9 June 2009
Like most people residing in Yorkshire, I was appalled that my fellow countyfolk had cast enough votes for the BNP to allow one of their kind to sneak into the European Parliament. This is what proportional representation does, you see - it is designed by politicians who, in their quest to self-protect, don't consider (or blinkeredly don't accept) that it allows extremism to beat down democracy's door and take the odd seat.
However, for all the many thousands of reasons that right-thinking people in society should have to despise and scorn the BNP, the actions of those egg-throwers at the Palace of Westminster today were all wrong. Nick Griffin is now, dislike it or not, a democratically-elected politician. He has earned the right, through the (misguided) will of the people in the north west, to speak freely on his policies.
I empathise with the principles of anyone who feels outraged by Griffin's elevation to bonafide political representation. His election in the north west, and that of his colleague on my side of the Pennines, is the sad day for parliamentary politics we all feared but never really expected would come. Election to a few county councils where race issues are more acute than elsewhere holds little impact. Election to the continental parliament, crammed with politicians representing countries and religions which the BNP actively despises, is a frightening possibility that has now developed into reality, although I strongly believe that a good 90% of the people who ticked the BNP box did so to show their disgust at the others, rather than to offer active support to Griffin's band of knucklescrapers. Nonetheless, Griffin is now part of the real world, and for all his party's splinter status, he needs to be accepted as a politician, if not as a worthwhile human being.
But chucking eggs at him in public when he is about to hold a press conference is entirely wrong and dangerous. I'd quite like to hear what he has to say, for the simple and sole reason that the BNP's cause is hindered far more when they open their filthy gobs to the civilised world than it is when they stay silent and talk to their own kind. Preventing Griffin from speaking prevents the rest of us from being allowed to laugh at him, to point out the atrocious prejudices within his words and remind the saner majority of why this man is someone to ignore, or contradict, even pity, because of the hateful garbage he professes to believe.
Extremism is bad on both sides of the political spectrum, and there is little doubt that left-wing extremists were responsible for the protests. While the extreme left fight the extreme right, it's us, the intelligent and staid majority, who are caught in the middle. Free speech has to be more important than anything, and what happened to Griffin was a denial of exactly that. Next time, let him spout his bile, as it will be a far easier way to kick the unspeakable bastard and his mates as far down the political road to nowhere as we can.