Most readers will now know the BBC is entertaining the possibility of inviting Nick Griffin onto Question Time. As you would imagine this has sent some sections of the left into howls of rage. Some have argued this gives the BNP the layer of "legitimacy" and "acceptance" they crave. Others have said Griffin should not be afforded a platform to spout his racist drivel.
This is the stock response we should expect from establishment anti-fascism. No doubt tomorrow's press release from Unite Against Fascism will wag its finger at the BBC and ask if the editors know the BNP is a Nazi organisation full of Holocaust-denying freaks and people with criminal records. Nor would I be surprised if the UAF commit itself to picketing future Question Times Nazi Nick has been invited to.
The problem with all this is it plays right into the BNP's hands. We may not like it but the BNP has successfully built up a semi-stable, semi-localised electoral base who are receptive to what the fascists have to say. A core element of their propaganda is a persecution complex where the BNP are victimised by powerful forces for daring to tell the "truth". This is compounded by anti-fascists attempting to no platform the BNP without offering a rebuttal of their racist narrative. In the minds of casual BNP supporters it looks as though they have the establishment running scared.
Underlying this commitment to a no platformist strategy is a thinly veiled belief the BNP's target audience - white working class people - have a hard time thinking for themselves. They need shielding from their Nazi lies because there's a danger at any moment they'll become slobbering racists.
I for one have much more faith in working class people. If they can see through the bollocks regularly churned out by Gordon Brown and co, they are more than able to see Griffin for the thick, prejudiced tosser he is.