(Lets get one thing clear before anybody reads this, I hate Nick Griffin. I hate the BNP. I don't personally think that belligerent hate has any place in British politics. Having said that, I also believe in the impartiality of the press, what little is left, and the opportunity that Britain gives to everybody, that of a "Fair shake". I am also a strong believer that a Multicultural Britain is exactly what we need, and that people of all races, creeds, denominations and faiths should be able to cohabit with one another without being harassed. I would also like to give Kudos to the wonderful Bonnie Greer for her insight into a very trick subject, and David Dimbleby, a hero of mine.)
Debates are useful, and so are audience generated questions. Its a fantastic system that can spark some really interesting answers from people that have yet to reveal their true agenda, or at least, not in the form they would like to.
Last week, after much media controversy, BNP leader Nick Griffin appeared on question time. It is an event of such massive scale that I watched it later on Iplayer. I saw this question time as an opportunity for a few things to happen. Nick Griffin answering questions that may or may not have hurt his agenda. Interesting debates about the BNP's true purpose in British and European events, and finally, a chance to see, unedited, how strange and crazy this man truly is.
None of those things happened. Sure, Nick Griffin was hung out to dry. He was publicly humiliated by hoards of rightfully angry people, and it was embarrassing. But it was not a debate, and it certainly didn't harm his campaign, at least not by as much as it should.
Instead of people asking him questions about his agenda, and letting him string himself up, hoist himself by his own petard, we were subjected to an hour of this;
"Nick Griffin, my ancestors came from X and they came here to Britain and did Y, so on a scale of one to ten, how much of a bastard are you"
"Nick Griffin, What kind of bastard does this, you bastard?"
"You sick bastard Nick Griffin, How dare you do X, Y and Z?!"
All those questions did was give Nick Griffin a chance to defend himself, and whilst he did not do it particularly well, but he still did. He was very rightly, "Lynch Mobbed". Which is ironic for him to complain about considering his alleged links to the KKK, but still true. What we should have has was questions like this;
"Nick Griffin, what is your stance on this important government thing?"
To which he would reply with some no-doubt racist and offensive remark, promoting much ooh and ahhhs from the audience as well as a few pantomime hisses and boos. We did not get that, and for what could have been a fantastic chance to show a very nasty man for what he truly was, we got a lot of silly questions that were much the same, and only proved to help his agenda by making him a victim.
And that is why I did not like this weeks question time.