September 28, 2009

Broadcasting union and BBC heading for clash over BNP

British broadcasting union BECTU has issued a press release criticising the BBC and the justice minister, Jack Straw, for their willingness to endorse the participation of the far-right British National Party (BNP) in a forthcoming edition of the TV discussion programme Question Time.

The BBC says it is obliged, under its charter, to give airtime to the BNP because it is a legal political party which has a number of MEP’s, though it does not currently have any MPs at Westminster. But BECTU, today insisted that the BNP should not be given airtime to promote its racist politics.

The union’s statement comes in reply to the BBC’s decision to accept a proposal from the producers of Question Time that BNP leader Nick Griffin should join the panel for the programme on Thursday 22 October. BECTU has also criticised the justice minister, Jack Straw, for his decision to take part in the broadcast planned for 22 October.

“The Labour Party has always said that it would not share a platform with racists; this is not a matter upon which ministers should be permitted a ‘free vote’. Jack Straw’s decision is doing damage to his credibility as a senior government figure and to the Labour Party. We call upon him to reverse his decision to take part,” said BECTU General Secretary Gerry Morrissey.

BECTU represents production staff across all roles in broadcasting and has on previous occasions pledged to support any member who chooses, as a matter of conscience, not to work on output which either involves or promotes the BNP. In the past broadcasters have respected that individuals can exercise this choice.

BECTU has today reiterated that same commitment to support all members who choose not to work on this particular edition of Question Time if it goes ahead with a BNP representative on the panel. The union will also be lending its support to anti-fascist organisations who will be campaigning against Question Time’s plans to give the BNP airtime.

Media Network


Anonymous said...

The union should be instructing its members not to work on this edition of Question Time.

Anonymous said...

"union should be instructing its members not to work on this edition"

Not to sure about that, most BNP voters and potential voters dont watch this programme (Jeremy Kyle is more their taste) and there's every chance Griffin will go too far or say the wrong thing and it could easily all go tits up for him and the BNP.

Give em enough rope.........

Anonymous said...

Give em enough rope...

That's an argument for letting the BNP say what they like when they like.

Anonymous said...

"That's an argument for letting the BNP say what they like when they like"

And thats when they do the most damage....

Women enjoy rape - Eriksen
Hitler was a gas - Colett
Drown migrants - Gri££in
3 murders - Barnpot


Anonymous said...

It appears that the BBC are intent on turning Question Time into the Jerry Springer show.

Anonymous said...

"And that's when they do the most damage..."

I am not sure what this means. Does it mean they damage society so they should be stopped or they damage themselves so we should let them say what they like? I certainly disagree with the latter.

Anonymous said...

They damage themselves, let them speak and we'll have quote after quote that will lose them election after election. If they dont appear on the programme they'll just get sympathy, more hits on their website and may even win elections as seen as undergogs.