BNP on BBC Question Time - open thread
Apologies for a lack of blog posts this week, I'm currently off work with flu (possibly swine flu).
Tonight of course is the much hyped BBC Question Time including the BNP for the first time.
I'll be tucked up in bed while it's on, and will watch it tomorrow on the iplayer.
But I thought it might be worthwhile creating an open thread for readers to debate the programme.
I expect Jack Straw to do a good job exposing the BNP.
Prior to my arrival at the Post and Echo I worked at the Lancashire Telegraph, which covers Straw's Blackburn constituency.
As political reporter at the time I covered the controversy that erupted after his remarks about the veil, it was a very interesting few days.
Straw is famous for still taking to the town centre for soapbox sessions at the weekends and I suspect there are few towns where the local MP is so well known.
Blackburn is a town that has had its fair share of racial tensions, and continues to have them. And Mr Straw has not shied away from confronting difficult issues, like the veil. There are probably few politicians who know the arguments of the BNP as well and are so effective at dealing with them as Straw.
As you can probably tell I think the BBC made the right decision in allowing the BNP on Question Time. It is only through proper debate and acknowledging that the far right party taps into some very genuine concerns that some people have about issues like housing and migration, that the BNP and what it stands for can be defeated.
The only shame is that having used the fact the party now has two MEPs elected to allow it onto Question Time the BBC chose not to host the programme in either of the regions where the BNP won those seats, instead opting for London.
Let's try and keep the debate nice and clean without getting personal.