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  • Technorati: graph / links

    BBC failing to challenge the BNP


    by Sunny on 7th March, 2008 at 3:47 pm    

    So the BNP leader Nick Griffin gets interviewed on Newsnight because the BBC, in further sensational attempts to publicise their ‘white season’, ask him whether white working class are voting BNP because they feel marginalised. They bring him on even though their own polls show this is not the case. But hey, who can resist the temptation to chat to Nick Griffin? BBC journalism at its best - no attempt at picking apart the issues, let’s just call in that idiot. Watch the video.

    The frustrating thing here is that when they have him on, Griffin can make any ludicrous statement and get away with it because the interviewer has a bunch of questions to get through and can only come back with a lame retort.

    So when Kirsty Wark says white working classes are more worried about crime and drugs in their local community than immigration, Griffin still blames that on Islam and Muslims somehow… and her retort is: “Well there are a lot of people who would disagree with you.” Aaargh! These people are paid ludicrous wages to respond like that? A GCSE student could probably come up with something better. God’s sake Newsnight - is this the best on offer from high-brow journalism?
    I can’t believe it, but I’m actually forced to agree with Jon Gaunt on this.



      |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Current affairs, Media




    21 Comments below   |  

    1. Ashik — on 7th March, 2008 at 4:04 pm  

      The BBC are pretty even handed with extremists in my opinion. They give both extreme left and right, BNP and Respect, a fair go.

    2. AsifB — on 7th March, 2008 at 4:45 pm  

      Failing to challenge would be fascists is one thing. But this looks more like the BBC gratuitously giving a platform to a fringe group just to publicise a new season of programmes. (which all sound interesting enough to watch anyway without sexing up)

      Not only is the packaging of these films dumbed down - the provacative tatooing of a white face with ‘foreign scribbles till it turns black’ undermining the anti-racist patriotism of Billy Bragg’s version of Jerusalem. But there also seems a concerted worldview among some in the media that ‘white working classness is synonymous with racism.’

      This is untrue and Jon Gaunt is totally right - the BNP has been persistently rejected by the white working class in Britain. Only in its fantasies do the far right represent anything more than a guilty protest vote to a fraction of the white working class.
      (and yes, its tragic they should appear tobe growing under a ‘Labour’ government but that’s another story)

      If as some deluded white middle class people seem to believe - the white working class are all more racist than middle class types, and can be represented by “Ronnie and Reggie loving eastenders who moved to essex/spain to get away from ethnics” - then how come it was largely white working class solidarity with middle class lefties and ethnic minorities in the 1970s trade union movement that helped the Anti-Nazi League and Rock against Racism fight fascists off the streets?

      It would be impossible for anyone let alone middle class media types to enjoy the diversity of the great metropolis, if every working class person - white or non-white- was a racist and went around London inciting fear in others - the days when most picklers were young or just a glint in the chutney jar when there were plenty of places where National Front newpaper sellers were as common as Big Issue salesman and Chuggers, are long over.

      And we have the white working classes tendancy to muddle on and be tolerant - to thank for this - not self satisfied media types.The annoying thing about some of the season’s packaging is that the Beeb seems to be going backwards - it was only five or so years ago that the Windrush documentary series highlighted how white Londoners helped resist racists in places like Lewisham in the 1970s. (and Gary Bushell, the ‘gaunty’ of his day, was happy to be interviwed to express pride in fighting the NF)

      This is what comes from the social isoloation of middle class media professionals - whose faults can be amplified with each succeeding generation as London prices ensure only those who can afford to intern can climb the ladder..

    3. Ravi Naik — on 7th March, 2008 at 4:46 pm  

      I have *absolutely* no problem that Nick Griffin is interviewed by the BBC. He is after all the leader of a legitimate political party. What really pisses me off is the mainstream media interviewers who are ill-prepared to confront the half-truths and lies of nazis in suits.

      But in this day and age, they are hardly the cause of race tensions that still exist in this country. They merely exploit it.

    4. ZinZin — on 7th March, 2008 at 4:50 pm  

      This may seem bizarre but even the WWC are victims of political multiculturalism. The Muslims gets Bunglawala to speak on their behalf and the WWC get Griffin to speak on their behalf. Neither have any considerable support, but as their names appear in the contact books of lazy journalists they get their mugs on Tv and are allowed to spout their nonsense.

      Griffin and the BNP were brought on for nothing more than cheap controversy. Right-wing bias at the BBC? It may be wise to give “White season” a miss.

    5. Parvinder Singh — on 7th March, 2008 at 5:03 pm  

      #2 AsifB

      good post. totally agree!

    6. Refresh — on 7th March, 2008 at 6:31 pm  

      Excellent post AsifB.

      I would also add to your name checks people like Peter Hain, Lee Jasper, Ken Livingstone lest we forget how we, together, manage to pull the country from the brink.

    7. Don — on 7th March, 2008 at 7:07 pm  

      Good points, AsifB.

      I was disturbed by that tatoo image too, as though the assumption had been made that the WWC could only be defined by opposition to the encroaching other.

      I hope some time is spent on the rural working class, whose culture in many areas has been comprehensively trashed by overwhelmingly white, middle-class afluent incomers (including a high proportion of media types).

    8. Refresh — on 7th March, 2008 at 7:24 pm  

      Don

      What a coincidence, just made that point to Sunny on another thread about sneering at villagers.

    9. septicisle — on 7th March, 2008 at 8:15 pm  

      The main problem was that they had Kirsty Wark on interviewing him - I don’t think Paxman would have let him get away with that.

    10. Bert Rustle — on 7th March, 2008 at 8:25 pm  

      In my opinion, either Nick Griffin should have been in the studio discussion, where he would have been grilled by the others, or not in the program at all. A short interview, packing in a lot of questions without time for follow up questions did not reveal much of the BNP view on the subject.

      Of course the BBC knew this beforehand. I would hazard a guess that their intention was to give the impression of an inclusive discussion by including the BNP but with insufficient time for exposition or criticism, thus generating much heat but not much light. Or in other words a lot of publicity for their White Series without giving the BNP a platform. The BBC was successful.

      After a long career with the BBC Jon Gaunt moved to Talksport and I would hazard a guess that the BBC will promote him as the authentic voice of the White Working Class as he supports Multiculturalism despite his living in the country and educating his children privately, thus largely insulating himself and his children from the downside of Multiculturalism.

    11. funkg — on 8th March, 2008 at 12:44 am  

      I have just got back from charlie wrights in hoxton (great pub) I am bloody pissed off how the so called labour government has allowed the likes of the BNP to become almost respectable. The so called ‘zeitgeist’ amongst many WWC is more and more favouring the BNP and we would be naive to ignore that. Mageret Hodge got a trouncing last night on newsnight, and the left especially in London is getting a battering. I really am concerned with this rightward drift.

    12. Refresh — on 8th March, 2008 at 1:16 am  

      funkg, its worse than that.

      Blair in the guise of New Labour not only deserted the working class (including WWC) but was embarassed by it. And in time turned on it.

    13. Leon — on 8th March, 2008 at 3:12 am  

      Labour’s neglect of the WWC was in place long before Blair…

    14. Boyo — on 8th March, 2008 at 8:58 am  

      Zin Zin - “This may seem bizarre but even the WWC are victims of political multiculturalism. The Muslims gets Bunglawala to speak on their behalf and the WWC get Griffin to speak on their behalf.”

      Excellent point. Ironically it typifies the condescending attitude of the middle class media - the WWC are racist and therefore represented by the BNP.

      However, racism aside, the BNP is the only party that has embraced rather than shunned the WWC and been prepared to raise issues like housing or the impact of immigration.

      The true scandal is that the mainstream political class never gave a toss, frankly - to the right it was all about economics, to the left post-imperial guilt, and personally I can’t help thinking there was an underlying class hatred there too: in 1945, the WWC which lest we forget won WW2, voted for a proper (and possibly the last) socialist government which in five years created the NHS, Welfare State and damn-near nationalised half the country.

      They were just an inch away from creating a truly equitable country - by banning private education and taxing the rich till their pips squeaked - so we couldn’t have that, could we.

      It seems to me that the wealthy mobilised their battalions and (albeit subconsciously) took control of the left, through the Labour Party and the media. So while Jeremy looked after the family finances in the City, Jemima did her best to shift the left from socialism to single-issueism on the Grauniad, marginalising the WWC to the extent that the only people prepared to speak out for their interests are a bunch of racist twats. Unfeasible? Never underestimate the survival instinct of the British ruling class.

    15. Boyo — on 8th March, 2008 at 12:32 pm  

      Interesting to see the BNP line from LJB. The business about socialism is untrue, of course, but demonstrates how fascists have been able to capture some of the WWC vote, for which the Labour Party bears much of the blame.

    16. Lee B — on 8th March, 2008 at 1:03 pm  

      Labour have despised the WWC since the Miners Strike of 1984 when the WWC failed to rise up with Scargill against Thatcher and usher in the Red Revolution.

      At that point Old Labour died and New Labour was born.

      Old Labour was far left, whilst New Labour was Fabianist.

      After the miners strike New Labour ideologues decided that immigrants were more reliable as their voter base and then sought to swamp the country with their new pet voters when in power, whilst keeping the Tory right happy with cheap workers to undercut UK workers.

      Now of course the New Labour ethnic friendly elite who are hostile to the old far left are using the non-unionised immigrant workers to weaken the grip of the old far left unions as they seek to globalise the UK economy.

      So immigration is a win / win for both New Labour and Tories.

    17. a very public sociologist — on 10th March, 2008 at 1:28 pm  

      Lee B deserves a prize for the most ludicrous argument I’ve seen in PP’s comment boxes. What worries me is he probably genuinely believes it.

    18. Sofia — on 11th March, 2008 at 10:33 am  

      saw this and thought kirsty was crap…they should have had paxman on…

    19. Refresh — on 11th March, 2008 at 10:43 am  

      As I’ve been watching the series, I am beginning to think there is much more depth to the ‘White’ season. Its been compelling TV, and I have a strong hunch that Paxman et al will be out in force at the end of it.

      And it will not just be Nick Griffin who will be in the hot seat. I can see Hazel Blears, Hutton, Hodge all being grilled. The one who should really be strung up is out hunting peace in the middle east.

    20. All white on the night « Rupa Huq’s home on the web — on 14th March, 2008 at 1:32 pm  

      [...] “white” season which was launched with a Newsnight Nick Griffin interview (see Pickled Politics) and lo and behold it’s ending tonight. Where does the time go? The season has attracted [...]

    21. McCarthy's Bar — on 24th March, 2008 at 7:30 am  

      Whether it’s Griffin or Bunglawala, let them go on TV. When people see who purports to speak for them and how they make the majority of us sound like card-carrying facists; perhaps public opinion can start lobbying the BBC et al to put a stop to any of these mouthpieces from purporting to speak on my behalf.

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