Fraser Nelson

Griffin has achieved exactly what he hoped to

Griffin has achieved exactly what he hoped to
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As far as the BNP is concerned, Nick Griffin has already won this Question Time debate. It’s not about whether he does badly or well – he simply wins from the publicity. He’s been on Channel Four news, got an interview in today’s Times, all will be splashed all across the tabloids tomorrow – and that’s before we consider the Question Time slot itself. Then, he will win because, as we emphasise in the leader of this week’s magazine, millions watch Question Time. For every 50 people who think he disgraced himself, there may be only one person who thinks he might have a point. But, for Griffin, that will be enough.

To compound the issue, the panel are pitching themselves at the different audiences. The politicians will want to walk away being seen as the person who put Nick Griffin in his place. So they will want to launch into some articulate but fiery attack. The shriller these attacks are, the wider the smile on Griffin’s face. He only cares about the BNP target voters who might be watching: the white working class. Rest assured, Griffin will steer clear from anything that sounds like racism or homophobia – he’ll try to go mainstream, and wait for the psyched-up politicians to attack him. If Griffin is able to say “I want to raise a few reasonable points, and they all scream at me” then he will win. If he gets pelted by eggs on the way out – and there’s a strong chance he will be, given the protests outside Television Centre right now – his rating will go up.

In the end, Griffin’s there not to win points, but to draw a shrill reaction from his critics. And it looks like he may well get one.

PS. Coffee House will be live-blogging tonight's Question Time. Stay tuned from 2230.

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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