Friday, 23 October 2009

Griffin via Beeston


The reading at Nottingham University with two talented younger poets, Polly Atkin and Neele Dellschaft, was very well attended chiefly thanks to the remarkable energy of the organiser Eireann Lorsung, herself a poet. She and her phalanx of bright and charming fellow PhD students spoke volumes for the place. Afterwards we went for a meal and only at the end of that did I see the last twenty minutes of Question Time in my perfectly respectable and clean B&B on the oldest TV set I have watched in years.

It is a little worrying to see the comments on the BBC websites, mostly sympathetic to Griffin, mostly complaining about a lynch-mob atmosphere. It didn't look or sound like a lynch-mob to me: he was not being constantly interrupted as some claim, nor was he booed throughout despite the fact that he didn't look or sound anything like a decent human being. He prevaricated on Holocaust denial and on the Ku Klux Klan, and kept hammering away at the idea of the indigenous English or British, sometimes one, sometimes the other, as a downtrodden group deprived of rights by immigrants and government. As if! It does not seem to me that poor Asians or Africans or Caribbeans are running the country, let alone migrant Polish workers. Ostensibly, his greatest concern was immigration and indeed it is immigration that touches the nerve in poor white areas, but the rest was little more than a plea for racial purity, classic fascist territory, presented weasel-fashion. That, at least, is my twenty-minutes viewing.

I think the BBC handled this badly. It would have been far better to have him politely but very firmly interviewed in a face-to-face situation by someone prominent. Then possibly let him on Question Time with the full range of BNP ideas established. But this is a dangerous time - a deepening recession - to bring him on QT first. However hopeless and repulsive he is, he only gains by this form of appearance. A door has been opened through which he will walk again and again. Vile people bring out whatever is vile in perfectly ordinary people. They stop thinking of it as vile. Furies and frustrations concentrate on specific targets. The programme had both fury and frustration in plenty.

In the morning I walked up to Beeston town centre just to get a sense of the place. It has the sweet, hamfisted look of much of post-industrial Britain. Miscellaneous shambolic buildings where small businesses try to make a living either by providing cheap handy services or by appealing to the imagination: the three part barber-ladies hairdresser-children's 'jungle cut' building with the Martial Arts shack tacked on to it. Dancing lessons behind a shop. The vacant site. The large shed-like building housing Amore, the Italian restaurant . The small, front-room sized Balti take-away. The ancient cobbler's shop, established in 1947, in a tin shed with a facade of miscellaneous crooked signs. The bike shop. Young mothers with prams. The roads too big, sweeping through to other places. The friendliness in shops. It is latter day George Orwell territory at heart.

Hard to think of hatred simmering in such places. The odd resentment, the odd fight, the odd curse probably fuelled by drink, but not the steady downloading of hate accumulated over long years the way I sensed it in parts of Northern Ireland. I don't think the country is primed for Griffin and his yobs. I think people are better than that.



8 comments:

Poet in Residence said...

Good points George.

Re Skilled interviewers. Are they a dying breed?

Where's our David Frost when we need him? At Al Jazeera, that's where.

McCain: David, I've admired your work for years. It's been an honour to be interviewed by you.

Yes, live now on Al Jaz.

Poet in Residence said...

I should have said the the Al Jazeera David Frost programme is called Frost Over the World.

It sometimes gets into the mind-bending stratosphere of skilled interviewing.
Frost could casually destroy your neo-Nazi with one glance and a quote. No mobs required.

thijsw said...

Sorry, PiR, I deeply disagree. In my (Dutch) experience a really qualified interviewer can hardly hurt people like our infamous Geert Wilders or your mr Griffin. Every win by the interviewer will be considered another nasty trick of the pc intellectuals, or the pc leftist media, or whatever, and it will be one more reason for hate towards all those people in the mainstream. The only way, and it will be a very hard one, is for other politicians and for the general public to say loud and clear that freedom is for everyone, from every colour, every creed, every opinion, within the context of the law. And it's a sorry sight to see some politicians (at least in my country) get frightened of losing seats and therefore trying to find some way in between.

Poet in Residence said...

thijsw, I take and respect your point. But nevertheless I still believe that someone with great experience and fortitude like Frost would casually wipe the floor with the two you mention and do it in such a way that the pair would be pleased slink into the corner rat holes almost unnoticed by the quickly departing mob in search of a new hero. It's all a matter of brainpower and intelligent articulation. Obama has it. Watch him.

The Plump said...

Vile people bring out whatever is vile in perfectly ordinary people. They stop thinking of it as vile.

That is exactly right. And that is why the BBC's protestation that they had to be neutral (how can one be neutral about fascism??) is little more than blustering sophistry about a huge misjudgement.

Desmond Swords said...

I read somewhere, a commentator suggesting someone with the intelligence of a Will Self as a candidate on the panel who could've puntured the racist drivel of this fat git.

Bloody Foreigners, the Robert Winders' book was a great read which arms the thinker with facts and figures that could show up Griffin for what he is.

I was in Grogans last night, and someone said he started out as an ardent Welsh nationalist, before changing tak and dilluting his message once his audience became more than a few pub-thugs and louts into Friday night fisticuffs with anyone who looks 'funny' at 'em.

Self could have pointed out that the English 'race' is an oxymoron only morons with a low IQ believe to be a reality.

As guardian chief Art vixen Charlotte Higgins pointed out in her last op-ed column, When Syrians, Algerians and Iraqis patrolled Hadrian's Wall - Celtic Brython (present day England and Wales) during the Roman occupation, had numerous Middle Eastern 'immigrants' in the form of border guards patrolling the empire's border with Caledonia, who married local Brythons and once Rome went: hordes of North Europeans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes and others, flooded into the vacuum and fought the 'natives' until the Norman's - originally Vikings who conquered Normandy - came and stopped the 'natives' fighting amongst themselves and established their 'civilisation' by brute force.

The Self type bruiser could then point out to the fat lad, that he was actually labouring under an illusion in regards to thinking that there was a North European race with different values and mindsets to the people he is claiming aren't 'ethnically' British, because the ethnicity of britons is founded on the American dream, out of the many, one lager-swilling mass of brits whose mosr historically 'recent' story of themselves, is founded on kicking ass from Liz 1 on, and perhaps the thick fat fella needs to go back and get his facts and figures right before he thinks on setting himself up as the voice of your average intelligent and forward looking 21C 'briton', who sees their 'race' as Human first and foremost.

The Self gasser, could then point out that we are only a million years old, as a race and will soon be extinct anyway, in the cosmic scale of God.

'Do you believe in God, griffin' self would say, fixing a laser stare in him, thrashing the fat git and putting an end to his career, then and there, on Live tv.

Alas, the BBC only had people who lie for a living in, tainted by monumental blunder and self-interest. The guy in the audience was hailed as the one who landed the star blow. A totally anonymous amatuer amidst all the political pros.

Poet in Residence said...

"he started out as an ardent Welsh Nationalist" ...
No such animal. Unless he means the 1,000,000 Welsh speakers north of the Preseli Hills who stand in the rain under Cadwallader's banner (legal since 1952 or therabouts). Welsh is an English word meaning foreigner. The Cymro are clinging on to the edge of Europe in places like Wales, Breton, Cornwall. And yes, where St Patrick was a Welshman too, even in Eire. Their traces may be found even in Yorkshire names like Pen-y-Ghent (Hill of winds) before they became bloody foreigners in their own lands which comprised 2/3rds of what is today known as England and Wales. King Offa drew the line in the sand. A true "Welsh Nationalist" therefore would have to reclaim nearly 70% of England - so the term is totally meaningless.

Desmond Swords said...

Oops, I have just been reading his bio and there is no mention of him being Welsh national.

He does live in Wales though.

That's the danger of pub-talk.

What is interesting, is he was educated at Cambridge, lost an eye when a shotgun cartridge exploded in a fire in France where he's had failed business ventures, and that his dad was a Conservative councillor.

The fall out now seems to be that it was an own goal on behalf of Aunty, because of the way they treated him, as summat special and built the whole show round his appearance, so no other questions concerning Afghanistan and other matters got asked by ther audience.

Hostilities ceased for a day between the three main parties who rounded on a bloke a well prepared brief could have forensically deconstructed in a variety of ways.

One would be to ask him about all the people in his security team, the shadowy thugs with plenty of criminal records behind them, for some very serious offences.

I'm the child of immigrants myself, and half a schizophrenic relationship with the two countries, my head and logic tells me I'm English, whilst my heart and soul knows I'm Irish, and I think that the reason he is getting votes is plain simple, Fear and using the gobblee dee gook PC ethos that has stifled debate about immigration in Britain and turned any serious attempt to half a rational chat about it, into a point scoring demonisation game between self-interested political parties who present the issues in black and white cartoon.

I dunno, i just reckon he is living a bit of a dream, making a few quid out of his daft and repellant ideas, at heart is a rougharse who likes a fight, and don't think he is ever gonna get any real power. He is more a wake up call, spanner in the works of british politics, reminding the rest of the figures their is a dissafected minority of uneducated whites who feel they aren't being listened to by the main parties.