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Anorak | BNP Leader Nick Griffin’s Question Time Review, With Jan Moir, David Letterman And All The Views

BNP Leader Nick Griffin’s Question Time Review, With Jan Moir, David Letterman And All The Views

by | 23rd, October 2009

nick-griffin-2_632928aDID BNP leader Nick Griffin do it on Question Time? Did Nick Griffin do what everyone who sat up to watch political chatter over tractor racing, repeats of Coronation Street and strippers get what they hoped for? Did he tick the boxes? Let’s take a look:

Sky News: “Disgusting’ Griffin Defends Ku Klux Klan”

Far-right BNP leader Nick Griffin has defended the Ku Klux Klan, attacked Muslims and called gay couples “creepy” in a controversial appearance on BBC’s Question Time.

Were it not for the KKK, Griffin could pass for a tabloid hack voicing off. “JAN MOIR FOR LEADER!”, “BUY THE DAILY EXPRESS!” come the cries from the BNP voting households. Can Griffin recover?

At one point moderator David Dimbleby snapped at the BNP leader for smiling as he struggled to answer a question about his past denial of the Holocaust. He was booed as he attacked Jack Straw’s father for being in jail for not fighting in the war while his own father was serving in the RAF.

Smirking… Snide comments about MPs…We stayed awake for this?

Sky’s chief political correspondent Jon Craig said: “Griffin was exposed on Question Time as a nasty piece of work, with unpleasant views on race, immigration, Islam, homosexuality and Winston Churchill.”

BNP leader is unpleasant… We needed to watch him to know this?

Those front pages:

“Griffin uses BBC to attack Islam and defend the Klux Klux Klan” – Daily Telegraph

“As protestors bay outside, Griffin says “I’m not a Nazi’” – Guardian

“Hostile reception for Griffin” – The Times

“BIGOT AT BAY – Jeered, scorned and ridiculed…but still BNP leader milks his moment in the spotlight. Now the BBC faces angry questions of its own” ” – Daily Mail

“Griffin baptism of fire at the BBC” – Indy

“BNP leader Nick Griffin is… A DISGRACE TO HUMANITY” – Daily Express

“RAT RUN – BNP chief scuttles away after humiliation on TV” – Daily Mirror

“BNP CHIEF IS A NUTTER… even wife puts boot in” – Daily Star

The Show Without Punch

The Guardian: “BNP on Question Time: Lone voice freezes Griffin’s grin”

Nick Griffin was not sitting on the far right of the panel. But if that would have been a cliche too far for Question Time’s producers, Mentorn, there was symbolism enough as the four men and two women took their seats for last night’s recording.

Faced with the BNP, all three mainstream parties, in what had doubtless been the subject of some negotiation by the programme’s producers, were seated squarely to the left of the long, curved desk, with David Dimbleby in the centre acting as a reassuring buffer against any anticipated xenophobic spittle.

Bonnie Greer alone, unelected and hence beyond contamination, sat next to Griffin, though with her elbow nearest to him planted firmly on the desk throughout, one shoulder directed in sniffy contempt.

And her eyebrows ready to fire at will.

The Times: “Audience is outraged as Griffin says Churchill would have joined BNP”

The British National Party’s exposure to a nationwide audience provoked outrage last night as its leader reiterated his claim that Winston Churchill would have joined his party.

And Churchill would have served diligently under leader Nick Griffin. Right, nick? Far right!

BBC: “Griffin attacks Islam on BBC show”

His references to Britain’s “indigenous people” prompted other members of the panel to challenge him to say he meant white people. Mr Griffin said the colour was “irrelevant” and said Mr Straw would not dare go to New Zealand and tell a Maori he was not “indigenous”. “We are the aborigines here,” he claimed

At least he’s doing jokes now.

THIS Is Staffs: “Mixed blessings in TV’s big time”

“The vast majority of this audience finds what you stand for disgusting,” one man told him. “You’d be surprised how many people would have a whip round to buy you a ticket to the South Pole,” said another. “It’s a colourless landscape and it’d suit you fine.”

The Times:

The redoubtable American playwright Bonnie Greer, who refused to look his way, started him off by referencing the new law that would require the BNP to admit non-whites to its membership. “You laugh,” said Ms Greer. “If I was you, I would be scared.” The vision of the policy U-turns a mass influx of Muslims would cause, was such a good joke Mr Griffin even applauded.

She wasn’t joking. If every non-white, Jews, Muslims, Hindu and more join the BNP, the BNP would die.

The Sun: “I’m the most loathed man in Britain”

SMUG bigot Nick Griffin appeared on BBC1’s Question Time last night – after sparking mayhem at Television Centre. At one point the fascist BNP leader, 50, confessed he was “the most loathed man in Britain” among Nazi sympathisers.

The Opinions

Daily Mail, Max Hastings: “Repugnant, slippery and exposed as an empty vessel”

Anyone think Hasting is giogn to talk about the war?

Greer said that Churchill’s mother was possibly of Mohawk Indian descent, which made nonsense of the BNP’s ideas on British racial identity. As a history lesson, almost all the panel talked tosh. Winston Churchill, in his own time, possessed the values and racial attitudes of the Victorian aristocracy from which he came, wildly politically incorrect in modern terms.

The Guardian, Aditya Chakrabortty: “Nick Griffin on Question Time: No big gaffes, so he will say it’s a success”

Griffin’s success last night can be defined as follows: neither cabinet ministers nor protesters stopped him from getting on air and there were no punch-ups nor any telltale flashes of temper. For the BNP, those are sufficient grounds to chalk up last night as a victory.

The Sun: “Sun panel gives its verdict on BNP leader”

Matthew Todd, editor of gay mag Attitude, says… Saira Khan, of TV’s Apprentice, says….

You need to know what the gay man and the Asian woman think of Nick Griffin?

FT, Matthew Engel: “’Billy Bunter’ is wounded in bear-bait

This was not Question Time , it was a bear-bait, with Nick Griffin as the animal supposedly undergoing torment. This was the only way the BBC could square its decision to invite him with the bien-pensant view that he should never have been allowed. It would have been far better if he were just allowed to rabbit on until even the most alienated builder in Burnley realises that Mr Griffin is unimaginably stupid. Last night’s performance may have created some kind of sympathy for him….

The Times, Andrew Billen: “Question Time, BBC 1”

Maybe Mr Griffin couldn’t find a gag writer, or maybe he thought by looking serious and speaking slowly he would be taken seriously. But this tactic was soon in trouble and, suddenly, after 10 minutes he went as giggly as a sixth former…

There was so much ganging up, I was half-reminded of barmy David Icke’s sorry appearance years ago on Wogan in which he elaborated his sci-fi conspiracy theories. It is not easy — it even requires courage — to say the unsayable even when the unsayable is plain wrong. Unfortunately, Mr Griffin — evasive, hair-splitting, his every other answer further proof of bad faith — turned out to be unspeakable. Sympathy for the devil? I think not.

Anyone else on the show?

The representative of what’s left of New Labour was Jack Straw, striking absurd Churchillian poses, who was his usual evasive old-line political self. He was outshone by the Tory communities’ spokesman Sayeeda Warsi. But Mr Griffin was the most incoherent and unconvincing.

CRIKEY, Alex Mitchell: “BBC’s Question Time gets Nicked with a reborn Alf Garnett”

Instead, Question Time presented the British public with a reborn Alf Garnett with none of the comic satire of Warren Mitchell…His presentation is so lightweight it’s difficult to see him emerging as the leader of a major neo-Nazi force, which is what the political hysterics are predicting.

The Times, Libby Purves: “‘All of the panel wanted to attack a man who wanted to be attacked’

It was an odd show because almost all of the questions — even the five minutes on gays — were BNP-related, and the entire audience and panel anti-Griffin. Dimbleby, briefed to keep quoting his YouTube nonsenses back at him, risked making him seem a victim. Griffin’s tactic was to grin pudgily and to keep his answers crisper than Jack Straw’s (not difficult). It is never easy for a chairman to come down hard on someone who keeps it brief.

The Times, Matthews Parris:

Nobody crashed. Nobody descended into incoherence. All of them — landed with the task of attacking a man who wanted to be attacked — found their own distinct way of doing battle. But nobody dared try what, if it could have been done, would have been the most devastating tactic of all, and perhaps the only tactic that would have done Mr Griffin any real harm: to brush him aside as a small man, enlarged by the anger of his enemies.

The Times, David Aaronovitch

Griffinism is a state of permanent denial, followed by self-incrimination and wild eccentricity…

Tested on his penchant for Holocaust denial he became a Holocaust-denial-denyer, replying “I do not have a conviction for Holocaust denial” and telling the nation how he couldn’t explain how and in what way he had changed his mind on the Holocaust as he might be prosecuted in France.

On Islam he slipped in a reference to supporting Israel on Gaza, which was unlikely to win the Jewish vote and likely to baffle the BNP vote.

Finally he confided that he thought the BBC to be “part of a thoroughly unpleasant ultra-leftist establishment”, when voters know it best for Strictly Come Dancing. He showed himself to be, not so much a fearful Nazi, as kook.

Nick The Celebrity

Late Show With David Letterman Amy Poehler; Nick Griffin; Judy Collins performs. 11:35 p.m. KCBS

His Last Word

The Herald: “BNP leader laps up the publicity but wilts in Question Time heat”

Reviewing his own performance he said: “People will see the extraordinary hostility shown to me from the people representing the three old parties. It’s still a matter of the main political parties being against the outsider and that is what it is about.”

The Last Word

Radio Netherlands: Giving the far right rope to hang itself

It’s a risk. As soon as you promote extreme attitudes you create more attention for those views. Professor Groebel says the media also plays its part, being more interested in risky, thrilling stories than moderate ones. On the other hand, he says, to suppress them completely is dangerous because you then have a movement that you cannot control publicly. In the end, people have to be trusted to weigh up their politicians, says Mr Groebel. “A strong democracy does not necessarily have to fear more extreme views if they are placed in context and surrounded by good moderation.”

The Mail: “Talk about bare-faced hypocrisy.”

Normal service has been resumed, the Mail is attacking the BBC:

Amidst the furore over the BBC’s decision to invite Nick Griffin on to Question Time, its director general, Mark Thompson, claims that he had no choice because of the Corporation’s ‘central principle of political impartiality’. What a pity that the BBC for years has comprehensively trampled this so-called ‘central principle’ into the dirt. This is an organisation that’s utterly in thrall to the left-wing agenda of the majority of its staff.

Nick Griffin – an unlikely man who would never get anywhere in a major political party gets a lot of attention…



Posted: 23rd, October 2009 | In: Key Posts, Politicians Comments (28) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink