After a week of extravagant build up, last night’s question time failed to fulfil its potential. The political debate was reduced to a circus of hate as audience members whooped and cheered every single put down sent Nick Griffin’s way. Not for one second am I saying I did not enjoy watching this fear mongering, hate filled fool nervously licking his lips and contradicting himself, its just that Question Time is a platform for serious and equal political debate, not a stage on which any man is to mercilessly heckled and attacked from all sides. When we lose control of our emotions, the point which we are debating loses all integrity.
The week leading up to Griffin’s appearance was just as revealing as the debate itself. It is incredible that many opposed to the BNP’s fascism, totalitarianism and far right politics dispute their cause by wishing to deny them the right to appear on the show. Free speech is the foundation for democracy, and as such, even those with extreme views have every right to voice them. No, as Jack Straw commented, they have no place in politics, but personal opinion has to be voiced if the oppression the BNP would enforce is to be avoided under any government.
The frenzied show taught me very little, I already despised Nick Griffin, his party and everything they stand for, and the lack of impartiality from David Dimbleby made me question whether the BBC had a separate agenda that night. As the beat down continued, it seemed Dimbleby had been instructed to ensure that nobody accused the BBC of giving Nick Griffin a free ride.
I could hardly contain the grin on my face when Griffin praised a “non violent KKK leader” and though obviously trying to present a sanitised version of himself and his party, true hatred surged through his blood as he exclaimed Islam to be a “wicked, vicious faith.” He could not answer coherently, he sniggered and laughed uncomfortably as the audience vilified him. His body language was reflective of his parties policies, evasive, inappropriate and completely unfounded. I laughed out loud at the television as Griffin denied quotes that he can be seen saying on you tube. He is shambolic, a wreck, completely unsure of himself and looking desperately for a scapegoat on which to load his vanities, doubts and ignorance. He is the BNP’s perfect leader, a public representation of the fear and ignorance that causes people to tick the far right box on their ballot paper.
One moment of true enlightenment came from an audience member, a question directed at Jack Straw. He asked if Mr Straw believed the current governments lack of immigration policy had fuelled the recent support for the BNP. Jack Straw stumbled with his reply, it was as confused and damaging to Labour as the policy itself. Interestingly, the only question not directly associated with the BNP party concerned a homophobic article published by the Daily Mail. It seems natural to me that fascism, fear mongering, ignorance and the Daily Mail are words said just minutes apart.
This will not go away, no matter how much we attack and vilify the BNP, there will always be a far right minority fuelled by fear and ignorance. I hope, that the floating voters who saw and heard the BNP leader for the first time, though rightly angered by the failings of capitalism and by the country’s steady decline will have seen Nick Griffin as the quivering excuse for a man he truly is. As more people grow angered by the society they live in, the politicians who rape and pillage the system they are meant to uphold and adhere to, they will hopefully have realised that the BNP is not the party to channel their discontent through.