Socialist Worker

Newsnight’s failure shows why Nazis shouldn’t have a platform

Issue No. 2262

The EDL now acts like a classic fascist organisation. Despite this, the BBC flagship programme Newsnight invited its leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, onto the show on Monday.

The racist aired his poisonous ideas about Muslims, immigration and why he thinks Islam is the biggest problem facing Britain.

Liberals say that people like him should have a platform—that they will beat them in rational arguments.

But he ran rings around Jeremy Paxman—supposedly the toughest questioner on British TV.

Yaxley-Lennon does not seek to rationally convince other people of his ideas. Fascists lie and bully their way through interviews and debates. Discussions with them can never be “rational”.

And Paxman failed to pursue him on his links with other Nazis and his violent political agenda.

Yaxley-Lennon, and people like him, use media appearances to give strength to their supporters.

This makes people who agree with them feel more confident—to attack people in the street, to terrorise communities and brazenly display their disgusting politics.

This is why socialists say that fascists should not be given a platform and refuse to appear with them. These people are dangerous—and can only be combated by mass movements that confront them and force them from the streets.

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What We Think
Tue 26 Jul 2011, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2262
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