£143,000 bill to protect BNP Nick Griffin’s appearance on ‘Question Time’

The protests against the BNP's Nick Griffin appearing on BBC's Question Time cost the taxpayer £143,000 - who should pay?

Whether or not you agree with the decision to put Nick Griffin on the BBC’s Question Time it has been revealed today that the bill for ensuring the integrity of BBC TV Centre was £143,000.

The cost, according to the Evening Standard today, is for the drafting in of ‘thousands of extra officers at a cost of £109,000 and another £13,000 in overtime, and spent £21,000 on road closures, erecting barriers¬ and using a helicopter.’

The problem is that surely this is the cost of democracy? If people, however wrongly, vote for a party, they have the democratic right to be given coverage in the media.

The question is whether the implicit cost to the taxpayer, of £143,000, is acceptable. Perhaps Mr Griffin will realise that the cost of his appearances will, over time, drive up the cost of the TV licence fee if he keeps appearing on events like Question Time, so for the good of his country he should consider abstaining from such expensive coverage.

The local Labour MP is calling for the BBC to foot the bill and it is difficult to feel this is inappropriate as BBC bosses presumably factored in the anticipated dissent there would be if, and when, the BNP leader were to appear.

Schoolboy, 13, knows more about First World War than BNP’s Nick Griffin

40th Pathan Names on the Menin Gate

Nick Griffin would prefer not to notice the names of the 40th Pathan Regiment, from India, on the Menin Gate memorial

Whilst on a school trip to the Menin Gate memorial in Belgium  a schoolboy has been jostled by members of the BNP. The memorial was built to commemorate the thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers who died in the Ypres Salient in 1914-17.

Its walls are inscribed with the names of 54,360 men who died for the British cause – including the 40th Pathans, an Indian infantry regiment which suffered great losses.

The schoolboy, William Robey, was visiting the memorial as part of a school trip and spotted Griffin and party supporters, and asked if he could have a photo of Mr Griffin in front of the memorial, which included a Regiment of Indian soldiers who fought for the British at Ypres.

William said; “I asked him if I could take his picture, next to the memorial for Pathan Indians. He reluctantly agreed, but as I went to take my photo I asked him, ‘Isn’t this against your party’s policy?’ One of his supporters put his hand over the lens, told me to ‘get my facts straight’, and grabbed my arm.

“I took the picture but it’s very blurry. I said to him, ‘Your party’s built on hatred.’ He started shouting at me, pointing his finger. The rest of his lot were all laughing and smirking. I just felt a bit sick inside to see him there to be honest.

“There they were with their poppies on, trying to put this respectable front on, yet they’re happy to confront a 13-year-old at a war memorial to try and get their point across.

“He was just saying ‘I’ve got lots of Sikh friends’ when my teacher stepped in and took me away.”

William’s mother said that since the incident her son had been approached by a number of people who wanted to congratulate him for “standing up against racism.”

I would like to add mine too.

Nick Griffin has a Mother-in-Law from heaven…

The Telegraph shows us that Mr Griffin has a mother-in-law with more sense than he has - no joke!

The Telegraph shows us that Mr Griffin has a mother-in-law with more sense than he has - no joke!

Nick Griffin’s mother-in-law describes him as a “work-shy pretender,” according today’s Sunday Telepgraph.

She continued: “Nick is still a racist. He still holds those views – always has. He wants to see an all-white Britain, but that will never happen… he’s living in the Dark Ages.”

She describes him as ‘work-shy’ because his wife is apparently the main bread-winner in the household.

She continued: “He pretends to be a man of the people, but the truth is he hasn’t done an honest day’s work in his life. My daughter is a nurse and has always had a full-time job. She was working 12-hour shifts even when their children were babies.

She said: “Nick’s not half as bad as he used to be, but he still believes black people and Muslims have no place in this country. He’s been forced to change his views now he’s in Parliament, but whether that’s out of want or necessity … you decide.”

It’s good to see that someone in the Griffin household has some sense.

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

This week, dancing the military goosestep, it’s Nick and Eva!

Modern would look a lot different if Mr Griffin ever came to power!

Modern Britain would look a lot different if Mr Griffin ever came to power!

Well full of a combination of virtue, anger, shame and pride I ended my Question Time experience last night. Although I have advocated Mr Griffin’s appearance, and consequent interrogation, on Question Time I still found it a deeply unnerving and dirty process.

In the same moment I felt shame that anyone British holds these views and pride that the panel, David Dimbleby and the audience expressed their anger, and distaste, at this man’s political views.  All in all anyone who can utter such perverse views about non-violent members of the Ku Klux Klan KKK and not renouncing his denial of the holocaust has no place in democratic politics.

But, then I had a shiver that this might just be the first in a number of media appearances as Mr Griffin enters the world of celebrity.

Popular culture would have to change a great deal if Mr Griffin were to get his way, perhaps he might appear on reality TV!

Strictly Come Dancing, for example, would be very different. Of the six winners of the programme, so far, Natasha Kaplinsky, Mark Ramprakash and Alesha Dixon would not be contestants because Mr Griffin would have returned them to their homelands. The only judge would be Len Goodman, with Bruno, Craig and Alesha also being sent back to their respective countries.

This is what Mr Griffin does not grasp; Britain has changed for the better, and is culturally, socially and economically enriched by people who have joined his ‘ethnically pure indigenous peoples’!

If Mr Griffin ever did come to power I presume he understands that it would not just be people who he wanted to leave who would.

‘First rule of politics – never believe anything until it has been officially denied’ – Rt. Hon. Jim Hacker MP

'Never believe anything until it has been officially denied!'

'Never believe anything until it has been officially denied!' - Rt. Hon. Jim Hacker MP

Nick Griffin’s announcement that the leaked list of BNP members, which appeared on the web yesterday, is a forgery should tell us it’s actually the real list.

I can understand why individual members might be angry that their personal details have been put into the public domain, but, why would Mr Griffin be so concerned?

If membership of the BNP means that you are proud to be British and are standing up for British democracy then surely there can be no problem.  If one is a councillor, or other elected representative, surely it will allow one’s constituents to get in contact to discuss any issues in one’s ward.

So, if one accepts that membership of the BNP is a normal and acceptable pastime, Mr Griffin should welcome this transparency. 

But, as a democrat and someone who believes in privacy, and protection from abuse and threats, I clearly don’t believe this. But, Mr Griffin does not believe in these principles. He may be elected, but he is not a democrat and he believes in verbal outrage, as a means of political communication and, in my opinion, does not respect the beliefs and privacy of other people.

Personally I think it’s a great shame that the membership list has been made public. Even fascists deserve their privacy, even if they would not afford the rest of us this luxury, but forgive me for actually pointing out the real reason for Mr Griffin’s outrage.

There aren’t many members are there?

Unfortunately for him, now the producers of Question Time will be able to see who the BNP have tried to place in the audience to act as sleepers for Mr Griffin and his party, as well as those who have been formally invited as his supporters.

(Nothing in this story should indicate support of any cast member of Yes Minister or Yes Prime Minister for the BNP.)