Friday, 23 October 2009

BBC Question Time: fascist news round-up

Catherine at Dolphinarium has posted this great interview with Suresh Grover at the BBC demonstration against Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time.

In another video, everything you (didn't) want to know about Nick Griffin plus part one of last night's Question Time.

Cassette Boy vs Nick Griffin on Question Time video. Very funny.

Front line account and pictures of the demo from Harpy Marx

Barry Kade, among other left blogs, observes that the three mainstream politicians all agreed that immigration was the big problem, and no-one challenged their assumptions. Nothing about bankers, privatisation (postal strike) or Afghanistan.

Sean at The Soul of Man Under Capitalism has a guest post from Nick Griffin.

A debate at Socialist Unity.

An extensive blog round-up at The Daily Maybe.

Did Griffin lie about his father's war service in the RAF?

The BBC basks in the attention from the rest of the media with a round-up and links to mainstream press reviews of the spectacle. The BBC tripled its normal audience to 8.2 million. It's an ill wind, etcetera.

It quotes today's Guardian editorial describing the BBC as:
a ratings-hungry corporation [which] failed to defend the values embodied in its own equality policies; it confused ultra-relativism with a proper commitment to free speech.
At the risk of repeating myself, do read Gary Younge's excellent appraisal of the circus, asking who started this?

Griffin's presence did all the parties a favour in that they were bound to look good in comparison. Want to imporove your standing with the electorate? Share a platform with Nick. Didn’t the Baroness do well? Sharp, articulate, very impressive. Unfortunately, as a Tory Warsi got away with murder because we’re measuring her against him. Would you rather eat poo or poison?

We can congratulate ourselves that he is a buffoon (as I did in my last post). But Griffin was a lardy John the Baptist. My worry is about who comes next.


Gwei Mui said...

Sentiment echoed. It was as some people say a victory for freedom of speech and had Question Time followed its usual "format" putting all the panelists on the spot to answer people's concerns, about MP's expenses, Banker's bonuses, gagging orders on press reporting freedom then I would have said, yes with reservations. This was a missed opportunity. By Dimbleby stressing that this was a platform for Griffin to defend himself at the top of the broadcast, Griffin merely looked sweaty, ill prepared and a buffoon who has two notes in his repertoire - both discordant. For the misguided millions that voted for Griffin I suspect that last nights performance will help them feel vindicated. Poor set upon Griffin, misunderstood like us. What we have to address surely is the failure of the mainstream parties to address some very difficult questions and problems we continue to face because of their inaction. It is their failure to listen to the people who have placed them where they are. It is that failure which has driven many who feel disenfranchised in to the bear hugging arms of Griffin and the BNP. Subjects such as immigration and economic migration have to be addressed it doesn't necessarily follow that by talking about immigration issues one is naturally a racist. And if the main parties won't address such issues who else is there to turn too?
Griffin was given his platform and with it the opportunity to hang himself by his own petard - but it was missed. I think we will all regret that missed opportunity. I am anxious about the future - but ever hopeful.

Madam Miaow said...

Discordant indeed, Gwei Mui.

I agree with most of what you write. Griffin will play the martyr. But I would question the assumption that immigrants are overloading the boat. It's not the newcomers who are eating all the pies.

I recommend Gary Younge's excellent Guardian article (link in the original post) as he explodes some of the myths and looks at where they come from.

Steve McIntosh said...

Well done Comrade Beeb - you've just won thousands of votes for the BNP.

In case you hadn't noticed the sort of voters BNP are after don't generally read The Guardian or political blogs. They do watch a lot of late night telly though.

Will the new Question Time format extend to Tony and Gordon being hauled in by the BBC to answer to charges of supporting illegal wars and trashing the economy ? Don't hold your breath!

Madam Miaow said...

You're right, Steve, the BNP is claiming that they had 3,000 applications for membership in the immediate aftermath of the programme.

I pointed out here and elsewhere that most members aren't particularly articulate, well informed or smart. They'll be identifying with Griffin.

Robert said...

Please don't anybody mistake me for any friend of Nick Griffin, but did it cross anybody else's mind last night that if Thursday's five panellists were on trial at The Hague, rather than in a BBC studio, it would be Jack Straw that would be convicted as a war criminal, not Nick Griffin?

Griffin is a racist, of course he is. But Straw is not only up to his neck in Iraqi blood, he has deliberately made sure the number of dead he is responsible for have never been counted, lied and lied about what that number might be, and pretty much got away with it. To me that is extreme racism - those dead people don't matter because they are not from the West.

I'd be interested in views on this. In the mainstream world my point of view is off the scale in complete "cannot compute" territory. To me it just seems obvious.

Gwei Mui said...

Hi MM, thanks for the reminder will definitely read Gary Younge's article. Just to clarify I don't believe that the immigrants are "eating all the cake". The sad reality is that many do because they are ill informed and misguided. Easy converts and prey for the likes of Griffin especially if the establishment fails to robustly rebut these misconceptions

Steve McIntosh said...

Like Robert I am absolutely no friend of Nick Griffin or the BNP.

But can I pose an interesting question - can you match the stated policies below to the relevant party ?

'The party is committed to withdrawing from the illegal and immoral wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the prosecution for war crimes of all Westminster officials who deliberately tricked this nation into those conflicts which have cost billions and at least 300 British lives. The people to be prosecuted for war crimes will include the leaders of the parliamentary political parties who supported the war and all officials who conspired to prepare the pack of lies which provided the “justification” for the invasion of Iraq.'

'In an increasingly interdependent and uncertain world, we will continue to work through our strong partnerships and alliances to successfully meet the challenges of the 21st century. NATO remains the cornerstone of Britain’s defence and security policy, and we are leading efforts to enhance Europe’s military capabilities for humanitarian and crisis management operations where NATO as a whole is not engaged. Tackling threats to our security from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction are vital parts of a strategy to protect British citizens and to help build a fairer, more prosperous world for all.'

Please be honest - which of the above statements do you most identify with ?

One of these parties is playing an extremely clever and sophisticated game. The other is just full of lies and bullshit.

I personally won't be voting for either of them - but who do I vote for ?

Madam Miaow said...

Hi Robert,

I totally agree. I've written on this blog about New Labour and what I think of their wars. I'm also appalled that Blair can start an illegal war resulting in the deaths of a million people and yet be rewarded by the very American bank that profited the most for it — ie, JP Morgan.

But like a stopped clock, the BNP can get lucky and be right on a few issues. And yet it is so wrong on all the other stuff, namely its central premise that social ills in this country are caused by "foreigners". I would never vote for a part that would forcibly deport me (to god knows where) purely based on the colour of my skin.

Steve, you know me and you know that it's the first statement that I'd get behind. But if this is the BNP's then they are playing to the gallery — it's that stopped clock again.

We already saw how Griffin stated on video to the David Duke KKK meeting that they should be choosing deceptive language to grease their way into power. They are not democratic, they have no respect for the democratic system and are using democratic means in order to achieve the power to deprive us of our democratic rights. So phooey to them.

I will say that it is to the left's shame that they haven't to get themselves linked to the first statement's sentiments in any meaningful way. I have suggested that Galloway starts a drive to drag Blair into a war crimes court but they seem to think it merely a waste of time, leaving the far right to steal their thunder.

Robert said...

Yes I totally agree with you, Miaow.

It wouldn't be a waste of time at all. Of course there is no chance of the political establishment ever allowing anyone at that level to get the bullet, even if most of them have no use for them personally any more. The precedent is too dangerous. That's why Bush is safe even if most of the Republican party now regard him as an embarassment.

But that's not the point - if Galloway and Respect were to keep hammering at the issue it would rattle the powers that be and make them that much more nervous about pulling a stunt like this again. There needs to be a cultural change within the upper class that criminal imperialism just might become a losing transaction for them personally.

The problem we have is that elites everywhere assume that they and their families are safe and it is only working class squaddies and brown people who will be killed. It's ordinary Londoners who use the Tube not those who own Canary Wharf.

BTW loved Anna May Wong on You Tube. I live in the Isle of Man so St Ives is a bit far away but I was born in Plymouth - family left when I was four so I don't remember much of it.

Madam Miaow said...

Thanks for checking out AMW, Robert. Yes, I agree that opposition to Blair for EU President plus a concerted effort to drag him into court for his warcrimes would be good for Respect. But sadly they won't do it.

Good article here by a former producer on Question Time. The BBC has been so dishonest. Totally scummy!