BBC Question Time: fascists allowed on British television

British fascist Oswald Mosley behind a microphone. Nick Griffin won’t look any prettier tonight.

So the BBC breaks with a decades-old policy and allows British fascists onto the airwaves with an appearance by British National Party leader Nick Griffin on the prestigious Question Time tonight. Ever since World War II there has been an abhorrence in this country for fascism and all its followers. Members of my family lived through the Blitz and even died fighting in the war. And now it’s back and getting stronger partly thanks to Mark Thompson who, like Pontius Pilate, washes his hands and says it’s a matter for the government.

I can’t say I warm to the idea of giving publicity to people who would discriminate against me on the basis of my ethnicity. It’s like sticking the Chief Orc on telly while the Hobbits have to listen to him laying out what he would do with the little people with the furry feet.

Nothing’s changed. They still hate non-whites. They attack lovely Bonnie Greer as being a “black history fabricator” (along with the fabricators of the Holocaust, I suppose) and still Nick Griffin is allowed his moment in the limelight. Strange how libertarian Thompson is on this topic and yet he took it upon himself to ban the charity broadcast for the Gazans earlier this year. No censorship there, then.

Peter Hain challenges Thompson, pointing out:

“He is dodging the fact the BNP is a racist, fascist party in complete contradiction to the BBC’s own equal opportunities and anti-racist policies. The BBC are in total denial about their gifting of a massive early Christmas present to the BNP. “

Why is the establishment doing this now just as the economy goes belly-up? Perhaps wary of the threat that the British working class may wake up and see what government and big business is doing to them they need the far-right as a safety valve so that uppity workers don’t start agitating for their rights. Oh, yes, good luck to the posties on strike today defending our postal service from the predations of those very forces.

Hmm. Weren’t the fascists in 1930s Germany swept to power through support from a ruling class more scared of the united might of the progressive working-class than Hitler and his mob?

In today’s Guardian Gary Younge cuts through the BS and asks some pertinent questions, the most revealing one being: who started all this? New Labour played a dirty game and breathed life into the far right.

“And so Muslim women passed, in the public imagination, from being actually among the group most likely to be racially attacked to ostensibly being a primary cause of social strife – roaming the land in search of white teenagers to physically harass.”

In 1997 the left seemed to have learnt from history. They anticipated this development and set out to build a strong left during the window of opportunity before events pushed the white working class into the arms of the right. But thanks to ego, malice, personal ambition and rank stupidity we have a minuscule and fragmented movement in no shape to take on the right beyond the usual demonstrations.

It’s now up to others to expose the BNP for what they are. Go get ’em, Bonnie.

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