So, as you all saw, I unfortunately didn't get to ask a question. I kept my hand up pretty much throughout, but it was so busy (although if you really
want to know what I look like, when the Indian man who once ran for an MP is asking his question, I'm the guy in the black and grey top sitting behind him and blinking!).
As for any back stage gossip, the only things that they cut was when Nick Griffin was denying he denied the Holocaust, Jack Straw held up a copy of a BNP Newsletter where the headline quoted Griffin calling the Holocaust an "Allied Hoax". They also cut down Griffin's explanation of "Britishness" being an "identity" not a "race" (probably because he was being heckled so much). Indeed, a lot of the audience reaction was cut out from both sides (ie people chiding Nick Griffin, but also the BNP supporters criticising the other panelists). Another thing that really didn't pick up well on the camera was the palpable tension in the studio - it was not a plesant atmosphere, as you can well imagine and there was a lot more audience chiding than was picked up by the studio microphones (I do find it interesting, though, that most of the jibes that were edited out were from the BNP side). Also, the black woman who corrected Jack Straw for saying "Afro-Caribean" instead of "African-Caribean" got an apology from Jack Straw after filming, and he came up to shake her hand, and she gave him a hug. Someone in the audience then challeneged Nick to give her a hug, she offered him a hug and he "politely declined".
The audience was sat at random and (lucky me) I got placed next to a BNP activist. He was perfectly pleasant to me when the lights were on, but as soon as filming started it got very
weird. He was constantly fidgeting and shuffling through his jacket, and switching items from pocket to pocket. He also had a list where he kept writing down the seat numbers and descriptions of people that asked questions, and people who heckled when Nick Griffin spoke. Lord alone knows what that was about. He also kept whispering "n!gger" and "[email protected]
" to himself when Bonnie and Baronness Warsi spoke.
Another thing that I noticed was that a couple of times, Nick would look into the audience and nod at people, and shortly after, another round of BNP heckling would start. Now, I'm not going to say that I think the BNP were orchastrating themselves as I don't want to get this forum in trouble, but.......
As for the panel themselves:
Nick Griffin has a very nasty aura about him. As soon as he walked in, you could just feel this energy radiating from him. I'm not normally one to say I believe in "auras" or anything like that, but he really did radiate this energy and hatred from the second he walked into the room. A thoroughly unpleasant man.
The rest of the panel, I found to actually be quite weak. The only member of the board who actually took Nick Griffin on was Bonnie Greer. She highlighted the fallacy of his arguements and ideologies and, rather than shout and lecture him, she was sublte, witty and almost bantered with him on a lot of issues. The politicians on the panel - particularly Jack Straw - I feel really used the panel as an opportunity to almost have a Party Political Broadcast, and rather than actually tackling what Nick Griffin stood for. Without meaning to sound too mellodramatic, it was just a panel of hate.
I also think that the itinerary of the show played perfectlu into the BNP's hands - the issues covered were Race, Immigration, Homosexuality and then the last question as to whether the QT performance would be a benefit to the BNP. It was all issues that were proper bread and butter BNP issues. He is used to defending his position on race. He is used to defending his homophobic attitudes. He should
have been asked about things like The Postal Strike and other events hitting the news. That is when he would have been exposed as being a racist and a one-policy party and that is how you undermine the BNP. I was particulatrly disappointed as David Dimblbee promised us in the Green Room it would not be "The Nick Griffin Show" and yet the producers seemed to have picked a really narrow line of questions.
Either way, though, the BNP were going to "win" the day. If Nick Griffin was given free reign to speak, he would have got his point across and out there. If he was constantly shouted down, as it has transpired, then he now gets to play the martyr and is now going to get a lot of publicity from this.
Posted: 2009-10-24 01:10:02