October 24, 2009

Question Time: The Establishment Mugs Nick Griffin – But Only So They Can Steal His Political Clothes!

What entertainment! What a fascinating and gruesome TV spectacle! Griffin the fool on the box! What a ratings boost for ‘Mentorn’ (the private company that runs question time, that’s been begging the BBC for years to have the Griffo freakshow). Yes it was great to see Nick Griffin look ridiculous on TV. He really is an unctuous buffoon. But it was still a bad idea to give him a platform on Question Time. The only mitigating factor was being able to see a huge, angry demonstration by anti-fascists outside the BBC TV centre to show how we all feel. (The woman seen being dragged along the floor still wagging her finger at a copper is my especial hero).

Firstly, while it was fun to see Griffin exposed and beset by angry questions from all sides, this will just add to the feeling of victimhood and marginalisation by the millions of alienated white and working class people who may be tempted to look to him. Especially as now Griffin has been made into a household name. Notoriety is still celebrity and ‘outsider’ status can be political gold-dust in these cynical and troubled times. For some people it will just be seen as Griffin (and sections of the marginalised white poor) being ganged up upon by the ‘clever-clogs liberal metropolitan elite’.

Secondly, the subsequent discussion on immigration was appalling. After ‘ganging up’ on Griffin, the whole panel and audience then went on to agree that there was ‘too much immigration’! Thus immigrants became the main problem, the scapegoats for the social crisis, while capitalism gets let off the hook (off course!). This was therefore an establishment consensus, designed to shield that very establishment! In this establishment consensus that is simultaneously ‘anti-fascist’ and anti immigrant, there can be no mention of greedy bankers or capitalism’s chaos. No mention of the virtual abolition of council housing and the welfare state. No mention of tax cuts and tax loopholes lining the pockets of the super-rich. i.e no class politics – off course! If we can’t blame the greedy rich and the madness of capitalism, then instead immigrants must get it in the neck – as the sole cause of homelessness, unemployment and poor services – and it seems they are even to blame for the rise of their persecutor, the BNP, all the panel could agree. From victimising Griffin, they all seamlessly morphed into victimising Griffins victims! And this even harder to stomach when coming from a political establishment soaked in the blood of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as of our young soldiers, offered as a blood sacrifice to global corporate power. Furthermore, it is this terrible and senseless sacrifice that is now fuelling a tribal and virulent Islamophobia.

This BBC freak-show and media feeding frenzy represents how the establishment is using the BNP. They use them to drag politics to the right, and promote racism and Islamophobia – but then try to make sure that the BNP are not the main beneficiary of this rightward shift. An operation to make sure that that it is the mainstream establishment parties that benefit from racism, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant feeling, that is stirred up, and then controlled. The BNP are demonised as Nazis (and yes, they are) so vote for the ‘respectable racists’ instead. And all the time the media plays its despicable role, churning out anti-immigrant / Islamophobic propaganda, week after week.

On Question Time we saw Griffin mugged by the establishment, so they can steal his political clothes! (Of course, then they must wash these clothes in bleach, making them a more acceptable and fashionable lighter shade of xenophobia before they will wish to wear them).

Rather than getting hysterical that the BNP are gonna suddenly take over, establish a fascist regime and put us all in the gas chambers, the real worry is that the BNP help push politics to the right. The danger is that by becoming established as a minor ‘anti-establishment’ party they will pollute grassroots dissent within the new epoch of war, unemployment and austerity with racist and Islamophobic poison. This will let capitalism off the hook and cripple working class resistance with a vile game of divide and rule. And of course, this can have tragic consequences at the level of the street and workplace, helping to unleash a wave of discrimination and violence against ethnic, religious, racial and sexual minority groups.

Putting the unctuous Nazi Nick on QT, no matter how ridiculous he looked to the majority, will still have empowered every nasty little racist to come out of the closet. It still gives the BNP more space to organise, more spurious legitimacy to seek a place on political platforms, to try and book rooms previously out of bounds to them in our town halls, colleges and community centres. It may become more of a challenge for anti-fascists to deny the BNP the platform it seeks to poison public debate. But at the same time, the repulsion the BNP provokes in the majority of people, and the huge demonstration witnessed by millions on TV gathered outside the BBC shows the potential for resistance. The more fascism grows, the more resistance to fascism will also grow. We must now find the right strategies to enable the anti-fascist side to win this crucial battle.

What we need is a new working class politics – uniting people of all religions and races against the massive assault on our living standards that is coming. Our pensions schemes will be degraded, so we cant afford to retire when the time comes. The retirement age will be raised, so manual workers (who generally die younger) will be worked until they drop dead. Wages will be cut. Unemployment will rise. And our welfare state will face its final destruction. Meanwhile, this will be accompanied by a still greater shift of wealth and resources from the working class to the super rich. Neither the BNP’s racism, Islamophobia and (now thinly veiled) fascism, nor the bluff and bluster of ‘establishment anti-fascism’ can offer us a way out. Only the rebuilding of a popular, working class and democratic socialism can do that. And the best place to start is getting together to ensure a victory to the current postal workers strike.

Barry Kade


Anonymous said...

One in five 'would consider voting BNP' after Nick Griffin Question Time appearance
More than a fifth of the public would consider voting for the British National Party, according to the first opinion poll taken since the appearance of its leader, Nick Griffin, on Question Time.

Anonymous said...

"The woman seen being dragged along the floor still wagging her finger at a copper is my especial hero"

Mine too. She was great!

Anonymous said...

"Rather than getting hysterical that the BNP are gonna suddenly take over, establish a fascist regime and put us all in the gas chambers, the real worry is that the BNP help push politics to the right."

Good political article Barry. Politics have moved massively to the Right and the BNP are both a cause and a symptom.

My only hope is that it's the Left and not the far-Right who provide the main resistance to the incoming Tory government.

Anonymous said...

Good post. However, I thought the treatment of Griffin was an insult to the many that voted for him and to the viewing public who wanted to see his party's policies challenged. From my point of view, what we saw was nothing more than three terriers attacking a badger while the baiter stood there filming it.

Apologies to animal lovers for comparing Griff to a badger, but that mauling was akin to what a poor badger has to face at the hands of cruel baiters.

Socialism is the answer!

Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis.

joefro said...

Agreed. The panelists started scoring political points by trying to justify and seperate anti-immigrant racism from the BNP vote while smiled and rubbed his hands in glee.

Talk about fiddling while Rome fuckin' burns.

DT said...

There's an interesting quote from Lancaster BNP's Chris Hill (from Northwest Nationalists)

"On the rare occasions (once a month or so) that I visit our party's official website these days, I read about record level of enquires. This time it appears to be 3000 in 24hrs, but during the European election I'm pretty sure it was an even more impressive figure. Tell me why then is our membership still at the 2002 level of about 8000. Surely by now (unless we're being feed a line or we're just totally incompetent in turning enquires into new memberships) we should have in excess of 50,000 members by now.

Burying our heads and hoping Griffin will eventually produce the goods is no longer an option.

We must now recognize what Mr Griffin's strengths and weaknesses are:

His strengths are:
He's good on TV unless they gang up on him.

While his Weaknesses are:
He can't build a political party for love nor money."

sharon said...

People like Arthur Scargill should play a prominent role in pushing for a new northern working class socialist alternative to rise from the ashes of big-business friendly New Labour.

Not old labour but a brand new anti-racist anti-corporate party with mass appeal, particularly in the north of england.

William Wilberforce came from Hull.

There were the Peterloo Protests of Manchester, where ordinary people fought back against a lack of democracy.

The original labour party began as the independent labour party in bradford in what became the priestley theatre which is now the bradford playhouse as northern england was once the hub of social reform, but now all there is in leeds for example is yuppie flats and bars where lager is £4.50 a pint, where shopping and clubbing has taken over from political rallies.

What angered me most was when the hypocritical cyclops spoke out against the war in iraq, pretending to care when secretly he longed for nothing better to see innocent women and children with their heads blown off.

Even left of centre punks and anarchists these days talk about chavs, yet the whole idea of "chavs" is a conservative middle class snobbery thing, that "ALTERNATIVE PEOPLE" have happily accepted the poison chalice.

Maybe the media's "chav" labelling concept was a deliberate way of detaching liberal-minded people from supporting the working classes, in the ultimate capitalistic conspiracy.

Multicultural music styles popular with the white working classes in places such as Essex, loved by black, Asian and white people alike, are dismissed as "chav music" by 90% of dance music-loving so-called progressive alternative ravers into drum and bass, psi-trance and even ordinary house music.

This ain't pure and simple music tribalism. It's class snobbery. The BNP don't do well in the rest of Essex 'cos they adore british rap and bassline music, and yet ask any Vegan/CND/Oxjam type their opinions on music which unites working classes, and they will always be negative. This really pisses me off as most supposedly socialist radicals have become fuckin' snobs, shooting left wing politics in the foot.

To kill off any last vestiges of the left, the deadly devisive "sham-socialism" of National Socialism is replacing authentic socialism, making organised racism the be-all and end-all of political debate.

frangie-pam said...

Go into any supposedly "radical" squat scene where some of the people there supposedly support "Class War", and start to talk about how great it is that black people, young Muslims and white working class kids all get down together to the same parties, mixing, in realtime social cohesion, and see stony-cold sneering faces whingeing and whining about "scalies" and "chav scum".

Punk was just as rebellious and trublesome, energetic, exciting and dangerous, with much fighting, alcolism and drug taking but mostly (apart from racist Oi) it was supported by white liberals, but black-orientated music has (on the whole) not been adopted by the radical subculture. When young black kids liked jungle, white trustafarians hated it, and only appreciated it when it went underground and moved out of the ghetto.

Grime, bassline and hiphop, plus breaking and graffiti have been championed by the likes of Love Music, Hate Racism, but without an acknowledgement that the scenes do have social merit by the "alternative" unberbelly of university-educated socialists, greens, free festival ravers and anarchists, one of the best tools to conquer the BNP and the EDL, is being ignored and overlooked, and instead of producing the next Malcolm Xs, Disposable Heroes and Public Enemies, will fester with capitalism cocksucking bling about champagne, violence and negativity.

Even the most "alternative" (my fingers making ironic inverted commas) movers and shakers in the music scene are poisoned by capitalist-led tribalism, dismissing working classes entertainment as shit, under the misguided belief that acoustic punk and indie guitars will "unite the planet" in a white, safe, middle-class way.

Anonymous said...

Any unifying New Left movement needs to be broad-based, neither pro or anti-religious, broadly anti-capitalist yet not refusing all outside sponsorship (especially if there are not strings attached), opposing war, developing world exploitation and poverty, and supporting working class music, dance and art, whilst not being left to the control of one particular socialist lobby group, and will work to black, Asian and white people respect each other.

It should be neither socialist, anarchist, communist, libertarian or liberal, but a broad church where a general agreed consensus of socially-beneficial aims can be agreed upon, a non-dogmatic constitution that cannot be hijacked by individuals, dictators or egotists, and cannot do deals with large multinational corporations just to get love from the Sun and the Daily Mail.

Indeed! said...

Rap, grime, bhangra and bassline has been left by pretend anti-racist radical white festival-going middle classes to fester and stagnate in a cesspool of pro-capitalistic apolitical bling.

Seeing young kids from all communities partying together makes the white supremacists of Stormfront seethe with anger.

Last year, the neo-Nazi BPP held a demonstation outside a Leeds record store against hip hop music for that very reason, and still white liberals cannot see the wood for the trees.

Yes, there are some tracks with violent lyrics, profanities, elements of negativity, etc, but lack of a political compass, and the continued failure of the cosy, comfortable alterative subculture to engage with the working classes has prevented british urban music from being used as a tool to bring people together from different backgrounds, heal class divisions, end poverty, oppose privatisation, and ultimatetly defeat organised racism.

True said...

It's a shame John Peel died, as he played all sorts of music, from all across the world without prejudice. He was the first national radio DJ to play black American rap music on the radio, but played it alongside neo-classical, death metal, Nigerian folk music, techno, indie, funk, punk, soul, jazz, and Inuit throat-singing.

He educated people in cultural equality, a legacy that has now been killed off by specialist podcasts and a million Tower Of Babel-destroying music subcultures each competing against the other, used by capitalism to ghettoise and seperate not just black, Asian and white people, but to put a chasm between middle and working class people.

New technology means more freedom of choice and less social cohesion, sadly.

It's great that questions are finally being asked about the role of music in anti-racism, as music rates higher than job prospects, falling in love, and anything else for that matter with most young people.

Anonymous said...

Art punk won't save the planet.

sammi said...

According to Chris Hill, Griffo's weakness is:
"He can't build a political party for love nor money."

Greedy Gri££in loves money.


beelineco said...

Music does seem to unify most kids in Essex apart from in Dagenham.

White supremacist Great Shite Records don't do grime or hip hop!!!

If the BNP had their way, everyone would be morris dancing to Lute music.

jenny said...

"the misguided belief that acoustic punk and indie guitars will "unite the planet" in a white, safe, middle-class way".


British alternative culture is a white Eurocentric ghetto of its own making where the punk, accoustic or folk guitar is king, even though black people invented rock and roll.

Anonymous said...

Is it blindingly obvious which music causes more problems for white supremacists.

It's not rabble-rousing anarchist punk which preaches to a narrow white (mostly) middle class audience. It is the UK's grime and bassline scene.

No wander Nick Griffin no-longer likes London!!!

Anonymous said...

''People like Arthur Scargill''

You miss understand modern politics.

Scargill is a man if the past.

Todays Rules:

1. no old people
2. no bald people
3. no fat people
4. no tall people
5. no small people
6. no grey people
7. no principled people
8. no outwardly 'smart' people

Anonymous said...


Please put that 1 in 5 figure in some perspective. We are falling victim to media sensationalism here

Anonymous said...

Party faces fine for filing accounts late

By Cahal Milmo

Thursday, 22 October 2009, Independent


The BNP is facing a fine of up to £5,000 by electoral watchdogs for failing to file its accounts on time, amid claims the far-right party is in financial crisis.

Anonymous said...

Sharon/Franjie-Pram/Indeed!/Anonymous (all surely the same person using multiple log-ins) seems to be mad. Art punk and drug-inspired music in certainly NOT the way to go. Talk about putting all the eggs into one basket! And saying that the word chav is the "ultimate capitalist conspiracy" make Gri££in and his conspiracy theories look main-stream and normal!
Are you a BNP troll trying to make everyone look like an idiot by association with you? I can just imagine these rants being reprinted on Stormfront to show how out of touch and educationally-challanged the left are!

Anonymous said...

Is the BNP really growing? Their Regional Accounts for 2008 have just been published and they appear to be shrinking?

"Accounts for 2008 filed by the BNP's regional organisations showed it had suffered a 27 per cent drop in its income to


La Di Da Gunner Graham said...

I think Social Movements are the way to go, rather than political parties. Parties, at least in the developed capitalist have such a bad reputation, and justifiably so, that they have been relegated to the bad dream that was the 20th Century. Whereas strong Social Movements can more easily attract large numbers of alienated people and can push the political agenda in a more progressive direction: see Latin America.

Anonymous said...

"2. no bald people"


Anonymous said...

If Jack Straw, and the rest of the Government, are as proud of the Asian soldiers as he claimed why did they object to the Gurkhas having a right to stay in the UK?