Beyond ‘No Platform’: BNP must now be beaten in face to face argument

‘No Platform’ is dead. We need to smell the coffee of political reality. And then celebrate the fact that the vast majority of the 8 million who saw Griffin on Thursday night saw an embarrassing / appalling car-crash performance by him. That needs to be continued and redoubled. The man and his ilk can be stuffed even more thoroughly than he/they were on Thursday night, in future debates, e.g. with us Greens. His endless lies need to be endlessly exposed to the cold light of truth.
What we must not do is turn Griffin into a victim and martyr. The most likely way one would do that is by saying that he has no right to speak at all, even when he was (I’m afraid) elected.

8 thoughts on “Beyond ‘No Platform’: BNP must now be beaten in face to face argument”

  1. One can feel marginalised etc. without voting BNP! people vote BNP because they are under-educated ignorant vicious racists.
    Middle-class people tilting their heads at them with professional smiles will not help the BNP bootprint (literally) on my brother’s face. Nor will it help the fear in the bellies of those for whom the issue isn’t around ‘speech’ but violence.
    There is NOTHING to celebrate about fascists being invited to the BBC on the day of the launch of the Poppy Appeal. Absolutely nothing.
    No platform for the fascist BNP!

  2. Unlike many people, I have extensive experience of talking with these people – potential BNP voters -, on the doorstep and the stump. I can tell you that many many BNP voters are not racists (although it is also true that plenty of voters for all Parties are racists to some degree). Over and over again they will say to you things like “If I vote BNP, that will annoy them [i.e. MPs etc]”, or “All I know is that I want to vote for someone who sticks up for the common man, and who isn’t a career politician”, etc etc. That is why, bizarrely, there are a reasonable number of Green-BNP waverers. It is perceived by some simply as a very powerful protest vote.

  3. If such people feel marginalised from the political system then why should they imagine that fascist violent thugs who seek to be part of that system will be any improvement? It is no secret that the BNP is a deeply racist organisation so why would a non-racist want to vote for it?. Living in an impoverished multi-racial area of Glasgow which has, in recent years, seen the arrival of a large number of East European Roma people, and having previously lived in the marginalised largely ‘white’ impoverished housing schemes I am well aware of the potential constituency of the BNP and am sad to be glad that they are the least likely to vote at all.
    If, in your work, you can prevent anyone from voting BNP, and encourage people to vote Green, then I wish you well.

  4. Unless someone has literally no exposure to information about what the BNP stand for, it is impossible for a ‘non-racist’ to vote BNP. They may not be hard-core bigots who go around beating up people from ethnic minorities but at the very least they are callously indifferent to the repercussions towards people of other races. I have heard a lot of decidedly middle class people wringing their hands about how the ‘white working classes’ or ‘people in council houses’ can’t be expected to know any better, but as someone who has actually lived in a council house, and for a time been one of the people they view as morally imbecilic sheep, I would never have considered voting for the BNP because they are so manifestly racist scum. If people want to make a protest vote there are numerous other non-mainstream parties who are equally unlikely to get in who are not fascists, or they could spoil their ballot papers. Unfortunately, racism still appeals to a certain percentage of people out there because society is still, to a shocking degree, racist.

  5. There is a point that is being missed here. There is a protest vote and then there is a PROTEST vote. If someone has really got the arse over being disenfranchised and ignored then they have to vote for someone who is going to send the mainstream politicians into squeaky bum mode. Frankly the Greens just do not fit this bill, but the BNP do!

    That’s why it’s important for the Greens to get out into those communities like Rupert advocates.

  6. Hi Katherine.
    You are simply mistaken. I was surprised by this, too; but when one actually talks to potential BNP voters one finds that some of them are not just closet racists (the “I’m not racist, but…” type), but not racists AT ALL. E.g. One man I spoke to in Thurrock told me of running into his local Labour MP; being furious with him (about MPs’ expenses etc); taunting him by saying that he would now vote BNP; and ending by saying to me, “I’m still not certain if I actually will vote BNP or not; because they are of course a bunch of nasty racist thugs.” You could have knocked me down with a feather.
    That old working-class man may have been an extreme case; but I have met lots of other voters somewhat like him, who are not racist, or at least are not any more racist than many many ordinary people in this country, and yet are at some level contemplating a BNP vote.

  7. Katherine, I absolutely agree with you!

    Rupert, how can Katherine and I be ‘mistaken’? That is dreadfully patronising. We live behind the doors you knock. We’re the ones who have lived in these areas and so have a much better informed view on it. Have you heard of standpoint theory? Why aren’t you listening? So you’ve spoken to a few folk who purport not to be racist. Not many people admit to being racist!

    And those who claim to be non-racist but vote BNP as a protest – shame on them.

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