Let's keep Griffin and the BNP where we can watch them

Well, well, well. Didn't Nick Griffin do well on Question Time last night? Of course, when I say "do well," I mean he did well for us rather than for him and his disgraceful little band of bigots - he revealed himself as the poisonous idiot that he is.

BNP leader Nick Griffin, probably not listening to the latest Wu Tang Clan album.

For those who didn't see it (like, where were you?! See it right after reading this by clicking the Question Time link in the paragraph above), a large part of the show went something like this: David Dimbleby: "Mr. Griffin, how do you explain your comments concerning X, in which you stated that X is evil/unBritish/etc.?" Griffin: "Oh no, no, no. I never said that. The newspapers and the BBC said I did, bit I didn't." Dimbleby: "But Mr. Griffin - it's on video. There is a record proving you said it." Griffin: "Er...oh yeah. I did say it. [ridiculous smirk, possibly intended to look charmingly boyish but actually looking more like the exagerrated facial expressions of a man who realises he's being made to look like a fool]."

Time and time again, Griffin vomited up the revolting rhetoric we expect of him and his ilk, and time and time again the main party guests used the most effective weapon that those of us who oppose the BNP's policies have - they simply replied with cold, hard, logical common sense and facts. It works like a charm - nothing the BNP say can survive this sort of attack. Every single one of their arguments withers and dies if there's even the merest whiff of intelligent, empirical reasoning in the air.

Acid Rabbi was pleased that the BBC allowed Griffin a platform last night, despite the widespread attempts to stop them so doing. Not because of the right to free speech; which, it seems to me, should apply only to those who support such a right (Griffin, like all fascists, does not - he would prefer to silence those with viewpoints different to his own, and in doing so forfeits his right to that freedom), but because we need to keep these people out in the open where we can keep an eye on them. Did the National Front conveniently vanish in the 1980s after the Anti-Nazi League and other groups responded in physical terms? Unfortunately not - they just retreated underground where they festered for a few years and - once they'd had time to recover up they popped like the weeds that take over your lawn every summer. Many of them had decided to change their name, adopting that of 1960s far-right movement the British National Party and remain with that title to this day but they were the same old racist, homophobic, anti-semitic and, despite their own claims, anti-British Nazis that they always had been. Keep them where we can see them - and, what's more, it's much easier to attack someone when they're where Mr. Griffin was last night - a person on a podium is a very easy target.

There were some worries that the show's audience would be taken over by BNP supporters, but this did not happen - rather surprisingly, because Griffin likes to have a few big men backing him up at all times. There were one or two, of course, but all in all it represented British society rather well. OK, a million people voted BNP in the last elections and that's a million too many. But there are 49,138,831 people in England alone. 11,132,847 of those are children. So assume there are around 38,005,984 adults able to vote - whether they do or not is a different matter - and we can see that far from being currently on the crest of a wave of popular support, only around 1 in every 40 people voted BNP (many of these people are probably not even racists - some will have voted BNP as a protest vote against the main parties and some may have fallen for the BNP's lies when it claims to be a democratic party that represents the nation's best interests). There is, after all, a big difference between voting BNP and being a member of the BNP - far more than is the case with the other parties (they have a total of members. If the BNP really spoke for the country's best interests, surely 11,560more than 0.02% of the population would scrape up the £30 a year it costs to join?). The audience at the very least approximately reflected this, and it shows that Griffin's attempts today to write off Question Time as no more than a "Let's all bash Nick Griffin" event is rubbish. It was not a carefully-planned exercise aimed at discrediting him - simply yet more evidence that if you take a random cross section of British society, the majority will have passionately anti-racist views.

The BNP have around 50 councillors at the moment, but it's interesting that those areas which elect BNP representatives very rarely do so twice. Perhaps it only takes a bit of apathy, one election with a low turn-out, for the BNP to get in - but once they are, the local electorate get rid of them again as soon as they have the chance. Maybe sometimes a sufficient number of people get fed up with the main parties' failings that they decide to vote BNP - but again, once they've had some experience of what life is like when the BNP get any power, they soon turf the fascists out again. This is reflected in the party's membership lists, which were once again laid bare for all to inspect this week following the appearance of a leaked one online (that's right - another one): of the twenty constituencies with BNP members, only four recorded an increase in member figure between the end of 2007 and April 2009 . With these facts in mind, it seems obvious that the BNP have very little real support, far less than Mr. Griffin tries to convince both himself and the world in general, and the only chance they ever have of getting into power is when people who are not BNP supporters vote for them. I'll bet a fiver that both Griffin himself and Andrew Brons lose their European Parliament seats in the 2014 EU election.

Let's keep Mr. Griffin right where we can see him so we all know what he really stands for. That way, his nasty gang of racist thugs will have to rely on the very limited numbers of true supporters they have. They won't get the message that they're not wanted and go away, unfortunately, but we will at least know that here in Britain, with its liberal, tolerant, multi-cultural, welcoming and above all decent society, they will never get the power they crave.

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