Campaigners protest against BBC platform given to nazi leader

Marc Wadsworth

Hundreds of anti-racist campaigners demonstrated outside the British Broadcasting Corporation's west London Television Centre to protest at the appearance of the leader of a fascist political party on the mass audience Question Time discussion programme on Thursday. MPs, trade unionists - including members of the BBC branch of Bectu - political activists, students and members of the public were among the noisy throng which was heavily policed by more than 300 officers, some of whom were in riot gear.

Asad Rehman, a senior spokesman for the environmental group Friends of the Earth who has a long history of campaigning against racism, said: "The problem with Nick Griffin (the British National Party leader) being given this platform by the BBC is that, even though he's an avowed racist, some of his arguments will have more of a resonance with alienated white working class voters than those of the mainstream parties represented on the show."

He added: "For instance, while the Labour Party, Lib-Dems and Conservatives will either support the privatisation of the Post Office or oppose it but condemn strike action, Griffin will be populist and support the postal workers and their industrial action based on his policy of 'British workers for British jobs'. The BBC should have put a white working class person on the programme to oppose Griffin not discredited politicians."

Among the MPs who attended the demonstration were veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn, Andy Slaughter, whose constituency includes BBC television centre, and Virendra Sharma, who spoke of his Southall community fighting off the fascist National Front party when its racist thugs marched through the area with a large Asian community in the 1970s.

Rahul Patel, one of the leaders of Unite Against Fascism which is a front organisation for the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party, told The-Latest that his group had won the argument that Griffin should not be allowed on Question Time despite the "venom" of the British press (here's what The Sun says. It is the most popular paper with white working class Britons).

Patel speculated that the reasons why the BBC ploughed ahead with the Griffin invite, despite massive public opposition including from two Cabinet ministers, was because of its desperate desire for "TV ratings". And because, claimed Bennett bizarrely, senior BBC executives, previously employed by Channel Four, were ex-members of the "state-infiltrated Revolutionary Communist Party". Now there's a conspiracy theory to conjure with.

Meanwhile, BBC director general Mark Thompson justified inviting Griffin onto Question Time by saying the corporation had a duty to give appropriate representation to minority parties.

He added: "The underlying level of support for the BNP is around two to three per cent. In the European election, they achieved about six per cent. In the case of a party that continued to receive that level of support, appearances would probably be no more than one a year."

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Photography: Marc

See also 'hideously white' BBC prefers fascist to a Black woman minister


John Tyndall (former BNP leader): "While this part of Britain was the industrial centre of the world, what was happening in Africa and Asia? The people there were squatting for century upon century upon century on the ground of Africa and what did they produce apart from black magic, witchcraft, voodoo, cannibalism and AIDS?"

Richard Edmonds (ex-BNP deputy leader) When asked by the Editor of The-Latest if the BNP was racist said: "We are 100 per cent, yes"

Nick Griffin on the Soho pub bombings: "The TV footage of dozens of 'gay' demonstrators flaunting their perversions in front of the world's journalists showed just why so many ordinary people find these creatures so repulsive"

Mark Collett (BNP member) on Prince of Wales: "He's a fucking traitor. Did you hear him say we needed more mosques in this country? All Muslims are anti-British terrorists"

Nick Griffin in a speech secretly recorded by an undercover reporter calls Islam a "wicked, vicious faith".

Nick Eriksen (ex-candidate): "I've never understood why so many men have allowed themselves to be brainwashed by the feminazi myth machine into believing that rape is such a serious crime.. Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal. To suggest that rape, when conducted without violence, is a serious crime is like suggesting force feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence" Mr Eriksen was subsequently dismissed from the British National Party after a blog post including the above passage went public

Nick Griffin on race: "Without the White race nothing matters [other right-wing parties] believe that the answer to the race question is integration and a futile attempt to create "Black Britons", while we affirm that non-Whites have no place here at all and will not rest until every last one has left our land"


2 Responses to "Campaigners protest against BBC platform given to nazi leader"

Gemska's picture


Fri, 10/23/2009 - 23:55
<p>I can't argue with the BBC's decision to invite Nick Griffin onto <em>Question Time</em> because he is the leader of a recognised political party in the UK and has something like a million voters supporting his party.&nbsp; Regardless of my views on Nick Griffin and the BNP we live in a democracy and as long as the BNP is recognised as a political party in this country then it's right that the leader or any other representative should be allowed to face the public scrutiny.</p><p>The very fact that Nick Griffin appeared on <em>QT</em> allowed members of the British public to question him which is right.&nbsp; Previously they couldn't do that but it's important that in this country members of the public are allowed to question <em>any</em> politician.</p><p>Nick Griffin himself came across as nervous and a little underprepared.&nbsp; He laughed his way through most things and made horrendous denials of things that he can't really back out of but the point is, he did that in front of eight millions TV viewers.</p><p>The newspapers were quick to point out this morning that he had gained some sympathy from his spot on <em>Question Time </em>but it's significant to point out that because he was allowed on ths programme many more people are now aware of his policies and are against them.</p><p>Another thing to point out is that Andrew Neil on his show straight afterwards highlighted the fairly obvious fact that Griffin was picked on.&nbsp; The four other panelists had their go and David Dimbleby wasn't as impartial a host as he usually is.&nbsp; Griffin was also rarely allowed to finish a point.&nbsp; He may be justified in his claims that the show didn't follow its usual format.</p><p>There is certainly the point that the questions weren't varied and the only one that really wasn't connected to the BNP was the question about Jan Moir's viewpoint on Steven Gately.</p><p>It begs the question, should Nick Griffin be invited back to <em>Question Time</em> as the sole panelist? So many people have questions about his shocking policies it makes sense to dedicate an entire programme to him and his party.&nbsp; Let him stumble his way through his answers and contradict himself as he does but at least he won't be cut off midway through and we'll get to hear the whole of his statements.</p><p>Like it or not, the BNP is a recognised party.&nbsp; Its policies may be changing, or at least it says they are but I know one thing, I'd rather have the BNP in full view rather than driven underground.&nbsp; That's when they become more dangerous, when we don't know what they're doing.</p>
contribs editor's picture

contribs editor

Sun, 10/25/2009 - 16:43
<p style="text-align: center;"><em>First they came for the Jews</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>And I did not speak out –</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Because I was not a Jew.</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Then they came for the communists</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>And I did not speak out – </em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Because I was not a communist.</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Then they came for the trade unionists</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>And I did not speak out – </em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Because I was not a trade unionist.</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Then they came for me – </em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>And there was no one left</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>To speak out for me.</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Pastor Martin Niemöller</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p>