23 October 2009

Problem With Question Time

Short post to follow a long one.

Question Time last night: everyone except the BNP themselves seems to be gushing about how Nick Griffin got torn a new one last night, but I'm inclined to disagree. They said he was a wolf in sheep's clothing, but I don't think we ever really saw the wolf, although the sheep's clothing slipped a few times, like when he continued to evade questions about his Holocaust denial even when the Justice Minister told him he was safe. But there were three moments when I think everyone involved did abysmally:

"White": Instead of telling the audience and people at home that Griffin meant 'White' when he said 'indigenous' it would have been far more effective to simply press him on it until he admitted it himself, for example by asking him to clarify what "non-indigenous" meant. Just shouting "white" looked like a smear, and let him pass himself off as a witty anti-racist, with the retort that skin-colour doesn't matter.

Benefits of multiculturalism: Nick Griffin asserted that multiculturalism has been foisted on us by a liberal elite and has "given us nothing but tax-bills in return". He wasn't picked up on this, even in pure economic terms.

Wicked and vicious faith: Some idiot in the audience asked him about this and gave him a chance to go off on a rant he's probably been rehearsing since he got on the plane out of Libya. He wasn't picked up on his claim that "it says so in the Quran", as if you can just extrapolate from there, with no history of interpretation, what all Muslims actually believe.

The Yes-Platform types insisted that letting the BNP expose themselves would be the best strategy, but that's not what happened. I still don't know why Nick Griffin changed his mind about the gas chambers, and his neatly-worded, reasonable-sounding spiel about why Islam actually is a wicked and vicious faith was being repeated, uncut and unchallenged on the Today programme.

On the other hand, "The leader of a Ku Klux Klan, and almost entirely non-violent one" is a brilliant bit of backtracking.

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