BBC defends decision to allow Nick Griffin onto Question Time…

The BBC make a last stand over their decision on the eve of the big night

The BBC make a last stand over their decision on the eve of the big night

The BBC last night stood firm in it’s decision to all the BNP leader Nick Griffin to appear on Thursday nights question time. Since the announcement of the BNP leaders guest spot there has been growing outrage and calls for the BBC to prevent him from appearing. On the eve of the big event Mark Byford, BBC Director General, put up a stern front on the  BBCs final decision. The show must go on!

This is my first rant and I thought it was an appropriate one as it has a history with me, I say this because it is one of those stories that you feel involved with due to an attention to the elements involved. In this case i’ve been ‘involved’ because I have taken  an interest in what the BNP are doing, how they are affecting our country and why the events are unfolding the way they are.

For those of you who haven’t read much about the BNP or are just hearing about this story, click on the image above of Mark Byford and that will link you to the relevant article, have a quick read and you will be fully up to speed. There is also a video of Mark Byfords appearance on Wednesday nights BBC news which is definitely worth watching.

So, what’s it all about and where do we all stand?

Well I guess that most of us can agree that we are not BNP fans. They are in no uncertain terms a facist party, but this dispute and many other disputes surrounding them revolve around the issue of how exactly to deal with them. They were elected lawfully in a democratic manor and therefore have a right to ‘govern’ in a small capacity. The natural reaction from people seems to be, to get rid of them and to strip them of their Euro MP titles and the reason? Because they bring shame to the country. Well I need more than that, a lot more..

There is a problem in this country a deeply rooted problem of racism and zenophobia, a problem that we have turned a blind eye to in a desperate attempt to simply make it vanish. We have destroyed racism and zenophobia publically, there is no room for it in our classrooms or on television or anywhere in public life. But this won’t get rid of it in it’s heartland and that is where we get into difficulty.

I’m not a believer in ‘classes’ I know that there is an elite and invariably several other tiers in society. But I believe that the presence of class differentials means a presence of tyranny and oppression and i’ll explain why. Consider the birth of class, if we assume that the Neanderthals didn’t have ‘classes’ perhaps a social order but not defined classes then we have to assume that the real birth of class was in the medieval era. Lords would own land and in that land would be animals which belonged to them, that land also harboured people living off the land, anyone living off a Lords land became property of the said Lord. So we have the first hierarchy and the first instance of three social classes; Elite, consisting of the Lord and his faimly. Middle, this would include the most skilled and valued workers, Cooks, Diplomats, Entertainers, Militia. Lower, the peasants or unskilled/unvalued people. This class structure prevailed long after Lords, Castles and Peasants became extinct, it prevailed because of a belief in the basic concept, a ruling class. I would argue that in modern times one would hope these attitudes and classes do not exist. Yes we have rich people, yes we have ‘elites’ and ‘elitists’ but they do not perform the roles of a ruling class and more crucially they are not closed groups. If I had to define class of the past I would define it as: the segmented groups which divide up society. But if I had to define modern ‘class’ I would define it as: sociological groups that have been created by barriers due to the lack of opportunity. In short, people used to be trapped by the oppressive ruling class but now they are trapped by a lack of opportunity to move from one position into society to another. The difference being that now it is possible to progress through classes and the forces trapping people in poverty are not plots by an elite but results of the poor organisation and will of society. For classes to exist there must be a ruling class and if there is a ruling class then there is dominance of a certain stream of people. To get back to my original point, when I say that the BNPs heartland is a specific ‘class’ of people I don’t mean a specific type or group, I mean a collection of people who are voicing support to BNP and in some cases racist views because of the pressures, constraints, experiences and hardships that their life has subjected them to. I think very often people are quick to demean a particular group of society as block headed or stupid for thinking a certain way, without ever analysing why they behaving like that. The reason that I am not a racist and why I’m open minded, well read and vocal has nothing to do with my personality but rather my upbringing and circumstances of my life. Just as most people with a racist attitude are not born racist but rather have adopted that characteristic as a by-product of their environment. And let me make one final point on the subject, most people if they were put in a situation where they were surrounded by people making racists comments or were suddenly forced to live in a social enviroment which had racists attitudes, would not speak out or differ from the mainstream opinion. By our very nature we seek to fit in and get on, confrontation is only sought by the brave and the foolish. Malcolm X was brave, Nick Griffin is foolish. I think if anyone is interested in this presence of racism in the pockets of particular classes and I’m not saying it’s just in one particular class there are of course racists in all walks of life, but there is a specifically large grouping in the area I’m referring to, then you should take a look at the BBC Panorama specials Migrants go home! and Hate on the doorstep. Which give a very interesting insight to a part of society we know exists but evail ourselves from. They will be available for the next few days and then taken down, well worth seeing though so I urge you to try and find the time.

And so we are faced with a problem in society where a large group of what some may refer to as the ‘working class’ or ‘unskilled workers’ and I am by no means making a general statement I am talking specifically about areas within these classes where there has always been and still remains a racist attitude. This is a huge problem a problem that was highlighted when the BNP started to take seats, this wasn’t as much a result of voters fleeing from mainstream parties but rather a result of the BNP canvicing areas where they knew there views would find sympathetic ears. A population of people who would not normally vote turned out in droves to elect a right wing party who should never have gained a voice.

So let me return to the original point, censorship of a radical party.

The majority of this country don’t want the BNP to have any power, the majority don’t want the BNP to have a say and the majority wish that we could ban them from political life. But we can’t and we shouldn’t. They should be allowed the same voice any other elected official is awarded, their speeches should be shown on the news and they should have guest spots on panel shows the same as any other elected official would.

I was having a discussion the other day regarding ID cards and the person I was speaking to was making the only real point that ever gets made in opposition to them, ‘It’s just one step closer to a 1984 society!’ referring of course to the George Orwell book that notates the true horrors of a tyrannical state. And we argued back and forth for a while, I took the position that I wouldn’t mind ID cards being introduce and I might post a blog about that at a later date. But the point of me telling you this is that the other person was arguing that ID cards were an oppression on people and degraded the values that hold this country together. Yet the following day they were in support of the BNP being gagged and prevented from appearing on television.

My point ultimately is this;

If what it takes to stop the BNP is an act (censorship) that goes against our very principals, if we have to sell out democracy in order to save it, then I’m not sure our democracy was worth saving. I want Nick Griffin to appear on Question Time and I want the political heavy weights appearing with him to tear his views apart. I want them to dissect his narrowminded view of history and society live on television for all to see. Above all I want debate, fairness and democracy to win out. And that can never be achieved by acts that in any other circumstance would be seen as tyrannical. If you want to beat the BNP, if you really want to crush them then you need to drag them out into the light of day and allow them to be seen for what they are. You need to put experts up against them and force them to defend the indefensible. That is what I’m hoping for on Question Time tonight and that is why whenever I see a member of the BNP party speaking on television or giving a lecture I know that I’m truly living in a democracy. That is an act of faith and trust that I am present to my society and to my country, that the BNP will not be able to progress any further in their political aspirations because above all I believe us to be good people and the education of the BNP can only lead to more resistance. Let us all hope that the trust and faith is not misplaced, because then action truly will be required to stop the bad winning out.

William Goodspeed.