Nick Griffin not alone in QT audience

It has been a week now since the BNP’s Nick Griffin made his disastrous debut on Question Time, and even his own members are calling for him to leave owing to his shit performance, but he was not the only member of the far-right party in that studio who instead of opening his mouth, should have burrowed down a hole, set up home, and veiled himself away from public speaking forever.

The other party cohort who made his BBCQT debut was one John Clarke.

John Clarke

You may remember that his question was cut short, due to his lack of conviction, allowing another more eloquent member of the audience to wax lyrical about how difficult it can be for asylum seekers to integrate and find work in this country, though many manage to do it against all odds.

I remember thinking, oh what a wally this guy is, hasn’t even the bollocks to carry out his cut and paste facts, at a time when, scarily, the BNP could’ve made a significant name for themselves. Imagine my surprise when, by chance, I realise he is a fairly high ranking member of the BNP. His profile on the BNP website reads:

John is 41 years of age, currently single and has lived in London all his life, mainly in the Croydon area.

He attended Croydon College where he obtained City and Guilds qualifications in mechanical engineering and is now working as a mechanical engineer, setting and operating CNC machines (computer numerical control).

John has many interests and hobbies including reading, music, chess and watching cricket. As a younger man John enjoyed boxing, Kung Fu, football and cricket.

Imagine my further amusement when I find out the controversy that surrounds his homeplace as ‘mainly in the Croydon area’. Many BNP members have criminal backgrounds, but not so many as trivial as Clarke’s. The Standard ran a piece that tells us of Clarke’s amusing home story:

Mr Clarke sought election as a BNP candidate in Merton in 2006 but used a false address on his nomination papers to get round the rule that council candidates must live or work in the borough. As his current biography on the BNP website confirms, he actually lives in Croydon.

After the Standard exposed the front address used by Mr Clarke, as well as another BNP candidate and the BNP supporter who actually lived there, Merton council called the police. Asked why the BNP was claiming three men and their families lived in the twobedroom maisonette, a party spokesman said: “People live in all sorts of ways these days.”

The photo attached to the Standard article was this one (Clarke stands third from the left):

06a_15_BNP-line_415x275Here he is with the rest of the BNP’s candidates for London Assembly (including, most prominently in that familiar suit, Richard Barnbrook, who is still on his ban from City Hall for making up a murder story as backup for the nonsense he peddles for the BNP in Barking and Dagenham), shortly before standing for the BNP in the 2009 European Elections for London.

Today is of course Thursday, meaning another episode of Question Time will be showing tonight, which also means that we will no longer be able to watch last Thursday’s episode again on iplayer, but just as a memento for remembrance, here are the stills that show Mr John Clarke in those moments he’ll probably wish never happened, timelining the moment he asked the question, to the point where he quite literally died on his arse:

John Clarke 2Happy as Larry here

John Clarke 3

Mid-sentence, dreaming he was anywhere else but asking a stupid question, on the set of Question Time

John Clarke 4

Seeming to either say ‘fuck’, or vomiting in his mouth (at this point, the crowd were shouting, laughing, booing, quiping, skitting etc)

John Clarke 5

Melancholy and despair, the realisation that all who know him, all the BNP London Assembly members hoping for a ray of hope from their man in White City, are now cursing him, raising their eyebrows, sticking pins in dolls or vomiting blood over cut outs of his image.

And we laughed…

When to be pro-Israeli is to overcompensate for anti-Semitism

My old psychology dictionary of terms informs me that overcompensation can be ‘a Freudian defence mechanism, whereby an individual attempts to offset weakness in an area of their lives by focusing on another aspect of it.’ I had thought to look this up after thinking about the recent spell of disavowed anti-Semite, Israel supporters.

First I thought back to those English Defence League marches, where 2 things are promised every time; that an Israeli flag will appear to show solidarity with Israelis over Muslims (like it was a simple choice between the two), and a couple of beered up scummies will produce the fascist salute (for examples see here and here).

Second I remembered Michal Kaminski, the Polish MEP who leads the Conservatives new EU grouping, and his of pro-Israeli rhetoric to confront his anti-Semitic past (for examples see here and here).

And lastly I remembered Nick Griffin as he stumbled over his words on Question Time tell the audience that his party was the only one to give full support to Israel and their right to exist during its clashes with Gaza, or more precisely:

“[National Socialists in UK] loathe me because I have brought the British National Party from being, frankly, an anti-Semitic and racist organisation into being the only political party which, in the clashes between Israel and Gaza, stood full square behind Israel’s right to deal with Hamas terrorists.”

Interestingly with the last example, Griffin was one of those anti-Semitic members of the British National Party. He was the author of a pamphlet entitled Who are the Mindbenders (have a guess, go on) in which Jewish names are listed to testify that Jews control the media. Grffin’s argument is to suggest that Jews are responsible for indoctrinating people to think that criticising Jewish people is automatically anti-Semitic, appreciation for multiculturalism is fine, homosexuality is not “creepy” and Britishness is racist.

This of course is not “saleable” (to use Griffin’s own words) so Griffin appeals to using language like left-liberal controlled, meaning, of course, much the same (the words he uses ratifies more with people who also think the BBC runs on a bias, but use of the word Jews may run contrary to many “patriots” negative view of the Nazis).

Interesting it is that these people, especially the latter two, choose pro-Israeli, or Zionist, sentiment to undercut their otherwise anti-Semitic image. Not unique however.

Adolf Eichmann, the man known as ‘the architect of the Holocaust’, a Nazi who managed to juggle two seemingly inharmonious positions as anti-Semite and Zionist, whose aim was to channel as many European Jews as possible to Palestine. Eichmann was encouraged by one Baron Van Mildenstein – a man who wanted to forge a collaboration between Nazis and Zionists – to study Jewish society and history so as better to understand the Jewish enemy. Eichmann did so, earning him a special place in the Reich. Before long Eichmann changed his mind on promoting a strong Jewish state, but nonetheless his Zionism was situated on the idea that the Jews belonged elsewhere, and that a small section of the Middle East, mandated by the British, would be where that place was sited.

The Final Solution was an act that aimed to destroy the Jewish race from the root, an act most favoured by Nazis then and now, but Eichmann’s Zionism – before his part in the Holocaust – was to separate Jews from other Europeans, something Eichmann himself felt was borne, not out of anti-Semitism, but, on the basis that races can not mix, particularly the Jewish race. He also denied turning from a Saul to a Paul on the matter, wanting to secure Jewish racial particularism, or, simply, one place for Jews and a European place for aryans.

The charge that an individuals pro-Israeli words should write off an anti-Semitic history is a most naive way of disavowal, but nonetheless, rather typical behaviour of someone who is either in, or wants to be in, the political mainstream.

As Mehdi Hasan, New Statesman senior political editor, recently replied to Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, are we ‘really so naive [to think that] supporters of Israel can’t be anti-Semitic at the same time?’ The pro-Israeli overcompensation by the above should provide real answers to this question.

Poor old Welsh Defence League

Must be a right pain in the arse when you’re trying to hold a peaceful demonstration about your hatred towards muslims when all these buggers start flashing their nazi salutes, ruining everything. Really ruins a calm event held by people who all they really want is a quick whip round for the christmas bash and leaflet money, a quick march, a chinwag with likeminded folk and an ale to finish up. Poor ol’ English Welsh Defence League

Fasho1

Fasho2

Question Time fun

I was one of the many people last night slumped over my laptop, trying to debate with my flatmates, drinking some beer, whilst trying desparately to tweet, retweet, stop myself from laughing/shouting/crying, and watch Question Time. I was very cautious not to give it all away for myself by reading certain other members of the twitterati inform their followers of the events taking place outside and in. Though I did catch mention of the UAF protesters who had broken in, or engaged in scuffles with the police, followed by the twitter tag #thisisnothelpful, or something to that effect.

Everyone I had spoken to about it during this time had a favourite bit (mine was when Jack Straw, as Secretary of State for Justice, invited a wriggly, smirking Griffin to tell us the details of his change of heart on matters such as the holocaust, replying in an instant to Griffin that he’d sort the French and German’s out if they kicked up a fuss). And I should imagine a lot of naysayers changed their tune. Jon Snow on the news at 7 mentioned the many people who will boycott the event, but I really felt it wasn’t worth the trouble for them. There were fears that it could mirror Le Pen’s mainstream genesis, but Le Pen seemed to hold the audience hostage by making them give a minutes silence, a real showcase. Griffin is too uncomfotable with his disavowal, and that really came across last night, he was tripping all over himself, and often the real side slipped out, the KKK are non-violent, Europe holds my tongue but when asked to clarify squirms and rolls into a ball etc etc.

The first thing I did when I woke up at 7 this morning was watch it all again with my girlfriend, who couldn’t watch it the first time around. By this time I was able to point out before it happened ‘oh watch this bit, he says David Duke is a non-violent person’ and so on. On the tube to work I shared a nod and a raised eyebrow with a fellow commuter when we both realised we were looking at the same article in the free morning newspaper. And now at work the conversation has not entered anything else (apart from work matters, obviously). I’m even speaking to a colleague of mine who is on his day off over google. Now I’m taking 10 to write a brief entry on it. I’m consumed by the happenings of last night. Because it went so dreadfully wrong. Never have I ever felt so bad, about not feeling bad, about watching someone die on their arse, in front of his friends, family and followers. It was very backfoot telly.

A number of articles have been passed my way as well today, in particular the one of by David Cohen, that elaborated on Griffin’s claim that him and Greer got on fabulously. He’s nutty as a fruitcake. He tried to “beg pals” with her, I think I saw him pat her on the back, the constant faux laughing and uncomfort should normally evoke bum-clenching upon me, but it didn’t, I loved it, I wanted more, 1 hour was not enough and it seemed to go too fast. Watching the debate, and engaging with my own on a Thursday night normally sets me in the right frame for instant sleep, but last night was different.

Against all odds, thank goodness UAF failed to barricade the centre in White city, because that would only benefit Griffin and his claim to victimhood, thank goodness he wasn’t able to answer usual questions of the weeks events like the postal strike, potentially bringing him in agreement with other panellists and getting an unwarranted ish-clap. Thank goodness the audience asked hard questions without booing (too much, or over his pathetic answers), and thank goodness that the only new recruits that that performance will earn are pity recruits.

Lastly, if, as I had wished, an hour had been added, I would have wanted asked the following:

– why were a group of non-white people turned away from a meeting by Barnbrook the murder fabricator, on the day that the BNP were told to allow non-white members?

– why don’t you think global warming is man-made?

why did Griffin [once] describ[e] British RAF pilots as war criminals and murderers. He wrote an article in The Rune, the antisemitic journal he edited, praising the “courage and sacrifices” of the Waffen-SS soldiers while claiming in another piece that “the Waffen-SS were undoubtedly no worse than the troops of other nations … ” including Britain!

What is Mark Collett if not the Director of Publicity for the Party, like it says on wikipedia – the source of ALL knowledge!!

The Unlucky Twitterings of Nadine Dorries

Though I’ve been following Nadine Dorries on twitter for a while, I rarely catch her tweets as they stream my page (mainly owing to my following of proper news places like Huff Post which constantly posts). Today I had the rare opportunity to catch one of her tweets:

70% of women don’t want to be an MP. My view on ConHome http://bit.ly/3pcutA about 1 hour ago from TwitterBerry

It caught my eye to say the least, I read her ConHome entry and was not convinced, so I took a quick look at her other tweets.

Finished for the day. 6am start. Could this be the reason why 70% of sensible women, who may also be wives and mothers dont want to be MPs?about 9 hours ago from web

That time was about twelve last night, a long day, but as for the message, why are men more willing? Are these not sensible men, or are women not sensible for working this long. To be fair, nobody is sensible for working this long, but why the gender difference? Do Fathers not mind missing their children’s doings? Wives?? Mothers we can understand, which Mother doesn’t want to be without their offspring, it’s probably a similar number to the amount of Father’s. But wives, do we not detect Dorries’ opinion on how wives should be? It’s explicit isn’t it.

Another mention of Cameron’s new decision:

Every morning as I walk into westminster, I feel proud and humbled to be here. If I had been elected via an all woman shortlist I wouldn’t […] be able to hold my head up as I would know the men I work with would be here on merit but that I had needed a hand. That’s not equality.about 19 hours ago from TwitterBerry

She’d be right if this was the way in which quotas were met. But it’s not an arbitrary list of women to choose from, it’s women who have deserved to be in that place. If you are in that selection process, you should feel proud and humbled, it’s a measure that has not been taken because women need a leg up, but rather it is to denigrate the all-male bias of governments in the past, and to try and right wrongs. Of course it wouldn’t be fair to select a female where a more capable male would suffice, but this measure is not there to do that, it was to try and rectify capable females from falling through the cracks.

On a lighter note, Dorries has tended to be around the barfgeoisie for an unreasonable amount of time of late:

Great, the vomiting train, again 😦10:59 PM Oct 13th from TwitterBerry

On train from Parliament to Bedford. Bloke opposite me vomiting. Everyone on train wasted. Love my journey home.10:48 PM Oct 12th from TwitterBerry

Of course no one should like to pull ones hair out, but this position is gender neutral.

The Failed Attempts to Destabilise the BNP

Constant observation of the legal framework is, as much as anything, the acid test with which to judge political concern. 2 days ago Andrew Dismore, MP for Hendon, raised a point of order (that was subsequently dismissed as a point of debate) on motion 52 which excludes Members of the European Parliament from gaining access to the House of Commons through passes, thereby making sure Nick Griffin can not be seen in or around the house.

All the while many established political figures and pressure groups alike pour scorn on the BBC’s decision to allow the BNP free air time on this coming week’s Question Time, it should be reminded of how much the BBC have attempted to forge the perfect oppositional panel to counter every last aspect of Griffin’s bile.

Nick Cohen in his Observer column today has noted the ways in which nervy producers have panicked about how to stage Thursday’s ‘car-crash television’ event. At first the BBC had booked Douglas Murray to oppose him, as he was only so happy to do so, but moments later the BBC cancelled his inclusion as Murray takes firm support for restricted immigration, something Griffin will not put up too much of a fight about, making him appear ‘like he was the voice of the consensus’.

For a voice on the right the BBC settled for Lady Warsi, who may not see eye to eye with Griffin on the subject of defining Britishness, but would certainly be able to share a quip o two on homosexuals, owing to Warsi’s claim that Labour allowed children to be propositioned for homosexual relationships, printed on her campaign material in the run up to the 2005 Dewsbury elections. The BBC, instead of coolly slotting strong voices from both the left and the right to pull the turf from beneath Griffin, they have ended up pulling their hair out and ‘hitting the phones as they began to realise the 1,001 ways the show could go wrong.’

Another recent aim at destabilising the BNP, gone awry, was the pressure put on them to change their all whites constitution by the Equality and Human Rights Commission

But this new core of legality and legitimacy only serves to benefit the BNP. Not only does it serve to obscure the hub of the BNP’s existence – to secure a white only Britain – but it also fragments the moral high ground of the other parities in the UK, who do not oppose non-white membership.

The same, I will suggest, goes for quotas in political parties. For example in Spain the Constitutional Court confirmed a 2007 law obliging political parties to have at least 40% female candidates on their electoral lists. This of course suited the leading Socialist party (PSOE), whose moral compass directed them in this direction anyway, recognising societal gender inequality, and taking the measures themselves to lead the way for a more egalitarian political structure. The point of failure for this measure was when the law obliged the opposition Conservative party (PP) to do the same. They of course appealed against the measure, preferring to maintain a majority of white male candidates to a mixed setting.

Until this law was established, PSOE, on the issue of gender equality, held the moral high ground over PP, and Spanish women who had previously felt vilified against, seeing the socialists as their natural friend and the conservatives as foe, now, because of the forced level of egalitarianism fostered upon PP, are no longer necessarily the nasty party, and have benefited in turn, not through any conviction, but have basked in the success of the socialists.

The same logic can be seen with the BNP now. Through no conviction of their own to redress their racism the authorities have offered them an olive branch of legitimacy, and as Sunny H recently tweeted, ‘Griffin…has always wanted to change the rules’ – for this very reason, not because at heart the BNP are a multi-ethnic, inclusive organisation, but because it takes the burden away from him to get party backing and change their constitution, all under the guise of modernisation (after all, the leaked membership list by a disaffected ex-member is enough to see why Griffin would see such a move as burdensome).

All this created fuss has done nothing at all to destabilise the BNP, in fact it has only further secured their main aim, to seem like a consensus party, when in fact they are an extreme party, employing seemingly successful methods to avert this fact, and being helped along the way by the very people who think they are taking measures to destroy them. Nick Griffin has said it himself on stage with the KKK’s David Duke in 2000:

Once we’re in a position where we control the British broadcasting media, then perhaps one day the British people might change their mind and say, ‘yes, every last one must go’. But if you hold that out as your sole aim to start with, you’re not going to get anywhere. So instead of talking about racial purity, we talk about identity.

How will all this BBC air time fare for the BNP?

As is the custom (I say that, with my tongue in my cheek), I will not be linking to the page where I found this, needless to say it is currently held on the BNP’s homepage, where the BBC have recently put a link to, and an interview. In fact the following quote refers to that very interview:

Joey Smith, managing director of Great White Records, has expressed his deepest thanks to the controlled media for their free publicity over the last few days.

According to Mr Smith, the “controlled media’s hysteria over a recent radio show featuring myself and Mark Collett has greatly boosted visits to the Great White Records website and increased album sales.

“We never expected for a minute that the show would generate such fabulous publicity,” Mr Smith said, adding that it was totally untrue that he or Mr Collett had “hidden” who they were before the show was broadcast, as some reports claimed.

There is everything possible wrong with the above statement. Notice the way the media is described as ‘controlled’, invoking images of paranoiac sentiment and Jewish hostilities. Don’t for a second tell me they were not thinking it when they wrote it, or think it all along.

I’ve always found it trivial that the BNP are proud that their website has high traffic, because this – as I can vouch for – is the product of as many anti-BNP readers – probably more – as pro- .

But I’m worried that there is truth to this, the BBC are – regretfully – obliged to take seriously a legal party who have two elected MEPs. As such, they are already legitimised, it is not the BBC who are legitimising them, they are already so, for reasons I find quite absurd. For the BBC to ignore them, to disavowal them, would unfortunately go against their non-partisan standing, as much as that seems to unravel in places elsewhere.

It makes me sick to think that serious politicians like Jack Straw – like him or loathe him – should have to lower themselves to the level of Griffin. But that is politics, people make stupid decisions and voting Griffin, and his party alike, is a stupid decision.

I hate to turn against my own, but there would be no vetting of anti-fascists, if anti-fascists refrained from taking to pointless acts like the possible blockade of the BBC’s studios. This will be met with snorts and angry words no doubt. But an anti-fascist group should not themselves act like animals, it makes other, more serious activists look foolish. The BNP have plenty of dirt, we can open it out at a strategic scale, who thought it embarrassing when activists hissed at a performance of Giselle because it starred BNP member, and one time friend with benefits of Richard Barnbrook, Simone Clarke. Such hisses should be based on what Griffin says – and it will attract hisses – not pre-prepared stuff, which has informed the BBC of its decision. Having said that, it isn’t as thought-police, McCarthyite-esque, as some have opined.

Still, by the very fact that the far-right have called anti-fascists ‘communists’ – also on their homepage – one can hardly feel sorry for them.

Now that they are definitely on QT, there is no point regretting it. But a wishlist we on the left should have, for what will be asked of Griffin. Was what he said on the stage with David Duke, about only seeming to moderate, when in fact the heart has not changed at all (funny, Peter Hitchens has also mentioned this), does he really feel the Jews own the media, does he really feel climate change is a myth, whose side was he really on in WWII (remember he described the RAF’s bombing of Dresden as ‘mass murder’). Hopefully Straw, Greer, Warsi etc will pull these questions out. If not it will be a disaster. If so, it’s going to be tricky, embarrassing, and arse-clenchingly brilliant telly.