Question TimeI watched it, how could I not? The BBC were pushing this hard, with their news channel reporting pretty much nothing but the event that evening. While the BBC loves nothing more than to report news on itself, this got a little pathetic, to the point where it was clear at least one person in the BBC thought this show would bring excellent ratings. I'm sure it did. Question time was a bizzare format to attack Griffin with, because the nature of the format should be to rove on a lot of topics and not really focus on any particular member. This was, however, no ordinary Question Time.
It was, basically, an excuse to point out Griffin's extremely unsavoury views by a fairly excellent panel. Mostly, it worked well, with Griffin smirking pathetically as people demolished him with his own words, memorably he attempted to say that he couldn't say why he had changed his mind on holocaust denial, because he would get arrested. Jack Straw, in one of the greatest moments of the night, pointed out that he was the justice secretary and to go right ahead. Marvelous!
It wasn't all great. Jack Straw was stunningly ineffective across the evening, reading long diatrabes that would impress no-one, and stumbling completely on immigration. The tory policy on immigration is rather similar to Labour's, but Straw utterly failed to communicate this, and undoubtedly switched off viewers and garnered the conservatives a few votes.
I also felt that Griffin's attack on Islam needed a stronger rebuttal, especially considering Sayeeda Warsi was sitting right from him. The attacks were silly, as an audience member pointed out, because its not hard to quote any holy book and make any religion sound dangerous. One could, of course, have an argument just about that, but picking on Islam is just a wholly ignorant thing to do.
Sayeeda Warsi was very effective, managing to dodge a question on homophobia neatly (I imagine if Griffin was there she might not have got away with it), saying that she believes that if gay people want a civil union they have a right to. Well.. yes, thats the law, but that hardly tells us your opinion, does it? It was a tricksy answer. I find such attitudes coming in to the next government rather disturbing, but perhaps its what I should expect of a conservative government.
Still, I think Griffin was mostly shown as the nasty little man that he is, a horrible excuse for a human being. His attitudes on race are not well hidden- the BNP still has voluntary repatriation and a halt to all immigration as key pledges on their site, and now thanks to this show people may become aware of his opinions that had not before. I hope this turns out to hurt the BNP in the long run... we shall see..