Coffee House

The trailer for Nick Griffin’s Question Time performance

22 October 2009

Is Nick Griffin’s interview with the Times a sneak preview of what we can expect from him on Question Time tonight?  I rather suspect so.  His aim in it is not only to project a reasonable front – by glossing over awkward facts (his conviction for inciting racial hatred is described as "Orwellian"), and by making dubious comparisons (he likens the BNP to opposition movements in Zimbabwe) – but also to provoke and rile his political opponents.  The BNP leader sarcastically thanks "the political class and their allies for being so stupid" as to allow his appearance on QT.

But the problem for Griffin is whether he can maintain the charade for the show’s entire running length.  Towards the end of his Times interview, there are worrying glimpses into his real mindset.  For example:

"How does he feel about President Obama? ‘He is an Afrocentric racist bigot.’ He thinks American blacks should have been resettled in Africa ‘because the two peoples living side by side would cause problems forever’."

It is this kind of thing which reminds us why the BNP should be opposed.  But, as Frank Field and Nicholas Soames argue in today’s Telegraph, it should also remind the major parties why they need to talk more about immigration – lest Griffin’s views fill the vacuum.

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us now.

  • Verity

    Metrodecom – Do you get the sensation that no one on this political blog gives a stuff whether you’re a small tea shop, a small teapot or a small tea bag?

  • James

    I’m surprised to read such comments from Spectator readers- some of them would seem more at home on the Daily Mail’s website. Personally, as one of Thatchers children who grew up in west London and now lives in Bristol, I don’t recognise the country you describe. I live with a Slovakian, my landlord is Iranian, I was educated with lots of muslims (I studied science, you see) and most of the people I currently work with are German. My problems with British society? The t***ing chavs who make parts of our cities true no go areas, who wreck anything they can’t steal, and who will threaten you with violence at the slightest attempt to question their thuggish and abusive behaviour. The BNP seems to argue that these guys are in the right, and me and mine are in the wrong. Seems a bit topsy-turvy to me…

  • Metrodeco

    We’re just a small tea shop in Brighton but we had a very recent encounter with the BNP. Read about our experience of Nick Griffin and our take on the Question Time debate here:

  • AngloWelshDragon

    Perhaps General Zod or Jonny would care to comment on the concerns of so many of their fellow countrymen over immigration and aggressive islamification. Are they happy with it? Is this all going to bring us benefits we are to thick to recognise? I am getting a bit tired of hearing that we are all undercover nazis without either of them ever coming out and explaining the wonderful world we can enjoy through continuing mass immigration and the transformation of our towns and cities into Deobandist-inspired outposts of Sylhet!

  • TomTom

    It is funny how Nick Griffin is a lightning conductor. Put him in the limelight and it flushes out all the Trotskyites past and present determined to ration what the voters may see.

    We find out why Michael Rosen had to leave the BBC and wonder why MI5 stopped vetting BBC staff. Then again, Jack Straw has his own MI5 file from his Leeds university days as a ’68er.

    Nick Griffin is magic – he brings the iron filings into alignment and suddenly we see the array around us as they bellow and chant and rage telling us we shall not see, shall not hear….when they mean, we shall not be seen, shall not be heard….for they are going to say what we shall say, think, and vote.

    For 45 years they have driven the country in a direction people loathe; and have closed down all safety valves, suppressed all free thought, and turned a once-free country into a giant theme park where they control the media and the parties.

    They told us they had to talk to the IRA to avoid further violence and persuade them to become politicians; but they try to stop people hearing the BNP and suppress all dissent……do they believe the path of political activity should be blocked, because they believe in violence as their best hope of overthrowing the last vestiges of democracy ?

    The SWP has Churches, politicians, newspapers and trades unions affiliated to its front groups – even David Cameron

  • General Zod

    Careful, JONNY, the “non-BNP supporters” who nevertheless understand why lots of people are likely to vote BNP will accuse you of being a troll.

  • Beer Moth


    And what crimes did Mosley perpetrate?

  • Metrodeco

    We’re a small tea shop in Brighton – read about our recent experience of Nick Griffin and whether we think he should be on Question Time:

  • Dennis Churchill

    Yes and an increasing BNP vote would assist our political class in justifying immigration limits.
    As wrinkled weasel wrote ,Shame or fear?How many people had their property damaged because their names appeared on a leaked list?

    David Ossitt
    “…why oh why will the Tory party not represent us conservatives.”
    Because to its leadership we are all W###s

  • Maggie

    Nick Griffin is now a massive hero for the people who see themselves as being disenfranchised by the main parties. But apparently the BBC have hatched a plan where they will prevent him from speaking about immigration and make him spend 50 irrelevant minutes talking about the Holocaust. They must presume that BNP members are more civilised than the ugly mob outside television centre and that they won’t react.

  • Tiberius

    “You have hit the nail on the head; why oh why will the Tory party not represent us conservatives”.

    The trouble is, David, that for decades now any Tory or anyone else who tried to address these matters relating to preserving British culture was shouted down by the Left (pursuing cheap political points at a cost to the country) as a racist. Enough of the public bought into this screeching to make opposition to it a politically suicidal position to hold.

    The Tories cannot “do” anything about the erosion of British culture by multiculturalism unless they are in government. We know from Mel, Mark Steyn and Michael Gove’s book what has to be done to preserve it, but a lot of Britons in a position to form public opinion actually would like to see it tossed away (the self-loathing fraternity). A very sharp intake of breath is needed before this grouping can be taken on.

    Jonny: surely one nation Toryism is opposed to the devisiveness of multiculturalism?

  • AngloWelshDragon

    Moraymint @2.55pm. You are not alone in your dilemma. But if no noe will stand up for us we will eventually have to stand up for ourselves.


    ‘ why oh why will the Tory party not represent us conservatives.’

    Very likely David Ossitt
    because you’re out of synch with the traditional One Nation Toryism that every thinking Conservative has backed right from the time of Disraeli. Through Salisbury, Baldwin, Churchill, MacMillan, Butler, Heath and now restated by David Cameron.
    Why don’t you just go and join UKIP and have done with it?

  • David Ossitt


    “I for one shudder at the prospect and wonder who on earth thinks that this is unquestionably “a good thing” for the country?

    I don’t, and I’m not a racist. Who speaks for me in politics?”

    You have hit the nail on the head; why oh why will the Tory party not represent us conservatives.

  • Moraymint

    My concern is that I’m a professional, middle-class bloke who finds himself cheering on Griffin when he says some of things he does.

    The frustration for me is that our mainstream political elite is so completely out of touch on the issue of rapid, unfettered immigration and its increasingly destabilising effects on our local communities.

    Unless/until the main parties grip immigration (which in truth means controlling it to the point of stopping it for a few years if necessary) then the BNP will flourish.

    With the UK’s population projected to increase to 70-odd million, primarly as a result of immigration, I for one shudder at the prospect and wonder who on earth thinks that this is unquestionably “a good thing” for the country?

    I don’t, and I’m not a racist. Who speaks for me in politics?

  • AngloWelshDragon

    Stereodog@ 2.16. People on these pages don’t “actually state their support for the party” because by and large they don’t support it. I just wish my party of choice (the Conservative Party) would stop shillshallying about and stand up for the interests of the ordinary working men and women of this country. That doesn’t make me a closet racist or a BNP fifth columnist. Play the ball not the man please, or go back to playing with your bone.


    ‘If nobody else is going to stand up to Islam and push the muslims back, he’ll have to do.’
    You worry me Puppet Master.
    Substitute ‘Islam’ for Stalin’s Russia. And ‘muslims’ for Marxists –
    and you may just begin to understand how many misguided people like yourself fooled themselves into thinking Hitler was ‘on their side’.
    And backed Oswald Moseley – the Griffin of his day.

  • wrinkled weasel

    stereodog writes:
    It amuses me that there are so many people willing to defend the BNP in these comments but no one is brave enough to actually state their support for the party. Perhaps there is a certain level of shame involved?

    No. Not at all. There is a level of fear.

  • Zonked

    At the end of the day, Nick Griffin is the same prat he’s always been and eventually as he gets more exposure he will loose what support he has, apart obviousely from those people who also prats.

  • stereodog

    It amuses me that there are so many people willing to defend the BNP in these comments but no one is brave enough to actually state their support for the party. Perhaps there is a certain level of shame involved?

  • David Ossitt


    “He is an Afrocentric racist bigot.” If he’s Afrocentric he can’t be racist against blacks because Afrocentrism is a latter day world view emphasizing the importance and contribution of blacks”

    Augustus he was referring to Obama.

  • Wilhelm

    Andyin Brum

    I heard liebour mp Andy Slaughter on Radio 5, he was squeeeeeling from the rooftops, foaming and frothing at the mouth, screeeeming and howling, shouting down everybody.

    I thought he was going to turn into a werewolf.

    If you ggogle a photo of Andy Slaughter, he looks like a typical liebour geekish appartachik, you would get in Stalin’s Russia.
    A picture paints a thousand words.

    The fact is that the BNP got a million votes on liebours watch and Andy Slaughter MP cant handle it, Ho Hum.

  • Peter

    I strongly recommend the piece in today’s Telegraph by Frank Field and Nicholas Soames co-chairmen of the cross party panel on immigration.

    It summarises the history and the reality of the current situation admirably and should be read by all those fervently on either side of the arguments in these Coffee house posts.

  • Wilhelm

    Every journalist this week have been going into overdrive, like a demented pavlov’s dog over the BNP.

    I suppose the National Union of Journalists have put out orders on how to report the BNP.

    It goes something like this

    1. Nick Griffin has the mark of the devil 666 on his forehead.
    2. Nick Griffin eats babies .
    3. Nick Griffin wants to annexe the Sudetenland on Friday.

    It really is very tiresome that Fraser, Massie, Blackburn are all behaving like sheep, the media bias is truly shocking.

    All togethor now baaaah, baaah.

    Very sad.

  • Rob C

    It doesn’t bother me one bit that Griffin has airtime on QT. I will still watch it and will listen to his views the same as I do many others I don’t agree with.

    What does bother me is the comprehensive failure of government and the ‘establishment’ to address the issues of concern to those people who would vote for them because that has enabled the BNP to build a following. e.g. The undemocratic imposition of the EU, Unemployment (& export of jobs overseas), State dependency, Immigration, Abuse of ethnic minority laws and a control obsessed state.

  • Geoff Miller

    AngloWelshDragon, I could not have said it better!

    Whatever the “politics” of the BNP that pales into insignificance when we face up to the fact that we will become a minority in our own country in a few decades. Already only 20% of London primary school children are native British. Our inner cities are foreign enclaves.

    What kind of a Britain are we bequeathing our children?

    A multicultural, Islamic, violent, crime ridden, poverty stricken hell hole that’s what.

    That is NOT what my parents and grandparents generations fought for and something we NEVER voted for.

    It seems that the corrupt political establishment can’t tolerate a bit of real Democracy.

    That says a lot about them and what they have done to our people.

  • Wilhelm

    ”The two peoples living side by side would cause problem.”

    Well Peter, boxer Muhammad Ali in the 1970s believed in a segregated America. He wanted 4 or 5 states turned into an African American country.

  • Scottish Cheeselog

    I applaud Wrinkled Weasel and AngloWelshDragon. For much too long the English (far far more than the rest of the UK) have been ignored, belittled, suppressed, denigrated and thrust aside in favour of everyone else. Even their existence is denied – how often do you hear politicians mention “England”? It’s an injustice that needs to be corrected.

  • AndyinBrum

    Any one hear The Right hon Slaughter on 5Live at 12:20 – its a poor show when the anti-facists are coming over more facist, bigoted, intollerant and hysterical than the facists their railing against.

    He did more for the BNP’s popularity in 5 minutes of ranting than a whole hour of Question Time.

    For what its worth BNP supporters = morons who might be racist, but I can understand why they vote for them as they believe that they are the only party to represent them. A terrible indictment of New Labour, and the other parties

  • Geoff Miller

    I think any of us have a right to hold Obama in contempt, if only because he made a racist insult towards Britons by removing Churchill’s bust from the White House.

    If the British Prime Minister threw out a bust of Martin Luther King that he gave our nation that would be deemed racist and a grave insult wouldn’t it.

    As long as the political class ignores the main concerns of the British people by encouraging mass immigration and refuses to stand up against Islamic fundamentalists we need the BNP.

    Our country is no longer safe, secure, prosperous or happy.

    And it’s all down to the corrupt and treacherous creeps in Westminster.

    Time for a change methinks.

  • chris as usual

    I hardly ever watch the programme because I can’t bear to listen to the grandstanding.

    However, we must allow freedom of speech under the law. Generally, in my experience, people are either racist or they are not. The trouble is, this clouds the discussion and makes it hard to have an intelligent discussion, which contains some facts. It’s a bit like the Europe issue – people want out as a ‘principle’, and that’s the end of it.

    I say, go ahead and vote for these fringe parties if you want to, but be aware of the consequences both electorally (by letting in a party in your constituency who you definitely don’t want) and socially by encouraging trouble.

    I’m in favour of immigrants who contribute to the country and pay their way. Who else will do the work?

  • Austin Barry

    It should make for interesting viewing. I suspect that the audience will be seeded with a disproportionate number of hijabs and angry, brillo-bearded co-religionists, Guardianistas with a passionate intensity and bad teeth, braying middle-class, middle-aged onanists mouthing pious homilies to show what marvellous prejudice-free people they are and, certainly, one or two white working-class characters who will mention their difficulties with uncontrolled immigration to a chorus of smug, self-righteous boos.

    Great larks, Pip old chap.

  • AngloWelshDragon

    I agree with terence patrick hewitt @ 11.56. Cameron needs to get a gip on this issue and use some leadership. Putting up the ghastly Warsi is not a good start and will hardly reach out to the white / non-muslim working classes who have born the brunt of mass immigration. None of the political elite of either party appears to be even remotely in touch with ordinary people and this lack of empathy will bite Cameron in the behind at the GE if he doesn’t get his act together.

    It is easy for the politicians and chatteratti to take this laid back, sanguine view of mass immigration. They can afford to live in the leafy suburbs and villages with their wonderful Polish plumbers and Filipina nannys.

    To them immigration means the colour and interest of a Saturday trip to Brick Lane, eastern European cafes or middle eastern delis. A bit of exotica, like being on hols or having a farmers market in the middle of Notting Hill!

    For the working classes of this country (and I don’t just mean white people but all the many non-white Britons who have chosen to integrate and adopt the ‘Best of British’ while maintaining their religion and culture in the privacy of their own homes and hearts), recent mass immigration can in no way be seen as a boon.

    While I deplore BNP racism, sadly no other party is facing up to the growing alienation of ordinary, decent people who are losing their jobs or seeing their wages plummet because of mass immigration, the parents whose children must compete for a teacher’s time in classes where dozens of languages are spoken and only a minority have English as a first language, families who can never get to the top of the housing list when competing against homeless immigrants with multiple children, the teenage girls who get spat at or called slags because they show a bit of flesh on a summer’s day.

    And then there is the constant denigration of our traditions and culture, the sneering at our patriotism, the way our national church cowers and fauns in front of other faiths. The establishment has chipped away at everything generations of Britains, old and new, have cherished and valued in this country, undermined the very ideals and principals previous generations of immigrants moved here to enjoy.

    This is why so many are in despair and likely to fall under the sway of extremists. The political parties and the media need to stop playing the man (Griffin) and start playing the ball by giving people some solutions so they have somewhere else to turn. The pressure cooker is on the stove, the gas is on high and the safety valve doesn’t work.

    And before any hysterics like General Zod or phil accuse me of being a BNP troll, I ain’t. I am a true blue tory professional married to a skilled manual worker. I find the BNP’s leftist, statist, economic policies laughable but I recognise they tap into a deeply held sentiment of many ordinary people that something has gone seriously wrong in our land.

  • Sir Graphus

    Is this a coordinated media tactic to get us thoroughly bored of the BNP and Griffin before he even opens his mouth.

  • Wrinkled Weasel

    I shall not be watching it. I was never a big supporter of the Roman Arena anyway.

    Talking of selective quoting, Griffin also says

    “I have always regarded the State as a danger to people’s liberty, which is against the English tradition”

    Can you argue with that?

    Or this:

    “As time has gone on the thought and practical life of our people have been led astray into ways that are unnatural to them and injurious. One of the causes which brought about this condition of affairs must be attributed to the fact that the structure of our State and our methods of government were foreign to our own national character, our historical development and our national needs”
    (A Hitler)

    When Mainstream politicians like Soames and Field write:

    England is being fundamentally changed. All too many schools report that English is not the first language for the vast majority of students. Yesterday’s statistics show that, over time, the increase in population will to an even greater degree be down to those coming here and their offspring. We have failed fully to integrate many of our newcomers: this shift will further tilt the balance away from a cohesive national identity.

    It’s time to listen. Time to take the medicine. The alternative, and it is coming as sure as the grass is green, is an England in fifty years time that will be unrecognisable as being English in any sense we understand the term, given the shocking demographic realities.

    Griffin may be a distasteful alternative, but at the moment it is the only one we have.

  • David Ossitt

    The media and the three main political parties are all getting their knickers in a twist about the BNP.

    At every turn we are being inundated with facts and fiction about the BNP in general and Nick Griffin in particular, telling us that he is Hitler incarnate and that all of his members and supporters are knuckle dragging Neanderthal thugs.

    What they deliberately refuse to recognise is the fact that 95% of what he says and lays claim to, has much support in the general populace.

    The ever closer ties with Europe, immigration, the establishment kowtowing to minority faiths, an illegal unwinnable war, are a few examples of where his opinions match those of the majority.

    Plus the fact; that he is not smeared with the filth of misappropriation of expenses, he has things to say that the people want to hear and they, the people might turn a deaf-ear to his unpalatable ideas.

  • The Puppet Master

    Yes, there is an ugly side to him, but at the moment he is the only politician in Britain taking the threat of Islam seriously. If nobody else is going to stand up to Islam and push the muslims back, he’ll have to do.
    Islam is a religion and a political system, just like communism. If these are the choices available I’ll have to settle for fascism.

  • Bill Rees

    I broadly agree with the tenure of this article, but I do believe that Obama is playing the racial card far too often.
    The recent controversy in the United States about the radio talkshow host Rush Limbaugh is a perfect example of that.
    The President’s allies have slandered Limbaugh as a racist by inventing comments that he never uttered, and they are aiming for his opponents mainly along racial lines, even characterising black conservatives effectively as ‘Uncle Toms’, as the following link makes clear.

  • Pete-s

    A nice question for the BNP would be are they going to appeal to Europe about the ruling on the legality of their party. I personally would love this to happen. My reason is the dilemma it puts Europe in, the reason the BNP got away with their membership limits was on the representation of ethnic populations. So either they rule that ethnics can be represented then the BNP is legal. Or they rule that the BNP is illegal and so ethnics cannot be represented. Then the cat is out of the bag as all these special ethnic representation groups would be illegal. It would highlight the daft instructions of the EU.

  • Augustus

    “He is an Afrocentric racist bigot.” If he’s Afrocentric he can’t be racist against blacks because Afrocentrism is a latter day world view emphasizing the importance and contribution of blacks. He may be racist (and probably is to a large degree), but he won’t be the first politician of any colour
    aiming ‘to project a reasonable front’ on a TV programme. One must reserve judgement, but nothing about him here suggests that the trains would run on time.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Mr Griffin’s views have already filled the vacuum. It shows just how febrile the political classes are if they think that he and the BNP will go away just because they win a few points in debate. If Cameron does not get a grip, then the next stop for the electorate will be UKIP and the BNP. The major parties do not know the danger they are in.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here