Socialist Worker

Michael Rosen: ‘Question Time has opened the door for the BNP’

by Michael Rosen
Issue No. 2175

The BBC gave Nick Griffin a ring to box in on Question Time. The key moment on the show was the immigration debate when his politics went unchallenged.

They made him look like some kind of militant—the guy who will really sort out the problem, unlike the lily-livered politicians who say they are going to deal with it but don’t.

On the other hand, Griffin was weakest when the other panel members could appear to be more “moral” than him.

They rushed to prove their non-racist credentials and he looked weak. Crude racism doesn’t look good.

This will tell Griffin that all he needs to do is make his public racism a little less brazen—and his anti-immigration line a good deal tougher. In other words, he’ll alter the means, but not the ends—a fascist Britain.

So the BBC has given him the opportunity to tweak his message.

Thanks to the craven, lying and contradictory line coming from the main parties, Griffin will be able to use “immigration” as his respectable cover word.

In fact, fascist regimes aren’t against immigration. Their attitude to other peoples is a matter of enslaving or murdering them.

The Nazis weren’t anti-immigration—they imported hundreds of thousands of slave labourers.

There’s no reason to think that Griffin’s outfit would be any different. What the BNP really hates is equality for all peoples.

They want their dustbins emptied by people with no rights. If that meant enslaving immigrants, it wouldn’t bother them for a moment.

One other consequence of Question Time is that it has opened the door to all the other news outlets to rush after Griffin and put him on their shows.

Earlier, they seemed to be reticent about doing that. But now the BBC, as a leading broadcaster, has given everyone else the green light.

They’ll be saying to themselves, “The BBC has broadcast Griffin, so why shouldn’t we?”

This will have the effect of making Nazi Nick look normal, as if he is just another politician talking about immigration.

Once again, they are missing the point. Griffin’s method is to disguise his true intent. The BBC, the other news outlets and the politicians’ craven policies on immigration will enable him to do that.

We will have to fight hard for the position that migration is how people defend themselves against hardship and persecution.

It is a fundamental human right—even more so when big business can move vast industries and colossal sums of money around the world.

This may be easier to argue for than it sounds. Many of the families or communities where anti-immigration ideas are gaining ground are also areas where people are emigrating or working abroad.

We have to argue that if it’s OK for them to emigrate, it’s OK for others to immigrate.

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