Skip to main content

Nick Griffin and all that..

" If Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time has the ultimate effect of shaking the 'great' british public free of their political apathy and encourages them to ask probing questions, then his appearance will be a good thing "

Thats a quote off the BBC's comment board tonight. I am inclined to agree. The BNP polls at 6%. That may be a protest vote against the mainstream parties, I would suggest that it is a very real sense of disconnection among people who are scared. I wonder if they feel listened to at all. The views of the BNP are deplorable: but their headlines connect more with people than many would like to think.

And that is where I feel the Question Time thing hasn't worked. For a start, most people who are being wooed by the BNP don't watch Question Time. Second, all the questions were (as far as I can tell and I confess I haven't seen the whole lot) about his views on race.

If they had taken the time to ask about economic policy, about banking laws, about foreign policy etc there would be some gaping holes in the BNP plan.. try education, health, university fees.. don't dignify it by making it the centre. Nick Griffin is the leader of a political party. So ask him the questions that you would ask other political parties. Make him put race in a context and it can't stand up.

Those of us of a political bent have to wise up. We have to mobilise the vote, to drown out the voice, we have to get active. We have to engage the apathetic and somehow paint a picture of a better day where what we vote matters, where we can make a difference. In that sense, I'm with teh guy I quoted at the top.

As for protesters: I have never suffered racist taunts or threats. I have not yet been at the sharp end of the BNP, I don't understand how hard this is for some people. But I do know that ultimately the use of violence negates the protest. The non violent way is all we got, to be kinder and wiser and more dignified than those we seek to change.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

NO MORE MAGIC BULLET- or why I have stopped watching the West Wing

I love the West Wing. It still rates as one of the most well informed and influential series of the genre. Its speeches have been stolen by people who have osmosed its hope for a better way of doing politics. When we watch it today it holds a very particular kind of resonance because it demonstrates a civility that has been drowned in a sea of hate. It has positive images of a wrestled out faith, is rich with camaraderie and pith and is just good telly.
But its bad for me. 
It pains me to admit this, but the West Wing makes me think I can change the world in a way that is simply not helpful. 
It holds out the present hope that the world can turn on a single conversation. With the brave statement or right turn of phrase one might change the debate, and in turn might change the world entire. The moment in the Oval where they realise that if they take no credit they can save social security. The moment where Donna remembers to pay welfare payments. The realisation that all the NATO people a…

Falling out with Football

Some of my earliest memories are of Sunday mornings. There was one which seemed to involve being in a big hall colouring pictures, but I didn’t much like that, so the memories that have stuck are of sitting outside. Now, I love outside, it calms me, so pretty much any outdoor activity would have held some thrall for my turbulent child self. But the family Sunday activity was football.
When I was very small my Dad played. He was past his glory days by the time I can remember. The cartilage in his knees had run out before the rest of his body- and so much of my memory of him was as he “ran the line”.I’m pretty sure he sometimes did that in wellies, but its been a long time.
Sunday football was part of our life. We would go to the game and then mum would join us as we had drinks at the social club next door. It’s why I drank beer from the age of eight and could snaffle my way through about a thousand calories of crisps in a sitting.
And then we would go home, have a massive roast and w…

What's Next? 8 ways to move on..

It is still early, only twenty four hours since many of us woke up to find that what we had hoped did not happen. The referendum, for many is lost, and the reaction is fierce. What follows are a few ideas of how to navigate the next wee while.
Be Real If this hurts, hurt. If it make us feel scared, be scared. Anger and blame are great displacements- and they have their moment (which is still now, don’t just squash it) - but get as close to the real feelings as you can. And take that moment to acknowledge that for many of us part of the challenge is that we are not used to getting our own way.
Be Kind If you are reading this, the outcome is worse for many other people. They may have voted for it, but they will suffer. Be kind. And be kind to those who are very fearful. Being an EU worker at this moment must feel pretty grim. Be kind.
Switch Off How many of us have run our phone batteries dry in the last 24 hours? The urge to check social media and keep abreast of what s going on is…