“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for those we despise. We don’t believe in it at all”
Unless you’re not British, or have been living under a rock for the past few days, you can’t have escaped the impassioned debate that has been going on regarding the appearance of the leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin, on the BBC’s “Question Time” programme.
Just about anybody with an opinion on this has been wheeled out to express it.
So, why should i be any different?
As you can see by the quote that I opened this blog with, which is from Noam Chomsky by the way, i, somewhat reluctantly, believe that it was right for Nick Griffin to be asked to appear on the BBC's Question Time.
I’ll state straight away though, that I find the views of the BNP to be, at best, misinformed & misguided & at worst, to be basically Fascist in nature. I abhor their attempts to stir up ethnic tension & racial hatred in Britain. They certainly don’t do so in my name.
But, as the quote suggests, just because you don’t agree with the views of the BNP, or their methods, doesn’t mean that they should not be heard. After all, the reason that Nick Griffin was invited onto Question Time in the first place, is because he is a democratically elected member of the European Parliament.
Therefore, he is entitled to air his views in public & who are the BBC, or anyone else for that matter, to deny him that right?
One of the great things about living in a democracy is the right to freedom of speech. If that is stopped, where does it end? You cannot pick & choose who has the right to freedom of speech, however unpalatable that may feel. Especially if they are an elected politician.
The people who should be blamed for this, are the people who voted for Nick Griffin & his BNP party in those elections. I suspect that many of those votes were cast as some kind of protest vote against all the other political parties.
I wonder what those people are thinking now & whether they will be voting BNP next time around?
Remember, be careful who you vote for, they might just get in.
I’ll admit that i didn’t watch Question Time myself. But, having heard the news & read the quotes, it appears that Mr Griffin didn’t exactly shine on the programme. Which, to me at least, is a big relief.
One of the good reasons for inviting him, or any other politician, onto a programme like Question Time, is to try & force them to say what they really think, to put them on the spot & to expose their shortcomings.
I’ll end this post by mentioning one of Nick Griffin’s quotes, which was about the “indigenous” people of Britain. Presumably Nick Griffin is one of those people who feel that only “true” British people should be allowed to live in the UK?
I find this very amusing, as it reminds me of my recent blog post “You’re not from around here are you?” which talked about exactly that point.
I wonder if Mr Griffin would subject himself to a DNA test? So that we can all see exactly where his ancestors come from.
Now, that would be worth televising.