September 15, 2009

Lib Dems will appear with BNP on TV's Question Time

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg today reveals his party will appear alongside the British National Party to "expose and beat" them on their controversial first appearance on BBC's Question Time. The BNP should not be given a "free run to peddle hate and loathing" and need to be challenged head-on, Mr Clegg told the Yorkshire Post.

The Sheffield Hallam MP said he understood why the BBC felt that it had to invite the party to appear for the first time after it won two seats in the European elections held in June, including one in Yorkshire and the Humber. Inviting the BNP to debate on the BBC has sparked controversy, with several Labour Ministers – including Home Secretary Alan Johnson – unwilling to appear alongside the far-Right party.

But Mr Clegg said: "If the BBC invite the BNP onto their programmes, I want the Liberal Democrats to be there to take them on. I don't want us to be seeking out platforms up and down the country with the BNP, but nor do I want them to be given a free run to peddle hate and loathing on taxpayer-funded television.

"I think it's time someone is there to confront them and say all your hate and all your loathing doesn't provide any answers to anything. It won't produce a single job, won't save a single school, won't help educate a single child, won't equip a single hospital ward, won't do anything to help tackle climate change or international crime."

The BBC confirmed earlier this month it was considering inviting BNP leader Nick Griffin to appear on a future edition of the flagship Question Time programme after reviewing its stance in light of the results of June's elections. It said it was bound by the rules to treat all political parties with "due impartiality".

Labour is now reviewing its position after previously refusing to share a platform with the party, although ministers are unlikely to be forced to debate. On Sunday, Mr Johnson, MP for Hull West and Hessle, said: "I've gone 59 years without sharing a platform with a fascist, and I don't intend to start doing it now."

But Mr Clegg claims the Lib Dems have a strong record of taking on the BNP having won seats from the party in Burnley, and believes they can be as successful challenging the party on television. He also claimed allowing the BNP to appear will shatter the "whingeing lie" that Mr Griffin is the victim of the political establishment.

"We know how to expose and beat these thugs, and if they're now going to be given a place on national television, I want us to do the same on Question Time as we did in Burnley," he said.

He also said some of their "bizarre" domestic policies should be exposed and challenged, adding: "If they're not bad, they're mad, and this is something I don't think Britain needs at a time we're facing a massive economic crisis."

No-one at the BNP was available for comment last night.

Yorkshire Post

16 comments:

CV said...

Mr Johnson, MP for Hull West and Hessle, said: "I've gone 59 years without sharing a platform with a fascist, and I don't intend to start doing it now."

An excellent quote. :)

Anonymous said...

I was going to leave a comment on another story in which the author said the BNP were basically 'thick' and that Griffin should be confronted so he can be defeated, but I think my comment will also be appropriate for this story.

Let's get a few things straight first. Griffin should not be underestimated. He is not thick and will have answers to any question about British politics - health, education, the economy and so on. Do not think for one minute that Griffin [in particular] is not clued up on these subjects.

That said, I imagine Griffin's policies on issues other than race/immigration will be very simplistic and populist; perhaps even bizarre. And this is where opportunity arises. What the other panelists - or preferably the audience - ought to do is really scrutinise Griffin about his simplistic policies on health, education and the economy. Don't waste time debating with him about immigration. For every person that disagrees with him, there will be somebody won over.

Remember the ludicrous 2005 General Election manifesto? Every home should be equipped with an automatic rifle! They will abolish income tax and replace with a higher VAT system! These are the bizarre policies that will make the BNP seem out of touch with ordinary, decent people. The race issue will become boring and will end in stalemate. The party's other policies, however, will really expose how they are not fit to govern.

One other thing that makes the BNP different from the other main political parties, is that in contrast to say Lab/Lib/Con whose members may or may not agree on all party policy but will at least know the official party line if asked, you could ask 100 BNP members what their party's policy is on a given subject...and you will get 100 different answers! There is no consistency or cohesion from top to bottom. The leadership may agree on a policy but the average member won't even know what that is. And I know what I'm talking about, I'm a former member.

UK Fightback said...

Before this one kicks off into a massive s**t-storm of inconclusive and divisive debate, I'd just like to say that the Question Time debacle looks like it is going to happen whether we like it or not.

If the Lib Dems rout Nick Griffin on Question Time then fair play to them. If they don't, then it's worth remembering the reason they're insisting the BNP can be defeated in televised debate is because Lib Dem support for Proportional Representation helped pave the way for Nick Griffin to get elected in the first place!

Please DO NOT however let this issue divide Anti-Fascists. The way to respond to this issue is not to start bitching amongst ourselves but to redouble our efforts against these twats.

Anonymous said...

Griffin was on the BBC's Hardtalk programme some years ago, ( I think about 2002,) he was absolutely slaughtered by the interviewer Tim Sebastian, the BBC and MPs should review that show and take an lead example from that interviewer? Griffin is an arrogant,smug toff who could can easily be cut down to size and made to look the fool he is, in front of millions of TV viewers!

NewsHound said...

Anti-fascist protests are mobilised, plus a for black members of the audience to apply to the BBC.

http://www.voice-online.co.uk/content.php?show=16245

NewsHound said...

Excellent article from Stoke worth putting on your blog, Ketlan/Denise, please, with reasoned arguments against allowing school governers to belong to the BNP: -

http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/letters/Time-stand-BNP-restore-reputation/article-1338995-detail/article.html

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know I have had a response from Leeds council in reply to the HNH email that i signed up to a couple of days ago.

I have to say I am disappointed, no, disgusted at the response, Leeds Council claim they do not have the powers to deal with the demonstration. So they are leaving it to the police and hoping things will go quietly.

What a load of rubbish

tulip

Joe Chapman said...

Clever move by Nick Clegg there. Let's hope it's not just empty political sabre rattling in order to gain votes.

I think it's true, whether we like it or not, Griffin is going to appear on Question Time and people have been writing that they are sure they will not be any chance to have a pop at Griffin however I think this is another indication that Griffin may not get an easy ride.

The other poster is right I think though, it's going to be very difficult or even impossible to get at Griffin by using the obvious direct smearing approach. He is clever, he was a law student and he's observant. If he's a good player then he'll be a few moves ahead and he'll already have thought about many different questions that people could put to him.

I know it may seem odd but in a way I agree that whoever gets the chance to pick at Nick Griffin should probably concentrate on the weaker parts of his stitching, not get caught into debating 'immigration' with Griffin who will turn it around and have people only debating non white immigration without even realising it. Either that or someone who is aware of this type of propaganda should point this out.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the comments of Anonymous (second one down from the top).

Campbell said...

Any question Gri££in is not prepared for, he'll say the mortal words "that's not relevant" like a lawyer in court and Dumbleby will move on.

It would be good to mention the National Front kids who he used to remove the Asbestos from the roof of his farmhouse in Wales who breathed in asbestos, if possible.

They were awarded cans of out-of-date beer with the sell-by dates etched-off with a knife.

This would show the contempt at which Cyclops even hates his own ilk.

another ex-bnp member said...

Second from the top comment is spot on - its the ex-membership that really know the score with Gri££in, and also just how much he is hated by so many within that party (I use the word 'party' lightly as it is in fact little more than a sour little cult now)

Another area to attack him on, and one that he absolutely hates to discuss, is money. If people challenge him on his dodgy dealings and just where the party donations go, he’ll panic. He knows that the whole membership will be watching him on TV, and every word he mutters about cash they will remember, because they are the morons that give it to him. If Gri££in attemps to side-step answering such questions, he'll look even worse.
He must be treated as the crook he is.

Jamie The Antifascist said...

Does Clegg have the bottle though to take on Griffn?

As we have said before, Griffin's oppostion on QT cannot be composed of asking the typical questions to to him, instead we need to catch im off guard, hope Clegg can do that...

Anonymous said...

"Second from the top comment is spot on - its the ex-membership that really know the score with Gri££in"

Agreed. I wrote the comment (second from top) and I was in a position that makes me able to comment on BNP policy and how the leadership think. If those who oppose the BNP wish to tap into a vaulable source of information - disgruntled or even 'converted' ex-members - they'd do well not to isolate such people by still branding them as racists, nazis etc. You'll be surprised how 'normal' some of these ex-members really are!!

Anonymous said...

"If those who oppose the BNP wish to tap into a vaulable source of information - disgruntled or even 'converted' ex-members - they'd do well not to isolate such people by still branding them as racists, nazis etc. You'll be surprised how 'normal' some of these ex-members really are!!"


Oh how right you are! I've been out of the far-right for almost twenty years and have a long and demonstrable history of opposing racism and fascism and yet I still find myself on the end of these cretinous attacks with monotonous regularity.

Sometimes I think the traditional "anti-racist" movement is its own worst enemy.

Anonymous said...

"They were awarded cans of out-of-date beer with the sell-by dates etched-off with a knife. "

Story I heard is they were SOLD them for a £1 a time

Anonymous said...

"Story I heard is they were SOLD them for a £1 a time"


They WERE sold them 50p a can is my recollection bit still outrageous considering they were out of date and given by a sympathiser in the belief that they would be handed out for nothing. It was crap lager anyway, even when it was in date.

Nobody ever asked where the money was going, and the NF never saw it. Seems the Griffins took it as compensation for allowing the idiots to work on their farm and breathe in all their asbestos. It was sold as some kind of "Back to the Land" project, good for the soul and all that. Daft bastards.