22
Oct
09

Should this man be allowed on TV?

_45883633_007395510-1If you allow politicians with extreme views to share a platform with mainstream parties do you run the risk of legitimising them?

In the UK the BBC have invited the leader of far right British National Party to appear on its main political discussion programme.

The decision was announced not long after the party gained its first MEPs in the European elections and its rarely been out of the headlines since. Critics have said it’ll boost their credentials others say it’ll expose their shallow arguments.

How are extreme political views handled in your country? Whatever their views if enough people vote for extreme parties should they be allowed to voice their opinions on air?


44 Responses to “Should this man be allowed on TV?”


  1. 1 Steve
    October 21, 2009 at 10:58

    All members from all political parties should be allowed to openly share their thoughts and views with the public body. We may hear what we don’t want to hear or we may hear what we do want to hear.

    This man should not be discriminated against because of his beliefs. The BNP has not as far as I am aware, bombed, blown or shot anyone who does not agree with their party’s findings, yet we allow known terrorists to form a Government Party.

    If we can allow known terrorists to speak and now accept that, then why can’t we allow this man the opportunity to portray his party’s views? After all he did arrive in this position of power by obtaining the required public vote through public election.

    Freedom of speech is for all, not just when our Governments or TV stations think it should be.

  2. 2 subra
    October 21, 2009 at 11:20

    Nationalists areputting some ideas forward for the appreciation of the people and it’s up to the people concerned either to accept or reject those ideas. The media shouldn’t censure the views of such persons. The media should be independent and transmit the message.
    Unlike in my country Mauritius the television is abusively utilized to boost up the images of government ministers at prime time viewing. News and views are grossly manipulated to present government actions in a flattering manner while the opposition is slandered unethically.
    People are fed up of such a situation and they rather switch to other international stations or switch off their tv completely.

  3. 3 claudine
    October 21, 2009 at 11:37

    In my country, Singapore, extreme views are frowned upon.
    Even the press is not entirely free to say what they want, as long as it is the truth.
    Thats why we read this today in the news: Press freedom index: Singapore 133rd.

    I personally think there are always extreme views. It just cant be avoided.
    I would not mind listen to that Far right guy. At least then I would know what it is all about.
    Let him say what it is about. Also invite people from the far left and ask everyone to keep the discussion civilised.

  4. 4 Ray Fidler
    October 21, 2009 at 11:42

    If we censure legitimate political parties because we believe their viewpoint is unacceptable and ultimately their success could curtail freedom of speech and action ,we are already doing exactly what we are accusing them of!

  5. 5 Nigel
    October 21, 2009 at 12:14

    I have found that extreme politicians who get credible public air time make more new enemies than friends. BNP should be allowed their airtime.

  6. 6 Dennis Junior
    October 21, 2009 at 12:42

    Ben:

    No, I would not allowed the man on the TV Chat shows…But, I thought the BBC recently wrote a blog about the reasons that they were going to invite the BNP Party leader on the programme….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  7. 7 VictorK
    October 21, 2009 at 12:59

    *In a poll members of the public supported, at around a rate of 60%, several BNP policy positions – only they weren’t told that these were BNP positions. So, who defines ‘extreme’?
    *The BNP has benefited hugely from the hysterical and terrified tone of its critics, especially those organs of our political and media establishment who, instead of arguing the anti-BNP case, and conceding those points where the BNP have the better of the argument (e.g. the EU, Churchill), have demonised them beyond all rational justification. What will now happen is that after hearing Griffin many people will be struck at how reasonable he is – reasonable, that is, compared to the foolishly extravagant caricature of him & his party put about by their enemies.
    *I’m sorry to say that the BBC and Labour party have inadvertently been major recruiters for the BNP over the years. Not having Griffin on the programme would suggest to most people that the BNP is feared, and since truth is what scares people the most, voters will put 2 + 2 together and, in this case, come to 5. Time for the BBC to undo some of the political damage it’s done by boosting the BNP in the past.

  8. 8 patti in cape coral
    October 21, 2009 at 13:34

    Yes, he should be allowed on TV.

  9. 9 Joisah Soap
    October 21, 2009 at 13:35

    Yes Griffin should be allowed on TV. He hasn’t hurt anyone, just has some views that some people don’t agree with, but a lot of people do agree with his views, but are too afraid to admit it. I for one am sick and tired of hearing the negative press about the BNP. One would think the BBC were interviewing Osama Bin Laden and Al Quaeda, not a legal party. I think its extremely important he is given air time and given a respectful fair interview. There is a reason the BNP have become so popular, its not because of the recession or job losses, its because of this totalitarian Orwellian society that is developing where there are laws on what you can say and what you can think. I find it strange to say the least that in African (and other non western countries), leaders who want Africa and jobs only for Africans are praised as forward thinking nationlists, whereas a view of Britain for British is condemed as racism.

  10. October 21, 2009 at 13:50

    BNP are already legitimate Ben, utterly and totally legal and legitimate. Yes,BNP should be allowed tv airtime. Whatever they are advocating let us hear it,in open and civilsed debate. Long live democracy.

  11. 11 Keith Shaw
    October 21, 2009 at 14:03

    Nick Griffin is an ELECTED MEP, his Election, as far as I am aware, was fair and he was Democraticly elected.

    Not to allow him to speak indcates that Democracy is great, unless it delivers the result you want.

    lets be honest, if the Three main parties had the integrity to discuss mass Immigration and the rise of Home Grown Islamic Radicalism the BNP would hardly register on the Political scale.

    People like Peter Hain, clamouring to shut Griffin down, are not only showing comtempt for the Democratic Process but are also scared to ask the questions that have led to the rise of the BNP, knowing full well, they would not like the answers,

  12. 12 scmehta
    October 21, 2009 at 14:18

    A mature and genuine democracy is never scared to face any extreme views; However, it’ll be foolish giving them undue importance or airing, because such views are certainly capable of vitiating the main-stream environ of a society.

  13. 13 Dennis Junior
    October 21, 2009 at 14:29

    ++Whatever their views if enough people vote for extreme parties should they be allowed to voice their opinions on air?++

    Yes, with many delays available be put in placed in case; Things get out of control and, also, have other measures placed into effect…to prevent problems from even arising…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  14. October 21, 2009 at 15:10

    A genuinely democratic country will NOT allow the censure of any ideas, no matter how appalling they may be to the general public. One can not have a discussion of differing views if only one is presented. I also agree that there must be many more British citizens that privately agree with the BNP but for whatever reason will not publicly admit to it. Here in the states there have been elected officials from the KKK, a racist group with a history, even recent, of murder, rape and other evils. These officials were elected anyways, which means that some here agreed with their views. I have debated such people about their beliefs in the past, and as a multi-racial person who is often mistaken for Caucasian, I hear “secret” racist comments and beliefs all the time. Let them speak, and discuss their thoughts, or else no one has the right to discuss their opinions, no matter how popular they might be.

  15. 15 Tom K in Mpls
    October 21, 2009 at 17:39

    If the shows can deal with the ratings and image. If he feels he won’t embarrass himself. If someone is willing to pay for air time, sure. I bet he would be even more entertaining than most of the primetime drivel.

  16. 16 Tom K in Mpls
    October 21, 2009 at 18:16

    LOL! Listening to the guy recorded earlier. He said regarding Israeli activities in recent years that Israel is doing nothing that other countries have been doing. I couldn’t agree more. And that doesn’t make it right. Is there a parent out there that will let a child of theirs get away with this excuse? This is the best reason I have heard yet to end all support of Israel.

  17. 17 Bavaria
    October 21, 2009 at 20:32

    The problems are the same all over western Europa, but they have been swept under the carpet by “political correctness”. European countries are based on centuries of culture and history. Many people are afraid of their children´s future. Will they have to live in countries where they don`t feel at home anymore or where they are even threatened

  18. 18 Halima
    October 21, 2009 at 21:55

    As much as I detest the BNP, I think the best way to deal with extreme views is to allow them to expose their stupidity. Anyone with a modicum of debating skills should be able to show him up and allow him to hang himself, so to speak.
    banning him would give him credibility, and make hypocrisy of freedom of speech.

  19. 19 Michael Godfrey
    October 22, 2009 at 03:36

    Following this debate, I am reminded of the time I went to a trade union meeting which was to be addressed by a national official who had a reputation for selling out his members to the industry bosses who wined and dined him.
    As the man stood up to speak, a chorus of catcalls and boos and hisses pushed him back down, red faced, into his seat. Then from the back of the hall, a voice boomed above the clamour: “No, let him speak. . .”
    The national official beamed a thankful smile and rose shakily to his feet, only to hear the speaker complete his sentence with the words “. . .and then we’ll know
    what NOT to do.”
    He was right. And so is the BBC. Liars, fools, cowards and tyrants condemn themselves from their own mouths. The public is capable up of making its own mind. We don’t need the “protection” of main party career politicians – many of whom have been ripping us off for years via bogus expenses claims.

  20. 20 Tim
    October 22, 2009 at 10:03

    If, as a society, we tolerate the SNP and Plaid Cymru with their thinly disguised racial agendas we should also tolerate the BNP on principal. It would be nice to think that we could expose their stupidity in intellectual debate, but these people are not stupid. Their cynical manipulation of the intellectually weak, using the tools of race and culture, appeals to the feeble minded flock animals in our society. But then again Political and Religious control has always utilized these tool to a greater or lesser degree, more fool the rest of us.

  21. 21 boltonian68
    October 22, 2009 at 12:28

    The great, great strength of the United Kingdom is freedom of speech and we must never allow this to be eroded whatever we think of the speaker.

    I do have views on the BNP. I also have views on the current government. It is my privilege in the UK to have these views and to share them with others if I choose to do so.

    What we must never allow is for another bunch of “suits” to decide for me what I can or cannot listen to or debate publically. That is the route to the end of democracy as we know it!

  22. 22 Peter Gizzi UK
    October 22, 2009 at 13:12

    Yes of course he should appear. I could never vote for The BNP but the question not being asked is why so many did? Mainly because our supossedly “democratic” parliament has ignored the wishes of The British People for far too long. All 3 major parties refuse to discuss membership of The European Union which allows uncontrolled immigration into The UK. We are losing our identity, our sovereignty, and eventually our country to The Federal States of Europe. We have no say in this anymore.

    I am very angry and were I younger would turn to terrorism as I see little hope from democracy!

  23. 23 Pads
    October 22, 2009 at 13:20

    Tim – Plaid Cymru and SNP do not have racial agendas full stop.

    The first ethnic MSP? SNP. The first ethnic Assembly Member? Plaid Cymru.

  24. 25 robert
    October 22, 2009 at 14:34

    I am English and appalled that these people claim to stand for me. However they should be allowed to speak. For one, free speech is a right. You don’t protect one right by destroying another. The second, more pratical issue is to show they are a one policy agenda party. Make them fight on issues other than their limited racest chanting and show the UK that they are too weak to lead a country. The other parties should debate as normal and force the BNP to raise their game. When they can’t they will be exposed for what they are.

  25. 26 jens
    October 22, 2009 at 14:49

    @ Peter Gizzi UK,

    Sure you would turn to terrorism???? You are joking, right? if not then i consider your contribution as offenssive with a call to kill forgein people in the UK…….

    i would like to point out that the contry who had the largest amounts of colonies should thread very carfully when it comes to immigration. As far as I am aware colonizing other nations is immigration as well, but brut force as well. Or is it OK to since we only kill “those dark people”.

    How do you feel about english people invading spain each summer, or what about all the brits leaving, because they can get a better job in america…..

    • 27 Peter Gizzi UK
      October 22, 2009 at 17:00

      Jens you totally missed my point! I am half Italian and certainly not a racist! What I said is that our parliament ignores our wishes concerning The European Union! The immigrants from there are WHITE! We were promised referenda on EU issues but never got them. Do you call that democracy? I don’t. If we do not get heard what are we supposed to do? Accept governance by a foreign power? I certainly will not! Many of my friends are from our former colonies and think much the same as I do. We have enough people here now! Our island is smaller than many states in The USA but has a population of 60 million! That is too much!

      • 28 Claire
        October 23, 2009 at 12:57

        I couldnt have said it better myself Peter! we have a massive problem with immigration and all the other political partys just ‘pussy foot’ around the problem of mass immigration. At least someone is willing to speak up for the British people and say “enough is enough”!!!!!!!!

  26. October 22, 2009 at 14:52

    How white is he? What is the position of BNP in an all black or brown society? Can BNP deliver on jobs? He has a place at the European Parliament, but will he fight for Britain or anyone else?
    If Labour goes at the next General Elections, someone must fill the massive gap, but who?
    Churchill may have been radical for his time but he is an icon in our age. That’s not all bad.

  27. 30 gary
    October 22, 2009 at 14:52

    The soul of organizations such as BNP is collective anger over imagined disenfranchisement due to ethnic diversity in the general population. Any denial of rights augments this. Let the man speak.
    g

  28. 31 Alby Brandt
    October 22, 2009 at 15:03

    He should be allowed on TV, but there should be other views expressed in response to his speech in commentary…and bring in some folks from minorities groups like British Pakistanis, British Indians or British Jews who the BNP is against. So, that their views are expressed in response to whatever he says.

  29. 32 Dan
    October 22, 2009 at 15:09

    To be a free society you MUST allow this mans views to be heard. Doing less legitimizes his views.
    In the arena of ideas it must be the public, not the Government, that decides what is right.

  30. 33 Audrey
    October 22, 2009 at 15:19

    let him go on air.then all doubt can be put to rest and we shall know who he really is.it will be a good chance to make him answer hard questions and possibly embarras him back to sanity.

  31. 34 Tamatoa, Zurich
    October 22, 2009 at 15:49

    Every opinion has to be respected and heard even if it is racist. Civilized conduct demands it. How do we react? We answer or comment on it with cincerity and sticking to the issue. We should prevent emotional involvement. We should also stress the positives of both comments. If one party is attacked then things become personal and out of hand. We must trust in the clash of opinion. It will reveal the truth and lead the way. Ignoring an opinion is not a good solution. Unecessary exposure through emotinal involvement is better.

    If we take a step back we would then see that the party acting this way is doing nothing else but portrait itself as a just and noble party. And usually if people see that a party is just and trustworthy then that party will be elected.

    Last, freedom of speech protects the individual from being prevented of talking. It doesn’t exempt him from the consequences of his speech. If he makes racist or any other comments that break national or international law he must be trialed.

  32. 35 saleem
    October 22, 2009 at 15:55

    Hi

    I come from Pakistan and think that ‘Nikc Greffen’ should be allowed to come and present his point of view. After all wether we like or not he has got (some) supporters and won seats in European parliment and as well as in local councils.

    I came to UK as an international student and feel that there are geniune concerns from the local people (probably not all of them) regarding the immigration, And I also felt that main stream parties like liberal and labour (especailly labour becasue they are ruling party) never defended the mass immigration in the last couple of years. Either they are wrong to allow such large numbers of people to come to UK; or if they are right it is thier inefficieny that they have not defended it properly, Which I think far right parties like BNP have used to gain some supporters for themselves.

    The only way to taclke BNP is to tacle them by presenting mainstream parties arguements why they think that BNP is wrong . After all in this age of technological advancement how can you stop someone to propagate their point of view, The best way is to tacle them bravely and tackticly rather than trying to supress them.

    Saleem

  33. 36 nora
    October 22, 2009 at 15:56

    Why is the phrase ‘politically correct’ used again and again when all it describes here is people sick of a white supremacist agend?

  34. 37 Chuksagwu
    October 23, 2009 at 06:08

    If the right to speech and freedom of association means any thing to us then this debate would definately be a lopsided affair.Afterall men with stronger views have taken several hour of airtime the world over.Pls let him be!

  35. 38 ChristianKnight
    October 23, 2009 at 11:51

    Freedom of speech in this great country of ours means allowing anyone to have their say, no matter what their views, the BBC was absolutely right to allow Nick Griffin air time he is the deocratically elected leader of a legitimate political party in this country

    Mainstream parties must get their act together on key issues many people in the UK are concerned about, namely, immegration and the growth of extreme muslim groups otherwise the BNP will continue to grow in strength and perhaps one day be the dominant political party in this country, I have always voted mainstream but intend to look closely at how well both labour Liberal and the Consevatives set out their agenda for the coming election and unless they tackle the concens of the electorate dont be surprised if the becomes evem mor powerfull than it is today

    The next government must get to grips with the Muslem issue and cap immegration, get rid of any illegals and if we repatriate a plane load or two make sure their country of origin (Iraq???) does not take advantage of our weakness on these issues

  36. 39 T
    October 23, 2009 at 15:30

    Yes. Then, please allow George Galloway and other people to be heard as well. We all know that Griffin being on Question Time means way bigger ratings than George Galloway appearing. But set business aside and do your job of being objective.

  37. October 23, 2009 at 17:54

    Sadly, the answer is yes. If you restrict the right of free speech and don’t give guys like Nick Griffin a public platform from which to speak from in this country then you don’t give him enough rope with which to hang himself and we all will begin to travel down a very slipppery slope indeed.

    Thatcher’s Conservative government in the 1980’s very wrongly gagged Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA from public broadcasting, and it didn’t have the required effect at all. It was going nowhere by having ever tried it in the first place, but some bright spark at the time without aforethought pondered the idea and thought where’s the harm. Sinn Fein and the IRA developed an even greater air of sinister mystery and unsurprisingly gathered more support. A futile and costly political experiment achieved nothing and exacerbated an already politically fraught situation, with violent consequences that followed on from it.

    Bonnie Greer on Question Time (the sanest and most calm of all the respondents on the the programme of the public and panel alike) said that it isn’t the best or the most cohesive of democracies that we have in the UK, Damn right it isn’t! But it’s the only one we’ve got at themoment, so we better hang on to it at all costs. Her sentiments are well founded. Also Jack Straw was as usual a dreadful apologist for why people unwittingly and as a protest against New Labour voted BNP recently. This government seems wholly incapable of holding its hands up and apologising for all its many terrible mistakes and apppaliing policy making alongside that of Immmigration Policy.

  38. 41 Jim Newman
    October 23, 2009 at 19:01

    Hello again
    Strange question. Do we risk legitimising Nick Griffin by inviting him on a BBC show? I would have thought that he had already been legitimised by the electorate. Unfortunately, because Britain has not got a written constitution, people like Nick Griffin could present a real danger to the society in future.
    It is not good enough to brand Nick Griffin as a ‘ nazi’ and expect everyone to rally round. He addresses real fears in the population. Fears that have been put about by the main parties in their rush to get enough votes to get in power.
    Jim

    • 42 Linda from Italy
      October 23, 2009 at 22:14

      Sorry Jim, the UK DOES have a written constitution, it is called the body of law and as such is versatile and adaptable to circumstances. Admittedly this leaves it open to abuse and we should be ever vigilant about what is passing into that body of law, but please can we do away with this old chesrtnut.

  39. 43 GM
    October 24, 2009 at 06:01

    People want us to believe that BNP is a loony party, maybe it is. The people criticising it are the British, which is good.

    I have a question for the minorities in Britain: Besides govt officials in Brit, no minority person has criticised Mugabe for his openly racist behaviour. If you think Mugabe is right in Africa to behave like that, then BNP is right in Britain to behave like that. The whites contributed immensely in the develepmoent of Zim.

    Kick ALL racists OUT!!!!!!!

    I am a black Zimbo but am ashamed , to say the least, of our selective criticism of ALL bad people in this world!

  40. October 24, 2009 at 12:59

    The Beeb is not accountable to its license holders. It can do what it wants regardless of what those holders think. If you want to tell people how to do their job then new parliamentary legislation is necessary on this matter otherwise its only hot air.


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