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Monday, October 19, 2009

BNP on Question Time

Peter Hain's opposition to the BNP Leader's appearance on Question Time is principled and informed by his own experiences fighting apartheid. Many of us share his outrage at the position taken by this racist party.

However, there comes a time when we must bow to the inevitable and work with others to use this event as an opportunity to show the BNP up for the obnoxious, intolerant and out-of-touch party that they are.

My only doubt is that we are putting too much store in the ability of Griffin's fellow panellists to deliver the comprehensive thrashing we are all hoping for.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Hain has now taken to issuing threats of legal action unless the BBC suspends Griffin's debut appearance. Mr Hain argues that the BNP is “an unlawful body” because its whites-only membership rules breached discrimination legislation. Yet unfortunately for him that matter has been kept out of the courts by a promise to amend the BNP constitution.

The latest faux pas by the BNP itself though offers the Question Time panellists something else to work with. The Times reports that a posting on the BNP’s website has hit out at the two ethnic minority members of the panel. They have derided Bonnie Greer, the writer and broadcaster, as a “black history fabricator”, and said that Baroness Warsi, the Conservative spokeswoman for community cohesion, who is of Pakistani origin, was a “product of Tory affirmative action”.

With a start like that any chance of Nick Griffin making any sort of favourable impact on the audience must be receding very quickly indeed. If indeed there was such a chance in the first place.
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