How not to interview the BNP

1 Oct 2009 by CST

the Nothing British campaign has written a letter of complaint to the BBC about the appalling interview with two Young BNP members that was aired on Radio 1 yesterday. They summarise the problems with the interview very well indeed:

Unfortunately, listeners to yesterday’s programme were provided with no context about the two “young BNP” members Mark Collett and Joey Smith. With such a sensitive subject as the BNP, a party mired in criminality and extremist views and violence, framing is important because listeners must not be left with false impressions. But Messrs Collett and Smith were presented to viewers of your web site and listeners to the programme as being “ordinary lads” with simply unorthodox political views.

Mark Collett is not an “ordinary lad” with eccentric and naïve beliefs. As a member of the BNP for over seven years and current Head of BNP Publicity, Mr. Collett is a relatively senior member of the party. And yet, his close associations with up and coming European neo-Nazis were completely ignored. Listeners were not informed about Mr. Collett’s intolerant views on homosexuals, Jews, non-whites and Muslims. No background was provided on his admiration for Adolf Hitler, his disgust for Winston Churchill and his respect for the late Ian Stewart Donaldson, founder of the violent neo-Nazi organization Blood and Honour and former lead singer of the hate rock group “Screwdriver”.

Debbie Randal’s interview with Nick Griffin lacked any suitable scrutiny or criticism of his views on social cohesion, BNP policies or his strong links with international neo-Nazi parties such as Hungary’s Jobbik, Germany’s National Democratic Party (who were recently responsible for beating up a black Briton in Hamburg in front of his wife and three year old child) and individuals such as David Duke, the former head of the KKK, and Don Black in America. 

The analysis provided by Dave Howard, Radio 1 political editor, was insufficient and inaccurate. Mr. Howard said the interview revealed how the BNP had more to offer than their “tough immigration line”. The BNP are not just an “anti-immigrant” reactionary party. It is a party whose policies are based entirely on racial hygiene theories dressed up as reasonableness and masked in respectability. The interview totally failed to mention this and left the distorted impression of the BNP being a modern and mainstream party.

If the BNP are now going to get a platform on the BBC and elsewhere, it is vital that their deceitful and often bizarre policies are subjected to the same rigorous treatment as those of any other political party. As Roy Greenslade puts it on his Guardian media blog:

I am on record as supporting the idea that Nick Griffin should be allowed to appear on BBC's Question Time in the belief that his views should be aired. It will also allow people to question them.

I am not opposed to hearing the views of Joey and Mark either. But to allow them the platform without any proper interrogation of their ignorance is a disgrace.

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