A few thoughts tonight’s Question Time, where Britain’s most prominent comedy fascist, Nick Griffin met a suspiciously tiny audience of Question Time viewers. Seriously, that must have been one of the tiniest crowds we’ve seen for an episode of QT, especially so considering it took place in Television Centre. Next week’s episode from the sleepy north Wales seaside town of Llandudno is likely to have a much larger audience. They should have let some of those people from outside into the studio. They certainly seemed quite keen to attend the recording. Anyway, this is mostly culled lazy from what we’ve said earlier on Twitter, so if you’re following us on there, expect much of this to sound familiar.
Near the start of the show, Baroness Warsi made a reference to a quote from the BNP’s Mark Collett. The actual transcript goes like this:
Baroness Warsi: “When today we talk about how Churchill is referred to by the BNP, I’d like to refer to one quote, which I’m going to have to have some bleeps in, which is from Mark Collett, who is the BNP’s director of publicity…”
Nick Griffin: “He’s not.”
Baroness Warsi: “He basically said this; “"Churchill was a fucking cunt who led us in to a pointless war against other whites, the Nazis, who were standing up for their race”."
Really, Nick? Because from what we can find, including on far-right website Stormfront.org (link), he actually is the BNP’s Director of Publicity, or at the very, very least was quite recently. We’ve tried to find reference to him on the BNP website, but for some reason the search function isn’t working. Can’t imagine why.
For the record, doing a Google search for the words “Mark”, “Collett” and “BNP” brings up a very interesting web page in second place:
Far be it from us to reflect on the accuracy of said web page, as we have no idea of the facts involved, but still, interesting.
INTERESTING FUN FACT! We were able to copy and paste the above Collett quote from the NorthWestNationalists blog (who we’re not going to link to, but if you really want to find it it’s easy enough to Google). Entertainingly, they censored the words “fucking” and “cunt”, because naturally they wouldn’t want anyone to get offended by the content of their website, would they?
It was interesting to note Griffin’s repeated claims that holocaust denial is a crime in the UK, and that as he’s never actually been convicted for the crime of holocaust denial, he surely can’t be a holocaust denier. As every schoolboy knows, it’s only actually a crime in Austria, Germany and France. Anyway, here’s a Fun Fat Hitler Fact for you all: Nick's "Holocaust myth" quote – specifically:
"I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that six million Jews were gassed and cremated and turned into lampshades. Orthodox opinion also once held that the Earth was flat … I have reached the conclusion that the 'extermination' tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter witch-hysteria."
was from 1998. Now, on tonight’s show he claimed that
"I can't tell you why I used to say those things anymore than I can tell you why I have changed my mind, I can’t tell you the extent to which I’ve changed my mind, because European law prevents me from doing so."
Except, of course, it doesn’t even remotely do so. Anyway, with that in mind, he made no attempt to actually tell us why he did change his mind (our theory: he hasn’t, only he’s realised there aren’t many votes in expressing that sort of thing), other than saying something about hearing about it on the radio since then. But be fair, when he originally said those words in 1998, Griffin was merely a young and impressionable 39 year old. Why, he was barely out of nappies! We’ll wager that most people say things at the stupidly young age of 39 that they later regret, like “I’ll never buy a pair of slippers!”, “You’ll never catch me listening to Terry Wogan in the mornings”, or “ooh, cheap tripe? Get in!”
Another choice quote from the pudgy nationalist:
“My policy is for a truce with Islam.”
Is that why the BNP website carries juxtaposed imagery of smiling pure and white English children with a shot of hajib-wearing Muslim women, as below? What are they hiding, eh Nick? Why, they aren’t even wearing hajibs with huge St George’s crosses printed on them. Coming over here, hiding their presumably sneering faces, laughing up their sleeves and being given free houses and that.
At one point, Dimbleby interrupted mass panel disquiet after a Griffin outburst with the words: "If you all attack on different fronts, we'll get nowhere." Sadly, he didn't add "...if Hitler taught us anything, it’s that, eh Nick?"
One point where Griffin really tried to connect with the masses was when he stated, on the subject of homosexuality, how:
“I’ve said that a lot of people find the sight of two grown men kissing in public really creepy. I understand a lot of homosexuals don’t understand that, but a lot of us feel that way. A lot of Christians feel that way, Muslims, all sorts of people.”
From that, we can’t help but wonder if Griffin’s feelings only extend to “grown men kissing in public”. Does he think that if it were two young boys kissing in public, he’d be putting a supportive arm around their shoulders while saying “go on, make the most of it. Why, in a few years what you’re doing now will be wrong, so make hay while the sun shines”? Or does he just spend entire evenings at home, on his own, sitting by his fireplace, thinking vigorously about two grown men kissing each other in public, and pondering just how that makes him feel? Either way, we’re sorely tempted to write a series of slash fiction stories about him and Abu Hamza, just for the sheer heck of it."'Put your hook there and sort of wiggle it about a bit', cooed Nick."
Sad to say, there are a couple of slightly depressing conclusions to make from tonight’s programme. Firstly, that hundreds of thousands of people will go to work in the morning, and jokingly ask their colleagues if they saw Question Time, only to receive a reply along the lines of “yeah, I thought what he said was too bloody right” from their previously respected co-workers. We frigging hate it when things like that happen.
Secondly, the alarming realisation that for every single person from the “too bloody right” brigade, who’d nodded sagely when Griffin spewed out the bilious theory that gay people are allowed to be gay “as long as they keep it behind closed doors”, their vote come the general election will count just the same as the vote of someone who’d pored over local politics, BBC Parliament coverage, Hansard and Private Eye for the last ten years. Maybe voter apathy isn't always a bad thing...
In summary: sigh. Here’s an entertaining image to end things on a relative high, culled from the pages of B3TA, and Jpeg genius Monkeon: