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So just caught up on last nights Question Time. For those of you that missed it, it's available on iplayer at the moment:


(Direct link)


The slagging match at the begining was a bit pointless. Throwing quotes at him and him denying them isn't going to convince anyone that's BNP policy unless they know he's already said them, in which case they either agree with the sentiment expressed or they don't.

The BNP have some horrendous views, but if you throw quotes at anyone that the vast majority disagree with, and they couldn't possibly justify to the people, in front of the very people they are trying to convince of their policies, then of course they are going to try and wriggle out of these things.

Unless the government make hugely monumental cock up to completely alienate the people against all the main parties, the BNP are unlikely to gain a majority in the government, so the chances of any of their most extreme policies getting implemented are minimal.

However, they do have more moderate policies that are winning over voters. These are the ones to address. When these came up later in the show, Nick opened up and not only expressed these views, but also gave insight into the underlying abhorrant reasoning behind them. That is where the true agenda of the BNP is shown off to the nation, not through a personal attack on their representative.

He has every right to hold his views and every right to express them. It is the duty of opposing politicians to expose the holes within these policies not within the person. Whatever he believes he is a human being and he deserves be treated with common courtesy regardless of whether he shows this to others in return.

No matter how extreme his views, he does have some valid points to raise. People voted for him because they believe he represents their views, so he needs to be allowed to represent them. Many of these people aren't going to believe in all the policies the BNP puts forward. Who believes in all the policies of the party they vote for? It must be a very small minority of people. If the majority of the views the BNP put forward turn out not to be what the people voted for and against what these people believe they'll question why they voted for him. However, there will be some of them that do express what the people voted for.

There are issues with people feeling that immigrants are coming into the country and threatening their way of life. There are people who find homosexual activities repulsive. Homophobia exists. These are issues that need to be raised and the BNP are quite right to raise them. Many people feel threatened by these things because they threaten the values they have been brought up to believe in and so want them brought up for discussion for that very reason.

What makes the BNP abhorrent is what they want to do about these issue, shutting them out of harms way instead of bringing them forward to help people come to terms with them. It's through debating these issues that the true nature of these policies come forward and you see exactly how anti-equality the BNP really are.

We don't fear being equal. We fear being less important than those around us and things that challenge our position in society to make us that way. To show the true nature of the BNP, you need to show how they want to make huge numbers of the people in this country into lesser citizens by promoting inequality.

I must admit I was feeling quite sorry for Griffin by the end. No matter how extreme his views are they are still as valid as anyone elses and he had to sit there and put these forwards to a room full of negative feeling towards him. It can't have been easy for him no matter how used to it he is and it was interesting to see how much he seemed to be shaking towards the end.

He and the people who voted for him, have these views for a reason. You can't just dismiss them. They need to be debated so that the issues they raise can be looked at under a more rational light. You don't gain equality by putting one persons views in higher regards than another. Equality requires all these views to be discussed on equal grounds. Only then can everyone feel that their views have been represented in the resulting solution.

There are too many of us who want to see equality for the BNP to get their way, but this equality can only be truely equal if it gives the views of all individuals including those in the BNP fair consideration.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
almostwitty
23rd Oct, 2009 23:30 (UTC)
I think the huge mistake the anti-BNP politicians did was:

- seek to ignore the BNP
- when they couldn't be ignored, seek to attack the BNP personally rather than attack the policies.

Much as I hate the BNP and what they stand for, in order to stop people voting for them, you kinda have to listen to what the voters are saying. Even if they are saying nonsensical, plainly wrong things.
hmmm_tea
24th Oct, 2009 00:05 (UTC)
Exactly!
(Deleted comment)
hmmm_tea
24th Oct, 2009 09:08 (UTC)
There's a lot of comments over the internet stating how this was just set up as a personal attack on Griffin and how the BBC cherry picked the audience to hold the opposite views and weren't representative of the population. No they weren't and I doubt any question time audience ever is, but I doubt the BBC had to actively cherry pick them.

All that happened was the BNP supporters got to see their leader martyred, which isn't going to change their views.

I am strongly of the opinion that the major problem we face is that the major corporations have the majority influence over our government through their influence on the economy. This leaves less room for the views of people themselves and as a result it's those at the lower ends of the corporate ladder that don't get they views heard appropriately and they become disaffected with the system.

When their views get disguarded off-hand without even being listened too, of course they are going to feel repressed and hit out against the factors they see as threatening these views.
nudejournal
24th Oct, 2009 06:38 (UTC)
"No matter how extreme his views are they are still as valid as anyone elses"

No, they aren't. He has a right to hold those views; that doesn't make them valid.
hmmm_tea
24th Oct, 2009 08:40 (UTC)
That's exactly the problem. You're not willing to give him fair hearing.

He has some really horrific views, but he and many others believe these for a reason. If you ignore these off hand, then your not going to get to the bottom of them to deal with them in a much more rational way. You just alienate those that hold them.
nudejournal
24th Oct, 2009 08:57 (UTC)
Please don't presume to tell me whether I've given him a fair hearing or not.

I'm not saying they should banned from hold those views, I'm saying those views are invalid because they're grounded in ignorance and/or malice. Maybe saying that to their faces isn't going to stop them from voting for the BNP, but it doesn't meant that it isn't true.
hmmm_tea
24th Oct, 2009 09:25 (UTC)
A blanket statement saying BNP views are invalid is not giving their views fair hearing.

Ignorance and/or malice may have a strong influence in making these views so abhorrent, but underneath lie much more rational reasons. People don't hate each other for no reason at all.

Many of these views may be misguided in the extreme, but it doesn't mean they are not valid. People believe them for a reason (see frayer's comment above).
nudejournal
24th Oct, 2009 10:06 (UTC)
How can a view be misguided and valid? Having reasons for their views does not make them valid. Unless you're speaking in strict logical terms, in which case I could call them unsound instead. People believe them for a reason, but to jump from that reason to supporting the lunatic fantasy policies espoused by the BNP (across the board, not just on immigration) isn't a sound decision; it is a decision someone would only make if they had little to no understanding of the issues involved.

There may be something to why people vote for the BNP, but that doesn't mean there's anything thing worth taking seriously in BNP policies or the things Nick Griffin says.
hmmm_tea
24th Oct, 2009 10:55 (UTC)
Which is exactly my point, you're not willing to consider his views and therefore aren't treating him equally.

Many BNP are misguided, but that doesn't mean every single point they will make will be. These things do need to be considered individually.

Even the misguided policies are generally founded on some rational grounding.

I strongly disagree with the BNPs anti-gay policies for example, but they have a point when they say that homosexual activity does make many people uncomfortable. That is exactly the same point that leads the gay rights lobbies a standing for, but proposing an entirely different response.

Underneath many BNP policies lie very serious, but controversial issues such as this. They need to be raised and the BNP are happy to raise them when most of the mainstream parties aren't.

Supporters of the BNP on the whole aren't stupid. They just have issues that are not being dealt with by the mainstream parties that the BNP are willing to stand for.

Many of us may disagree with the solutions to these issues espoused by the BNP, but we should still give them fair consideration. It's through this that we can come to more rational solutions that consider the rights of people on both sides of the debate.

The chances of the BNP ever getting majority power are microscopic. Let's face it not even the Lib Dems stand much chance of doing it any time soon, let alone the BNP. These policies aren't going to be implemented, but that doesn't mean the issues behind them can be ignored.
nudejournal
24th Oct, 2009 11:28 (UTC)
"Which is exactly my point, you're not willing to consider his views and therefore aren't treating him equally."

I've listened to him speak on several occasions, I've read his policies. How am I not willing to consider his views?

"Many BNP are misguided, but that doesn't mean every single point they will make will be. These things do need to be considered individually.

I strongly disagree with the BNPs anti-gay policies for example, but they have a point when they say that homosexual activity does make many people uncomfortable. That is exactly the same point that leads the gay rights lobbies a standing for, but proposing an entirely different response."

I fail to see why the BNP should get any credit for pointing out that some people are homophobic. Was there widespread ignorance of this fact? There was a member of a mainstream party sitting on QT panel who has previously expressed not dissimilar opinions on homosexuality, we hardly need to turn to the BNP.

"Underneath many BNP policies lie very serious, but controversial issues such as this. They need to be raised and the BNP are happy to raise them when most of the mainstream parties aren't."

Yes, we need to have a serious debate about political-correctness-gone-mad wank fantasies, xenophobia, and misplaced nostalgia.

"Supporters of the BNP on the whole aren't stupid. They just have issues that are not being dealt with by the mainstream parties that the BNP are willing to stand for."

They're stupid because they're either stupid issues or issues that it's stupid to identify the BNP as the best hope to deal with.

"Many of us may disagree with the solutions to these issues espoused by the BNP, but we should still give them fair consideration. It's through this that we can come to more rational solutions that consider the rights of people on both sides of the debate."

Yes, we should give them fair consideration. And after consideration is complete, call them out on being a bunch of stupid racist pricks.

"The chances of the BNP ever getting majority power are microscopic. Let's face it not even the Lib Dems stand much chance of doing it any time soon, let alone the BNP. These policies aren't going to be implemented, but that doesn't mean the issues behind them can be ignored."

The issues behind them can't be ignored. That doesn't mean the BNP shouldn't be ridiculed.
feanelwa
24th Oct, 2009 12:24 (UTC)
I think you and hmmm_tea need to compare your definitions of the word valid, because you seem to be using it differently to each other underneath the points you're making.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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