Nick Griffin, chairman of the minority British National Party, will today appear on the UK’s flagship political programme with representatives from Britain’s three main political parties. It is a night that promises much.
Mr. Griffin, MEP for the Northwest of England could not have hoped for a better outcome to the BBC’s decision earlier this year to invite him onto Question Time. The coverage he has gained in recent weeks has increased progressively to the point where Mr. Griffin and his party could fairly be descirbed as having blanket coverge this week on the websites and pages of British media outlets. This is a story of incredible success for such a small political party.
However, will the build-up and expectations caused by such a media furore lead Mr. Griffin’s aims to exeed his grasp? In the political calculations he has made to gain maximum media exposure, he has unwisely set the bar very high for his performance this evening. This is something that does not just matter for BNP supporters. Anyone who was curious about Mr. Griffin’s views, or anyone who, whilst dismissing the BNP’s abhorrent policies, feared Mr. Griffin’s party as an emerging electoral force, will be waiting to see tonight whether this party leader outperforms his panellists, or delivers a distinctly lacklustre performance.
On the BNP’s website Griffin has already attempted to rectify this overstep by stating that tonight’s appearance “is not particularly important.” But given the efforts the BNP has made in the past to gain a seat on Question Time’s panel, and the search for media coverage that the partyso desperately craves, we know that it most certainly is important.
He may deny that his party is racist, but Mr. Griffin and his party’s fundamental view that people of different races and colour are different and shouldn’t mix, is still in dichotomy to what all mainstream political parties believe. By this statement I do not wish to give the impression that the world is one homogenous mish-mash, not that we shouldn’t celebrate cultural differences. Rather I aspire to the sentiment, which I hope many other people in Britain today believe also, that “Our common humanity transcends all differences.”
It is the BNP’s opposition to this creed, which makes Mr. Griffin’s beliefs and followers so dangerous and divisive. And why, ultimately, their party will fail.
I anticipate tonight’s debate with interest. I hope the truth will out.