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The BNP, the BBC and QT

In BNP on October 22, 2009 by dadge

Whether one likes it or not, the BNP are a legitimate party with elected councillors and MEPs. They have a right to airtime and the BBC has no right to censor them by excluding them from shows like Question Time. It’s an interesting question: what would be done if no-one agreed to come on the programme with them, but that isn’t the case. I respect the right of anyone to “empty-chair” them, but there are hundreds of potential panellists the BBC can draw on, so it would probably be a futile exercise. And I tend to agree with those who say that we should be confident enough in our own debating abilities, and in the common sense of the vast majority of the British public, to allow Nick Griffin and his ilk the oxygen of publicity. New Labour Britain isn’t Weimar Germany.

As Matthew Wright so niftily pointed out on his show this morning, the BNP’s previous media outings have caused almost no reaction. The circus surrounding Griffin’s appearance on Question Time tonight is largely the responsibility of an overzealous BBC PR department, who have the benefit of using their own airtime to promote their products, and have clearly gone a little too far this time. People at the BBC seem to be locked into a culture of competition even though (a) they have no remit to blast ITV and other channels out of the water and (b) there are no advertisers so ratings matter not a jot.

So: Good on the BBC, and Shame on the BBC. No change there, then.

p.s. A round-up of who was for or against NG’s appearance on the show.

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One Response to “The BNP, the BBC and QT”

  1. Fair point – but the BBC is irresponsible on many fronts. The protesting is all well and good, but at the end of the day, if people don’t go to the polls and place their votes for the parties that are not fascist, then there’s really no issue here.

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