Sunday, October 25, 2009
Bonnie Greer helps the BNP gain favourable publicity
The debate into Nick Griffin appearing on Question Time is over.
The debate into what happened and why has now begun.
In response to a poster in an earlier post, I said;
“I have heard that Question Time didn’t follow its normal format, a mistake that gave Griffin more ammo to complain”.
It appears that others agree with my assessment of the botched programme with Radio 4 presenter Sue MacGregor accusing the BBC of mishandling the appearance and setting the “attack dogs” against Nick Griffin.
She is correct to state the way the programme was conducted meant more people were likely to have felt some sympathy for Griffin.
Another unnamed BBC presenter said the programme was a “bear pit”.
The lawyers advising the BBC have told Director General Mark Thompson and Chief Political Ric Bailey that the in-house rules on impartiality were not observed on the programme.
They have also suggested that Griffin may have to be given a right of reply as the only remedy if Griffin and the BNP chose to go to court to challenge the BBC’s rules on impartiality.
The BBC directive on impartiality states;
“We must ensure that we avoid bias or an imbalance of views on controversial subjects.”
Sue MacGregor said;
“I don’t think it was right to completely skew the formula to him and one issue. It either gave him a huge audience for his views, which I would not approve of, or it gave the impression of attack dogs against Nick Griffin.”
As well as the BBC thinking they had been clever, one should not forget that the panelists are equally guilty of going along with this.
Bonnie Greer’s quote;
“At one point, I had to restrain myself from slapping him. But it was worth it because he was totally trounced.”
This statement of how she considered violence acceptable is more like the politics of the student union protest.
Did she really want us to know how much she disliked Griffin, or was it more about raising her image?
Now, let us come on to David Dimbleby, why did he go along with it?
Out of all the people round that table, he is the person that I am most disappointed in.
As host of the show, he was charged with ensuring fairness and impartially but was it easier just to join the mob?
To warp a Churchill quote, ‘never in the field of human conflict have so few done so much damage to so many’.
Here are the names of the unmagnificent seven;
1/ Director General Mark Thompson
2/ Chief Political advisor Ric Bailey
3/ David Dimbleby
4/ Chris Huhne
5/ Sayeeda Warsi
6/ Jack Straw
7/ Bonnie Greer
Each one of these people played a part in helping Nick griffin gain a platform, not by his appearance by the way they conducted themselves.
So, what is the remedy?
They should rerun the programme again, this time using the usual format and not with panelists who want to play student politics so as to raise their profile.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University