Friday, 23 October 2009

Question Time

Don't outraged political commentators wonder sometimes whether the next bunch of fascists have actually been identified? Is it possible to identify them? Or do they creep up on you unawares, in a shape that you do not recognise? And then, by the time you see them for what they are, it's too late.
Aurora is banging on about the BNP appearing upon Question Time last night, a programme that I didn't really get a chance to watch, because she and Minxy chattered throughout the entire programme. They weren't even discussing any of the issues. They were simply trying to stop me listening. And whilst I agree that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, I am not sure that this freakish bunch really have what it takes to change the hearts and minds of the majority of British people. Have we really identified the next totalitarian threat?
"We shouldn't give these people a platform." she says, true to form.
"What are you talking about? Everyone has a platform. The streets and the homes and pubs of Britain are platforms. Or are you are you trying to say that there is some special platform offered to people by the revered BBC... you know, an official platform, and one that is only available to those who venerate its very existence? And are you saying that if you do not get onto the special BBC platform then all those people who flirted with your ideas will go off and flirt with someone else's ideas? I don't think so."
"What on earth are you talking about? All I'm saying is that I don't think that we should be giving these people the oxygen of publicity."
"I reckon the best way to discourage these views is to stop treating ordinary people, ordinary voters like idiots. The best way is to get people trusting mainstream politics again. Instead people are appalled by the politicians that they should be trusting. They are disgusted by the corruption and the incompetence and the greed of these people. And when things fall apart in that way, that is when people start flirting with whackos. It's not the oxygen of publicity we have to worry about, it's the decay of trust."
"I don't know how you can sit in front of the box and listen to that man. You already know what his views are."
"I don't know why you can't see that the next threat will come at us like a bolt from the blue. You won't see it coming. It will be something that is far more insidious, far more subtle, far more... undetectable than you imagine. It will be something that spreads its message through the offices of every government department, that could also be influencing other governments elsewhere as well, that wants to control the way in which every person lives, that seeks to modify, re-educate people, manipulate their thinking, that cannot tolerate dissent. You don't see that that's how totalitarianism will re-emerge. And you never know... it could be happening around you right now. You just cannot see it."
"Ok, so enlighten me. Are you actually referring to something specific?"
"Maybe... what?"
"I don't know, for example...Maybe the whole global warming thing, the green agenda, for example. Doesn't that meet the criteria above?"
"Oh dear, now you really are clutching at straws."
"It was just an example."
"Hardly the same thing. Somehow, I don't see people being rounded up," she said. And with that she and then Minxy got up and wandered off towards the bedroom.
By guest blogger Wat Tyler


  1. What are people afraid of other people hearing?
    There's a presumption that the only way to stop an opinion is by banning people from hearing it in the first place.

  2. Griffin looked really bad in the actual debate. His appearance was a good thing surely?

  3. The mainstream politicians didn't come out of it well - a smug bunch trading soundbites for applause.

  4. Looked a bit like bear-baiting to me.

  5. Funniest bit was Bonnie Greer taking the moral high ground over immigration

  6. The green movement is trying to get its message through to as many people as possible, trying influence people weak and powerful, but is that a bad thing if they are trying to get us to improve the way we live?

  7. Was that mistake in the original post about the BNP appearing on Newsnight supposed to be a joke, a trompe d'Oeil or something?
    And if so, why did you change it?

  8. Of course, of course. That is why it had to be changed to Question Time...