Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Why not to bother watching Question Time tomorrow (or any other time, come to that)

Matthew Taylor shows why having the BNP on Question Time is pointless, when he explains his concept of the "transcendent moment in debate". Essentially, it's the point where all parties (finally) see what the debate is actually about - the fundamental difference between the sides. He quotes this example:

During the proceeding of the US Federal Panel on the use of human tissue in research he [Professor Michael Sandel] had asked an opponent of stem cell research whether he saw any fundamental distinction between using stem cells from a five day old embryo and taking the organs from a five year old child. The opponent had pondered and to his credit had said ‘no’. At this point, many undecided people on the panel had felt they had got to the heart of the difference between the two sides. It didn’t tell them what to believe, but it got them to see the basis for each side’s argument.

This is exactly what won't happen on Thursday night, or in any debate with the BNP. Griffin would rather French-kiss Trevor Phillips than publicly admit that his party's core political aim is a white-only Britain. And, indeed, has said so.

There’s a difference between selling out your ideas and selling your ideas. The British National Party isn’t about selling out its ideas — which are your [the KKK] ideas too — but we are determined now to sell them. That means to use saleable words.'...[selling our ideas] basically means using saleable words… free­dom, security, identity, democracy. Nobody can criticise them. Nobody can come at you and attack you on those ideas. They are saleable...If you hold that [fascist policy] out as your sole aim to start with, you’re going to get nowhere. So, instead of talking about racial purity we talk about identity.”

So, whatever happens on Thursday night, we're not going to see the BNP's policies laid bare. Instead, Griffin will mouth off about "our boys", "the working class", "terrorism", "jobs" and "Westminster insiders" in a manner so vague and platitudinous that he'll be more or less indistinguishable from the average Question Time panellist. Which makes the whole event something of a pointless circus.

No comments: