James Forsythe, in the Telegraph, hits the nail squarely on the head when he says the the BNP can be dismissed – but their constituency can not. Unfortunately almost all politicians and vast swathes of the media, the BBC above all, have consistently failed to make any serious analysis of why the party has grown in membership and electoral support over the last fifteen years despite the seedy nature of it’s current leadership.
So naturally, as Minette Marrin pointed out in The Times, BBC’s Question Time concentrated on shooting the messenger by setting him up.
What Griffin’s Question Time also showed was, for lack of a better word, the pusillanimous political correctness of the BBC and its lack of moral courage — something not peculiar to it, but characteristic of most public debate today. Deciding to involve a studio audience and then rigging it, to get the sort of response that’s felt to be right, is a form of moral cowardice and it happens all the time.
Initially the BBC and the chattering classes felt Question Time had cracked it. By exposing Griffin as comparatively inarticulate, nervous and unsophisticated they hoped to destroy him and his party. Instead they turned him into a martyr. Also, by completely subsuming concerns about immigration and identity within the concept of “racism” they closed the debate yet again – and gave many of those people who voted BNP a signal that their worst fears had been justified.
Many of the middle ranking, younger cadres in the BNP, unlike Griffin, do not come from the old Tyndall/Webster NF machine with it’s neo nazi fetishism and aryan folk mythology. They will not be able to be baited in the way that Griffin was baited.
What will the BBC do then?