BBC Question Time tonight


by Sunny
22nd October, 2009 at 9:01 pm    

I’ve spent most of the day doing interviews so I’m very tired and will be up until late no doubt so don’t have much to say right now.

Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss Question Time when it airs. I’ll be covering it live in Twitter.

I think the UAF demonstrations against Griffin, while impressive, were counter-productive because most people will see them as an attempt to shut down free speech, and only heighten their perception that the BNP are being oppressed. Saying that though, I’m not going to go as far as some twats on the right who are calling the UAF “fascists” or sanctimoniously claiming these people are helping the BNP. As if right-wing scaremongering about immigrations hasn’t helped the BNP already.

I’ll be on BBC News 24 at 11:30pm talking about it.


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  1. Narinder Purba — on 22nd October, 2009 at 10:01 pm  

    Richard Preston writing in the Telegraph makes the astute point that Nick Griffin has already appeared on Andrew Marr’s chat show and on radio 4s World at One, so why the drama about him on Question Time? What is so sacrosanct about QT?

    You’d think it were the pinnacle of political TV!

    Should be very interesting indeed. One wonders how much international interest this will get, given that the right and far right are riding high across Europe.

  2. Paul — on 22nd October, 2009 at 10:08 pm  

    It is clear from the whole episode, that Griffin and the BNP have already crossed the line to legitimacy. I think you will all just have to accept that the party is here to stay, and that there is no political strategy to defeat it.

    I think you would all benefit from looking at the complete failure of the political response to Geert Wilders in the Netherlands. Every possible counter-strategy has been tried against him. The only effect was to make his one-MP party into the country’s largest.

    You need to look at the real problem, which is certainly not Nick Griffin, and not his party either. In fact, to merely state the problem is to see the solution. But that is something people will have to learn for themselves – over the next few decades at this rate.

  3. Narinder Purba — on 22nd October, 2009 at 10:14 pm  

    Richard Preston writing in the Telegraph makes the astute point that Nick Griffin has already appeared on Andrew Marr’s chat show and on radio 4s World at One, so why the drama about him on Question Time? What is so sacrosanct about QT?

    You’d think it were the pinnacle of political TV!

    Should be very interesting indeed. One wonders how much international interest this will get, given that the right and far right are riding high across Europe…

  4. MaidMarian — on 22nd October, 2009 at 10:21 pm  

    Just seen the trailer on News 24. Looking at the highlights he claims that he can not talk about holocaust denial, ‘because European Law prevents it.’ In other words, avoid the issue whilst aligning himself with opposition to something unpopular – in this case, ‘European Law.’

    That is – forget making an argument or politics, just make it common currency that he is against whatever is unpopular, whatever will chime with the court of talkboard orthodoxy.

    Stick in my craw though it does – clever bloke.

    Oddly, this idea that going on QT will mainstream Griffin could backfire in that at the very least the studio audience appear to be dismissive. The Sun/Mail/Express/Telegraph are where Griffin’s ‘give me a cause to oppose’ brand of politics will get traction, not QT.

    Oh, and if the girl being dragged out of TV Centre screaming, ‘shame on you BBC,’ is reading this – can I just tell you that you are beyond parody.

  5. Roll On True — on 22nd October, 2009 at 10:26 pm  

    Roll Deep Crew take on the BNP!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ttl1WT5epE

    LOLZ!

  6. Bearded Socialist — on 22nd October, 2009 at 11:58 pm  

    I thought Straw and Warsi had a good debate about immigration, but overall none of them really tackled a big issue, which is that people buy the myth that English people have been made into second-class citizens.
    The BNP thrive on the idea of a conspiracy, that X, Y and Z are conspiring against X, Y, and Z (the indigenous British in this case).
    It’s a shame that immigration is not tackled and then it takes the BNP getting 1 million votes before it enters mainstream debate, and then most of the show is about it.
    Griffin showed himself as a far-right nasty-man who relies on the idea of this conspiracy, but the issues which force people into his grubby paws were not properly addressed. Straw tried, and I thought did pretty well all night, but didn’t make the case forcefully enough. People need to know that it’s ok to feel proud to be British without being labelled racist, which is something the Tories have traditionally done far better than Labour. Due, I think, to our more bleeding heart liberal wing (including me to some extent).
    Griffin’s a right winger, so I don’t like him. But if enough people shun pride in their origins (e.g. being British), there is a vacuum created into which the likes of Griffin step.

  7. dave bones — on 23rd October, 2009 at 12:42 am  

    ha ha I am just watching it now. Who is rewriting history? Churchill is one of theirs without a doubt no?

  8. Ravi Naik — on 23rd October, 2009 at 12:55 am  

    Stick in my craw though it does – clever bloke.

    Not sure how clever he is. I am guessing not even anti-semites can admire a man who is afraid to talk about the Holocaust, let alone the British Jewish constituency he is trying to seduce.

    This is the first time I have heard a grown man argument that his father is better than his opponent’s father to make a point. I was speechless.

  9. dave bones — on 23rd October, 2009 at 1:32 am  

    Just watched the end. Vaguely amusing I suppose. Bonnie Greers interaction with Griffin were interesting.

  10. Binky — on 23rd October, 2009 at 6:46 am  

    Straw came off worst, revealed as the unscrupulous and totally unprincipled charlatan that he is.

  11. Boyo — on 23rd October, 2009 at 8:20 am  

    Hm. Well I’ve trawled through the reviews etc and I think they’re mostly wide of the mark. You’ll love this Sunny, but I actually found myself agreeing with the rants of John Lee Barnes at HP – “you don’t get it”.

    For all the disgust of the middle class newspaper reviewers (who, I noted, actually got one thing right in the Times, scoring Griffin 7/10) HE WASN’T SPEAKING TO THEM, OR YOU.

    People laugh at the aboriginal point etc, but where I come from I can picture whole living rooms nodding. The hostility in the studio only helped Griffin’s cause – his constituency aren’t the kind that would attend something like that, but it would have underlined their sense that the “establishment” is against them.

    Straw was also a mistake, too lawyerish (doesn’t the Labour Party have any working class bruisers left?).

    7/10 for Griffin, priceless publicity for the BNP.

  12. fugstar — on 23rd October, 2009 at 9:00 am  

    bonny greer came out on top, as i said she would, second place to the audience member who called the chap dick griffin.

    the whole thing was just so full of crap and white pc smugness, one of the less interesting question times really.

  13. persephone — on 23rd October, 2009 at 9:26 am  

    I went on the BNP site today. They have replaced their usual main site with a temporary site giving the following ‘reason’:

    “Welcome to the temporary website of the British National Party. We have had to take our normal website offline due to the enormous amount of ordinary people, just like you, visiting our website. ..”

    The temp site is very basic and strips out all of their articles, policies & comments etc that are normally there … don’t they want the public to see their real intent & have they had negative comments they wish to hide since QT??

    They knew they were going to be on QT for weeks but have had to take their main site down due to too many visitors when they like to say they have lots of support? Does not make any sense … Especially since most sites have a back up replica of the main site anyway to use in such an emergency … all very mysterious.

    I suppose a lot of BNP members believe the reason given.

    If I was a member I would question why my member fees are funding a website that cannot cope with web traffic especially if that ‘alleged ‘ traffic is positive as the BNP like to claim.

  14. cjcjc — on 23rd October, 2009 at 10:54 am  

    It was a circus.
    Roman style.
    Griffin lost – badly – of course.
    But I’m not sure that twisting the format of QT into the “Get Griffin Show” was a great idea.
    After all the denizens of Fitzrovia will not be voting BNP, will they?

  15. Narinder Purba — on 23rd October, 2009 at 11:02 am  

    It was a bit of an anti-climax in my opinion after the huge build up and expectation placed by all the talk of the moral implications of hosting Nick Griffin on QT.

    That said, and as Sunny rightly observes, Nick Griffin came across as a man without substance and was throughly shut down and revealed as an empty “politician”. He can talk, sure, but it was palpable to everyone that his logic was parochial and grossly misplaced and peppered with what is clearly a race orientated way of seeing the world.

    DD was fun.

  16. Chris Baldwin — on 25th October, 2009 at 5:16 pm  

    “I think the UAF demonstrations against Griffin, while impressive, were counter-productive because most people will see them as an attempt to shut down free speech, and only heighten their perception that the BNP are being oppressed.”

    You think that most people think the BNP are being oppressed? Most people are not stupid! Most people hate the BNP!

  17. Binky — on 25th October, 2009 at 5:33 pm  

    Chris Baldwin says “most people hate the BNP.”

    No, Chris, they don’t.

    Most people YOU know hate the BNP with furious passion but yer average Brit probably hasn’t really made up his or her mind or even given the subject much thought.

    I’m reminded of the American woman who said, “I can’t imagine how Nixon got elected. Nobody I know voted for him!”

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