Rolling news and the BNP

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I’ve been watching the BBC’s news coverage. Since 5pm they have had one new story – Nick Griffin. This despite the fact that the Royal Mail strikes are ongoing, 6,000 Sri Lankans have been released from internment, another soldier has been killed in Afghanistan and Ethiopia has asked for food aid.

Why are the BBC so obsessed with, um, the BBC? In fairness to them, the UAF have been doing all they can to feed the media beast by protesting outside TV Centre, invading the building and helpfully coordinating parallel protests outside all the other BBC offices around the country.

Throughout the hour broadcast there was just one short two minute item which went into what Nick Griffin actually believed – pretty much everything else was talking heads and process. This isn’t news – it’s noise – and the only two memorable images to come out of it is a bunch of students being dragged around shouting something incoherent and silly about Nazis and a grinning, avuncular Nick Griffin entering the studios from the rear.

I think the BBC are right to have Griffin on Question Time. I’m a bit concerned at the format. In common with all political broadcasting in recent years it has become more soft focus, featuring celebrities and members of the commentariat to voice their often empty headed opinions. I am concerned that if the mix of questions is got wrong then Griffin will be let off the hook and allowed to express reasonable views on an assortment of fairly uncontroversial issues. I still think however that he is likely to get a harder time on the programme than I’ve seen any BBC interviewer give him – most notably Gavin Esler this afternoon.

But if every time he goes on a programme like this the UAF and the BBC decide to turn it into a day-long event then how he looks on the programme itself will be irrelevant. All people will remember is a big row which they can spin into their narrative about standing up to a wicked and venal establishment. Both organisations really need to consider their policies here and what exactly they are trying to achieve.

3 thoughts on “Rolling news and the BNP

  1. “This despite the fact that the Royal Mail strikes are ongoing”

    …isn’t “Royal Mail strikes” a bit of an old headline by now, though? It seemed to be on the headlines for a considerable time over the last few days. Agree with your other examples, though.

    “This isn’t news – it’s noise – and the only two memorable images to come out of it is a bunch of students being dragged around shouting something incoherent and silly about Nazis and a grinning, avuncular Nick Griffin entering the studios from the rear.”

    Exactly. UAF are shooting themselves in the foot. If they’re really in favour of “no platform”, why are they trying to boost the publicity of Griffin’s platform on QT?

    “[QT] … featuring celebrities and members of the commentariat to voice their often empty headed opinions.”

    In fairness to the BBC, however, if 40% of people don’t vote in general elections, then can they be blamed for having two panellists who aren’t from the mainstream political scene?

    ” I still think however that he is likely to get a harder time on the programme than I’ve seen any BBC interviewer give him – most notably Gavin Esler this afternoon.”

    Really? I haven’t seen the interview in question, but many people seemed to think that he rather went to pieces with Marr. I’m worried that QT is actually not as good a forum as interviews for deconstruction of argument, although I regard that as slightly tangential — as Mark Thompson (DG) says, it’s up to the politicians to decide whether to censor the BNP.

  2. it is not about pple being fed up of other partys, or not voting that the BNP has got 6$ of votes, its because quite frankly nick HAS A BACKBONE FOR ENGLAND, AND ITS ABOUT TIME SOMEONE DID! hes said what alot of english have said, but been afraid to go in puplic i.e t.v and say! yes were a multi-cultural nation, but why should the english become extinct because of it! 30% of england is mixed race, we face extinction all together of full english, and we live in england! whats wrong with everyone! its not about race, ITS ABOUT OUR ENGLISH CULTURE THAT IS THREATENED, WAKE UP!!!

  3. Nick doesn’t care about English culture — if he did, he’d be welcoming mixed-race marriages and integration. Instead, he’s got some ridiculous notion of an “English enthnical purity”, which has never existed and never will. Nick likes segregation, he wants to see the English become a threatened culture by shutting ourselves off to everything outside.

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