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Peter Hain makes me leap to the defence of the BNP and the BBC

October 19th, 2009 Posted in UK Politics by

peter-hainIt takes a particularly ridiculous politician to say anything – anything at all – that is likely to make me remotely sympathetic to the plight of either the BBC or the British National Party. But Peter Hain has managed it. Idiotically, he has written to the Beeb insisting that Nick Griffin is dropped from this week’s Question Time panel. His grounds appear to be that the BNP is now outwith the law, as it has yet to comply with the recent court ruling obliging them to admit non-whites into the party (although they have said they will do so).

The ruling – brought about owing to the actions of my ex-boss John Wadham – strikes me as pretty ridiculous. But it’s certainly no grounds whatsoever for denying Griffin a seat round the table on QT.

If unambiguous compliance with every aspect of the law is a criteria for appearing on the BBC, this might disqualify a lot of mainstream politicians who face private or public prosecution for fradulent expense claims. Perhaps Hain himself should be kept off our airwaves in virtue of having been referred to the police over his dodgy campaign finances.

The truth is that Peter Hain represents that deeply unappetising left-wing trait of wanting to ban things he doesn’t like very much. I hope the BBC resist and Griffin gets a chance to make his case – and to have it properly cross-examined by Chris Huhne and others on Thursday night.

7 Responses to “Peter Hain makes me leap to the defence of the BNP and the BBC”

  1. David Says:

    Couldn’t disagree more. Question Time is no place for a serious debate on the validity of the BNP or their policies. The BNP will merely play to the audience with simplistic answers.

    The open debate argument of democracy only works when you have people capable of making rational decisions, not a population that is led by the nose by fear, ignorance and the right-wing press. Even liberals such as John Stuart Mill recognised that.

  2. Liberal Neil Says:

    So basically David you believe that you (and the Government) know better than I do which views I should be allowed to hear?

    Frankly I’m perfectly capable of deciding that for myself.

    I don’t need you, Peter Hain or anyone else to filter the views I hear before I make up my own mind on which arguments are best.

    And presumably you have already heard the arguments put forward by the BNP in order to know that I shouldn’t be allowed to hear them? If so did they convince you? If not, why do you think they would convince me or anyone else?

  3. Bunny Smedley Says:

    Having thought this point was too banal to make, maybe not: ‘banning’ the wretched BNP, or even treating them as somehow ‘special’ amongst all the other legitimate political parties, undoubtedly adds to their edgy, ‘dangerous’ glamour in some circles. Hence, all responsible, mainstream sort of people – whether in politics, the media or simply private life – should do their best not to make a great fuss over the BNP.

    The BNP wouldn’t be getting a publicity boost out of Question Time if so many people didn’t insist on making a fuss over them beforehand. But the fuss has the effect of making a certain sort of person think ‘oh, what fascinating and worthwhile insights are the BNP going to impart that The Establishment doesn’t want me to hear?’

    Yawn! Whatever else Jack Straw may be, he’s a sufficiently competent debater that the BNP chap will, I assume, have to be scraped up off the studio floor after ‘Question Time’, at which point the BNP will, I guess, deserve a bit of mockery. But until then, I wish people would just ignore the whole situation.

    (PS This isn’t intended as criticism of the present post, by the way, as, in effect, Mark was having a go at Hain, rather than getting excited about the BNP per se.)

  4. Julian H Says:

    Being part of this population that finds ourselves incapable of rational thought, I can’t possibly respond to Politico Manic David’s post – although I note that Bunny, as always, has waded in well beyond her caste, and position as an immigrant. You can expect me to bring this up with your husband, Bunny, the next time we’re all led by the nose to see some popular beat combo that Big Music has forced into our vulnerable, lumpen minds.

  5. Bunny Smedley Says:

    LOL, Julian! (As John Stuart Mill never, as far as I know, wrote, although perhaps some kind rational person will tell me if I’m wrong.)

  6. Peter Hain vs the BBC and freedom of thought. | digitaltoast Says:

    […] Mark Littlewood puts it very well in an article in Liberal Vision. […]

  7. Frank Mustill Says:

    I’m fed up with idiots telling me what I can and can’t watch or listen too. Don’t we live in a democracy? Don’t we have a certain ” freedom of speech “? As a political party with elected representatives, the BNP have every right to be heard. If you don’t like it, tune out, turn over or turn off.
    The main stream parties are scared to death of having the BNP represented on TV or radio, just incase they might actually come across reasonably well and appeal to the lost and forgotten masses of working class people that Labour ditched 10 years ago!

    To be honest, I like any MPs that actually answer questions that are asked them, without skirting round the truth or NOT actually answering the question, like the majority of all MPs do ( no matter what party they’re from ).

    Whether the answer is, or it’s not what I want to hear, it’s still of breath of fresh air to hear an MP tell the truth!