting to fears that the BNP is successfully hijacking traditional symbols of patriotism - the flag, the Spitfire and the poppy. Hence the campaign organised by two well-connected Tory activists which shot to prominence yesterday when a group of senior military figures joined the fray.

This week may mark an important shift in the way in which the other parties handle the threat from the British National Party, though all will be watching with some trepidation the opinion polls that follow.

It is worth remembering that the party remains a very small force. As I wrote after the European elections, the BNP's two MEPs were elected on a smaller share of the vote. They have just a few dozen councillors. However, the big parties now sense that they are a force that can no longer be ignored.

Update, 16:10: Earlier I pointed out that Nick Griffin became a member of the European Parliament even though he won fewer votes than he did five years ago.

He got 132,194 votes whereas five years earlier the BNP in north-west England had polled 134,959 votes. Griffin won because of a collapse in the Labour vote from 576,388 in 2004 to 336,831 in 2009.

However, lest this has led some to wonder what all the fuss is about, I should point out that nationwide the BNP's vote share went up 1.3% to over 6% and its total number of votes went up more than 16% to a figure not far shy of a million (943,598 to be precise).

In the nine regions of Great Britain where the BNP did not win a seat, its total vote went up by more than a quarter - 26.5% to be precise.

(Thanks to the European Movement for pointing this out.)


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  • Comment number 1.

    I think it's a mistake having Griffin on QT, he's likely to come over quite well in the current anti Establishment environment - course we'd like to think he'll be exposed for what he is but I'm not so sure that will happen - I am, however, looking forward to the programme despite myself

  • Comment number 2.

    I for one am really looking forward to seeing them on their, the quickest way to expose them for what they are as a bunch of racists is to point of the weaknesses in their arguments and let them hang themselves.

    That being said they wouldn't even be getting this level of "success?" if labour hadn't forgotten that its core voters were the white working class and now they've effectively pushed a sizable portion of their voters to them. This will be the death of labour abandoning those that put them in power, and the electorate will not soon forget it.

  • Comment number 3.

    It's amusing to see the desperate measures being taken by the establishment parties as the BNP takes votes from them. First labour uses proxies to bring court cases then the tories use elderly military administrators to castigate them.

    If they want 1 million people to stop voting for a tiny party with no serious policies and no hope of governing - here's an alternative idea....

    Why not address the legitimate concerns of those voters?

    They could start by just acknowledging their concerns or even allowing people to express those concerns without any threats.

    (OOPS! I hear Cameron is proposing all ethnic shortlists - that should be worth another few thousand votes for the BNP)

  • Comment number 4.

    Saga whether we like it or not they do represent at least some of us now and are entitled to their say. I'm unsure as to how he will appear although I'm hoping negatively.

  • Comment number 5.

    Publicity is publicity like discrimination good or bad is an oxymoron.

    All we can do is ensure a balance.

    Because of the love of the negative in the media we give to much air time and to much linage to the nasty the indecent and the pathetic who pray on others insecurity like NG.

    Yes expose the fowl and dreadful aspects of this mob but don’t give them endless space and time. That will make these little squirts feel important good or bad press.

  • Comment number 6.

    I havnt checked the line up, but i hope Ian Heslop is on the panel, as he would be one of the few politisians / cometators that could hold a dierec argument with the BMP policies.

    Just one thought is Griffin or Norman, Celtic, Roman, Viking or Saxon descent? He is opposed to all the european migrents but practically every one he would call "British" is of european descent.

  • Comment number 7.

    Tough on the BNP and tough on the causes of the BNP should be the strap line of mainstream political parties. Letting them get away with their deliberately confusing talk on ethnicity and britishness as the recent Newsbeat interviews did only helps their cause. Politicians need to be much better briefed on what these political bandits are up to. But there needs to be a better response to the reasons for their popularity with large section of the disaffected working class particularly in areas where there is wide ethnic diversity and serious deprivation.

  • Comment number 8.

    The rise of the BNP can be squarely laid at the door of New Labour
    over the last 12 years, and the media for closing of the debate.

    the have left a percentage of people no option but to vote BNP as they will not vote tory and that an interseting fact. The BNP as doing well in labour heart lands.

    It is the shame of the last 12 years that it has allowed the BNP to rise and the roots of the problems lies with the media and new labour

    Is all publicity good publicity.

    Thats interesting when the media tries to close down all level of debate
    of many issues. Sometimes when the media refuses legitimate debate.

    Sometimes outrageous stunts are required re action of the super hero groups fathers 4 justices as there become no alterantive as MP's and the media refuses to recognise that there was even an issue to discuss. But tragedly Bady P died as a result of there dead, dumb and blindness to the situation.

  • Comment number 9.

    We live in a democracy and if we are true to that then they have a voice and if people vote for that voice then they have the keys to power. The Government is in disarray over every aspect of governing and driving voters away in every direction. Personally I can't stand the BNP but have heard middle class people express more than toleration of their ideas and rhetoric. The more airtime they have the more slicker they will become and the more their message will be honed to suit the electorate. Recent exposure have shown they're a way off that though.

    A general election now would end all this and give us a new start. The BNP would recede back into obscurity until the next depression and the countries mood would lift.

  • Comment number 10.

    I`m white and working class and from a Lancs mill town,one were there were race riots.What do I have in common with a tory toff/s from Eton or the liebour lot who have let anyone and everyone in the UK,Libs well.Who else does that leave,BNP.They are on a role.

  • Comment number 11.

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

  • Comment number 12.

    Griffin is proving that he has no understanding of international law: the current action in Afghanistan is under UN mandate. He also repeatedly proves that he has no understanding on history: the fact that the spitfire in his 'battle of Britain' poster has a polish chequerboard on its engine cowling should say all that needs to be said about who fought WW2. The RAF in the battle of britain contained Poles, Czechs, Norwegians, French, Rhodesians, Canadians and two Jews. El Alamein (another of his favourite topics) was fought primarily by Scots, Indians, Aussies, Greeks and Northumbrians (my grandfather was there.. I doubt if Griffins was).

    Unfortunately too many of the British electorate are pig-ignorant and believe anything they hear if it suits their prejudices.

  • Comment number 13.

    If we are happy to let deluded romantic fantasists humiliate themselves for the public entertainment on X factor, why not on Question Time ?

    Haven't the abc's the same entitlement to toe curling entertainment as the c2de's ?

    I doubt QT is the preferred viewing of BNP's target audience. However the spectacle of watching Griffin frot himself into a vainglorious lather should be enough to put many voters off for good

  • Comment number 14.

    Another comment "referred to moderators".White genocide is a reality.It is happening right in front of our eyes.Only the BNP are speaking up about it.They`ve got my vote.For life.

  • Comment number 15.

    The fact that other parties are trying to silence a minority voice makes them no better than the BNP.

    Rational people are unlikely to vote for them so why is there such a furore?

    Censorship and biggotry go hand in hand, it breeds discontent and hatred.

    There will be a backlash if they try to prevent this, it is irrelevant that the government and other parties disagree with alternative viewpoints, the simplest fact that the governemnt are legislating against free speech and opinion is an attack on all our freedoms.

    Let them have their say, let us make up our own minds. The only way BNP will benefit from this is if their argument is more convincing than others and if that is the case than maybe the other parties don't have the right people or ideas.

    BTW I totally disagree with the BNP policies.

  • Comment number 16.

    Stable door.


    ++sound of fading hooves, galloping into the distant sunset.... and the sound of the now empty stable's door banging in the evening autumn breeze...++

  • Comment number 17.

    12. At 09:15am on 21 Oct 2009, Peter_Sym wrote: Griffin is proving that he has no understanding of international law: the current action in Afghanistan is under UN mandate.

    So was the starving of Iraqi children under the sanctions regime of the 90`s.
    So was the stealing of Palestinian land when the bandit state of Israel was created.
    The United Nations is a bad,some might say murderous,joke.

  • Comment number 18.

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

  • Comment number 19.

    All short lists are 'all ethnic' shortlists as we all have an ethnic origin! The BNP have no real policies that are not based on race and they would not be able to run the country. I hope that on QT the questions are restricted to the other things going on in the country such as bank regulation comments made by the governor of the Bank of England. This will hopefully show Griffin up as the one trick propaganda pony that he is.

  • Comment number 20.

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

  • Comment number 21.

    Every establishment needs a thorn in its side and Griffin is it.

    The big problem is that Griffin provides a very thin layer of respectability to his party. He’s also the only voice opposing mass immigration which appeals to many.

    Attacking him is hard work especially when the incumbents are mortally wounded and have been discredited on almost every front.

    He will, almost certainly come across well on QT. Especially in these times where main stream politicians are held in such low regard.

    If you want to hit this party hard you have to throw some light into the murky corners where Griffins lieutenants lurk.


    Lee Barnes, the BNP's senior legal officer and one of Griffin's closest allies, posted a video on his blog of a black suspect being beaten by police in the US and described it as "brilliant". He adds: "The beating of Rodney King still makes me laugh."

  • Comment number 22.

    I am voting for the BNP, even though some of their policies could negatively affect my life - I'm gay and married to an asian, and the BNP want to get rid of civil partnerships and "inter-racial" marriages.

    My partner will also be voting for them. One doesn't have to agree with everything a party says in order to vote for it. No party has every provided me with everything I want. My partner has no fear of forced deportation because that is not the BNP policy.

    Why will be voting BNP? Because like the other 600,000 voters the BNP have acquired in the last 4 years, we are more worried about the failure of successive governments to stem the rise of islam in Europe than we are about losing some of our own civil rights.

    Am I racist? Is my asian husband racist? Islam is not a race - there are white muslims. Once the BNP change their constitution, both my partner and I will become paid up members. As will many more people. The BNP's talk about "race" is foolish. And it will end. They can be nationalists and anti-immigration without using that idiotic concept.

    All the people posting here saying the BNP have no sense of history should start reading some of the many books published in the last 5 years on the history of islam and the rise of islam in Europe. Then they will see that this is the number one political issue of our generation. That's why Geert Wilders party is the leading party in the Netherlands.

  • Comment number 23.

    Whatever you might think of the BNP, the only reason they have a voice and an audience at all these days is because none of the political parties have listened to the public on certain issues, instead choosing to ignore them or smear anyone who raises them.

  • Comment number 24.

    "the big parties now sense that they are a force that can no longer be ignored."

    It is true it is because the BNP was nourished by the actions and inactions of the main parties, especially the Labour government and its former and present PMs - Blair and Brown.

  • Comment number 25.

    If the truth be told, the BNP are attempting to fill the gap left by Labour and in particular their inability to control immigration in a meaningful way. I am no BNP supporter but there are lots out there that agree with their policies on tightening up on immigration.

    Don't dismiss the idea that it won't happen here, the conditions are "Perfect" especially when you add in the massive cuts in public services that WILL happen from next year. Note it was the depression in the 1930's that enabled the Nazi party in Germany to expand exponentially.

    The government has not been honest with the general public on "Where we are" and this deceit will fuel the perception that politicians are dishonest. If the BNP do gain support it will be due to the inabilities and ideologies of the current Labour leaders.

    Gordon Brown and his colleagues have a lot to answer ...

  • Comment number 26.

    #9 Doctorbreezy

    I'm nothing like as optimistic as you.

    "A general election would end all this and give us a new start?" A new Government, almost certainly, but that, in itself, would do nothing to address the economic hole we've dug for ourselves. Any new Government will have to address these issues and the necessary measures are unlikely to lift the mood.

    "The next depression?" We've not even started this one yet - wait until after the election.

    "The BNP would recede?" The BNP is strengthened by the economic downturn because its ideology reaches out to the disaffected. It was ever thus - just look at Germany in the 1930s. Then read the economic commentators comparing the current recession with the 1930s.

    If we do end up in a prolonged depression, double-dip recession, W-shaped depression (or whatever)then people will be looking for someone to blame. Step up the obvious scapegoats. Far, from receding, the nationalism visible in the BNP (where the focus is on race)and in UKIP (where the focus is on the EU) may come to dominate the political debate.

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

    I doubt that the BNP would have had as much publicity if Griffin had won the lottery. He will appear on QT there is not a lot of doubt about that. Hopefully the audience will not shout him down but leave him to make a fool of himself.

    I now feel that this subject is a bit like fish it starts to smell after 2 days.

  • Comment number 30.

    Have to agree with Sagamix. He should never have been given the platform. The anti-establishment line is a clear reason they have got the publicity but I think there are some sympathies with the British jobs first line that some misguided voters have picked up on while not caring about or ignorant of the consequences of voting in a largely racist party.

    Its a shame that Bernie Grant is no longer around as I would have loved to see him sitting next to Griffin. To me only black politicians really understand and feel the consequences of increased BNP exposure. And its they who will get to the heart of the matter most directly. Maybe one of the retired generals may provide an interesting foil.

  • Comment number 31.

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

  • Comment number 32.

    The racist nature of the BNP is not acceptable to the vast majority of people in this country. However the main parties need to recognise there is a serious disconnect between the views and wishes of vast numbers of voters and the policies they are promoting. The BNP are playing to concerns on the rapid changes in the cultural makeup of this country that are not universally supported, the concerns over the EU and the Governments handling of the Lisbon Treaty, the numbers of migrant workers at a time of rising unemployment, and above all the present Westminster crisis of confidence over expenses, all of which play into the BNP's hands. All the main parties berate Mr Griffin, the media rightly give him a hard time on some of his more distasteful views but there is a real risk of generating public sympathy for an underdog if he is treated differently to other elected polititians with views that many dislike. The reality is a 6% share at the EU MEP elections from the votes of around one million people does give him the right to be heard. This is still a democracy (just).

  • Comment number 33.

    Missing the point a bit, other than creating a bit of a mess as to who is 'British' and who should stay (these are questions never explained either) as a political party what are there answers to the rest of political questions?

    It is all well having a Big Answer but...............

    And the media show them, the members or those that support the party are lazy and workshy so who would do all the work in the new Britain with most of the workers sent 'home'????

  • Comment number 34.

    Firstly, I am glad Hain didn't get his way as he just wants to stifle anything he disagrees with - free speech should be just that. What a shame he didn't stay in South Africa to enrich its politics rather than come here.

    Secondly, I do hope that the other QT guests don't do what they did last week and make remarks like "that vile man" etc type of personal insults. If you don't like his views, argue your case rationally and calmly, don't resort to personal insult as that (just as shouting and fighting) will rebound on the perpetrator and result in Nick Griffin getting sympathy. He and his party should be judged on what they say and do.

  • Comment number 35.

    Very very funny post, and its your first one too!!!! look forward to hearing more.


  • Comment number 36.

    Nick Griffin and everything the BNP stand for is abhorant, that said Nick Griffin does either for his own ends or real purposes make some valid comments that need to be addressed by the main parties that the white majority do feel locked out, thats why you have the growth of the BNP and to a lesser extent UKIP and the English Defence League, I live in a multi - cultural area of the West Midlands where by and large people of every background appear to get on, that said two new mosques are going to be built one on Dudley and one in Lye which I know certain members of the English community are not happy about and in a way understandably so, as many people in the host community see the country changing in events as described above and they dont like it, its not about being racist, the British people are tolerant of all I feel, however, people see alien cultures coming into their neighbourhood and living their lives as if still back in the home country instead of 'when in Rome do as the Romans do' and this worries and upsets certain sections if not all of the host community and the main parties with multi - culturism and political correctness have ridden rough shod over any member of the host community who has even spoken out about once British areas becoming ghettos for Muslims or whoever and labelled them as racist and while some of those who speak out maybe genuinely racist others are concerned we as a people the English people more so than anyone else are losing our culture and even they are called racist so it is no wonder the English Defence League emerge and the BNP and UKIP fill the void because the other parties are terrified of talking of race and immigration.

    Take the interviews of Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg when they were talking of ethnic representation in the house of commons, all they spoke about was Black and Asian representation in the house, what about other races and nationalities who have made their home here, how many Chinese faces do you see in the house of commons or how many Poles or Greeks, why is it always Blacks and Asians, you'd think no other nationalities or races lived here only those just mentioned and if theres more white faces in parliament thats because for the foreseeable white people are the majority thats why I disagree absoloutely with positive discrimination, merit is the only way to achieve or get somewhere and if white faces make it through more than anyone else well thats not necessarily racism its because whites are the majority race here.

    Anyhow I diverge, unless the main parties address the issues brought forward by concerned not always racist white people the extremist parties are going to get more popular whether we like it or not.

  • Comment number 37.

    I find it a joke that four army generals should complain about a piece of kit that was used by the RAF, being used by the BNP and an emblem.

    But is the Supermarine Spitfire a military emblem only? Surely this plane is an emblem of British design and manufacturing; something that all Labour and Conservative governments have done their best to run down in the last thirty or forty years. And it's the BNP that promises to build up again these missing elements of the UK's industry. So what's wrong with a party reminding us that we could be in the forefront of manufacuring again, and reminding us we once could do it?

    As for the use of Winston Churchill, could any body deny that, by today's standards, he was not an out and out racist? This man did not even give India or the rest of the Empire their freedom. And a lot of national servicemen were conscripted into the army to fight to hang on to our empire, all under Labour and Conservative governments. I would have thought Churchill, and perhaps Atlee would very appropriate emblems for the BNP.

    But as a BNP voter, I have to say that Nick Griffin hasn't handled himself too well under this intense media spotlight. But don't be too happy about that, all you anti-BNPers, the party just might elect a leader without Griffin's past history, who might have a bit of charisma - then you realy would have something to worry about.

    And could we have some focus from the BBC on the Tories behind the generals? What's their pedigree?

  • Comment number 38.

    22. uk-anti-racist wrote:

    "That's why Geert Wilders party is the leading party in the Netherlands."

    More holes in your post than Liverpool's defence.

  • Comment number 39.

    I am 45 year old white English male working in law enforcement and have seen some very uncomfortable changes come to England in recent years. Sadly, much of this I attribute to the Labour governments open door policy on allowing MILLIONS of immigrants into this country, both legal and illegal.

    Frankly, I am disgusted by labours complete disregard for the wishes and concerns of the white British citizens in thier own country. Do any of Labours high end politicians actually have any idea of where this country is heading ?

    I see it every day. Schools which were mainly white, now out numbered by non English speaking immigrants. It is an outrage. People have rightly had enough and hold a very real concern for what kind of country OUR children may have to live in.

    So to Nick Griffin. Duly elected MEP. He has every right to appear on Question time and express his and OUR concerns over what immigration is doing to Britain. Like it or not, the time has come where this most critical issue MUST be aired and dealt with.

  • Comment number 40.

    Around a million people voted for the BNP at the euro elections. A million!

    You write that off at your own peril. there are clearly issues in this country that are not being addressed. It can no longer be the case that the argument about immigration is simply if you are against it you are a racist. I doubt that the labour party has the moral strength to deal with this, I hope the Tories do.

  • Comment number 41.

    Many people seem to be worried about giving the BNP the "oxygen of publicity".

    Remember: oxygen is a disinfectant and a cleansing agent, and deadly to many primative and slimy forms of life.

  • Comment number 42.

    Let's face it Democracy died out in 505 BC with Cleisthenes! This whole thing is a charade, people vote for Labour and the CON servatives and do not agree with all their policies and so it is that peoiple vote for the BNP. If the mainstream parties are so concerned by the BNP why haven't they donbe anything to address the worries of those that choose to vote for them?? I live in a so called free society (joke!) we must at all times have free open debate, not sections of society dictating what we debate, how, when and by whome. It is totally undemocratic to deny nearly a million supprters of the BNP the rightfor their party to be seen and engage in debate. Most people who vote BNP are decent and have genuine concerns, which aren't being addressed by Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrats. If as everybody says the BNP are toally racist then they have nothing to fear as this will come out in open debate.

  • Comment number 43.

    I became a member of the BNP two years ago after voting Tory all my adult life (25 years). I am surprised at the high number of assumptions that this forums members have that BNP supporters are 'working class' and come from deprived areas that have been failed by Labour. I would describe myself as a successful business woman, living in the home counties and on a well above average salary.

    Prior to joining the BNP I undertook a significant amount of research which included attending meetings held in my local area. Taking note of media hype I was expecting skin heads and generally thuggish people. What I encountered was an elderly audience and people just like me that are generally disillusioned with the direction this country is being lead.

    It is impossible to agree with the policies of every party, but I do feel the BNP have polices that meet some of my concerns, for example reform of the welfare state and the NHS. This is not about immigration or foreigners taking advantage of both systems, this includes ALL culprits of the benefit culture no matter what the colour of their skin is. If you have time try reading the policies in full on their website. They may appear to some as being extreme, but maybe that is what is needed to bring this country back in to the forefront of the worlds communities and a deterrent to those souls stranded in northern France trying to obtain illegal entry in to the UK?

    It’s just a thought.....

    (My previous work includes 12 months working on Channel crossings. Experience in locating illegal immigrants and ensuring UK Boarder Agency personnel treat them humanely which encompassed a hot meal and drink, plus the use of washroom facilities.)

  • Comment number 44.

    united_dreamer & sagamix

    It’s a very slipper slope when the institutions like the BBC and for that matter you two decide which democratically elected party (with 6% of the EU vote) get air time and which ones don’t.

    Bernie Grant… is that the same… Bernie Grant who said “What the police got was a bloody good hiding" after the death of PC Blakelock and the burning of Tottenham

    You just keep chucking material like that to Nick Griffin, very smart..

  • Comment number 45.

    "But is the Supermarine Spitfire a military emblem only? Surely this plane is an emblem of British design and manufacturing; something that all Labour and Conservative governments have done their best to run down in the last thirty or forty years."

    Total rubbish - its clearly a throwback to the spirit that won the war for us against fascists - connecting it to the plane itself is absurd in the extreme. Churchill might well have been racist like many politicians of the time as Britain were still a colonial power then but they didn't make a party based on those principles. That WAS one of the central tenets of the Nazi party who Churchill opposed. That's one of the reasons why the generals are so genuinely upset because it denigrates the struggle of many who lost their lives defending a democratic Britain.

    At #22. Its all a very theoretical argument for the likes of you missing entirely the practical consequences of increased racist attacks in the areas that BNP representatives get voted in. I guess that is a price worth paying - although its unlikely that you will be paying it.

  • Comment number 46.

    At #38 - I think I saw a red ballon in there as well.

  • Comment number 47.

    I never watch QT anyway with all its predictable grandstanding and I wont be bothering this week either. It is an entertainment programme not a serious current affairs programme and has booked Griffin as a 'star turn' to up its ratings. He will not be held to account in any way and will relish all the coverage this week.

  • Comment number 48.

    gets lonely sometimes in this big old place ... just me and Mother ... and so I often sit around doing not very much, just generally thinking about stuff - today, I'm thinking about the BNP ... in particular the 3 alternative strategies being put forward for dealing with them:

    (1) ban
    (2) ignore

    (1) is my preferred option but, okay, it's a bit illiberal so let's forget it for now - (2) is the consensus but it doesn't seem to be working too well, let's put that on ice too - leaves just the third

    which is ...

    (3) address the concerns of their supporters

    okay fair enough, let's DO that

    so what we need is to adopt (inter alia) the following policies:

    - shut the borders
    - pull out of Europe
    - put whites to the front of every queue
    - deport undesirables
    - roll back political correctness
    - introduce flogging for petty criminals
    - bring back hanging for the others

    I got this far and then I had to stop - hang on a second, I said to myself, is that "addressing their concerns" or is that more in the way of pandering to stupendous ignorance?

    back to square one

  • Comment number 49.

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

  • Comment number 50.

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  • Comment number 51.

    I see that sagamix and Peter Hain have shown their true newlabour bully boy colours; attempting to deny free speech ina democracy.

    This is the utter hypocrisy of the newlabour lie; that the party that calls itself 'progressive' is denying the right to free speech, putting its placement throughout government is supposedly non political posts and ignoring the evidence of independent review bodies when placing its friends in high office.

    There is nothing progressive about whatever it is that remains of newlabour, its apologists, or sagamix. There is simply an exhausted rabble of politicval hacks trying desperately to cling on to power ans ram their supporters into jobs before they are driven form power for good.

    I may not agree with Nick Griffin but he is the appointed representative of a legitimate party with a million people who have voted for it. This is a democracy. He appears on Question Time. QED.

    Newlabour's pathetic attempts to pull the racist card yet again (my how dog eared that card is) have fallen on their face yet again and this is why they are haemoraging support; some of it to the BNP. Nobody cares about their meaningless agenda and target driven politics. It's tired old rhetoric

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 52.

    Jon112UK - an excellent post.

    I was going to say exactly the same points as you have made. It's a good job that I read the discussion thread and your comment in particular first!
    I couldn't have said it better than you have. Well done.

    In general:
    I'll also add that I think that we still live in a democracy and therefore the BNP party MUST BE ALLOWED to have a voice. I vehemently disagree with their policies and what they stand for but I think it is VERY important to have extreme Left and Right Wing parties, if only to cause the "more sensible" parties to be more alert to the concerns of the electorate. It is no use trying to suppress extremist parties, just because the policies of the "centre-ground" parties aren't attractive or just because no attractive new ideas/policies can be found.

    If the BNP come across as more attractive during Question Time than the other parties then that will be because the other parties are not selling their ideas well enough or because those parties don't have and policies to woo or to keep voters.

  • Comment number 53.

    From the previous BBC blog:
    "Their [the left's] rage at Griffin is the rage of Caliban at his image in the mirror."

    Of course this is somewhat unfair since the Labour Party is not a racialist party. However, it contains a certain amount of truth.

    The Labour Party and the BNP share a belief in the efficacy of the State. The State must be strong, and the individual must be weak. Individuals must be put into social classes and racial groups and judged accordingly. Both the BNP and Labour can loosely be called 'socialist', though to gain election Labour tends to hide its socialist tradition.

    Both Labour and the BNP despise the classical liberal tradition of, for example, free speech.

    Returning to Caliban, I noticed a BNP supporter on the previous blog use the 'Tory toff' phrase. In this regard the BNP and Labour are like identical twins.

  • Comment number 54.

    I feel the political establishment are in a state of moral panic over the apparent `rise' of the BNP. There has been little improvement in the BNP vote but a massive collapse in the traditional Labour vote. So I would suggest they are all looking down the wrong end of the telescope.

    Given that historically the BBC has given other small parties such as the Greens a hearing then they cannot now exclude the BNP. I always found it odd that people mumbled into their beards and shook their heads over the BNP rather than confront the issues that provide legitimacy to the BNP offer: immigration, white flight, poor education, poor and insufficient social housing and the list goes on.

    It is my view that for at least the last twenty years our society and economy has been distorted to alleviate the interests of a numerical minority of apparatchiks, lawyers, bankers and other suckers from the taxpayer teat that the white working class have been allowed to drop through the cracks in the floor in terms of opportunities, training and social improvement.

    The history of the Weimar Republic demonstrates that Fascism or National Socialism can follow on from popular disillusion with social democracy. Given that New Labour has foolishly destroyed the social-democracy Old Labour erected in the first place we now face this difficulty.

    As I have said before you will not deal with the BNP in the debating chamber, you can only deal with it on the ground with effective social and economic policies: the very things that have been rather missing these last few years and the very thing we now have no money or means with which to tackle it.

    The big question to me is are the ambitious children of the apparat going to devote their energies to campaigning in the mean streets of decaying neighbourhoods to improve the lot of the common people, or are they going to follow Mummy & Daddy into overpaid jobs within the elite? I know the answer to that and expect that finding the solution to these issues will be left to us old campaigners who in loving what we know and knowing what we love will struggle on the ground with this new Nazism the political elite has made possible. I hear my parent's and grandparent's generations spinning in their graves.

  • Comment number 55.

    #44 well cherry picked - re Bernie Grant I was thinking more from the perspective that Griffin would be genuinely fearful of voicing his ignorant comments. These people are very brave in voicing their stupidity in environments where they are protected, less so when there are people diametrically opposed to their views. Re: the Blakelock killing Grant was voicing the exasperation of a community routinely persecuted including deaths in custody. What he said was wrong clearly but he was clearly emotional about the real underlying issues and with heart on sleeve voiced it. Seems that Griffin saying that sinking boats carrying economic migrants is ok though. To you.

    Again you miss the very real consequence of voting in BNP. Racist attacks go up markedly in the areas they get elected after they get elected. Statistics prove this. On top of that their very membership policy exludes non-white people. They are not even a legally constituted party. As I said to #22 - you argue from a theoretical standpoint where the consequences are largely academic.

  • Comment number 56.

    "united_dreamer wrote:

    That's one of the reasons why the generals are so genuinely upset because it denigrates the struggle of many who lost their lives defending a democratic Britain."

    The ironic thing is that under a democratic system a party like the BNP should be allowed to exist (and be heard).

    It is up to the other parties to point out exactly why voting for the BNP is not a good idea rather than brushing issues under the carpet.

  • Comment number 57.

    The media appears to be the frothing at the mouth ranters at the moment.
    With knickers in a twist , the Times , Guardian and Telegraph have been subjecting their readers to a barrage of "BAD" "RACIST" THUGS""SHUT 'EM UP" " BAN THEM" and trembly lipped " Nick Griffin would send me back to ...." headlines, while ALL proclaiming their belief in free speech.

    These same papers have been incredibly lacking in diligence in other ways BUT give them a BNP article and boy! do they show unattractive colours!
    The Guardian even had the cheek to bleat about Carter Ruck trying to stifle a story, denying them freedom of speech! And they don't even notice the irony!

    Opinionated journalists are getting on my nerves!
    I am sick and tired of being told what to think by those assuming superiority.
    I am beyond caring what the Westminster cosy coven thinks I should think!

    I doubt that I will watch QT .It has become an exercise in BBBC manipulation which constrains debate .
    An agenda set by the BBBC, orchestrated by the BBBC for the benefit of the luvvies and Westminster bubble dwellers and of little interest to the man in the street.

  • Comment number 58.

    Sagamix #48. Again, on the money.

  • Comment number 59.

    What I've yet to see explained is why the BBC felt the need to invite the BNP onto Question Time. Okay, so both Caroline Lucas of the Greens and Nigel Farage of UKIP have appeared several times, both of whose parties have no MPs and, up until recently, had merely a handful of MEPs; but where does it say that the BBC is legally obliged to invite representatives of all parties with one or more elected parliamentarians onto Question Time? I can't recall seeing any members of the DUP on the panel, for example, and they're the fourth largest party in the UK parliament. In fact, the BNP (and UKIP and the Greens, for that matter), have less MPs than each of the following, none of whom are ever on Question Time: DUP, Sinn Fein, SDLP, Ulster Unionists, and even Health Concern.

    There were no voices calling out for the BNP to be invited onto the programme, so why did the BBC take the "initiative", so to speak, and invite them on? Were the BNP preparing legal proceedings to try and claim that the BBC was illegally censoring a democratically-elected party, or did the BBC just think this would stir up a good bit of controversy and lead to a ratings-winning episode of QT? Perhaps the producers of QT think they are doing the country a favour by trying to expose the BNP's failings.

    Who knows the true reasons behind this? Well, someone must do. Unfortunately, they remain strangely silent...

  • Comment number 60.

    "deport undesirables"

    Actually on #48 - that is one policy I agree on. Who would take Nick Griffin though?

  • Comment number 61.

    There are serious concerns that many people share, such as (a) the loss of control of the borders over recent years, meaning that large numbers of people have arrived without the consent of the established population and against their preference, and (b) multiculturalism, meaning that many new arrivals are not absorbed into the mainstream culture. Specifically, the Government has allowed fundamentalist Muslims to be the public face of British Muslims.

    I was born in London when the city was overwhelmingly white. I much prefer the city today, but sometimes miss aspects of how life used to be. I am not allowed to say this for fear of being branded a racist. Frankly, I don’t see why I should ‘celebrate’ the arrival of some of the migrants who have little to offer and merely knock me down the housing list. Also, I wonder why we should give permanent residency or citizenship to people who have come here to work for their own interests, and whose own countries do not offer British citizens the same rights.

    The BNP is the heir of the British Union of Fascists and is opposed to the basic values of this country. As Winston Churchill said, we are a mongrel “race”. This openness to the world has always been our strength. However, as polite people are not allowed to express real concerns, the BNP can become a lightening rod for decent peoples’ legitimate concern. As with Islamic fundamentalism, the BNP’s nonsense gives many excluded people are narrative to understand their lives, and a direction.

  • Comment number 62.


    "I'm gay and married to an asian..."

    Same here.

    "...we are more worried about the failure of successive governments to stem the rise of islam in Europe"

    Islam is a perfectly legitimate religion or belief system. You obviously don't hold freedom of belief (and expression) in very high regard if you think governments should be trying to "stem" it. In that sense, it's easy to see why the BNP might appeal to you.

    By all means stem extremism, stem criminality, counter backwards attitudes to homosexuality and people of different colours and beliefs to ourselves - but then that's what us opponents of the BNP have been doing for donkey's years.

    And that's the funny thing. When it comes to freedom of belief and expression, the BNP have more in common with extremist Islam than their adherents ever care to admit. It's one of the great ironies of our time.

    Personally, I just wish both nasty sects of this right-wing (BNP supporters and Islamists) could be bundled off somewhere, leaving us progressives - Muslim and non-Muslim - to get on with living sensibly and maturely.

  • Comment number 63.

    "sagamix wrote:
    (3) address the concerns of their supporters

    okay fair enough, let's DO that

    so what we need is to adopt (inter alia) the following policies:"

    Addressing the issues doesn't mean we have to adopt the BNP policies (although Labour have adopted several of the BNP's slogans!)

    If we address people's concerns we can determine why these issues are important to them (e.g. the cases where there is highly skilled labour locally but foreign contractors decide to use non-union workers from their own country which lead to strikes last year)

    If we ignore the issues the BNP will appear to be the only party that cares about these concerns.

  • Comment number 64.

    Banking balls post 37

    You and thousands of other just don’t get it do you.

    We can not compete in manufacturing in the world market while India China and half the worlds population work for a dollar a day we are not competitive, we are out priced and while we get credit to buy all the goods we need and twice as many we don’t then it wont change.

    In addition unless we help them to become well off and start being consumers them selves there is little chance for us to supply and sell anything other than very specialist niche product eventually we could restore production but in a global economy the production of commodities will always follow the cheapest labour.

    Of course we can close our borders but that will put an end to cheap holidays abroad and is also an end to low cost products and services and I am not entirely sure we have enough land and sea fish stocks any more to sustain our appetites.

    Wakeup to reality Henry VIII new the Nation state was finished you have to be a world player. That means diplomacy tolerance and harmony.

  • Comment number 65.

    #49 - around about the age of the post number:)

  • Comment number 66.

    Since when did the military own the poppy, the Union Jack and images of the Spitfire?

    THEY have cynically used these images to send 17-y-o kids (some leaving my village this week)to kill foreigners in my name - and all because their political masters have failed in THEIR jobs.

    As objectionable as the policies of the BNP are to most people, they are not responsible for making my children and my grandchildren terrorist targets - nor have they colluded in the bombing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I am deeply disturbed at this sinister and co-ordinated attack on a fringe political party by the political establishment. Perhaps the Tories are seeking to bury the news that they are likely to ban men from attempting to become Tory MP's - so discriminating against 50% of the population on grounds of sex. Surely that's illegal.

    I wonder what Churchill would have made of THAT?

  • Comment number 67.

    Let us all not forget that it is New Labour who lied to Parliament to get us into a war as Americas poodle, Labours lies led to the deaths of over 600,000 Innocent Iraqi Civilians plus hundreds of British troops. The BNP did not commit these criminal acts Labour and the generals did.

    Do not forget that these four generals allowed our troops to be deployed in an illegal war with not enough body armour, boots that melted, not enough rations, vehicle spares,helicopters and defective radios etc Hardly the glowing reports of great miltary leaders.

    Ref the comments about fascists, the largest group of people following accepted fascist doctrine in the UK of late is the Anti Nazi League / United against fascists/ SWP who object to free and open democratic elections, demand the banning of parties they disagree with, they nearly always resort to violence, threats and intimidation to disrupt elections and political raalies. These ANL/UAF types were clearly blamed by West Yorks police for inciting the race riots their and recently they were well documented attacking the police in Manchester..

    Please do not forget that these far left violent anti democracy, law breaking thugs are funded by the trade unions and supported by both labour and tory MPS.
    The BNP has some good policies and bad policies, but they are democratic, will debate openly and face the wrath of the public in elections. As for the Tories and Labour neither party will ever be common bedfellows with honesty or morality, and as for the immigration issue and the promises by the big parties to deal with it, the BBC annouced on the news this AM that the population of the UK is going to rise by 4 million in the next few years, mainly down to migrants.

    Stop blaming the BNP for a disaster created by the Tories and Labour.

  • Comment number 68.

    Nick Griffin on C4 News last night was a canny operator. When Jon Snow was calm and collected, Griffin was on the back foot but holding his own. But when Snow did the morally outraged bit and lost his cool it was Game Set and Match to Griffin.

    The Royal British Legion had asked Griffin not to wear a poppy emblem, and his retort was he would take it off if the Legion backed his campaign for injured black and white servicemen in Selly Oak hospital did not have to pay to watch TV. But it is alright for in his words "criminal scum" to watch TV for free.

    If the interviewer is calm and smiles at the interviewee like Sian Williams (BBC Breakfast) did with Brown during the Labour Party conference the interviewee will almost always be discomfitted. Bringing out the fascist slogans may make the left wingers feel good inside but Griffin will only lap it up.

  • Comment number 69.

    Would a drubbing from Ian Hislop cause BNP voters to think twice about Griffin? Given the generally negative perception of the BNP it is just possible that they have thought twice already and delivered their vote anyway. Pehaps they perceive failure in the mainstream parties. The real question is, Question Time or no, whether they will go on perceiving it; and like the rest of us, what reason is there why they shouldn't?

  • Comment number 70.

    Interesting how a comment in support of the BNP that flies in the face of the prejudices of this blog's readers should be considered laughable. The last laugh will be on you when the BNP double their vote to 2,000,000 in the next election.

    Not only are my partner and I voting for the BNP, but several of my family are also inclined to vote for them. And one of my brothers is married to a black Jamaican, the other brother has a child with a Nigerian. It is amazing how the chattering classes who contribute to this echo chamber are the ones who think they are not racists. Yet the people who actually live among muslims are the ones who are voting BNP. Have you failed to notice that the two BNP MEPs are in muslim areas, instead of the Tory heartland?

    Some of my gay friends are also prepared to vote for the BNP. Others are refusing, yet they are also refusing to read books like Bruce Bawer's "While Europe Slept". I find it very significant that people who live such privileged middle class lives are also those who are refusing to understand what is happening with islam in europe.

    There is no excuse for such ignorance. Read "The Last Days of Europe" by Walter Laqueur (establishment figure and international expert on fascism). Churchill was also laughed at and marginalised when he warned about the Nazis.

    We've had the murder of Theo Van Gogh. Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders living under 24/7 police protection. Death threats against Salman Rushdie and Terence McNally (some of these made by so called moderate muslims). Terrorist attacks in London and Madrid, and many more foiled attacks. Mobs of 1500 muslims attacking the police in Harrow. And anyone who says we have a problem is branded a racist.

  • Comment number 71.

    48. sagamix

    You have strayed into the extreme with plan 3 but you are on the right track.

    Address all those issues with a “slightly” lighter touch and you’re there.

  • Comment number 72.

    What is clear is that there will never be a serious debate of the elephant in the room. This week's QT will no doubt descend into a farce focusing on the BNP's loony policies, spitfires, Nazis and Holocaust denial, which I fear are not major concerns of the BNP voters. Even if the BNP self-destruct, until the main parties take their heads out of the sand, the main issue will still be there.

  • Comment number 73.

    "Newlabour's pathetic attempts to pull the racist card yet again"

    And there was me thinking that Nick Griffin was the guilty one.

    Tbh my view is that BNP should be banned altogether. Banning them from question time is a second step. After all wasn't that Muslim cleric imprisoned for spreading race hate? The BNP has consistently been the advocate of an unequal society and routinely preached hate messages (Griffin's even been convicted for it). I'm sorry but this leopard has had insufficient time to bleach its spots. And to support a party that wants to get tough with immigration (at least of non-European immigration - Griffin's words) and advocates so much of what is sick about this society is just unacceptable.

  • Comment number 74.

    Circumstances. that's what the BNP are making a bit of headway with.
    They are not significant yet but (and I live in an area where they are quite visible) I think that they are gaining support.
    They are winning over people because of circumstances -
    The gradual dumbing down of the population over the past 10 or 15 years. People just seem to be less capable of making rational decision due in part to poor educational standards and the creeping celebrity culture of cash and fame
    The erosion of the white working class male belief in their voice being noticed by anyone - positive discriminants take note
    The fact that the current government has had 12 years for 'things to only get better' and they aren't.
    The fact that the current parliament is seemingly full of career politicians who seem to have a high percentage of members taking as much as they can for personal gain whilst appearing to do little for the man in the street
    Add these things up and a lot of people are looking for something that will help them.
    Probably the BNP will self destruct. However as another poster put it - they will only be beaten if the other parties counter their arguments and work toward a fairer crack of the whip for those who feel the need to vote for them now.
    I personally don't vote for the BNP or any particular mainstream party by default, but I'd like to vote for someone who has the nerve to say that the best person for the job will get it - not an underrepresented in our organisation person. Positive discrimination is discrimination too

  • Comment number 75.

    When will the chattering classes learn that the way to deal with the BNP is to have an open and honest debate about the issues they are trying to make their own? Sorry, BBC but Question Time is unlikely to do that.

    For starters, we need to have a proper debate about immigration not least how we are going to cope with the sheer numbers. For example, we have already been warned that there may not be enough capacity in electricity generation to supply the current population. So how are going to nanage to supply an ever-increasing population? And that's without looking at water supply, food, housing, schools, hospitals and new roads.

    Unfortunately, anyone who raises any concern about immigration is castigated as racist. And anyone who thinks this is not a concern to ordinary people - and not just the working class - is living in cloud cuckoo land.

  • Comment number 76.

    Saga - I normally disagree (if only to myself) with what you post, but for once your comments at #48 had me nodding in wholehearted agreement- in particular with your conclusions.

    Unlike, I suspect, many posters on this blog, I have actually taken the trouble this morning to read through the BNP website (where, incidentally, you will see Winston giving a particularly apt version of the V-sign). So apart from the thinly-disguised hatred and bigotry masquerading as policy, what is there? Well, as several have already pointed out, a few items that some people might agree with as aspirations. I could even find some sympathy for them myself, were it not for the methodology implicit behind the facade of 'speaking for the masses'.

    There is, I think, little doubt that the attraction for some of the BNP's supporters is that they say what others think - but that is not the same as saying what other people have come to believe by reason. No doubt there are those who would like to see the return of corporal and capital punishment - if that is not an option from other parties, then these people will be attracted in part to the BNP. The same might apply to the idea of re-introducing National Service. (I suppose that would appeal to surviving ex-National Servicemen -'it never did me any harm' brigade? - but whilst the BNP may say they support Britain's military forces, I have never heard any support at any level from regular or TA/reserve sources for this idea. (Being ex-TA myself).

    All the policies are there for people to look at - as they are for any other party. It doesn't need exposure on QT or elsewhere to determine what they are, but to read the actual website is to expose the shallowness (and danger) of their arguments.

    I will conclude with one example. They intend to 'deport the ten's of thousand's of foreign criminals' currently in British prisons. An interesting figure - the latest (16 October) figures for the prison population is 84,702. Exactly how many 10's of 1000's are they talking about? Is, say, one fifth of it really overseas nationals? Sounds like hyperbole to me at best - scare tactics or Goebbel's propaganda more likely.(Tell a lie often enough approach).

    PS Why does their 'compulsory Cummunity Award Scheme' remind me of the Hitler Jugend?

  • Comment number 77.

    KingDouglasD seems to believe the political system belongs to the old Westminster parties and any new comers are to be allowed no access to the media. That reminds me of some of our "partners" in the EU where no new party can be formed unless it can show it has a certain minimum level of support - go compute!

    The BBC Charter does not say "give balanced coverage to all the parties who control the renewal of your Charter". It says balanced and educate and inform.

    An issue I am keen to get resolved is why the BBC has invited the BNP so soon. BNP got their first national representation of 2 MEPs (by the skin of their teeth in the North West) only in June 2009. Why do they give the Greens so much coverage? So far as I recall, UKIP had to wait longer than 4 months to get on QT after getting 3 MEPs in 1999 and they did not get equal treatment compared with the Greens after 2004 despite getting much more electoral support - more than the LibDems, actually.

    In 2009 UKIP exceeded both LibDems and Labour.

    It is yet to be seen how well the smaller parties do in the coming General Election but if the BBC keep them off the screen (save for those they privately endorse?), then the old tired parties will continue to dominate politics here until the people find an alternative method of getting rid of them.

  • Comment number 78.

    #1 saga

    Why didn't the BBC give Griffen the Humphrys/Paxman treatment first?

    Why have they chosen QT? I think it's a cheap stunt and they should never have done it. He'll sit there and chuck out soundbites virtually unchallenged.

    I'm not looking forward to the programme or the press afterwards - far right politics makes me feel extremely uncomfortable unless viewed retrospectively as a thing of the past.

  • Comment number 79.

    This prediction of mine comes true too, does it not?

    A democratically elected MEP has every right to speak on a platform such as the BBC. What are you all afraid of? Because he speaks the truth for some of the areas of this country? Because what he says is said up and down the land by millions of ordinary folk afraid of the "thought police" the "do gooders" "lefties" "hippies" "naive academics" orchestrated a big misguided so called moral high ground offensive?

    Hmmm. Well, wake up Britain. The reason it has got this far is because this silly stupid inept government has allowed millions and millions of unchecked immigration into the country. They have changed some of our neighbourhoods into slums. Maybe not YOU personally. Maybe you, along with the politicians, live away from it.

    It may not yet be in your backyard. But for those whose lives have been changed irrevocably, it is intimidating and disgraceful.

    No, bring Nick Griffin on. Let us hear what he has to say and then let US decide. Not the BBC and certainly not that twerp Peter Hain - send him back to South Africa to pontificate.

    And, as to the backdrops of the war planes - well, excuse me but what is wrong with that? My father and grandfather fought in two world wars for our freedom (of speech as well as lives) and I am sure they would not have been offended.

    It stands to be one of the highest ratings for a programme ever. Just wait and see!

  • Comment number 80.

    It is staggering how uninformed some of the contributors are here. I don't expect you to know that when Dutch gay people (normally the most liberal of the most liberal) where asked which party they supported, the majority said it was Wilders' Party of Freedom.

    However, ask yourselves why it is that the media have not drawn attention to the massive popularity of Geert Wilder's party in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has been the symbol of freedom and tolerance in Europe for hundreds of years. There are polls in the Netherlands throughout 2009 that show his party gets more support than any other party.

    I am new here so I'm not sure if URLs are permitted in blog posts. Here are a couple showing his party's popularity:

    If those URLs are not permitted then please type these terms into google and see the URLs for yourselves: geert wilders leads polls netherlands.

    The Dutch have woken up, and now it the British are waking up. Geert Wilders wants nothing to do with the BNP, because he's anti-racist.

    But in Britain the only choice of those who oppose islam is to vote for the BNP. The CEHR are doing the BNP a great favour in forcing them to stop being racist in their membership. But the BNP has become the political centre of the anti-islamic sentiment in the UK.

  • Comment number 81.

    Good points #54, #56, #59 and #61. There has for a long time been a disconnect between politicians and the public (nothing new) but in a time of economic hardship that disconnect becomes increasingly harmful to society. I have no problem with protest votes but advocating the likes of the BNP we are opening the door to a number of much more unpalatable policies - unfortunately they are supported by many who are untouched by or ignorant of these policies. As I say they should never have been a legitimate political party like the NF before them. Their underlying message will always be of hate to certain members of our country.

    IF this becomes a fillip for a conscious effort by the mainstream parties to address some genuine issues then that might be a positive result but in too many cases the BNP might just be a voice for the ignorant and our country is going a down a dangerous route by embracing them into the mainstream.

  • Comment number 82.

    Is it not facist of this government to try and control us with fear : global warming, swine flu, international terrorism? The new Federal Europe in gestation about to burst forth with its president Herr Blair?

    Think about this. If Brown gets his way we will merge into the Federal Europe and negotiations will take place directly with Obama and Blair, bypassing us.

    Now there's a REAL cause for concern. The BNP are just trying to redress the awful problems we are in now.

  • Comment number 83.

    it shows both the good and bad of these political parties and to refuse them air time just becouse they are extreemists will cause problems for others not connected to the main parties.
    all these stories seem to lead towards british media only advertising the big three parties and excluding all others until the voting public has no free choice other than the big three.
    have we become victims of parliments success i think so and going down this road leads to dictatorships and loss of freedom.
    people should not fear government, government should fear the people.

  • Comment number 84.


    (3) address the concerns of their supporters

    okay fair enough, let's DO that

    so what we need is to adopt (inter alia) the following policies:

    - shut the borders
    - pull out of Europe
    - put whites to the front of every queue
    - deport undesirables
    - roll back political correctness
    - introduce flogging for petty criminals
    - bring back hanging for the others

    I got this far and then I had to stop - hang on a second, I said to myself, is that "addressing their concerns" or is that more in the way of pandering to stupendous ignorance?.... back to square one"

    How do you work that lot out? All you've written down there is what you think a BNP manifesto would look like and what would happen under a BNP administration. And you think those are the kind of tunes you'd have to play on your dogwhistle to allay the concerns of the traditional Labour voters who have ebbed away to the BNP?

    Oh dear.

    Look at posts 22 and 23. Do you think that is what they are expecting the BNP to do? You're not addressing their concerns, you're indulging in the typical knee-jerk, quasi-populist vote chasing that has been the hallmark of this administration since 1997.

    Theres an old Napoleon quote, Saga that goes something like this:

    "Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake."

    You're not my enemy, by any stretch of the imagination, but.... you just keep on thinking like you do.... and keep on watching NL's core vote walk away towards the BNP, particularly in the big cities.

    Oh, incidentally, though... I did find one entry intriguing... from your previous list - Do you think that we have a responsibility to look after the worlds "undesirables" and give them shelter, succour and all the protection the state can provide?

    Bet you were spitting carrot cake when Thatcher was cosying upto Augusto Pinochet though, didnt you? Whats the difference between a hate preacher like Abu Hamza, or Omar Bakri Mohammad and Augusto Pinochet? Or any other number of criminals who have committed serious crimes including rape or murder but cannot be deported back to their original state because it infringes their human rights? Or that their big mouths might get them into trouble when they get back there?

    And yet Gordon's dogwhistle tune in 2007 was:

    “We expect to deport 4,000 foreign nationals who have previously been in our prisons. Two years ago the figure was 1,500 but we are going to take a far tougher line. I want a message to go out. If you come here you work and you learn our language. If you commit a crime you will be deported from our country. You play by the rules or you face the consequences. I am not prepared to tolerate a situation where we have people breaking the rules in our country when we cannot act. That will be toughened up.”

    So... he wasnt pandering to "stupendous ignorance" was he? Course not....

    But as I said mate... dont let me interrupt you.

  • Comment number 85.

    Quote : Peter_sym 9.15 .
    All the nations you quote who fought the battle of britain ARE BRITISH !Fighting for the Empire ! Except poles french and czechs who's numbers were small. The spitfire is a British plane built flown and defending Britain. Dosen't matter what flag is on that particular one . Nick Griffins father served with the RAF. Perhaps you should learn YOUR History. No nation is completely free of "Foreign" blood . All nations have mixed blood but you would not call into account their right to call themselves French or Israeli so why British ?

  • Comment number 86.

    55. united_dreamer

    Not really cheery picking, didn’t Bernie also campaign for Rastafarians to be exempt from poll tax because they were errrr not sure why ? Nick Griffin would make a meal of him. He was an extreme character voted in as Mayor by an extreme borough.

    The answer to one extreme view point is most definitely not to oppose it with another. Do that and you end up with polarisation of 2 extreme view points with everyone forming around a flag they feel closest affiliation too.

    Oh yes and ref your comment:

    “Seems that Griffin saying that sinking boats carrying economic migrants is ok though. To you” …

    Where did that come from. Not very logical and certainly not very accurate. Don’t miss-read my argument for free speech as support.

    Personally I’m all for economic migration. I think Id open the borders to all.

  • Comment number 87.

    "Perhaps the Tories are seeking to bury the news that they are likely to ban men from attempting to become Tory MP's - so discriminating against 50% of the population on grounds of sex. Surely that's illegal."

    All women short-lists are not the same as banning men from attempting to become Tory MPs.

    Many men will be standing as Tory candidates next year (in fact the vast majority of Tory candidates will be men - including the Tory leader).

  • Comment number 88.

    There`s nothing I like better than the sound of the bloated British establishment squealing in terror when Griffin calls them out for the anti-British genocidal traitors they are.Give `em hell Nick my boy!

  • Comment number 89.

    70. uk-anti-racist

    More... More fantastic stuff.

    Still ROFL

  • Comment number 90.

    Using a very perverse political logic, supporters of a 'political' England, ala political Scotland and Wales, can only view the publicity given to the British National Party as damaging for all those out there who support political Britain and think of themselves as British.

    However indirectly, supporters of political Britan are contaminated by association with the BNP, even in opposition to it.

    Every cloud has a silver lining for somebody and in this case, it assists those of us English who are working towards a political England in its own right.

  • Comment number 91.

    #73 united_dreamer wrote:
    "The BNP has consistently been the advocate of an unequal society."


    But in proposing banning the BNP are you not also an advocate of an unequal society?

  • Comment number 92.

    Truly grotesque censorship from the Trotskyite BBC!

  • Comment number 93.

    "united_dreamer wrote:

    Tbh my view is that BNP should be banned altogether."

    Shall we ban everything we disagree with? And if so who gets to decide what gets banned and what is allowed? And what should we call him/her? I would suggest something polite in case they try to ban us!

    Personally I dislike the BNP and the Labour party, so perhaps they both should be banned. And I don't like the Scouse accent - so they should be banned as well. Oh and I don't like that the Premier League football clubs are better than my local team so they should be banned too.

    I am sure by the time that everybody has compiled their lists we won't have anything left

  • Comment number 94.

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

  • Comment number 95.

    "The same might apply to the idea of re-introducing National Service. (I suppose that would appeal to surviving ex-National Servicemen -'it never did me any harm' brigade? - but whilst the BNP may say they support Britain's military forces, I have never heard any support at any level from regular or TA/reserve sources for this idea. (Being ex-TA myself)."

    I actually agree with a re-introduction of some form of National Service with the option of a non-military service if preferred. There is a real separation in society that erects barriers based largely on ignorance. Were we forced to co-exist at a basic level with many we distrusted or never understood it would resolve most of the issues we have and would build a much more responsible society that cares about Britain. After I left College I spent time doing charity work and it did me the power of good.

  • Comment number 96.

    We get the government we deserve. If a million people in this country are so ignorant of history, of the dangers of the extremism that parties like the BNP represent... then whose fault but the English is it if they shape our politics?

    I'm young; nationalism isn't something that I care about. The last generation can waste their energy on that, while I enjoy the freedom of ad hoc identity groups.
    I'm educated; I've got quite a good job, it's stable and career progression isn't stunted. I worked hard studying, improving myself to be in this position.

    People like me are immune to the BNP. It's the uneducated, the underclass of people in this country who just didn't apply themselves that will fall victim to them. Is it ironic that the people who shout loudest about their "Britishness" are usually the ones who have done little or nothing to improve Britain?

  • Comment number 97.

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

  • Comment number 98.

    Today it was announced that the UK population is heading towards 70 million, most of the rise attributed in one way or another to immigration. Immigration is an area that the three mainstream parties are afraid to deal with. Until such time as the three mainstream parties actually address the issues that immigration brings, good and bad, then the BNP will continue it's rise. The bad aspects of immigration such as effects on public services, schools, jobs etc disproportionately affect the poorest in our society and it is these people who are most likely to vote BNP whilst the positive aspects of immigration are most likely appreciated by the middle and upper classes. It is a lie to state that immigration brings only benefits and it is a lie to state that is brings only misery. The truth is somewhere in between and is skewed by where you are in the class pecking order. I believe that QT is going to prove very difficult this week. If the panel discuss nothing but racism etc then they will be seen to be bullying Griffen and this will play into his hands. If they discuss immigration then he will be able to quote Labours policy of repatriacion. If they discuss jobs and the economy he can quote Labours 'British jobs for British workers'. If they discuss politics he will have a go at MP's expenses. If they discuss crime etc etc etc. He can't lose, the BBC can't win and the BNP are goping to come out of this better than when they went in.. Democracy? Perhaps. Sensible? Maybe not.

  • Comment number 99.

    76 Andy-in-France

    OK Andy, lets go through these one by one seeing as you are in full agreement with the full argument.

    Lets accept that you are not going to convince everyone but you will be happy with reducing the BNP vote to 200k


    - shut the borders (How about just controlling them)
    - pull out of Europe (How about reduce its influence and power)
    - put whites to the front of every queue (very few want that – forget it)
    - deport undesirables ( How about we just deport foreign undesirables when they come out of prison rather than just loose them)
    - roll back political correctness (Hell yes.. works for me, never met a fan of it)
    - introduce flogging for petty criminals (How about fair and reflective punishment for offenders)
    - bring back hanging for the others (No you can forget that too)

    DO all that amd most people that voted BNP would not feel the need to do so again.

  • Comment number 100.

    I would say that the worst thing any other panellist on the show could do would be to get so stoked to take the moral high ground that they work themselves into a frothingly angry state.

    Shouting and screaming at Griffin to make a point, no matter how good it might be, is just going to make them look like the crazy ones.


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