Apparently we only have another week to wait before the unedifying spectacle of Nick Griffin MEP, the BNP leader, appearing on BBC’s Question Time. Provocatively the BBC has asked Bonnie Greer to appear against him.
For years I have supported the Liberal Democrats policy, and that of other parties, of not sharing a platform with them. Having seen the BNP, at first hand, in Oldham, they are the worst sort of fascists and are not a political party that should ever be given any quarter at all.
So, the Question Time debate next week gives us a problem. Having refused to share a platform for so long it seems contrary to all my instincts that we should meet them in debate, but unfortunately the time has come to take them head on.
What has changed the balance of the decision is the reality that the BNP is now electing people to parliaments, in Nick Griffin’s case the European Parliament.
This turn of events means that the BNP is moving into the mainstream of voting intentions for people and we must hold up a mirror to these kinds of thugs and show them up for what they are. This is not a view that I have come to easily, but with them now having elected representatives I feel we have join them in verbal battle.
The question is whom do we put up as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson? Labour is putting up Jack Straw and apparently the Lib Dems will be fielding Chris Huhne. However, I think I would chose one of Paddy Ashdown, Shirley Williams or possibly the rising star – Tim Farron MP, his brand of firebrand rhetoric might well be a good foil for Nick Griffin’s honeyed words.