Comment By Tony Walley.
As Thursday’s BBC Question Time debate looms large, I have found myself wandering whether we should be giving the BNP a platform on prime time TV.
The answer I keep coming to is -Ã‚ damn right we should!
I support the editorial stance that the BBC has taken over this issue 100%. I passionately support the principles of free speech. I protect our country’s democracy and the BNP’s right to exist and their supporters right to support them.
Anyone who reads this site will be in no doubt of what I think of the BNP and their discriminatory policies.
“They have got some good policies!” – I wish I had a pound for every time I have heard that! But do you know what? As long as the BNP have one policy that prejudices on the basis of a person’s skin colour I am not interested in anything else they have got to say.
You have to blame the reluctance of the mainstream parties to tackle the immigration and asylum issue. They have inadvertently helped the BNP’s cause. The electorate have, for a long time now, have been crying out for a sensible debate on this most sensitive of issues.
Labour, the Conservative and the Liberal Democrats have always treated immigration and asylum like something that we must not talk about, something that must be swept under the carpet.
The one party that has wanted to talk about immigration and asylum is the BNP. Well not just talk about it, but to lie and spread malicious untrue facts and figures that have been disproved time and time again.
So, we should welcome the opportunity to beat the BNP, to bash their policies, to out their hatred of everyone that is not white Caucasian.
The people charged with this responsibility on Thursday night are Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi, said by many to be the most powerful Muslim woman in the country. She is the shadow minister for community cohesion and a former lawyer. In 2007 she became the the first Muslim woman to sit on the front bench of a political party. Labour’s Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who has had first hand experience of fighting the BNP in the north of England. He has said that Labour have proved that when they fight them hard, they can be defeated and seats will be won back.Ã‚ Chris Huhne the Libdem spokesperson on home affairs and Bonnie Greer who will add and independent slant to the debate.
I am really disappointed that Welsh Secretary Peter Hain is trying to force the BBC to withdraw their invite to Griffin to take in this debate. Hain is using the recent ruling on the BNP membership policy and claims that the party is “an unlawful body”.
This gives the impression that the three main parties are afraid of taking on this far right party. What Hain and his ilk are not taking into consideration is the fact that the Great British public want this debate. Two separate polls have confirmed it.
We can not keep overlooking the fact that people are voting for this party. They are still behind the Green Party in terms of membership numbers but never the less, they can not and should not be ignored.
Their arguments should be fronted and defeated, their policies should be scrutinised and outed for being discriminatory. Their loathing of Asians, Black, Chinese, EU membership, Gay people, should be highlighted and shown as not conducive to life in a multi-cultural country like Britain.
The BNP must be defeated on a political platform and if our politicians fail in that duty, we will see a rise in their popularity. Democracy comes at a price and that price may well be the first BNP MP at the next general election.
If that happens our mainstream parties must take a share of the responsibility, for it is them who even now in some quarters are trying to avoid taking on the far right head to head.
The BBC is an easy target for allowing this debate to take place. I think the BBC should be applauded, for it is they who have made the main three parties to face up to their responsibility. The polls and the viewing figures will prove that they are bang on the money with giving the public what they want. A heavyweight contest that will rival the Frazier v Ali rumble!
Bring it on……