Is the best way to fight extremism to ignore it?

griffin qt

 It is not often that we pick a completely British story, but this one got us talking most in the meeting.
It is quite close to home – there are protesters outside the BBC’s TV studios because of it.

They are angry because the leader of the far right British National Party, Nick Griffin, will be appearing on BBC TV’s top political programme Question Time tonight.  He was invited on after getting 6% of the vote in recent European elections, as the BBC’s chief political adviser Ric Bailey explained a few weeks ago.

Many people – including a cabinet minister – say Mr Griffin shouldn’t be allowed on. But the BBC says it is the government’s responsibility to ban the BNP from the airwaves if it doesn’t want Mr Griffin to take part.  Who is right?

Critics of the BBC’s decision say the programme will give the BNP legitimacy. Some have pointed to the boost given to Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front, from a similar TV show in 1984. The row has already generated lots of extra publicity for the BNP.

However, others say Mr Griffin should be allowed on so that his views can be challenged. The British Prime Minister says it is important to expose what a party stands for.

What do you think – challenge them on prime time TV, or ignore?

157 Responses to “Is the best way to fight extremism to ignore it?”

  1. 1 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 15:35

    Not really, in the age of the internet, extremists from the far left and the far right have been using the internet to increase their dissemination of information…. You can’t really ignore them anymore..

  2. 2 Tom K in Mpls
    October 22, 2009 at 15:45

    No, but attacking it only feeds their efforts. Education and good parenting is the best way to fight them. Try talking with an extremist some time. Most can’t hold a debate to support their position. They get disgusted and walk off or start quoting a ‘leader’ and saying you just don’t get it. Facing it when it comes to you is the best way to slow it. But there will always be a percentage of people labeled extreme. It is the definition of the word.

  3. 3 James Turner
    October 22, 2009 at 15:55

    Just a big fuss about nothing. Remember folks….. in the free world you can turn off your TV and Radio or what ever. You don’t have to listen!

  4. 4 Mike in Seattle
    October 22, 2009 at 15:58

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Simply subject these individuals to rigorous questioning by the hosts or other guests and it becomes obvious how horrible their ideas are.

    Here’s the set up in my mind: have a host or guest who doesn’t fit the BNP definition of “white”, and ask on live tv why they wouldn’t be allowed to join their party. Imagine them trying to justify their racism on live television. A few simple, direct questions would render them politically impotent and mocked by all.

  5. 5 Trinity
    October 22, 2009 at 16:01

    To fight extrime views education is the key. This give the people the tools to make their own mind up. So On-AIr is not the best medium in my opinion.

  6. 6 Alan Meadows
    October 22, 2009 at 16:02

    I believe that by banning Nick Griffin, one makes him into a “martyr” and creates sympathy for him for being “persecuted” by the establishment.

    If Britain is a true democracy, let him have his say. It is only through a public debate that the electorate can accept or renounce the policies of the BNP. If he is ignored it strengthens his case, especially when other pressure groups that are not elected representatives, are given exposure time on the national airwaves.

    October 22, 2009 at 16:03

    No matter how unpleasant this guy is he got invited on the panel as a representative of a legitimate political party and is part of the democratic process that he has a right to be heard!

    Maybe the fact we ignored the immigration issues of the people in the areas he represents is the reason for these extremists political parties get elected in the first place.

    The people who voted for him must have a voice. Better to engage him over the table of this debate than just hope that this problem will go away.

    I fully support the BBC in this decision. And I hope the panel shows him up for the ignoramus he is.

    • 8 Jo
      October 23, 2009 at 16:34

      Sadly they didn’t – in fact Jack Straw and David Dimbleday made themselves look thoroughly foolish and incompetent – Jack Straw by losing his cool and being unneccessarily belligerent and David Dimbleday for stepping out of his role as impartial chairman. If they hadn’t continually shouted Nick Griffin down and refused him the opportunity to discuss current events, he would have been seen to be the shallow and dangerous political campaigner he is. A great opportunity missed as they all fought to get into the “me good person” corner.

  8. 10 Josiah Soap
    October 22, 2009 at 16:08

    The TV is not the only media outlet, there are papers and of course the internet. Whatever way the information is disseminated YOU as an individual can choose to ignore it, i.e. not to watch or read the information. It appears though that there is part of the population who wish to ignore the message and want to force everbody else not only to ignore it, but not to be even allowed to see it. In general I don’t think the best way to deal with extremism is to ignore it, it just gets stronger. Take for example the far left extremists with their politically correct agenda and UAF bully boys. Extremism doesn’t have to be far right, there’s just as much corruption and “hate” on the far left too. I think the current growth of the BNP is just a backlash against the far left extremism. So lets deal with these issues now and ignore them no longer

  9. 11 gary
    October 22, 2009 at 16:30

    Ignorance has no positive outcomes. Understanding is essential to augmentation or suppression of particular group dynamics.

  10. 12 Linda from Italy
    October 22, 2009 at 16:31

    My gut reaction would be to gag this unpleasant individual and his ilk, but as others have pointed out, that would only open the door to them labelling themselves as “persecuted” by the “lefty” media (heaven help the BBC if the Tories get into power, but that’s only a global issue to WS devotees).
    People like him are generally preaching to the converted on the mainstream media and attempts at logical dissection of their rabid, paranoid scapegoating of anyone who doesn’t fit their particular mould of normality/acceptability likewise falls on deaf ears.
    If he does utter any hate speak on air, which you can bet he won’t, he’s far too shrewd an operator for that, he will be open to prosecution under UK incitement law.
    BTW I don’t approve of the BEEB trying to suggest the Government should control who appears on the media that was a real gaffe – must have been having a bad hair day!

  11. 13 Linda from Italy
    October 22, 2009 at 16:34

    I’ve just thought of a possible advantage, this appearance may serve an educational purpose as the sort of numbskulls who support the BNP may for once be dragged away from their reality TV to watch a programme with a brain for the first time in their lives. So it’s not all bad.

  12. 14 patti in cape coral
    October 22, 2009 at 16:37

    No, the best way to fight extremism is through education and exposure differing points of view, with respectful debate.

  13. 15 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 16:37

    That’s a little bizarre that the BBC would actually be allowed to prevent someone from speaking given they are state run, so it would basically be government policy, infringement of free speech. Realize they don’t have the first amendment in the UK, but they must have something similar, right?

    • 16 Linda from Italy
      October 22, 2009 at 17:00

      Steve PLEASE -the BBC are not “state run”, they are tax-payer funded granted, but the number of right wing politicas who would love to privatise Auntie (as we Brits of a certain age call it) it almost incalculable.
      The fact that no matter what govt. is in power the BBC regularly gets into trouble with the powers that be, never see that sort thing happening with any Murdoch media with all its versted interest backers.

    • 17 Jessica in NYC
      October 22, 2009 at 17:10

      Absolutely, in developed world free speech is a right not a privilege for the elite as in non-democracies.

  14. 18 Jessica in NYC
    October 22, 2009 at 16:38

    Extremist, no matter how outlandish and racist their views are, have a right to speak. The BBC has an obligation to be impartial and present all sides of an issue. A democracy cannot be threaten by people’s descent and the media is part of the foundation that gives people access to information and free speech.

  15. October 22, 2009 at 16:49

    Of course this will be an ideal platform for him to get his views across. But the viewers are not stupid and will be able to sus him out very quickly. The potential for real debate is there. Once he expresses his real views, viewers will have the golden opportunity to pin him down by asking uncomfortable questions. Let him squirm when he dares to utter extremist or racist views.

  16. 20 duckpocket
    October 22, 2009 at 17:00

    What is the best way to undermine extremism?

    It is not to veer towards a police state, which appears to be the choice of many politicians and, unsurprisingly, the police. This attitude so easily becomes an excuse for over-reaction by the aforesaid to harmless and valid defiance to unpopular decisions e.g. coal-fired power stations, as well as other more sinister intrusions by them into private life. And little to do with extremism in many cases anyway.

    Would it not be better to find away of sewing doubt in the minds of extremists in our country and to ridicule them? There seem enough of them to be worth ridiculing. At the same time perhaps we should be ridiculing the police! PC Plod has turned into PC Snoop.

    This is one of the things, along with airport queues, that extremists have visited upon us.

    But then perhaps “Islamicism” is something a lot more serious, though we should not be pandering to it as we do.

  17. 21 Jim from London
    October 22, 2009 at 17:03

    What’s wrong with his ideals? I and many people here are heartily fed up with the “give away” of our country of birth and heritage. We’ve been sold out by both Tories and Labour and it is about time somebody stopped pandering to minorities.

  18. 22 Tony Goode
    October 22, 2009 at 17:04

    I’m somewhat ambivalent on this but in the final analysis this invitation offers the BNP the figleaf of respectability. Such regonition should not be given to Fascists!!

  19. October 22, 2009 at 17:09

    I am always amazed when watching protesters who are against some person or party,I always get confused as to which ones are the Fascists? Ignore things at your peril,as in nature,if you don’t look,you don’t live!

    Protester or supporter,it will be the most watched programme in a long time. Long live democracy.

  20. 24 Bert
    October 22, 2009 at 17:10

    You say:

    “Many people – including a cabinet minister – say Mr Griffin shouldn’t be allowed on. But the BBC says it is the government’s responsibility to ban the BNP from the airwaves if it doesn’t want Mr Griffin to take part. Who is right?”

    Why would the government have the right to ban any speech, unless this speech was deemed illegal for some reason? On what grounds would Mr. Griffin’s views be banned BY the government?

    I think it should be entirely up to the BBC to decide if someone or something is newsworthy.

  21. 25 Anthony
    October 22, 2009 at 17:13

    The best way to fight anything, is to remove it.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  22. 26 Jennifer
    October 22, 2009 at 17:17

    Re: What do you think – challenge them on prime time TV, or ignore?

    I don’t think it’s the media’s role to decide anything. They are supposed to present information and allow people to make their own decisions.

    The problem is that people want to call anyone who does not agree with them an”extremist”. This is ignorant as everyone should have a right to have their own opinion about issues.

    The only way that media outlets will be considered legitimate is if they ask questions that are not asked; hard question not soft questions.

  23. 27 Shannon in Ohio
    October 22, 2009 at 17:20

    The BBC is absolutely right to let this buffoon appear. The more exposure he receives the more opposition he is likely to generate. Those who cling to the fringes–right or left–inevitably hang themselves if given a sufficient length of rope. Free speech is always their undoing.

  24. 28 David in Berkeley
    October 22, 2009 at 17:24

    Sure, go ahead and ignore extremists at your own peril:

    America’s John Kerry ignored the Swiftboaters’ lies and lost a huge election lead.
    Democrats ignored election malfeasance in Florida, and we got GW Bush.
    Europe ignored Hitler, the rest is history.

    Problem is, now with electronic multicast media, most “good folks” don’t look to well-mannered intellectuals and network producers to dignify extremist rantings.

  25. 29 jens
    October 22, 2009 at 17:25

    Ignor extremisme at your own peril. everybody thought hitler was a crazy in the beginning……we all know what happened later.

  26. 30 Colin Sundaram
    October 22, 2009 at 17:29

    22. 10. 09

    It will be the biggest stupidity ever if anyone says extremism is to be ignored. It should be routed out in the budding stage itself. Why Al Qaeda has become a force to be reckoned with today? Without hesitation one can state that it was because of the US intelligence’s inability to rumble the true nature of its agenda. Since they did not consider it as a future threat to humanity they helped it grow to fight the communists which they thought are the worst enemy of capitalism/democracy etc. In India the assassinated Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi had committed such a blunder by nurturing the Khalistan movement of the Sikhs and at the end she had to pay a heavy price with her own blood.

    BBC’s decision to allow this extremist to vent his views was a correct one because people can judge him and his views and reject him if he is a threat for the democray in the U K however one has to admit that the immigrant population from the Indian subcontinent and their extreme stance on many issues under the guise of human rights and democracy did create this radical.

  27. 31 Andrew in Australia
    October 22, 2009 at 17:30

    Go Oliver…!

    Extremist groups will have their ways to get their message out regardless of whether news organisations such as the BBC provide them airtime or not. Look at Al Qaeda or the Taliban or any other terrorist group for that matter. We need to know about these groups, we need to understand what they stand for and how they operate, inevitably a result of this will be publicity, but the opposite will also occur. Hiding from it or ignoring it serves no real purpose. The role the media can provide is not to glorify these groups or individuals. Think of the recent balloon hoax in the US and how much attention that family was given – there was a story that should have been ignored, the media was complicit in that.

  28. October 22, 2009 at 17:32

    I’ve watched for six decades while ignorant and hurtful “authority figures” go on radio and TV to push their hateful ideas as the word of god or the wisdom of the people. All too frequently the people who would have the authority to challenge them have stayed silent. It requires real courage to stand up to demagogues. But failure to counteract hateful speech and/or acts can lead to lifetime damages and even to deaths.

  29. 33 PeterLiu
    October 22, 2009 at 17:35

    Hear,hear to all those who believe he should be confronted and not to isolate or censor any extremist. I wish Osama Bin Laden could dare a debate on a mass medium.

  30. 34 John in Salem
    October 22, 2009 at 17:35

    We can never afford to ignore evil completely but that doesn’t mean we need to give it undue attention either.
    Everyone should have the right to make an ass of themselves in public and giving this man a platform is a measure of the strength, not weakness, of democracy.

  31. 35 Chedondo, Johannesburg
    October 22, 2009 at 17:37

    The issue here is not so much that the BBC has invited the leader of the BNP to a debate, but rather 6% of British adults voted for that party in an election. You can ignore Mr Griffin all you want but you cannot wish away the fact that a substantial proportion of supposedly democratic and civilized Britons support his views. That is the reality. A single fire-breathing fascist is always harmless – but with a small army of supporters, he can be quite formidable.

    I imagine that when the BNP finally amends its constitution Asians, Blacks, Jews and Arabs will rush to join the party. Long live equal rights.

    • 36 Paravox
      October 23, 2009 at 19:21

      Perhaps Nick Griffin’s supporters see him as the only alternative to Islamic extremists, who, lets face it, will be controlling Britain within the next 20 years. What are the Labour lefties and the Tory & Liberal wets going to do. Nothing it seems!

  32. 37 Tara Ballance, Montreal Canada
    October 22, 2009 at 17:40

    If the media had muzzled Sarah Palin in the way that many demand the BBC muzzle Nick Griffin, then John McCain would be the President of the United States.

    Let Mr. Griffin speak. Challenge his statements. And let the public decide for themselves what they think of his views.

  33. 38 Tom D Ford
    October 22, 2009 at 17:42

    “However, others say Mr Griffin should be allowed on so that his views can be challenged. The British Prime Minister says it is important to expose what a party stands for.”

    That’s the logical and rational view but the problem is, Conservatives are immune to logic and rational thinking, discussion, and arguments.

    Just listen to any of the right-wing extremist US talking heads like Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, Savage, etc, their followers are not users of Critical Thinking Skills, they don’t respond to logic and rational arguments that expose and refute Conservatism.

    I think that even if the BBC had on a very charismatic and intelligent rational person to challenge the leader of the far right British National Party, Nick Griffin, his followers would not be convinced by rational and logical arguments.

    It is a conundrum, give him a live mike on National TV and potentially legitimize him and his Conservative views, or let his views fester undercover like a boil until it erupts into full blown public problems like the 1930s Germany form of Conservatism. Either way is a risk.

    I guess I would err on the side of freedom of speech and trust the majority of the public to reject him.

    • 39 Clive
      October 22, 2009 at 18:14

      I don’t think you should give any sort of platform to the likes of Griffin and the views of his clan, good for Question Times TV rating though!

  34. 40 Kevin PE
    October 22, 2009 at 17:42

    I find it amazing that self proclaimed liberals, who hold themselves as guardians of all things free and democratic, would be among the loudest to protest against views of others with whom they disagree. Indeed the words being used by the Left – gag, silence, allow, idiot, blockhead and so forth do not appear to me any different from the language of their foe. Is there such a thing as a Totalitarian Left? – if there isn’t, there appears to be some progress in that direction. An elected official has a right and a duty to air the sentiments of his electorate. One neither has to listen or support, this is democracy at work.

  35. 41 jens
    October 22, 2009 at 17:50


    the totalitaerian left is communisme, you hould know that. they gag and suppresed free speech and still do it.

  36. 43 Kassandra
    October 22, 2009 at 17:58

    As far as I have understood, Nick Griffin and the BNP are not there to discriminate anyone, but defend the ethnic population of the British aisles and their interests. The reasons that he gives for the necessity of his party are the following: the indigenous populations have gotten to be treated, amidst all the existing pressures of ensuring equity to all groups, like “second-class citizens”; the policy of his party has really nothing to do with racism as the party is not there for all the white people, but only for indigenous ethnic groups, namely, the english, welsh, scottish and irish peoples. His party is there to promote their interests and their rights – I really don’t see where all of this carfuffle has come from. He has a right to have a national British party the way any other European country has.

  37. October 22, 2009 at 18:04

    I will yield to none in my firm belief in the right of every person to have their own opinion and to allow them to stand up and demonstrate that they are a complete idiot.

    I hope the media do their job well; this gives them the opportunity to expose this clown for exactly what he is.

  38. October 22, 2009 at 18:04

    Did the BBC actively reach out to invite BNP to the show? If BBC asked BNP to be on the show, can the BBC really say it is not advertising for BNP? If BNP asked to be represented on the show, BBC “may” justify that denying BNP’s request is censorship. However, even then, censorship is only if BBC is denying BNP’s request on the ground of their belief, not on other grounds. Surely, the BBC can deny BNP’s request to be broadcasted based on any other reasons not related to BNP’s party belief.

  39. October 22, 2009 at 18:05

    let anyone speak any sort of rotten words they want as long as i can continue to throw rotten food at them.

  40. 47 Tom D Ford
    October 22, 2009 at 18:07

    Welcome on, Olly! Have fun!

  41. 48 Constantine from New York
    October 22, 2009 at 18:08

    its somewhat contradictory for a program called “world have your say” to discuss the idea of ignoring a point of view. An open discussion is the best way to deal with extremist views. The BNP gives people what they need, a convenient excuse, someone to blame. Personally, when the BNP fail to defend the legitimacy of the principals of their organization id like to see it televised.

  42. 49 margaret
    October 22, 2009 at 18:10

    Interview the man. If the BBC won’t I’m pretty sure someone else like Fox News will.

    Margaret Tacoma WA

  43. 50 Ebbin
    October 22, 2009 at 18:14

    You know what I want My TV Lisence fee back because BBC Welcome extremist
    through it’s back door

    • 51 Tom K in Mpls
      October 22, 2009 at 20:33

      WHYS staff, correct me if I’m wrong, but as I understand it, the World Service is not funded by the TV License Fee.

    • 53 Keith Shaw
      October 22, 2009 at 21:06


      Does that view apply when its former IRA terrorists or Islamic Terrorists being allowed to speak on the BBC?

      The IRA killed more of our Soldiers than than the Falksland War, First Gulf War, Iraq and Afganistan combined
      Hezbolla are a Terrorist Organisation who fire rockets at Civilians and encourge their children to suicide Isrealis

      Is that more prefrable to your sensitive pallet than a British Nationalist who is a legitimate Memeber of the European Parliament

  44. 54 Zain From Salt Lake City
    October 22, 2009 at 18:16

    I’m an unapologetic progressive, I say let them compete in the free-market of ideas; if an organization does not practice violence, it should have unhinged speech rights.

  45. 55 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 18:16

    As much as I disagree with some if not most of the views of the BNP that I have heard, the only fascism I’m seeing about this topic is the people trying to silence the views they don’t like.

  46. 56 Bert
    October 22, 2009 at 18:17

    Fascists are those who pretend to monopolize the media. Just because one’s views might be the poltically correct ones of the day does not mean that the person wanting to ban speech is any less fascist.

    Look, if opposing points of view were allowed in the 1930s Germany, how successful would the national socialist party have been?

  47. 57 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 18:18

    Let’s not forget, the same people who are trying to prevent the BNP from speaking, and question whether we should respect democratic votes, these people who seem to be against allowing the BNP to have a voice, are the same people who told us we have to talk to Hezbollah and Hamas because they were elected.

  48. October 22, 2009 at 18:18

    The best response to extremist parties is good governance and clear communication with the populace.Main stream parties have to agree not to court the extremists however all parties are guilty of pandering to the right wing for short term gain and this has legitimised the BNP agenda.

    If you don’t want immigrants you should stop British people from leaving the country in droves (emigrants).
    The BNP are moving their supporters around to cluster them in constituencies so they can win local council seats especially.
    Also the British electoral system is ripe for abuse,the Indian Electoral commission was consulted to set up a similar body in the UK,as yet the postal voting hasn’t been sorted out.

  49. October 22, 2009 at 18:21

    The far right has pushing extreme far right opinions onto mainstream media for the last 40 years; they use this tactic to move the center of mainstream debate to the right. Their goal is not to win with these extreme views, but to further the conservative agenda.

  50. 60 Jon
    October 22, 2009 at 18:21

    Hitler was never elected to any position. He lost every time he ran. Had democracy actually worked in Germany at the time he would have never come to power.

    You need to actually trust the people.

  51. 61 Ronald Almeida
    October 22, 2009 at 18:21

    When one has a chance to ‘Have your say’ how can you you ignore anything you have an opinion on?

  52. 62 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 18:23

    Is not Question Time a BBC show, and the BBC is a government entity. Should the British government be picking and choosing who is allowed to speak? Does an yone else see a problem with this??

  53. 63 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 18:24

    @ Jon

    Hitler was elected. Just once he got into power and after Hindenberg died, he made it so he was supreme leader and then all democracy ended..

  54. October 22, 2009 at 18:25

    The best way to deal with extremism is to let the extremists air their views, but to also loudly and swiftly rebut those views. I remember in the early 1980s seeing a small group of KKK members (maybe about six) being allowed to march down the streets of Boston. This was their right under Freedom of Speech granted by the U.S. Constitution. But thousands of people showed up to show opposition to these six men (they were from outside Massachusetts, trying to recruit) and shouted them down quite loudly. These men were clearly not welcome. That’s the way to deal with it. Loud and swift opposition.

  55. 65 ernesto
    October 22, 2009 at 18:28

    Extremism, racism, fascism and even nazism have all had highly educated supporters. Just picture the German Nazi top and you will see a pack of power hungry, vicious sociopaths (and very nice to their children).
    Better education will not help.
    They thrive on strife. Democracy must be as resistant and open and consequent as possible. If you try to ignore them they burn down Parliament and get all the space they need to flourish. Indeed let them rubbish their own ideas in the spotlights of television.

  56. 66 Jonathan Simeone
    October 22, 2009 at 18:29

    As long as members of the British public elect candidates of the BNP to represent them in parliament the BNP is part of political discourse. As Offensive as they are, they do represent the political views of thousands of British people.

  57. 67 Dennis Junior
    October 22, 2009 at 18:30

    *What do you think – challenge them on prime time TV, or ignore?*

    Challenge them and there extremism views on issues, but, also
    keep the security and other media restraints included…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  58. 68 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 18:31

    I think organizations like the BNP are an inevitable response to the liberalism in western societies. People, for right or wrong, with liberal views see current society as something bad, and it must be changed by immigration, and increasing diversity. Maybe that’s good, maybe that’s bad, but it’s like the ignore the views of the people already living there. Such a concept of Diversity is unheard of in Asia. Countries like Japan don’t want non Japanese people coming there, there are no programs for increasing diversity in Japan, and nobody outside of Japan has a problem with that. There are places in Japan that are off limits to non Japanese… As people in the west see the views of a liberal elite forcing their wishes upon everyone, this is the unavoidable response. Japan’s policies are basically just like that of the BNP, yet nobody calls them racist, even though I will conceed, that from what I’ve heard of the BNP, they are racists.

    • 69 Kassandra
      October 23, 2009 at 15:46

      I completely agree with the statement that the BNP is a response to what liberalism has gotten to in western societies. Multiculturalism, diversity, cosmopolitanism – we are told, are inevitable in an ever-increasing globalised society. All humanity belongs to a single community where all have equal rights over all territories and no one has inherent, intrinsic indigenous rights over a particular one, even if they have lived there for millennia. Europe formed its Union for the economic and political benefits of its European members, but unfortunately it has opened itself to criticism of exclusivity thereby forcing it to open itself to anyone wishing to establish themselves there. And gradually, those coming to Europe have gotten to the position where they now DICTATE to the locals their preferences and demands in this way trampling over the established laws and customs.
      From this follows, that a party formed around ethnic, national interests is immediately labeled extremists and racists. WHY? Amidst all this diversity and panoply of interests, there must exist a national party, which would see to it that the nationals of that land are also represented.
      Again, I don’t see how the BNP are racists since they do not discriminate on the basis of race, but propagate the interests of four indigenous ethnicities: english, welsh, scottish and irish.

  59. 70 Ian in Indiana
    October 22, 2009 at 18:37

    The root of this issue is the desire of Whites to preserve their culture and ethnicity, and their fear of extinction and/or dispossession.
    Those sentiments have become so taboo that many ordinary people feel the need to suppress their thoughts and feelings. This creates a kind of social neurosis, and drives the discussion to the fringe.
    The desire of indigenous Europeans to preserve themselves as distinct peoples is legitimate. The BNP should be allowed to speak because it has something to say.

  60. 71 Jon
    October 22, 2009 at 18:39

    No Steve, Hitler was not elected, he was appointed.

  61. 72 Dan
    October 22, 2009 at 18:40

    I am a Jew but still would have allowed Hitler to speak. Hitler’s speechs were not the problem, it was the strong arm tactics of the Nazi’s that cowed people into silence.
    The BNP must be allowed to speak or the high ideals of the British Empire that gave the world civilization will have totally collapsed from moral bankruptcy.

  62. 73 Kristina
    October 22, 2009 at 18:42

    If the BNP can be banned from TV, can we also ban Jeremy Kyle? Jeremy Kyle has infinitely more offensive people on his show on a regular basis who also should not be allowed to share their views on TV (particularly regarding procreation and child-rearing) if the BNP isn’t allowed to.

  63. 74 jens
    October 22, 2009 at 18:42


    Hitler had 43% of the vote while the next closest party the SPD had only 18%. i would call that a victory by any means and standart. That was the reason why hindenburg gave him the mandate to form the goverment, where he then grabbed absolute power. What hitler NEVER had was the majority of germans voiting for him…..

    these are two totaly different things.

  64. 75 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 18:42

    Honestly, isn’t Indian/Pakistan (which I presume you mean by Asian) culture more similar to British culture than say US culture is? In the US, we don’t watch soccer or cricket, and drink coffee, not tea. It seems like India has more similarities to Britain than we do.

    But seriously, why is this an issue only in the west? The allegation is that the BNP only wants British or white people in the UK, and countries like Japan have the exact same policies, yet nobody even cares. Why?

    • 76 Josiah Soap
      October 23, 2009 at 03:53

      Steve no one cares because of political correctness. By its very nature PC defines western (white culture) as oppressors. Any attempt to further their culture is seen as oppressive, wrong and racist. The way to destroy this oppressive culture is to silence them and call them names and to destroy the culture with immigration and diversity and mulitculturalism. The Japenese get a few brownie points because they are non-white, but are still pretty high up on the PC hit list. Africans in particular have been oppressed and so basically can do nothing wrong. PC is very dangerous, its the new religion, those who worship are blinded by its glory and anyone who does not tow the line (Griffin) is a heretic to be witch hunted. One may baulk at these ideas, but personally I think PC is the most dangerous and vile agenda to hit modern man, it makes Griffin look like an angel

  65. 77 John In USA
    October 22, 2009 at 18:42

    Giving far right or far left parties a forum is a double edged sword. The effects can’t be predicted by the forum or the speaker alone but depend more upon the audiance. Take hitler as an example. Read or listen to his speaches and writting today and you can see he was a loon. Place him in front of a receptive audiance and you get mass hysteria. On the other end of the stick ingoring extremist groups can lead to violent uprisings when those in power ban them or push then out of them public view. The far right and far left only become relevent when the main bodies in power stop listening to the public and become more interested in staying in power than the public wellbeing.

  66. 78 Mesi
    October 22, 2009 at 18:43

    I think BNP should be given the opportunity to express there views freely, however I am totally against there ideology on immigration. Immigration is a derivative of colonization. Europeans colonizes the world and brought with them both good and bad. They brought diseases, slavery, education, development, religion etc. Slavery contributed greatly to the wealthy and development of the UK and the USA, we can’t ignore that fact. You reap what you sow, sow colonization and they reap immigration.

  67. 79 Brian
    October 22, 2009 at 18:43

    I don’t know much about the political landscape in the U.K. but this guy shouldn’t be allowed to air his views on television. Minds are impressionable and if Mr Griffin’s views are not totally rebuffed in this debate, the consequence could be that his ideas might take root in some minds.

    • 80 Bert
      October 22, 2009 at 18:54

      So Brian, are you saying that your own mind could so easily be swayed just because someone says something on TV?

      These parties have gained popularity in various European countries, because of the immigration issue. So there is newsworthy content there. Democracy requires a CONSTANT interchange like this, to remain on track.

      Don’t pretend to protect us from ourselves, please. Let the BNP bring up the controversial issues you folks deplore.

  68. 81 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 18:46

    @ Jon

    Hitler got into office via legal means under the Weimar Republic. Lots of people are appointed. Gerald Ford, a former US president, was never elected as president, or vice president. All of our supreme court justices are appointed, all of our federal judges are appointed, all of the president’s cabinet are appointed. Isn’t the House of Lords in the UK an appointed body? Isn’t the Senate in Canada appointed by the House of Commons? Isn’t the governor General of Canada appointed? Appointments are common.

  69. 82 Tom D Ford
    October 22, 2009 at 18:47

    Indigenous people?

    The irony is that all human beings, all peoples, are descendants of the African “Lucy”, the first and only real indigenous hominid. We are all black first, black is the basic central core of our DNA. And we are all migrants from Africa.

    So. At the core of it, a racist hates himself, hates the center of his own being.

    A member of the BNP hates himself.

    I’m “white”, about half German and about half Welsh, but “Lucy” is my ultimate and black ancestor. I cannot and will not ignore that fact.

  70. 83 Dan M.
    October 22, 2009 at 18:48

    The idea that anyone with an idea should get a seat on a national television station to express that idea is completely wrong. If that were the case pedophiles would have a place on national television, but that is unlikely. The point is where do you draw the line in broadcasting on mainstream television. Should it include illegal ideas such as removing people from their homes and shipping them abroad or putting them on a boat and sinking the boat. Is this helpful to the immigration debate? Other than the extreme possitions the BNP doesn’t seem to be bringing anything new to he debate. But the question still remains. Where do you draw the line? It’s democracy, but not a free for all to inject any and all ideas no matter how extreme, idiotic or redundant.

  71. 84 Adam Harbin
    October 22, 2009 at 18:48

    People who feel the BMP leader shouldn’t be allow on Question Time hasn’t given it’s viewers enough credit to know right from wrong.

  72. 85 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 18:48

    @ Brian

    But that’s part of life. Not everyone is going to agree with you or think the way you do. Do we kill off people whose views we don’t like? Controlling people’s views is fascistic..

  73. 86 Lew in Cincinnati
    October 22, 2009 at 18:49

    In the end we are all from eastern africa and all immigrants. History shows that people will adjust to the rule set they are given. The radicals will work within the confines of these rules to get their way. Eventually when the radicals become too strong the moderates will increase therefore we will always be in a flux. The previous poster who said given enough rope within free speech the extremist will hang themselves is correct.

  74. 87 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 18:50

    Yes, the issue IS censorship, because the BBC is a state owned enterprise, it would be British policy censoring certain views if they didn’t allow him on. If the BBC were private, it wouldn’t be a free speech issue.

  75. 88 Ian in Indiana
    October 22, 2009 at 18:52

    A gentleman on the air claimed that White English people would be welcomed with open arms by South Asian societies if they chose to emigrate there.

    So if millions of Whites moved to Pakistan, ate pork, bred pigs and dogs, set up churches and atheist societies, had a birth rate which outstripped the native Pakistani birth rate, and lived in dispreportionate numbers on the Pakistani dole, there would be no problem?


  76. 89 Craig Christiansen
    October 22, 2009 at 18:54

    In a free contry you should allow for all the different views. We might not agree with what they have to say, but we should fight to our death, their right to say it.

  77. 90 Ana Markosian
    October 22, 2009 at 18:54

    Ana from San Jose, CA
    The fascists and terrorist should be denied the public tribune like that. We should not let them to get hold of peoples minds, because the outcomet of that would be more suicide bombers and violence against civilians.

    Or… if we allow BNP to talk in the show, we should have Taliban invited to the SAME show … for a balance. Well THAT would be really entertaining – to see them at each other throats 🙂

  78. 91 Otterpeot
    October 22, 2009 at 18:55

    A true advocate of free speech must be willing to listen to view points antagonistic their own beliefs. The suppression of the British National Party and its views is no different than a fascist regime suppressing the views of liberal thinkers. In a democracy, we cannot pick and choose who is allowed to speak. And ignoring this underlying truth – unfortunately – simply fuels the BNP agenda. Those whom the BNP would attract to their fold are likely the disenfranchised, those who feel they have no voice for their views. By protesting their fundamental rights, by censoring their views, will only deepen this sense of disenfranchisement and make parties like the BNP all the more attractive.

    We must bring the BNP into the light. Expose their true nature for all to see. Otherwise, like a cancer, this group will continue to fester and grow.

    • 92 Ana Markosian
      October 22, 2009 at 19:11

      Ana from San Jose, CA
      Reply to Otterpot – I do not agree with that . Freedom of speech, as well as freedom in a larger sense does not mean that ‘everything allowed’. Free society still have to have laws which take into consideration public health and safety . After all, exposing Hitler to the light did not stop THAT cancer from growing. Relatively mild laws that allowed Bolsheviks to unfold their propaganda in Zarist Russia did not stop that evil either.

  79. 93 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 18:55

    Interesting that the British lady in Oregon thinks immigration to the UK is bad, yet she immigrated to the US.

  80. 94 african
    October 22, 2009 at 18:57

    The BBC are allowing him to ‘have his say’, a privilege that I and the rest of the people who are commenting are exercising right now. Perhaps the apparent fear surrounding this issue is an indicator of the real state of affairs vis race issues in the UK; an example is the ‘silencing’ of political opponents in various countries for fear that they may appeal to wider society…

  81. 95 Carole in OR
    October 22, 2009 at 18:59

    The concept of free speech is not truly unlimited. We don’t have the right to slander, incite riot, sexual harrassment, or hate mongering. And the right to free speech means the right to go out and speak of your own free will, not the right to be included in public broadcasts.

    While I agree with the concept that giving this man a platform can only expose him for what he is, I also feel strongly that he has no right to this particular platform.

  82. 96 Jonathan Camacho, playa del carmen
    October 22, 2009 at 18:59

    the real cuestion i will say is how in earth UK cannot stop a party like this, to be legal, wath bbc is doing is just fallow the leader.

  83. 97 Tom D Ford
    October 22, 2009 at 18:59

    Good job, Olly!

  84. 98 Bert
    October 22, 2009 at 19:00

    So what if people voted for Hitler??

    Had Hitler permitted FREE SPEECH during his rule, just how long would he have lasted in power? This is what we are talking aboput.

  85. 99 jens
    October 22, 2009 at 19:05

    @ DAn M.

    The BNP is a “legitimate” party that has been around for a very long time, with legally elected representative in the EU.

    I don’t like there agenda one tiny bit, but nor do i like the agenda of the socialist worker party/communists. both have nevertheless the right to express their policies, how ever much i dislike their ideas.

  86. 100 Terria Queens NY
    October 22, 2009 at 19:05

    That caller from oregan, The Englsih immigrant, by her line of thinking i can see why she is living in Majority white Oregan and not a diverse states such as NY, Cali and Florida…. I read about the BMP in school and they are rediculus they remind me of the far right republicans.

  87. 101 Jonathan Simeone
    October 22, 2009 at 19:06

    During the broadcast it was argued that the construct of the show would not subject the BNP’s views to the proper level of scrutiny. While that might be directly true my guess is that Griffen will say something to help smart viewers discover how he feels. Trying to protect people from themselves is patronizing and not the job of the media.

  88. 102 teobesta
    October 22, 2009 at 19:07

    that was one surreal episode to listen to.
    i particularly enjoyed the english lady (herself an immigrant to the u.s.) who promises that america has acres of land, that anyone can go there and get a passport in 3 months but that they should stay out of england as it’s become way too crowded.
    as for the rest, well, i’m just utterly speechless!
    in fact, i think i’m going to listen to it again, just to make sure it wasn’t all in a nightmare i’ve just had

  89. 103 steve
    October 22, 2009 at 19:15

    @ Terria

    Oregon is pretty liberal. Most of the listeners listen to WHYS on NPR, and the streets of cities like Portland are lined with IV drug users because liberal towns like having them there. That and Seattle and San Francisco.

  90. 104 Tom D Ford
    October 22, 2009 at 19:17

    I want to invite that British woman who is living in Oregon, to leave, we don’t need or want people with attitudes like hers, in Oregon.

  91. 106 jens
    October 22, 2009 at 19:20

    3 months for a passport. i lived here for over 10 years and i am still waiting to be able to apply for citizenship

  92. 107 Mary in Oregon
    October 22, 2009 at 19:24

    People are falling into a logical fallacy when they equate being allowed the right to free speech with being allowed access to a particular forum. Open societies rightly value free speech, but just because a group such as the BNP can mouth off in public, doesn’t mean that their message should be given the halo of social acceptability. Barring Griffin from a legitimizing forum (Question Time) is not the same thing as denying him his free speech. He can go gesticulate on a soap box at Hyde Park Corner all he wants.

    I would also like to challenge Griffin’s assumptions when he argues that there is no equality, which he did at one point in the discussion. He is correct, in that all societies and even small groups within a society have social hierarchies, but we also have broad aspirations toward equality that reveal the better part of our nature as humans. What Griffin is doing is using the realities of social hierarchies to justify basing an ‘inevitable’ inequality between people on particular classifications and categorizations, in this case race and place of ancestral origin. Saying that social hierarchies are probably inevitable, does not justify basing those hierarchies on those two things.

    Hierarchies would exist in Britain if all the non-Anglo Saxon/Celtic whites were to disappear off the islands tomorrow, so what categories of people would Griffin then say should be the underdog? Obviously, the BNP *needs* immigrants and people of color around, because without them, they would have no platform at all. It’s like Satanists needing Christianity.

  93. 108 stevie
    October 22, 2009 at 19:27

    let them man do what he wants. if he messes it up to bad.

  94. October 22, 2009 at 19:42

    Unfortunately for me. someone who has worked on and held an interest in peace politics and mediation for years, I (again, rather unfortunately) find myself having to say that on the single issue of whether or not the UK is an example of a failed experiment in multiculturalism – that
    Mr Griffin is absolutely correct. He of course may use this correct observation to popularize his own agenda, thereby hijacking this academic observation. Nonetheless, it remains true. Britain is a failed multicultural state and quickly losing its hold on what once was society (British). Unrestrained laissez-faire attitudes by countless governments have given birth to
    Mr Griffin’s popularity and created his political platform. He is only the puppet of our own lack of pro-active creative intervention (sociologists have been making noises about this issue for well over 30 years. We are all to blame for what has happened and is happening and it may end poorly because it has gone too far to fix. It is too late. And again rather unfortunately,
    Mr Griffin’s solutions are merely romantic verse in the reality of ghettoize Britain and what will be the eventual dissolution of Brutishness. It is irreversible. In the words of a famous old British comedy performance – “We’re doomed Captain!” Good night.

    Mick McNeill

    • 110 Kassandra
      October 23, 2009 at 21:00

      Of the same sentiment with you, Mick, on this subject. What you have described applies, unfortunately, not only to the case of Britain, but to all other European nations – dissolution of national and cultural specificity and, by extension, IDENTITY.

      But the most unfortunate thing is that there are too many interested parties for this phenomenon to take place and while you worryingly declare that “we’re doomed,” there are so many more that jump up with glee at the prospects of dissolution of European identities.

      Each and every nation must be permitted to preserve their cultural identity and that is what the BNP is trying to do – nothing more and nothing less. Otherwise, each time that any group is formed with ethnicity as its base (e.g. National African American Organizations, Muslim associations, etc.) would also stand to be qualified as racist. If identity is not defended, it is bound to disappear – I think anyone understands that.

  95. 111 Dave Mwangi NBI Kenya
    October 22, 2009 at 19:53

    You have already given him enough audience, the feedback created is enough to attract undue attention from the Public so Griffith got already audience.
    Truth liberates and so listening to him would allow people to make more valid and informed opinions instead of relying on hearsay.

    The best way is to confront Extremism, but most of the times this fight needs to be moderated and ignoring it is a way of moderation but it must be intentional.

    It is impossible to ignore what you do not know.


  96. 112 Kevin PE
    October 22, 2009 at 20:46

    To answer your studio guest, “if people voted for Hitler, does that mean we have listen to them? Well to put it plainly – yes, if they represented the majority vote. You get another chance in 4 years – hopefully! I don’t have any knowledge of the BNP, but from the information gathered I can equate their policies to what we in South Africa call the AWB translated in English to Afrikaner Resistance Movement. Not only is the movement selectively white, but also predominately for Afrikaners (Boers), definitely no Brits.
    Anyway the movement gained it’s greatest following shortly before the transition to a democratic state won by the ANC in a popular vote. The reason for its support – fear! Today with most of those fears allayed its hard to find anybody who will admit to even knowing somebody who belongs. They are not and never were gagged, or silenced despite the fact that their leader Mr. Eugene Terrablanche is/was a dynamic and charismatic speaker who could hold sway over his audience. The simple truth is that the majority of voters decided. He now farms quietly and sometimes a few diehards come around for a barbecue.

  97. 113 Eva
    October 22, 2009 at 21:07

    @Jay asks ‘would you give a platform to Osama Bin Laden?’ Prof. Athouse responds – ‘we already do!’
    about 2 hours ago from web

    Osama Bin Laden hasn’t won any election in the UK nor elsewhere. So he shouldn’t be invited. Or perhaps on hardtalk, if at all.

    Berlin, Germany

  98. 114 Linda from Italy
    October 22, 2009 at 21:38

    Re that ghastly Brit immigrant in the US. I am an immigrant in Italy. Last year I spent a FABULOUS week in my home town (London) and just revelled in the joy of this society – this is what the BNP would try to destroy. I think that the first BNP supporter was the more dangerous one because he presented the “acceptable” face of the Right. Why is it that certain Brits feel entitled to emigrate to anywhere they fancy and then moan about immigration into their chosen (Aryan??) countries.
    England has always been a destination for so many people and they have enriched the indigenous culture (how many BNP supporters are happy to have a curry after a night at the pub?) and we should celebrate this. This lady chose to leave the UK, and live in a country with the death penalty and free access to guns, she is obviously happy with these horrors, so perhaps she should stay there and stop knocking. I cannot wait to get back to my lovely, chaotic but interesting country – Italy is sooooooo boring!

    October 22, 2009 at 21:52

    I am a Legal immigrant living in the Oregon and I have Spanish and African American people who work for me in my little Business so I do not judge people by color. I have been very welcomed by the great people of the state of Oregon and I do my best to integrate in to the culture and contribute to the country.

    The Asian parts of England are so messed up I would not live there if you paid me!

    I can see why people vote BNP to protest this situation. Most of these people do not integrate into the British culture. Any money they make goes abroad and they have no vested interest in this infidel country.

    That’s a quote from a guy I know from Pakistan.

  100. 116 Elias
    October 22, 2009 at 22:15

    No he should not be banned better let him have his say for what it is worth. Like all extremests let him stew in his brew!.

  101. 117 Linda from Italy
    October 22, 2009 at 22:44

    I’ve just listened to the meagre extract of QT allowed on the web and this guy dug his own grave – nuff said!

  102. 118 paul ocks
    October 22, 2009 at 22:52

    Why is it wrong for Nick Griffin to air his views in a supposedly free society? I do not condone racism but isn’t thisdebate a bit one sided. Facist caused a war in 1939 causing millions of deaths. Or did they ? or were the real culprits the communists who have in the past massacred and interned millions more people than Hitler was ever capable of. This odious political creed that is communism was a reason that nazism flourished and with good reason.
    Why is it ok for former Communist party members or sympathisers to spout their socialist agenda which has all but destroyed the British way of life. The same communist thinking people spawned the likes of Pol Pot Joseph Stalin both mass murderers which put Hitler in the shade. Communisism continues to flourish in parts of the world where freedom is unheard of. Mr Griffin belongs to a political party with democratically elected MPs he has a right in a free society to be heard along with anyone else. If I was given the choice of living in a facist society or a communist one . Well!! Hello Nick.

  103. 119 Tom D Ford
    October 22, 2009 at 23:28

    Since all human beings, all peoples, are descendants of the African “Lucy”, the first and only real indigenous hominid, it is probably scientifically correct to say that we are all black inside and the only difference is on the very outside of our skin, our different pigmentation. That is to say, everything inside that skin sack, all of our guts, blood, and bones, is black.

    Interesting to contemplate, eh?

  104. October 22, 2009 at 23:43

    I have just watched QT with a completely open mind as i am not pro for any party, yet it seemed to me i saw one of the most biased hours of my life. Whenever Nick Griffin began to speak he was interrupted or the topic swiftly changed before he could get a word in, all the BBC has done has shown how biased it is.

  105. 121 Lee /Manchester
    October 23, 2009 at 00:02

    If I didnt know better I would think the ‘Government’ have a policy to find / invent as much dirt on the BMP as possible! I myself am not a racist. I am marrying a half Italian / half Austrian lady with 3 mixed race children. Freedom of speech seems to have gone out of the window. Political correctness has gone ‘pots’ and our culture is under threat. Local councils are too frightened about the ‘racist’ card being played! Politicians are too afraid to represent the average man on the street.

  106. 123 aero
    October 23, 2009 at 02:01

    Yesterday, i took note of the question that asked whether putting MP Griffin on air and on a political platform would legitimize and support his view. While, there is no way to avoid the fact that use of the media would allow others who secretly support his view to feel more confident of coming out to support the MP, the same is true for those critics of the BNP MP Griffin. As in the on-air recording I heard today of the BBC’s interview with the MP, those who didn’t agree with the Minister totally discredited his view and stance; putting to question some statements he made previously that could have be deemed as racist and against minority immigration to England. The bottom line is, as much as we give extreme (left) views a voice, those with opposite (right) views and moderate (center) views must also be as aggressive and forthcoming with their views. Ignored extremism would fester and spread silently as malignant cancer.

  107. 124 No Thanks
    October 23, 2009 at 03:42

    I think it was Mel Brooks who said that the best way to deal with bigots is to laugh them out of existence. If Mr. Griffin emerges from the program looking silly, he’s finished. If he looks credible then perhaps its time to pay a liitle more attention to the lack of quality of the politicians in the major parties.

    • 125 Tom K in Mpls
      October 23, 2009 at 16:50

      Ahhh, Mel Brooks. Nobody could make fun of Jews better than that Jew. I loved his work. His attitude is what the world needs.

  108. 126 scmehta
    October 23, 2009 at 07:08

    The best way to fight extremism is not by ignoring it, but by not to highlighting their views, messages, threats and photographs in any of the media i.e. audio, audio-video, press etc.

  109. 127 Chuksagwu
    October 23, 2009 at 07:26

    This whole thing amounts to a very extensive publicity campaign for the BNP by not just the world press but even her political opponents.

  110. October 23, 2009 at 10:22

    Oh how the media and PC brigade ove the word Nazi to describe anyone who doesn’t ‘fit in’. Does no-one in this country have the courage to admit that we are densely over-populated, our NHS and welfare systems are being abused by those who have never contributed (not just immigrants), and are therefore on the verge of collapse – only Nick Griffin! How many people one speaks to in everyday life abhor the EU, let alone Tony Blair becoming an unelected president – nearly everyone.
    The politician’s haven’t listened to the general public, they just follow their own agenda and that of big business.
    What I would like to ask the vociferous anti BNP representatives on Question Time is “how do they feel about the preachers of hate – muslims – living off our state and being protected by our laws because of the ridiculous human rights laws. They should remember, with rights come responsibility and perhaps they should be demonstrating against those who would impose their religion and it’s laws on the non islamic people of this country.
    Wake up Britain, have the courage to say what is really necessary, especially the politicians. You never know if they do they might regain a modicom of respect.

  111. 129 David
    October 23, 2009 at 10:26

    People who preach hate and racism should be put in the same category as terosists.

    • 130 Tom K in Mpls
      October 23, 2009 at 16:53

      Absolutely! Give them all a voice so we can all know who they are and what they will do to, or for, us all. You can’t properly choose or act without proper information.

  112. October 23, 2009 at 10:31

    To my idea at the first go it is not wise to fight to ignore it, we should put all the energy and the ways we know to solve it a political and peaceful way, but if doesn’t worked out then fight should thrown to the ground.


    Hamid Omerzad

  113. 132 Ibrahim in UK
    October 23, 2009 at 11:31

    The best way is to expose them as the illogical and paranoid hatemongers that they are. Ice age settlers? Honestly? I wonder if he plans on expelling Christians since they are believers of a faith that originated in the Middle East and replaced the “indigenous” faiths.

  114. 133 Tony Palfrey
    October 23, 2009 at 11:46

    I am the son of a Jewish mother and am about to marry a Filipino woman. I think though that last night’s Question Time was the most degrading orchestrated example of bullying of one person I have ever seen. A hand picked audience of immigrants and a hostile panel and biased chairman, presenting the views of the super left BBC all contributed to the nastiest program I have ever seen. I felt ashamed that I was watching it and I am sure many people will have felt the same way. Two things came out of this counterproductive spectacle though, decent peoples disgust at the way this program was handled and Jack Straw lying his head off. He fines anybody wishing to bring in a foreign wife to the tune of £800 and with no guarantee even then of success. If anyone is racially biased it is in truth his government.

  115. 134 VictorK
    October 23, 2009 at 11:46

    Having watched Question time I’d ask: what were the screaming leftists and terrified liberals worried about?

    It was a televisual lynching. Even with a panel made up of two very light-weight minority women and two light-weight establishment politicians poor Griffin was cut to ribbons. He scored a few good points (on Churchill, the EU, Jack Straw’s father and Islam) but the programme’s format was obviously changed with a view to exposing him & his party (not exactly impartial). Hardly impartial. His neo-nazi past (not, significantly, his current policies), occasional weasel wordedness and difficulty in explaining away ‘youthful indiscretions’ left him swinging from a rope at the end. It was embarrassing.

    I note that the only threat of violence (and the reality) came from the anti-BNP protestors.

  116. 135 steve
    October 23, 2009 at 14:08

    I saw a few clips of that show, not the entire thing, it’s a very interesting format, I wish we had something like that. However, I must say that the audience couldn’t have possibly been representative of British society. it looked a bit way too “diverse” and antagonistic. I mean, agree or disagree with Nick Griffin and the BNP, He was elected to office, hence he must have some supporters, and there weren’t any in the audience, so how was that a representative audience?

  117. 136 steve
    October 23, 2009 at 14:57

    Whilst not a supporter of the BNP I thought the question time program was totally biased against the BNP and I symapthise with Nick Griffin. I thought the BBC had him on the program to demonstrate their impartiality, but they clearly failed in this respect.

  118. 137 T
    October 23, 2009 at 15:25

    Expose it for the stupidiy that is. But also give the progresisve side equal time.

  119. 138 VictorK
    October 23, 2009 at 15:38

    @Steve: what makes you think the BBC is impartial?

  120. October 23, 2009 at 16:01



  121. 140 paul8222
    October 23, 2009 at 16:08

    It appears the Beeb have possibly adopted the correct stance & then shot themselves in the foot.

    Political extremists always look for & if neccesary invent bias, a close study of an Ulster political cleric shows this.

    Balance in audience composition should have been vetted.

    However Griffin has correctly had his platform.

    It is for governments to proscribe political organisations or bar them from the media not the state-controlled media corporations otherwise it smacks of authoritarianism in itself.

  122. October 23, 2009 at 16:42

    The man has been elected by someone , right or wrong that is our democracy and so was free speech;

    Once upon a time, you could say what you wanted within reason, and it was also well said, that an English man’s home was his Castle” but now a man is being prosecuted for being naked in his own house, reported by a woman who was actually trespassing in his garden, and peeping through his windows.

    Instead of reporting her for the real offences, the police actually reported the man, surely the magistrate will have a bit more knowledge and common sense, but will he, or she?

    As regards the B.N.P it is their right to speak, it is also everyone else’s right to listen to them or not as they please, but it is not right for anyone else to enforce their political opinions and actions on everyone else.

    Mr Griffin is actually clever enough to gain a great deal by the publicity generated by the stupid press, and a lot of people seems to be learning quite a lot from the antics of the Celebs who actually do make it pay quite well, just by acting stupid.

  123. 142 Michael Hollington
    October 23, 2009 at 16:56

    I believe in ignoring extremists, having seen what happened in France. During Mitterand’s Presidency, there was a deliberate policy of giving the Front National maximum airtime, with the aim of splitting the right wing vote so that the Socialists might gain reelection. The result was the rise and rise of the extreme right wing, with an eventual tragic boomerang outcome, the Presidential runoff between Chirac and Le Pen when there was an excellent Socialist candidate, Jospin. The extreme right, though now somewhat less in evidence than it was before Sarkozy stole its clothes, is now, lamentably, an accepted element on the French political scene.
    Is there some such cynical hope in the Labour Party in Britain? I should very much hope the French example would show it is a thoroughly misguided policy. Yes, the best way to combat the extreme right is to deny them the oxygen they crave: publicity. I am saddened to see them currently headlines everywhere.

  124. 143 steve
    October 23, 2009 at 17:03

    WHOA. I meant I DO NOT SYMPATHIZE with Nick Griffin… I’m just saying, being objective, the show was very biased against him.

  125. 144 Brian Foster
    October 23, 2009 at 18:17

    I’m one of those Oldies who fought for King & Country in WWII to preserve the right to free speech – so I support the BBC, not those protesters who are only interested in silencing those with whom they disagree. I have nothing but contempt for the BNP and other extremist groups – including Muslim fanatics – but you cannot just ignore evil, you must fight it. Did not Edmund Burke say “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” ? I’m a Burkeite.

  126. 145 Tom K in Mpls
    October 23, 2009 at 18:44

    Is there a recording of this show? After reading various posts, I would like to see how badly the BBC embarrassed themselves.

  127. 146 Tom D Ford
    October 23, 2009 at 19:14

    The irony is that for decades, Conservatives have made governmental policies to import migrant foreign workers to undercut and drive down the wages of citizens and to break Unions, and now that their policies have been brought to full fruit, they are complaining about the problems that they have created. They have done this in Great Britain, in the US, and other nations.

    “Methinks they doth protest too much”, or similar words by Bill S.

    Conservatives created the migrant labor problem and now they hate the people they brought in.

    Too weird.

  128. 147 Ronald Almeida
    October 23, 2009 at 20:14

    Extremists and fanatics should be given the opportunity to put their foot in their mouth. The listner is not stupid.

  129. 148 John LaGrua/New York
    October 23, 2009 at 20:49

    When unpopular opinions are suppressed we become prisoners of our willful ignorance .How can fact be differentiated from fictiion if we don’t use our intellect to evaluate matters.Confidence on our convictions should allow contrary voices to be heard and openess to new thoughts is a great asset in problem solving .There are always zealots espousing extreme views and often they are most vocal but the price of liberty is vigilence with eyes and ears open to sort the nonsence from the reasonable.open inquiry ,The socratic approach is unfailing in producing light and truth.However the din of fools can sometimes be overwhelming ,tune down but not tuneout .Hyde Park Corner is sometimes called a place where everybody talks but no body listens.but one always feels better to know that the forum is there for the sane, reasonable and crackpots .i have never heard of anyone to be hopitalized for the experience.Lux et veritas.!

  130. 149 Juan Manuel Moran
    October 23, 2009 at 21:12

    I really think that we cannot ignore a political movement or party, being that the BNP or whatever party, because they are always members of our society that as adults have decided to influence on other people. So, the best action to deter those who we think are wrong from growing as a group of influence and power is defenetely to fight them. Of course, the way we “fight” is a different subject and we have to be careful and intelligent to do that.

  131. 150 Daniel
    October 23, 2009 at 22:12

    patti in cape coral
    October 22, 2009 at 16:37

    No, the best way to fight extremism is through education and exposure differing points of view, with respectful debate.

    Pati – how do you therefore explain the attack in Scotland by educated muslims trained as doctors to save lives, not take them? Also the engineer/scientist just arrested in Switzerland for plotting terrorism…surely one of the most educated people of his generation? Education per se will not prevent racism, religious persecution or any other ‘ism’. Integration helps, but clearly did not work with all of these muslims that were educated in the west, as they have still succumbed to indoctirnation from their clerics/elders whoever. There is a clear problem with Islamic terrorism, including terrorism of muslim on muslim, which surely must be against the Koran? The BNP is a reaction against such threats which are not just perceived but are present in our society and have touched upon Britain, Spain, Denmark, USA (surely the biggest melting pot in the world for colour, creed, religion and yet it is attacked by muslims), not to mention Pakistan, India, Phillipines, Iraq, Turkey. More people, especially the leaders of the Islamic world have to stand up to these religious fanatics and stop such terrorism, and parties like the BNP will hopefully disappear as people will not feel the need to support them to have their voice heard.

  132. 151 Daniel
    October 23, 2009 at 22:17

    Mesi – with reference to your comments about the west introducing slavery, I think you will find that Africa had already invented it long before western countries bought slaves (note the word ‘bought’ – it was Africans themselves that caught and enslaved other Africans and sold them. Equally in South America, Egypt, Middle East, any prisoners captured in wars were held as slaves (ever heard of the Roma slave ship?). This is clearly one of the problems with the wole race/religion issue that everybody likes to paint the white European as the guilty party in all of the rest of the world, when in fact the atrocities committed before westerners arrived, and which have occurred since they departed, have often been much greater than any ever committed by said westerners.

  133. 152 Daniel
    October 23, 2009 at 22:33

    ref the post by Linda from Italy…

    113 Linda from Italy
    October 22, 2009 at 21:38

    Hi Linda, I understand what you are saying, but the simple fact is that Brits who settle abroad do not become disenfranchised to the extent that they become fanatics and are influenced by religious clerics who preach murder against their host country…and this is one of the main problems that people have. When we go to foreign countries we are expected to abide by their rules and religious beliefs, whereas in ‘modern Britain’ our Christian children are no longer taught Christianity in the schools for fear of upsetting non-Christians in our society. Isn’t that a bit ridiculous and isn’t it obvious that this sort of reverse discrimination is going to breed hatred amongst the British that are starting to become disenfranchised? That is what I hear from fellow Brits who are in UK or who have left. Incidentally I live in Romania, a country partly conquered by the Romans, who tried but failed to impose their customs and beliefs on Romanian society, as well as British society, although they did introduce lots of good things which stuck…

  134. 153 Mark Crossman
    October 23, 2009 at 22:55

    I doff off my hat to Bobby Greer for being the only persom who conducted herself with dignity & grace on “Question Time” last night.

    It was a deeply disappointing & saddening show of three sitting mebers of the British Parliament resorting to dissimulation & prevarication & an MEP hopelessly trying to avoid lying! Such was the sad irony. It was patently clear that three MPs were not at all inclined to engage with the issues that are troubling a very large segment of the populace of the UK which includes non-whites like me!

    There is absolutely no doubt that pandering to ethnic & religious minorities is what has given rise to the BNP & its gaining acceptance among as sizeable a segment as 6% of the population in the UK.

    While the issues raised by the BNPare real, their responses are utterly misplaced & impracticable. However, undermining the genuine & legitimate interests of the majority indigenous white community will only bring instabilty to the UK making it a perfect breeding ground for all kinds of extremism – both left wing & right wing. It’s time the people of this once great nation woke up from their political, religious & social apathy.

  135. 154 jing yan from singapore
    October 24, 2009 at 03:08

    I think the show will only expose Nick Griffin for the narrow minded racist and facist he really is if the people watching the show is media-literate.

  136. 155 Brian
    October 24, 2009 at 03:58

    Light is the best disinfectant.

  137. 156 edward
    October 24, 2009 at 10:06

    If people are scared that giving airtime to a minor party will cause them to increase in their vote, then they must hold a popular view. The media (especially the government owned media) has the responsibility expose all political parties and their views for the public to decide, and should not be intimidated by extremist opposition.

  138. October 24, 2009 at 12:51

    Griffin and his party are trying to reinvent themselves as Britain’s Le Pen. Reinvention stripped of its pseudo-intellectual trappings is nothing more than lying. Lies whether big or small, white or black should be exposed whenever they are touted as truth in the public domain. Le Pen’s party today is back in the margins of French political life where it started. I see a similar mini-W development for Griffins bunch. As Abraham Lincoln said ” You can’t fool all the people all of the time”.

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