Fraser Nelson

An odious spectacle

An odious spectacle
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Seeing Nick Griffin playing the ostracised martyr on television is sickening, and underlines the futility of banning him. Some 8,000 are invited to the Queen’s garden party, there was zero chance that Her Majesty would allowed within 50 metres of him. So his daft blog, asking readers to suggest questions he’d put to the Queen, was an irrelevance. His whole political schtick is that ‘I represent a million ordinary people, and the establishment won’t listen to them’. The more you ban him from things, the louder he shouts this message. What happened today is grist to his mill.

 

Sky News interviewed guests outside, who thought it unfair that he was banned, given that all MEPs are automatically invited and have been for years. One woman said: “He’s a person, like everyone else. You don’t have to believe his opinions.” This is the British way: tolerance. Which is, of course, why the BNP and its neo-fascist predecessors have done so badly in the polls for so long. There’s no market for their message of racism, and having followed them on the campaign stumps last year’s election, I can attest that the message they put out is that of the jihadi menace and immigration. And, crucially, about Westminster parties all being the same - the “Lib-Lab con” as their election material put it.

 

Griffin won his seat fair and square. MPs banned him from the Commons, which is a way of turning a blind eye to the problem he represents: the abandoned working class voter. The remedy to Griffin is to persuade his voters, not his party hosts, that he is an odious thug who deserves no part in public life.

UPDATE: In response to some CoffeeHousers... Rhoda, you misunderstand me: I think Westminster parties are doing a bad job at addressing the concerns of the white working class, and that the BNP deserve their success. They get votes by turning up in council houses where no Westminster party has campaigned for years, the Labour rotten boroughs. You don’t mean a thing if your seat’s not a swing in Britain, a fact which leaves many millions in huge swathes of the country ignored. The BNP are picking up these votes.

Chuck, if all parliamentarians are invited to the party then so should Griffin be: that’s my point. Dixon, I don’t regard protest votes as invalid. Rather Griffin’s presence is a reproof to Westminster parties to do better. That’s why I’d quite like for him to be allowed access to the Commons complex, as all MEPs were before he was elected. He’d remind them all to do a better job reaching the voters which the BNP is targetting.

James de la Mare, I say the BNP targets the “abandoned working class” not that it speaks for them. Simon Stephenson, those involved in fighting the BNP (all too few politicians, but people like Jon Cruddas) do actually find that their supporters abandon them when they find out the racist nature of their agenda.

Strapworld, I’m blaming the Palace authorities not Her Majesty. TGF, that comment is beneath you. Tarka, I agree that there is a jihadi menace – but the BNP campaign on it. I’m saying this racist party gets votes by exploiting legitimate concerns that are too grubby for the other parties.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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