" 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.