Question Time is a chance for our politicians, not for Griffin, to gain legitimacy

It’s right to get Nick Griffin on the BBC, but are politicians the people to take him on? BNP leader Nick Griffin has been given the biggest moment of his political life – he has a platform to talk to millions. The obstacle facing him is the opposition of MPs from the major political parties.

But this is a time when the profession is almost totally devalued, a time when Tom Harris MP joked to John Pienaar last week that their popularity is on parr with “Gary Glitter’s tour guide”. It’s not much better for the Lords following scandal after scandal for the upper house too.

I’ve thought for some time that Nick Griffin must be taken on publicly. His fallacies are easily exposed, although I think many of his supporters are not swayed by argument but by crude posturing. The BNP switch positions on almost all their beliefs and policies – they used to support fundamental Islamism, for example. And, as I’ve said before, in the European elections they had the best political conditions they could have hoped for – and still gained fewer votes in the seats they won then in 2004. If that’s the best they can do with the expenses scandal in full flow and the economy tanking, there’s no chance of them becoming a serious force in British politics. But they have won power, and need to be taken on. Are politicians really the people to do so?

Hopefully, they are. This is a chance not just for Nick Griffin. Our representatives can show that they are in Parliament for more than the expenses. They are there because of their principles, their policies, and their ability to present their case. The parties have chosen their champions, this is their moment: I hope they, not Griffin, take it.

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