Question Time with Griffin – a wasted opportunity

montypythonhg0450

After all the hype, last night’s Question Time proved to be rather underwhelming.

The panel of Jack Straw (Labour Justice Secretary), Baroness Warsi (Tory shadow communities minister), Chris Huhne (Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman), Bonnie Greer (playwright and critic) and Nick Griffin (BNP leader and MEP) immediately split into the factions of Griffin versus the rest and went rapidly downhill from then on.

It soon resembled nothing more than ‘An Audience with Nick Griffin’ and concentrated almost exclusively on the BNP policies regarding race and immigration.

Straw seemed to doze off at times and he reminded me of the incontinent old gimmer who sits in the corner at parties and wakes up every so often to moan about the music being too loud before shitting himself and nodding off again.

Huhne was blandness personified – nothing he said really registered with me.

Baroness Warsi performed reasonably well and gave Griffin a few tough moments but never really got going and when she did, Dimbleby reined her in and moved on to the next question rather abruptly.

Bonnie Greer came out with some amusing stuff but seemed more concerned with making herself look clever than with making Griffin look a fool. Even then her historical banter with Griffin showed that neither of them had much grasp of history.

In short, the panel lacked intellect and gravitas.

The debate never widened and we never got a chance to hear how Griffin’s party would sort out the economy, improve policing and the justice system or tackle Afghanistan.

So, how would I have handled this edition of QT?

The panel would have been stronger: Redwood or Hague for the Tories, Cruddas or Field for Labour, Ming Campbell for the LibDems and Shami Chakrabarti as the non-politico (although that’s open to debate!)

The questions would have been far more wide-ranging so that the emotionally-chargedĀ  matters of race and immigration were far less dominant and the audience should have been less partisan.

That way, there would have been more of a level playing field but Griffin would have had to prove himself as an ‘all rounder’, which so far he seems not to be.

As it was, Griffin emerged as a one issue politician who was fortunate to have only been asked questions on his ‘specialist subject’. I doubt whether his performance boosted his popularity to any significant extent and he had one or two sticky moments when he looked like a blustering idiot, but he could have emerged from the programme far worse than he did.

In short, a wasted opportunity and the only winners were really the BBC, who managed to attract 8.2 million viewers.

Nick Griffin on the Jeremy Kyle Show!

train-wreck1

Well, it’s a big fucking day here on Planet Hype.

People all over the world are peeling back the shrinkwrap from their eagerly-awaited copies of Windows 7 and those who queued up last night to get their hands on their copy at mdnight are probably jacking off to porn as we speak and marveling at how fast the pages are loading or something equally mindless.

Microsoft are encouraging people to have ‘Windows 7 Launch Parties‘ FFS.

The only logical outcome of celebrating such an underwhelming event must eventually be ‘Congratulations on a successful morning dump’ telegrams from the Queen. (I’d get one every fucking day!)

It’s another Microsoft operating system – not some sort of Second Coming – and merely makes Vista less of a fucking pain in the arse than it was.

So, just get the fuck over it.

However, if Twitter is anything to go by, the Windows 7 launch pales into insignificance compared to BNP leader Nick Griffin’s appearance on tonight’s ‘Question Time’ on BBC1.

As I write this, UAF supporters massing outside BBC Television Centre have breached security, been ejected and now Griffin is in the building ready for an early recording of the program.

My own view is that Griffin should be allowed to speak so that he isn’t denied his rights and, hopefully, so that he will be revealed on national TV for the obnoxious turd smoker that he is. The UAF – those self-appointed guardians of free speech for everyone but fascists – would seek to deny the British public that possibility. Go figure…

What interests me more, however, is how much of the hype that’s been built up over Griffin’s TV appearance is all about ‘trainwreck television‘.

Whatever happens tonight – Griffin makes a total arse of himself, someone else makes a total arse out of him, the audience get stroppy, fistfights break out between covert BNP and UAF members, someone has a ‘grassy knoll’ moment, etc, etc – I’m sure that it isn’t going to make boring viewing, but, then again, neither would a nun being torn apart by rabid stoats.

And isn’t that what it’s developing into?

Another chance for the great British Public to see something shitty happen to someone else from the comfort of their living room sofa?

People are planning – again, if Twitter is to be believed – Question Time parties and there’s even a Nick Griffin drinking game that I’m sure is going to be de rigeur in certain circles tonight.

I’m not against fun – and, let’s face it, Nu Labour have taken a lot of that particular commodity out of our lives because it’s very, very bad for us – but are we really so hard up for entertainment that what could be a worthwhile debate is transformed into the Jeremy Kyle Show for the tweeting iPhone owner?

The BNP – I fucking told you so, Boris you cunt!

The BNP’s part-time publicist yes, that’s as dynamic as the cunt gets…

So, Nick Griffin has pulled out of the Buck House garden party after the recent fuss over his possible attendance.

I said here that the best course of action was to just shut the fuck up about it and let him attend as a guest of an invited BNP GLA member and then his despicable party would be able to make almost zero political capital out of it – if any.

But no.

Boris Johnson, notably, and other people with a lack of common sense which allowed their frothing moral outrage to cloud their judgement wanted Griffin banning.

Here’s what Griffin said about his decision not to attend:

We believe it is still outrageous that a democratically elected member of the London Assembly can’t invite who he likes as a guest to the party at the Palace.

Nevertheless, because we have no wish to embarrass the Queen and allow the liberal left to do more damage to our institutions, I’ve withdrawn from the idea of going myself.

So, he emerges sounding quite reasonable and also concerned for our dear Queen.

Not that he is either of those things.

More importantly, he’s made political capital out of a situation in which he’d have been lucky to make any at all.

So, fuck you very much, Boris and the rest of the brainless moral frothers.

You’ve done it again – made a shitty situation even worse.

Why the BNP should go to the party

Griffin – he likes a pie…

Even though the BNP is an odious organisation, its leadership is composed largely of convicted criminals and its supporters are – and I’m being kind here – morons, its GLA member, Richard Barnbrook, should be allowed to take the BNP’s leader, Nick Griffin, to the Buck House garden party as his chosen guest.

To oppose this is short-sighted and counter-productive, leaving aside all considerations of free speech.

As I understand it, the invitation to Barnbrook was as a result of his elected membership of the London Assembly, and it should have been no real surprise to anyone that he sought to make what largely imagined political capital he could out of it by inviting Griffin as his guest.

It seems now, however, that Barnbrook will have to invite ‘a more acceptable guest’.

However, consider for a moment what might happen if Griffin did go to Brenda’s bash.

He’d attend, the BNP would then report that their leader went to tea with the Queen and…er, that’s it.

It’s not as if the Queen issues the invitations herself and specifically asked for a couple of BNP chaps to pop along for tea and a cucumber sandwich.

It’s not a photo opportunity where Griffin could be snapped clutching a can of Stella with his arm around Liz’s shoulder looking all matey.

There’s no way, I’m sure, that Griffin and Barnbrook could exercise any control over events there and do something drastic like make a speech calling for racial purity.

In short, if the pair did anything that caused any concern, disturbance or the teensiest-weensiest embarrassment then they’d be pounced on by security quicker than Prezza leaping on a cream cake and ejected pretty fucking smartish.

The alternative – and it looks very much as if it’s the reality of the situation now – is to exclude Griffin and thus allow the BNP to rant, piss and moan about discrimination, bias, exclusion and prejudice…the very things we more enlightened people (rightly) accuse them of.

It’s playing into their hands and it’s very similar to what happened when Jacqui Smith banned Michael Savage from entering the UK. If she’d have shut the fuck up about him then the vast majority of the UK population would have got on with life perfectly well whilst remaining ignorant of his very existence.

It was a prime example of how to make a situation that was never really bad to start with as shitty as possible and achieve the opposite to what you intended.

Similarly with this BNP invitation fiasco.

Let the two twats attend, then let the BNP report that their glorious leader went to a Buckingham Palace tea party, and then forget about it.

There was never any implied support for the BNP from anyone drawing up a guest list or issuing invitations and it would be very hard for even the BNP to twist events to infer that there was.

Instead, what we have is a lot of frothing from people too fucking stupid to see any further than their own sense of outrage like good old Boris Johnson who is anxious to avoid:

potential embarrassment to Her Majesty

All such statements do is draw attention to the BNP and provide it with ammunition to further its aims.

Another own goal, I’m afraid.