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.


The word on the street is that Nick Griffin will be a guest on Question Time in the not so distant future.

I can only say it’s about time too! People and organisations such as the Labour Party who have constantly refused to share a platform with the BNP have only strengthed the appeal of these Nationalists. By refusing to enter into debate with these people on the ostensibly noble platform of ‘not giving the BNP legitimacy’ (the oft used phrase), politicians in fact make the BNP appear as matyrs to a now much tarnished establishement. Voters who do not trust the current members of the House of Commons do to various scandals, not least regarding expenses, may be inclined to turn to parties who have been sidelined in debate in the expectation that they have something to offer that Labour, Tories and the LibDems are afraid of. This effect was most clearly (and recently) seen in the results of the European elections where candidates from the main parties in Yorkshire and Lancashire refused to debate with the BNP in order to ‘starve them of the oxygen of publicity’, as one candidate put it.

It is clear that this had exactly the opposite effect. Indeed the only way to effectively counter and refute the ideas of the British National Party is to debate with its members frankly and openly. Only when mainstream politicians take the opportunty to act as a mirror for the public and reveal the evil and sinister ideals of the BNP by comparison to a sensible, moderate individual can the BNP’s arguments of hate be defeated.

The BNP operates by confusing and misleading the public on the issues of immigration, foreign affairs and policing to name but a few. The possibility of Nick Griffin appearing on Question Time provides the perfect opportunity for mainstream politicians to act as a comparison to BNP extremism and take the opportunity to refute their lies.

Many campaigners such as Hope Not Hate and Unite Against Facism condemn the BBC’s decision to allow the BNP on Question Time as a travesty. I say that there could not be a better place to defeat the BNP.

We, the electorate, have forgotten the terrible price Europe, in the not so distant past, paid when choosing the politics of hate. Let us then resolve, never again for this election result to occur.

There are not words to describe how I felt, as I stood in Leeds town hall, hearing the cheers from the BNP as the results were announced on Sunday evening.

Andrew Brons, a former politics lecturer from Harrogate, and a lifelong member of the National Front took a seat in Yorkshire for the BNP at the expense of a committed and hard working public servant; Labour MEP Richard Corbett.

It saddens me greatly that such an intelligent and honest man, who was an expert on EU institutional affairs and worked day in day out for his constituents, has been a casualty of the wider disaffection with politics that has hit the public.

In his victory speech Mr. Brons stressed his competence for the job:- claiming he was one of the few people who understood the EU and the Lisbon treaty. I think he will get a shock in Brussels (if he actually takes his seat), if he has such a high opinion of his knowledge. Furthermore, he claimed that this was the first step to ending the “EU dictatorship” which he accused of rendering pointless the sacrifices of the Second World War.

This if course disregards his membership of Neo-nazi organisations in the 50s. It ignores the comments of his party leader that Allied soldiers were as guilty as the German SS of war crimes. It skips over the BNP’s fixation with the purity of the white bloodline and its desire to impose on society strictures regarding second class (non-white) citizenship and mixed-race relationships and children.

Indeed it seems to me that Mr. Brons is entirely correct in his analysis, that the EU, which has brought peace to a continent that has never known a time without war, desecrates the memory of the dead servicemen who fought to prevent the spread of Nazism through Europe.

We can only hope that the cold light of day will expose the fecklessness and ineptitude of the BNP for office and representation of the public, and moreover, that the public will come to better understand the despicable ideals for which they stand. We must work to convince the public that the BNP is not the answer, rather, that it is part of the problem.

Let us hope for a never again. And let us begin our work now.

I regret that I was not able to post in the few days preceding the election and indeed on the day itself. I was campaigning hard and had little time to spare.

Now however, we find ourselves in an hiatus. With nothing more to be done, and an uneasy two days of obsessively checking the local election results, to garner what indications we can of what kind of parliament the electorate has returned to Brussels.

We can only hope, that in the midst of the crisis in Westminster politics, voters choose not to find comfort in the extremism of xenophobia and protectionism.

So really, this is not a time of rest, post-campaign, but a prolonged period of suspended nerves and worry, waiting, and praying, that the worst does not occur.

The family of Winston Churchill this week spoke out against the BNP’s use of his image in a party election broadcast, with grandson Nicholas Soames calling it “offensive and disgusting.”

Indeed, Nick Griffin’s adoption of parts of Churchill’s “blood, toil, tears and sweat” speech in the same video is just another example of the BNP’s outrageous and inappropriate opportunism in evoking the memory of World War Two and equating it to their European election campaign. It is even more cynical when Mr. Soames continued on to say “He would have been appalled by their views and the way they claim to represent the wartime generation.”

Churchill was a well known federalist, as evidenced in this well sourced piece by UKIPwatch, perhaps a fact that the BNP like to ignore. Certainly they are only interested in the PR of using the ‘britishness’ of Churchill.

What is most hypocritical, and indeed galling, is Nick Griffin’s two-faced attitude in evoking the memory and bravery of Allied troops fighting in the War (lauded and recognised in the BNP electoral address “The Somme, Dunkirk..”) whilst he is on the public record as writing, “In an unbiased assessment of war crimes, however, the Waffen SS were undoubtedly no worse than the troops of other nations – countless Allied war crimes are simply not publicised.” Supporting Germans over British troops is a somewhat paradoxical stance for the leader of a nationalist, racist party to take.

It appears that Mr. Griffin only sides with the British when it suits him.

The Yorkshire Post today carries a story about the comments made by BNP candidate for the European Parliament Marlene Guest, regarding the Holocaust.

She said that “dentistry and plastic surgery” were positives to come out of the Holocaust. The comments were made on the Sky One BNP Wives documentary last year.

Having belittled the suffering of the 6 million who died in the Holocaust, she then went on to question whether this actually happened, “Now Nick Griffin [BNP Chairman] queried numbers…I’ve read a thing called Did 6 Million Jews Really Die?…If they’d have kept the crematorium going in this little camp for 24/7 for 50 years they still couldn’t have burnt that amount of bodies.”

I suppose a positive thing to come out of this quote is to see that the BNP candidates are so well read. It’s good to know that Ms. Guest thinks there was only one death camp operating during the Holocaust, and that she is apparently unaware of the SS death squads who executed Jews all over Nazi occupied Europe.

Let us hope the BNP’s opponents in Yorkshire manage to keep them out. Labour MEP for Yorkshire Richard Corbett urges people to use their vote to prevent a low turn out election, as there is “a real threat that the BNP could win a seat in the European Parliament.”

God forbid this woman ever becomes a parliamentarian.

The British public celebrate a victory for the right of Gurkhas to settle in the UK, but the BNP find these brave men less deserving.

Crying “Ayo Gurkhali!”, meaning ‘the Gurkhas are coming’, Joanna Lumley celebrated with Gurkhas veterans and campaigners from the Gurkha Justice Movement last week when the government announced its U-turn on the Gurkhas’ right of abode. This is a news story which has captured the public mood with its sense of unfairness in how the government has treated the Gurkhas sacrifice.

Not everyone thinks that way however, Nick Griffin told 5 Live last week that the Gurkhas “signed up – frankly as mercenaries” and “We don’t think the most overcrowded country in Europe, can realistically say, ‘Look, you can all come and all your relatives.”

In essence, Mr. Griffin does not think the Gurkhas desrve to live in the UK, despite the sacrifices they have made for our country. Branding them simply as mercenaries denigrates the deep, meaningful relationship these men have with our country and more importantly, with the British soldiers alongside whom they serve.

Going on to say, “When the Gurkhas signed up…they expected a pension which would allow them to live well in their own country,” Mr. Griffin exposes the hypocrisy of his party’s policies by outrightly denying any sense of social responsibility the Army has towards these former soldiers, when they are doing exactly the opposite for homeowners and other victims of the recession who are in financial trouble. Furthermore, his words, from a man who never served in uniform, deliberately imply no other motive for Nepalese men to sign up other than to take a pension home to Nepal. Mr. Griffin’s sense of duty is as lacking as his sense of compassion.

What raises the eyebrows most however is the fact that the BNP can’t seem to make up its mind on Gurkhas, as it has equally praised the efforts of Gurkha soldiers and condemned the way they have been treated by the government. Taken in context with Nick Griffin’s comments on 5 Live however, this public concern appears to be no more than a ploy to take political advantage of this issue when they have seen that they in no way represent public opinion.

Either that, or the left hand knoweth not what the right hand does…