There are an awful lot of TV channels on offer nowadays, and yes, many of them are indeed awful. But in an increasingly crowded field, even the big players have to shout that bit louder to make themselves heard – even the BBC. So it was with little surprise that I read the news that the odious Nick Griffin, Oberscheissenführer of the British National Party (BNP), had been invited to appear on Question Time. He has, by all accounts, accepted. I’ll bet he has.
For Griffin is eager to get publicity for his repulsive views, being so full of himself that he actually believes that an appearance on a programme where adverse comment upon his views is highly likely may increase his popularity. The flip side, which states, roughly, that given sufficient rope, Griffin will string himself up with some style, does not enter. Only after the event will this occur to the BNP, and even then, it will be someone else’s fault.
The problem for Labour, it seems, is whether to put up a senior party figure against Griffin. The Tories have already said they’re up for it, and this I applaud: the BNP are best tackled by their opponents debating with them, and not allowing their views to be aired unchallenged. Big Al agrees that they should put someone up – he says it should be a minister, and that would be appropriate if the Tories are going to send one of the Shadow Cabinet.
Alan Johnson, it seems, has already declined. How about Hilary Benn? Quiet, yet thoughtful, calm, as trusted as any minister, and as incisive on his day as his Dad was.
Just the man to skewer the traveller on the Number 88.