I thought I’d write a follow-up post regarding Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time. You know, strike while the iron’s hot. Of course, the best time to have done that would have been yesterday, but I didn’t get time. So now the iron isn’t so hot, but it’s still very warm. It’s on the two setting: not hot enough to iron cotton shirts, but still too high a setting for your delicates. You definitely wouldn’t go near silk with this heat, but it would be hopeless on, say, linen. I think you get my drift.
Anyway. I’m happy to report that my hastily compiled predictions were mostly correct. Griffin was hopeless. I thought he would be bad, but not as bad as this. I’d read pieces saying that he’s an educated man (he is – gasp! – a Cambridge graduate), a skilled orator and debater. Well, there was little evidence of that on Thursday: he made a complete hash of his big moment in the spotlight, looking like someone who wasn’t even able to convince himself of his own arguments, let alone anyone else.
When the leader of a nationalist, right wing organisation like the BNP is embarrassed about the very words coming out of his own mouth it underlines the fact that there is very little to fear from these people. He was most excruciating when defending his past comments on the Holocaust (“I can’t tell you why I said those things I said”) or when confronted on his meeting with David Duke, the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, in 2000 (Duke is the leader of “a” KKK, not “the” KKK apparently, and additionally, they are “almost entirely non-violent”. That’s right, just the odd lynching here, a burning cross there, tarring and feathering limited to public holidays, etc).
At times it was just painful to watch – like some sort of bloodsport. At other times I almost felt sorry for the man. But then I remembered that he’s a hate-mongering racist twat and the emotion passed. It was excruciating though: his nervous body language, his constant smile/grimace whenever he answered a question. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to make himself look friendly or if he was suffering from acid-reflux. Either way it was just sinister.
The BNP are claiming a bumper rise in new membership applications, but when this is defined as 3,000 people that’s really not a worrying statistic. The general populace could never support a party like this on a grand scale – their appeal is limited to the pathologically racist and a minority of white working class who believe their pernicious lies about immigration. Once the economy starts to turn around and unemployment drops the BNP will once more be consigned to the very fringes of society – their natural home.