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.