Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Unite Against Free Speech.

I've just been watching on Newsnight a truly unimpressive spokesman for 'Unite Against Fascism' defend their attack on BNP leader Nick Griffin today. It should be fairly clear that the "No Platform" policy has failed to stop the BNP, it should also be clear that screaming 'fascist' or 'racist' at them isn't sufficient to stop them (partly because similar accusations have been made against people who clearly aren't either of those things).

Most people are not racist or sympathetic towards fascism, but most people also have a sense of fair play, and when they see a party being forcibly silenced by thugs or being subjected to dubious legal proceedings they will recoil.

The BNP should be interviewed by professional media outlets and asked questions and be given an opportunity to reply. What is more likely to harm them- being attacked by a group of badly dressed cliche spouting halfwits like UAF or asking Mr Brons (the BNP's newly elected Yorkshire MEP) questions about his former membership of the overtly pro-Nazi* "National Socialist Movement"?

The 'No Platform' policy was always the sort of immature policy that could only ever have been supported by former student politicians with no concept of free speech.

* Nick Griffin claims that the BNP want to deport people who are "not loyal to Britain" so presumably by sending Mr Brons to Brussels he is keeping his promises.


Dan said...

I watched Adam Boulton give Nick Griffin a real grilling on Sky News on election day - lots of raised eyebrows, sarcastic tone, irritated iterruptions, confrontational questioning... none of which I object to, because I don't like the BNP.
But he never treats any other politician in this way, and it can only serve to make waverers sympathetic to Griffin on the 'fair play' rule.

Ross said...

Interviewers probably figure that if they interview them in a calm and reasoned manner they will get condemned as apologists for the BNP.