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BNP on Question time - Ed's journal
sobrique
sobrique
BNP on Question time
OK, so in the news today, we have protesters outside BBC HQ, where question time is being recorded.

They're protesting about the BNP, and how they object to Nick Griffin 'getting a spot' because it legitimizes him.

Here's the thing though. Isn't the point of democracy, that you listen to everyone's viewpoint, and the cast a vote? I mean, you don't get to veto political representation just because you don't like what someone has to say - that way likes badness.

Like or not, the BNP has council seats and MEP seats. If you don't like that, the correct response is to vote for someone else. To _stand_ yourself. And if what the country really, honestly wants, is the BNP to take power... then that's just democracy at work. Your opinion is a minority in that situation.

By all means object to what they stand for - I mostly think I do, although I haven't actually read much of their manifesto or anything. But don't try and deny their legitimacy - they _are_ a legitimate political party. There's no two ways about it - if there were a general election next week, BNP members could and probably would be standing. That gives them as much right to be on Question time as ... any of the other minority parties.

The solution? If you don't want the BNP to manage that? Wake the hell up - voter turnout the last elections has been atrocious. It's much easier to get elected as a minority party if everyone else can't be bothered to take part in the political system...
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Comments
hedya From: hedya Date: October 22nd, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
AMEN!
elrohana From: elrohana Date: October 22nd, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well said
mcnazgul From: mcnazgul Date: October 22nd, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

The BNP is not a legitimate political party as it breaks UK and European law.

It excludes ethnic minorities from membership (illegal under UK and European law) and has been found guilty of doing so.

Until it complies with the law, it is not legitimate. I agree with you on people needing to get off their asses and vote; even if they vote Monster Raving Looney or some other, legitimate party.
ehrine From: ehrine Date: October 22nd, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The BNP is not a legitimate political party as it breaks UK and European law.

True enough, but they say they'll deal with that (not sure if they will, but...). It doesn't change the fact, however, that they have managed to get 2 people elected as MEPs. The BBC don't really have much of a choice in the matter and kinda _have_ to invite them occasionally now.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: October 22nd, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The BNP is not a legitimate political party as it breaks UK and European law.

The irony is, that joining the BNP is a good way to end up sacked/unable to work for a lot of jobs.

How else is one supposed to influence a political party though?
mcnazgul From: mcnazgul Date: October 22nd, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The BNP is not a legitimate political party as it breaks UK and European law.

Not all members get the sack. Some are given support by their employer (e.g. Simone Clarke/English National Ballet & Equity).

Influencing a political party and it's members can take many forms; debate is one option. Refutation and censure (not censorship) of the party and it's espoused aims is another.

The letters from the British Legion and former Army generals are a starting point.

Giving them air time gives them an audience. You can't silence them - they already have a voice. You can discredit them and expose their views and actions as what they are.
ehrine From: ehrine Date: October 22nd, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The BNP is not a legitimate political party as it breaks UK and European law.

I've been semi watching it (while recording it). I have to say, Nick Griffin made an arse of himself very well :)

Looking forward to watching the whole thing from the start.
jorune From: jorune Date: October 22nd, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The BNP is not a legitimate political party as it breaks UK and European law.

He was overwhelmed by the occasion, he lacked poise and struggled to make coherent sense throughout the show. I wondered what tack he would go for. Would it be anti-Europe, maybe the defender of the white working class, in the end he was rudderless.

His comments about David Duke and a peaceful Klu Klux Klan could be comedy gold.
(Deleted comment)
angryangeltoo From: angryangeltoo Date: October 22nd, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Agreed

They need to show people how stupid they are, if we silence them, they become a myth, that's far more dangerous.
purp1e_magic From: purp1e_magic Date: October 23rd, 2009 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Letting them make idiots of themselves, unfortunately, won't help. Most people who vote BNP don't do so because they have faith in the political policies of their vote, or because they expect their MP to be able to hold their own in a debate. They want someone with gusto who's willing to make big, bold statements that go against the flow, even if those statements are silly. In fact, the sillier the better, because they are more likely to cause remark, cause ridicule, and then you can have riteous anger that your political party representative is being ridiculed.

Have any of you guys met and chatted with the kind of people who vote BNP? (and I mean the low-profile ones, the standard Joes, not the small minority of people in high profile jobs) If you want to understand why people vote BNP, and allow their views to have voice in a democracy, then in this case the BNP itself won't help you do that, unless seen through the eyes of the people who elect them.

I was hoping to hear some news that said that this guy tried to debate his policies. But it sounds like he used the forum to consolidate the 'stupid angry man' vote. I haven't seen it myself, but from these descriptions I'd say that anyone who thinks this guy has been given enough rope to hang himself doesn't really understand the situation at all.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: October 23rd, 2009 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like though, that they're doing a reasonably good job of representing a segment of the voter-base though. For all we dislike that, that _is_ democracy at work.
Democracy is a pretty terrible system, when you get down to it. It's just better than the alternatives.
purp1e_magic From: purp1e_magic Date: October 23rd, 2009 07:00 am (UTC) (Link)
although I haven't actually read much of their manifesto

I have. Their policies are surprisingly good and solid. Taken out of context from what they stand for in public opinion, they would be a sensible set of people to vote for. There are just a few seeds here and there that would lead to much badness later down the line if they actually had power. It's all very scary.
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