People are getting themselves worked up into a terrible lather over the BNP’s appearance on BBC Question Time next week. Even in this neck of the woods, Melanie Phillips has criticized the Conservative Party for having selected Baroness Warsi to sit alongside fat Nick on the panel. Her argument, briefly put, is that it would have been better to put up a white working class Tory who has something in common with those people likely to vote BNP, rather than the representative of a community which will probably not do so. Well, sure, up to a point. But it is odd to see Mel captured by this liberal chattering class terror, which has succeeded in building up Nick Griffin’s appearance next week into one of the television events of the year – when it should be no such thing. The paroxysms over the initial BBC decision, the Labour Party’s desperate wrestling with its conscience over whether it should appear at all, the inordinate care taken in choosing over who should go up against Griffin within each party – hell, the man is being built up into a political colossus, an amalgam of De Toqueville and the Anti-Christ, when actually he is simply an affable but not terribly bright chap who is very easily thrown by the manifest illogicality of his party’s policy on race (and indeed on several other issues). The very same establishment consensus which allowed the BNP to portray itself, successfully (and one might add accurately) as anti-establishment and perpetually victimized is working its magic again.
As for me, I’m just glad that there will be insufficient room on next week’s panel for one of those smug, boring, left wing comedians or some air-headed bint from daytime tv. The BNP has a right to representation, and it is by representation, casually given, that it will lose its allure. There is no need to panic, there is no need to fret.