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On June 6th 2009, Britain celebrated the 65th anniversary of D-Day – a date which marked the start of the Allied invasion of Normandy during the Second World War. Only a day later, on June 7th, we witnessed a very sad day in British Politics. The European Election results were announced and in the North West Region and in Yorkshire and Humber, we shamefully elected two members of the British National Party to serve as Members of the European Parliament. This was desperately depressing.

However, now that Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons represent their constituents in the European Parliament, and will be doing so for the next few years, it is my view that the BBC should not block Mr Griffin’s expected appearance on Question Time this week.

 

Last summer, we saw protesters shouting down and hurling eggs at a BNP press conference outside Parliament. It is unacceptable for citizens of a mature democracy to treat its elected representatives like this, however unpalatable their views. We should approach the BNP just like we would any other political party, not by chucking eggs, but by throwing ideas and strong arguments. Ideas and arguments are our most powerful weapons, not missiles and loudspeakers. This protest was an immature and lazy (not to mention unlawful) way of approaching the debate.

John Stuart Mill, British political theorist and Member of Parliament in the nineteenth century, said:

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person was of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind… If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity to exchange error for truth; if wrong, they lose what is almost as great a benefit - the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

In the seventeenth century, John Milton said: "Let all with something to say be free to express themselves. The true and sound will survive. The false and unsound will be vanquished."

I believe wholeheartedly in the free market of ideas. We should all have unlimited access to the thoughts of others and we should trust the British People’s ability to distinguish between right and wrong, between good and evil and between clever and stupid. Protesters shouldn’t shout down the BNP but should instead invite them to have a public debate so that we can expose the BNP for what it really is: racist, bigoted and divisive. Anything less is an affront to the voters who chose them on June 4th.

For this reason, it is my view that Nick Griffin should be allowed to sit on the BBC Question Time Panel this week and I am looking forward to seeing my Party’s Sayeeda Warsi question this man in front of the nation.

If we continue to throw eggs or to stifle TV appearances, we will bring the BNP even more publicity. Worse still, this publicity will be on its own terms. The worst thing we could do is to reinforce amongst voters and prospective voters the sense that the BNP is a victim

Last summer’s news story could have been: ‘Nick Griffin announces racist, barbaric and isolationist policies he will be pursuing for us in Europe’, whereas the headline was ‘Egg attack on BNP leader’. Thursday’s story could be: ‘Nick Griffin outlines plans for an all-white Britain’ but instead the story will focus on the dilemmas of the mainstream political parties on whether or not they should field a candidate for the debate.

Instead of hearing the BNP’s views through an impartial media outlet, accompanied by statements from right-thinking politicians and tough questions from the commentators, prospective voters will instead seek out the policies and be faced with them for the first time alongside BNP spin. We should give the BNP a platform and then bombard them with our ideas and beliefs. Publicly blockading the Party in this way creates the appearance that we are all troubled and stumped by the BNP’s arguments.

We simply must report thoroughly and maturely over the next few years on the work of all our MEPs. The worst thing we can do now is to ignore what the BNP does and says. If we do this, after five years in Office, the lack of discourse about their views may lead voters to believe that voting for the BNP was not such a serious mistake. Their existence on the political landscape will become normalised if we hide from the realities of having voted for them.

I am not concerned in the slightest about letting the BNP message pour into the ears of every man, woman and child in Britain. I trust the British People to be able to decide between good and evil so, let’s give the BNP the publicity they want and then watch them squirm in the heat of the public spotlight. I’m looking forward to seeing public opinion mobilise against Mr Griffin when he talks of ‘Indigenous Caucasians’

We now have an exciting opportunity over the next few years. We must work hard to expose the truths about this Party, and about its members and supporters, so that we destroy its hopes of winning a seat in Britain again. We have five years in which to eradicate the BNP's chances forever. They must not be wasted.

Patrick Mercer OBE MP is Member of Parliament for Newark and Retford and Chairman of the House of Commons Counter-Terrorism Sub-Committee


 

Comments

the freedom of speech
spockdata wrote:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 03:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you; at last someone has reminded people of what this country( and all its citizens) have fought so long to ensure.
Even the crazy, the bigoted and the just plain awful have the right to their say, of course everyone also has the right to DEBATE their views and choose to accept or not.
Re: the freedom of speech
jimfred wrote:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 05:51 pm (UTC)
Well said.
Hypocrite.
infangthief wrote:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 03:29 pm (UTC)

I see that Patrick Mercer OBE MP is Chairman of the House of Commons Counter-Terrorism Sub-Committee. He might consider that the biggest terrorists around at the moment are those who have caused such destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The BNP never invaded anyone elses country.
Re: Hypocrite.
gwilymrj wrote:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 08:52 pm (UTC)
It is risible and disingenuous to claim Britain is fighting in Afghanistan to stop Al Qaeda terrorism in Britain when they have already established the mother of all fifth columns plus a massive Trojan horse in Britain.
upwardsand wrote:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 05:17 pm (UTC)
The Labour Party lied to drag the UK into an illegal war which cost the lives over over half a million people. Blair should be tried as a war criminal and the Labour party members who sat on their arses and did nothing to stop it, have NO RIGHT AT ALL to look down on Nick Griffin.

The left wing see a strong sensible immigration policy as very very bad, but seem happy to support a party of mass murderers.
Nick Griffin
jimfred wrote:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 05:54 pm (UTC)
You could say,"It's the Democracy,stoopid".
po1nter wrote:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 06:47 pm (UTC)
IT IS PRECISELY THIS TYPE OF PLATFORM THAT THE BNP NEED TO ON IN ORDER TO GIVE THE GENERAL PUBLIC THE CHANCE TO MAKE UP THEIR OWN MINDS ABOUT THEM. TO BLOCK THIS OPPORTUNITY WHEN IT IS NOW SEEN AS ACCEPTABLE THAT THE LIKES OF GERRY ADAMS AND MARTIN MCGUINNESS ARE GIVEN AIRTIME ( HOW MANY BRITISH SOLDIERS DIED IN NORTHERN IRELAND IN THE LAST 25 YEARS)WOULD REDUCE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE DEMOCRACY WHICH WE SO FREQUENTLY PROMOTE. HAS NICK GRIFFIN AT ANY TIME ADVOCATED OR SHOWN SUPPORT FOR THE KILLING OF THE BRITISH ARMY? IF HE HAS NO SUBSTANCE, IT WILL BECOME CLEAR FROM THE OUTSET BUT I FEAR THAT THE DEBATE WILL LOWER ITSELF INTO A TELEVISED BULLFIGHT WITH ALL SIDES WANTING TO DELIVER A KILLER BLOW WITHOUT REGARD TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE DEBATE ITSELF. WE WILL SEE.........
70 million plus
jaded63 wrote:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 07:50 pm (UTC)

Today we have been reminded once again about that projected population figure of 70million for our country, the increase to be largely made up of immigrants and their offspring. We remember, too, that Alan Johnson stated he was 'entirely comfortable' with the projection.

However, it is fair to say that the overwhelming majority of white pople in our country are not in the least comfortable with the projection, that they are already extremely disturbed by the uncontrolled immigration experienced so far, and that they are both depressed and outraged by the utter inability of Labour to do anything about it, and the determination of the Conservatives to largely ignore the subject.

Therefore it is not in the least surprising that the BNP are finding that their support base is extending from the white working class into the middle and upper classes, the latter having always had a residue of extreme right-wing support in any case.

It seems to me that the majority of whites will, eventually, feel forced to do whatever it takes to prevent that 70 million scenario becoming a reality, whether it means merely voting for the BNP or taking part in the kind of civic action which it is absolutely inevitable will come to pass, and indeed has begun to show itself in the actions of the English Defence League and other phenomenae.

I don't want to see a race-based civil war in this country, but there is no doubt that the present government is doing its damnedest to make it happen.
(no subject) - xokatyxo - Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 09:40 pm (UTC)
Re: 70 million plus
workerholic_joe wrote:
Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 11:42 am (UTC)
If Nick Griffin is guilty of anything, it is that he is a race-realist (RR). As the term implies, a (RR) assesses the impact that a politically created multicultural society (MS) has on a long-established mono-cultural one.

Griffin has identified and voiced the flaws he sees in an artificially created (MS). Left-wing politicians and their supporters are very quick to dismiss (RR) commentary as racism, bigotry or fascism. However, the working-class - downtrodden Brit finds Nick Griffin’s style of (tell-it-how-it-is-politics) most appealing.
Re: 70 million plus
almightymat wrote:
Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 08:07 pm (UTC)

Oh, I don't know, Collin, I'm from a white working class British background, and I just find the man to be a disgusting little racist with a flair for public speaking....who are you to sopeak for the entire working class? Maybe you should have asked permission first?

And the phrase race-realist just implies a racist trying to make his racism sound more intellectual and less small, petty, and ugly...
Good and evil
gwilymrj wrote:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 08:47 pm (UTC)
If they could then Nu Labour would never have got elected.
Johnny Come Lately.
ron_broxted wrote:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 10:06 pm (UTC)
I go with Woody Allen "Some say we should approach neo-nazis with openness & tolerance - I say we should approach them with pickaxe handles and baseball bats". But really, I am in 2 minds over the BBC. Oxygen of publicity? Put Griffin in with Warsi & Greer, both good debaters. As for overcrowding can the Rt Hon Patrick tell us who let in 2 million Poles overnight with no provision for housing, schools, hospitals, crime, and the fact that they would compete with the British working class for the lowest paid jobs? Oh, I see, now you wake up to the reality of chavs voting B.N.P. In the immoratl words of my erstwhile pals from Brixton "Bway dat is a Ras Clart".
On freedom of expression
dicky_b wrote:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 at 10:35 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. Another dubious decision to give the BNP airtime based on "freedom of expression." Don't get me wrong, I'm deeply concerned about this issue, and go back and forth frequently on it. As a left-liberal academic, I spend much of my time defending all kinds of freedoms. But, as half of an interracial relationship (and still more recently the father of a mixed-race daughter), I've come to view the "freedom of speech" argument for granting public space to right-wing extremism as little more than a red herring.

Regardless of whether the hate-filled rhetoric of the BNP can be proved in a court of law to be inciting racial hatred and/or physical violence (in my view, the "cultural, not racial" defence is a highly spurious one, but there we go), is it not true that racial (or "cultural") abuse, even if it remains confined to the verbal level, is IN ITSELF an act of violence? We have begun to recognize that verbal abuse is just as "real" as physical abuse in domestic situations; how about extending that insight to the public sphere?

I would argue that the BNP has no more right to commit violent acts verbally than it does to participate in physical violence. (As an aside, of course, it's worth noting the extensive portfolio of evidence amassed by brave undercover journalists that many BNP activists continue to participate in such acts despite the veneer of respectability the party has nowadays - kind of makes a mockery of that frightfully British horror over the egg-throwing, doesn't it, Patrick?)

I submit that if I stood in the next European election on a platform of putting a brick through Nick Griffin's smug face I would amass a fair few votes of my own; this doesn't mean, however, that I would have the right to deliver on that manifesto promise - and nor should I. By the same token, Griffin has no right to perpetuate acts of verbal violence against anyone who doesn't happen to be white, just because he happens to have mobilized a few like-minded thugs at the ballot box. Could someone please point this out to the BBC?
Nick Griffin and BNP supporters.
workerholic_joe wrote:
Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 12:00 am (UTC)
Patrick. As a long standing member of the British National Party, I rub shoulders with a wide spectrum of like-mined supporters on a weekly basis.

I can assure you, that there are no fanatics whatsoever among our ranks. Admittedly, our party consists of many disenfranchised souls. Yet for our accumulative concerns, we remain both tolerant, and civilised towards those who'd prefer we didn't exist at all.

We are an intelligent and resourceful group of individuals. Insulting us, or the policies of our party (same-thing) simply reinforces the bond we share.

Mr Griffin is on record (The Politics Show) admitting that he was completely wrong about the Holocaust remark he made in his thirties. Nick Griffin will continue to repeat this admission if asked in future. Nick's political views and awareness have evolved beyond all appreciable measure of the MSM and the elite.

The BNP continue to mature at a geometric-rate. Only a uninformed individual will continue to under-estimate the BNP's ability to adapt to the hostile climate that the elite of this country have designed to keep us from speaking our minds to a wide audience.

BNP members are essentially old-school Brit's. We are a people endowed with a concise repertoire of our ancestors past struggles.

By all means, carry on ignoring and ridiculing us if that helps you sleep at night. We haven't started to make waves yet. However, I can assure you that when we do, the familiar face of British politics will be changed irrevocably.

We are the builders of this country. What makes you, or anyone believe that we are about to hand our homeland over to foreign invaders without a measured-response is simply beyond us.
Re: Nick Griffin and BNP supporters.
almightymat wrote:
Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 08:19 pm (UTC)

Collin, one of the funniest things about your little rabble is that you constantly lay claim to somehow represent and speak for Britain, it's people, it's armed forces, and so on, as if putting the word 'British' on the front of your party name somehow magically means that you speak for all of them...

If this is the case, why are you in such a small minority? I mean, even if you had 10% of the vote at the next general election, god forbid, this would mean that you did not represent 90% of the British people...I just find this posture that you affect rather hard to understand?
Old Nick is he our saviour?
snotcricket wrote:
Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 03:13 pm (UTC)
A ridiculous man & party; Yes

But he has managed to do what all our wonderful established political parties have failed to do for many a year, he's engaged the british public with politics.

Perchance that might frighten the Lib/Lab/Con pact as they have spent many years & much of our money ensuring we disengage allowing them to pilfer our earnings for themselves as we staggered on somehow never questioning this group of individuals or their agenda.

Griffin will never hold great sway within the UK (rapping)but he could yet go down as the man who re-engaged the UK public with politics/democracy, ironically for all the wrong reasons.
Hypocrite
mcgill_j wrote:
Saturday, 24 October 2009 at 10:54 am (UTC)
The hypocrisy of Mercer knows no bounds. He has the effrontery to quote John Stuart Mill and John Milton when in truth he used draconian measures to silence his own constituent. His behaviour, I think, would shame the BNP and his ability to distinguish between right and wrong would seem to be questionable.

Mr Mercer supports the illegal war in Afghanistan and mistreats his constituent, that is wrong; but he thinks his wrong is entirely right.

Is it right, that he should support illegal war while working for security firms that have vested interests?

The only threat to the Islamification of the UK and support for the safeguarding of our British culture is the BNP.

Our towns and cities one by one become their domain, our ancient Christian dead, St. John's Manchester, are being dug up to make way for, another Islamic Mosque. That is so very wrong what happened to RIP?

Indeed, we can tell the difference between good and evil. The illegal wars of aggression death and destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan that makes us a target of world terrorists is evil. Perhaps, the BNP are evil but they are so for the greater good of the indigenous people that are becoming the minority in their own country.

England, needs a champion, a protector of our way of life and our wellbeing.

Who will be that defender and guardian if not the BNP?
Re: Hypocrite
almightymat wrote:
Monday, 26 October 2009 at 10:23 am (UTC)

"Perhaps, the BNP are evil but they are so for the greater good of the indigenous people..."

Blimey, can you even hear yourself..?

"Perhaps, the nazis were evil but they were so for the greater good of the indigenous German people..."

And no, I'm not fanatically shouting 'nazi! nazi!' at anyone who supports the BNP, yourself included, but that seemed the quickest and easiest way to point out the utter stupidity of what you just said...
Re: Hypocrite
mcgill_j wrote:
Tuesday, 27 October 2009 at 08:43 am (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out it does need explanation.

We know that evil is a broad term the worst kind of evil is that relating to Nazism but what I meant to say but made a right cock-up is that the evil of the BNP is, necessary evil, that is not to say that they are evildoers but in spite of some unfavourable qualities within the BNP it’s preferable to an absence of such a political party

I am absolutely sure that the enemy is within and growing and that the only people that will do something about them along with immigration concerns is the BNP.

"CIA warns Barack Obama that British terrorists are the biggest threat to the US"
Re: Hypocrite
almightymat wrote:
Tuesday, 27 October 2009 at 09:11 am (UTC)

"We know that evil is a broad term the worst kind of evil is that relating to Nazism"

and,

"I am absolutely sure that the enemy is within and growing and that the only people that will do something about them along with immigration concerns is the BNP"

Again, blimey, can you even hear yourself..?
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