SO WHO ARE THE FASCISTS?
Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg reflects on efforts by Unite Against Fascism to blockade Television Centre on Thursday in an attempt to prevent BNP leader Nick Griffin appearing on Question Time.
My surname is Goldberg. Do I need to explain any further how I feel about racist parties like the BNP who advocate repatriation of minority groups and the subjugation of non-whites?
In case I do, let me make it clear – I abhor any political organisation which organises on racial lines and seeks to burn bridges between communities rather than build them.
I’ve grown up in Birmingham, a city which has long celebrated its multicultural heritage, and where members of different ethnic groups generally rub along well, to the benefit of all its citizens. My kids, for what it's worth, are mixed race.
Nick Griffin won’t be on my Christmas list – nor I, on his.
What’s more, I applaud the work of dedicated anti-fascists like Searchlight in exposing the Nazi connections and beliefs of those who drape themselves in the union flag and pose as patriots.
So why do I shudder when Unite Against Fascism announce they don't merely want to protest outside Television Centre next week, but rather say they'll attempt a human blockade to prevent Holocaust denier Nick Griffin appearing on Question Time?
It's simple. The actions of denying free speech to the leader of a legally constituted political party with two MEPs and numerous local councillors strikes me as being fascist in its own right.
We already have laws banning incitement to racial and religious hatred. If BNP members breach those, they should feel the full weight of the law.
Nor should party members ever be given airtime by clueless journalists who fail to challenge them robustly.
But just as attempting to gag the IRA backfired on Mrs Thatcher, so efforts to deny the BNP "the oxygen of publicity" are likely to have the opposite effect than that intended.
Far from silencing the party, it will nourish their persecution complex, and make them look like martyrs - especially to disaffected white working class voters who already feel disenfranchised by the existing political system. They will grow stronger, not weaker, as a result.
The UAF’s desire to ban the BNP from the airwaves, incidentally, was repeated by a spokeswoman on my Talksport show last night, but by far the most telling call came from Helen in Eastbourne, one of Nick Griffin’s most fervent followers.
Questioned about why she supported the party, she immediately started talking about the need for “silverbacks, alpha males and gorillas” to protect the “Angles” in a parliament which would deny equal rights for British people of African, Asian or mixed European heritage.
A self-confessed BNP activist, she was a comedy turn - albeit a sick and slightly sinister one.
We don’t need the UAF to protect us from hearing what the likes of Helen, or indeed Nick Griffin has to say; they are their own worst advert.
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