BNP on Question Time?
According to the BBC it is seriously being considered that the BNP will be allowed a representative on Question Time;
“The BBC’s chief political adviser, Ric Bailey, said the BNP had now “demonstrated evidence of electoral support at a national level.”
He said this would be “reflected” in the amount of coverage the party received on BBC programmes such as Question Time.”
I think this is quite right; I think it is about time that rather than ‘no-platforming’ the BNP we started actually ‘platforming’ them and exposing them politically to the same level of scrutiny that all other parties endure. On the few occasions I have heard Nick Griffin speak in the media he has been inarticulate and looked politically he has looked as patently absurd as he is.
Furthermore, the BNP are a part of the democratic process (like it or not) so while that means they have to play by the rules and change their membership structure they can also rightly expect that this does give them chance to air their repugant views for all to see.
So far so good then? Well, not quite because it put’s Labour in something of a tricky position. Labour is the party that maintains the ‘no platform’ stance most rigorously. However, Alistair Campbell’s blog tonight suggests that this position maybe about to change;
“In the BBC’s defence, the BNP has won seats in European Parliamentary elections, and under the rules of impartiality, they have to reflect that. The other parties have to respond to this change too. The line that ‘we do not share a platform with the BNP’ is less easy to hold.
Griffin’s worldview is repulsive, his political methods equally so, but as I said at the time of the European elections, the BNP have to be taken on and beaten in argument.”
The Labour Party (nor anybody else) has little to lose from directly confronting the BNP. No platforming has blatently failed as a strategy and anybody who cannot realise that is blind to basic poltical realities.