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Friday, October 23, 2009

A Colourless Performance

So it's over and the free world is safe. Yes, Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time has passed without major incident and we've all managed to avoid catching Fascism.

Like a fat John Barrowman after a stroke

It was an interesting set-up; three heavyweight politicians on one side, then Nasty Nick and Bonnie Greer on the other. Personally, I thought the Beeb and DD handled it as well as they could have done. Yes, the vast majority of the programme was about the BNP - but it would have been a nonsense for it not to have been, particularly bearing in mind the publicity of the last week or so.

I was nervous beforehand; I was concerned that Nick Griffin's tub-thumping, martyr-like rhetoric, coupled with a witchhunt from the audience and the panel, would play right into the BNP's hands as the anti-establishment hero of the disaffected and disillusioned.

Instead, I think that Griffin was given the opportunity to voice his views, but that he was given a sound hiding, not just by the panelists, but by the audience too. In fact, I don't think that Griffin did that well at all. He came across as shifty, unpleasant and rather lightweight.

There will be plenty of comment made in today's papers about the debate; Hardcore BNP followers will say he was ambushed, 5 against 1. Most people will say he didn't come across very well at all. He made the odd point, but that was not a performance to 'propel the BNP into the big time'.

However, I thought the most interesting point of all came in the treatment of Griffin from the panelists; the three politicians (Jack Straw, Baroness Warsi & Chris Huhne) were aggressive in their attacks. They were all strongly worded and hard-hitting to greater and lesser effect. But I thought Bonnie Greer had the best approach to Griffin - using humour to make the point of how irrelevant and wrong his party is. And of all the panelists, I felt that he was most uncomfortable with this approach. Fake grins and laughter were all he could manage.

Because that's it, really - Nick Griffin is like a 5-year old child with ADHD - he demands attention, good or bad. To be attacked on all sides by these political heavyweights means that he is being taken seriously by the three major parties - and that falls right into his lap as the anti-politician, voice of the silent majority that he so likes to play; however, to be mocked and ridiculed means that he isn't being taken seriously. Bonnie Greer ran rings round him tonight, and he came across as a naughty schoolboy.

So that's how we should all play it - the more we keep going on about the BNP being a serious threat, the more likely it is going to be. Personally, I agree with Bonnie Greer - no matter what the BNP might think, the British people have far too much common sense. Now, Griffin, get back on the naughty step where you belong.


tafkass said...

I was surprised that Griffin was so shit, to be honest. Hardly a firebrand orator; he didn't even seem to know what he believed himself. For someone who has repeatedly bleated about being ignored or marginalised by the mainstream media, he seemed very happy to avoid attention, especially after making an arse of himself in the first 20 mins or so. And he's REALLY physically repulsive.

The programme was a success; I thought it was a good, fair forum in which to discuss the BNP and its views. Baroness Torygirl came across much better than Jack Straw. I'm a lot less worried about the BNP than I was, and I'm more convinced than ever that "No Platform" only applies in relation to defunct railway stations or glam rockers looking for a change of musical direction...

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

Well said, J.

Only got to see the last half. But, on that basis, I agree with what you say about Bonnie Greer. Though it's quite fun to see NG get hit by an egg or two, it doesn't seem very helpful to fire hatred back at the chap.

Rather than point an angry finger, I'm more interested in seeing him unravel himself - wasn't it Socrates (or some other Brazilian footballer!) that used to win arguments this way? Seems much more powerful and a much more effective strategy overall.

Funny, today's Evening Standard said BG was one of the least effective on the panel. Don't agree.

Going to watch the first right now online. Sounds like that's where the fun was!