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…

The Right Wing in Europe

Far-right politician and murder inventor Richard Barnbrook was invited to join the launch of England’s bid to host the football World Cup in his role as a member of the London Assembly, the Times reports.

But two further parts of the story, found on the Evening Standard website, here, made for troublesome reading. First is the unconfirmed report by a BNP spokesperson that Barnbrook also has an invitation to a garden party at Buckingham Palace (links in this circle had already been uncovered, back in 2006, by Guardian journalist Ian Cobain when he discovered that Peter Bradbury, a leading proponent of complementary medicine who has links to Prince Charles, was a member of the BNP). The second uncomfortable truth, announced by the spokesperson, was that the public should get used to the BNP getting more public invitations.

Will we have to get used to that? Why has it only been relative affluence and economic stability that have before managed to neutralise the far-right. Like Charlie Brooker referred to in his recent article, on the subject of the expenses and the terrible party political broadcast by the BNP, “by referring to “professional politicians”, Griffin is presumably suggesting we should elect amateurs instead.” And, too, for the public, in times of crisis, like now, is the correct protest voice at the polling booth the one that condemns the establishment so much, they are willing to send the country back 1,000 years?

Will it be that the BNP get the same level of political favour as Le Pen’s National Front? If so, it is looking unlikely that the two will be natural allies, not since David Cameron has dropped the Tories from EPP (European People’s Party) memebership. This move will see the Tories sit nicely with other “non-attached” MEP’s, the xenophobes, the neo-nazi’s, the protectionists.

Pro-Europe Kenneth Clarke said over the weekend, it emerged in the Guardian, that the Tories will not be aligned with “neo-fascists or cranks or anything of this kind”. They may not be hugging one another, but they will certainly share the same bed. That bed inhabited by the infamous Polish Law and Justice Party (I’m sure you know all about them, but if you don’t, and to save me repeating, see Nick Cohen’s Observer article, and a blog entry written by Andy from Mind Robber). This won’t prove to be a wise move with the European community before the general elections, but June the 4th will show that it unfortunately won’t undermine the Tories. The UK is set to be represented by our own “non-attached”, detached.