Friday, 23 October 2009

But No Progress?

The consensus seems to be that the BNP leader was roundly whipped last night on Question Time. The other panellists and the audience treated him and his views with the contempt he deserves, and he left humiliated. The Spectator certainly thinks so, although Leg-Iron is not so sure.

I'm not sure that was the best way to handle it.

Let's think about this for a moment. Griffin represents a disaffected group who feel left behind by 12 years of inclusiveness. They feel that taxpayers' money has been lavished on non-white groups, that established British practices have been abandoned in favour of a multi-cultural approach. They see "inclusiveness" as including "anyone but them", and "multicultural" as "any culture except British". In short, they feel shunned by the UK political mainstream.

What they seem to have watched last night is the UK political mainstream shunning Nick Griffin. Is that likely to persuade them to abandon him?

I don't think so.

Update: Here we go; Griffin is pleading for the sympathy vote, and the Spectator now seems to agree with me.


  1. I didn't watch it, and I obviously loathe his racism and I dare say a lot more that he stands for. But I think you may be right. From what I can read of the programme, there was a political error of victimising him (or giving him grounds to play the victim). Those who already feel shunned in the same way as Griffin does will have their feelings confirmed. Others who might have been sympathetic before may now be more convinced.

    I think Hitler came to real national prominence on account of his trial and imprisonment after the Munich Putsch. I'm not suggesting Griffin is as serious as Hitler, but it is a salutary warning about why it is probably not a good idea publically to victimise someone who already wants his supporters to feel victimised.

    There's a failure here to learn from René Girard about the effect and nature of disgust at public scapegoating in a culture which has been reshaped by the crucifixion.

    He's a Downing man I see.

  2. a Downing man

    Only in the sense of having studied there... >:-|

  3. Is there another kind of Downing man?

  4. Yes, the sort that studied there and with which other Downing alumni* might wish to be associated.

    *tut, tut, Albert. Downing also accepts meritorious ladies, so I shall have to send round the PC police. Expect them at 6am tomorrow morning ;-)

  5. Well I'll just send them straight back to you then: 'alumni' looks suspiciously like a second declension masculine noun to me.

  6. Oh Albert, collective uses take the masculine by convention ... so whilst I would have said "alumnae" for dear Newnham and New Hall, I would not have referred to those alumnae as "men".

    Well, ok, some of the more butch New Hallians might have confused me, but not (I hope) for long...

  7. As you currently worship in the CofE you should be aware of how deeply wicked it is to include women under any collective masculine noun. It is no defence to appeal to convention as the convention itself is simply a patriarchal plot to subjugate women.

    But you're right, some of those New Hall women are very butch indeed - especially those in the College rugby team. Glad you haven't been confused for all these years. ;-)

  8. Well, if you insist, I will henceforth seek to redress the balance by referring to you in the feminine.

    New Hall was a scary place to enter if one had testicles. Not helped by the fact that almost all of those who left, left not so equipped.

  9. New Hall was a scary place to enter if one had testicles. Not helped by the fact that almost all of those who left, left not so equipped.

    In case, perhaps it's you who should be referred to in the feminine.

  10. Note: "almost". I escaped, showing no tendency to don long black dresses.

  11. Coming back to the post, the latest from the BBC is that post Question Time 22% of voters would consider voting BNP.

    Having now watched the programme I can see perhaps how that happened. In the name of democracy and free-speech he was invited onto the programme, but then he was misrepresented and shouted down. I.e. his democratic right to speak was acknowledged but then denied him. Then the politicians couldn't agree amongst themselves about immigration - a spat which played into his hands.

    It was so foolish because when he was allowed to speak and received one at a time questioning, he looked ignorant, confused and dishonest (he's a Downing man I gather).

  12. You're reading too much into it. Some of the lads I drink and go fishing with voted for them. They don't watch QT, they don't even watch the news. They read 'Nuts' and buy the Sun or the Star, turning straight to the football pages.

    They never talk about politics and tell you stop talking about politics if you so much as hint at mentioning the subject. They wouldn't be able to tell you who the Chancellor of the Exchequor or Governor of the Bank of England are. If you showed them a photo of George Osborne and asked them who it was they'd shrug their shoulders.

  13. Perhaps you're right up to a point Stephen. Perhaps the effect is simply that Griffin got some publicity, and if people are already sympathetic then in our celebrity culture publicity is the key.

    As a matter of interest, why did some of the lads vote for him? Did they say?

  14. The local activist convinced them basically. They all know him (and have done since school), have a natural dislike of politicans, and agree with the BNP stance on immigration - i.e. they don't want any.

    It's pointless mainstream parties competeing with the BNP on immigration, no one else can promise to go as far as them. These are all votes which labour has lost for the time being, and will probably swing back to labour in a few years time, as the politican cycle turns again and more people start to dislike the tories.

  15. So, as we feared, it is essentially an anti-politics thing.

    Interesting - particularly as the activist's approach is based on the best form of political activity known to spinners!

  16. The activist is as thick as two short planks, sucked into a bizarre conspiracy world.