In the 1920’s and 1930’s big business and right wing politicians in Germany made a major mistake when they thought they could tame and moderate the Nazi leader Hitler by debate and by treating with him as though he was a democrat. This policy then led to President Hindenberg inviting Hitler into a coalition government and once Hitler had seized power the holocaust and World War Two followed.
Today the BBC (supported unfortunately by some misguided Tory, Labour and Lib Dem politicians) naively believes that because the modern heirs of Hitler the holocaust denying racists of the BNP have got the support of 6% they should be treated as a normal party equivalent to the Greens UKIP Liberal Tory and Labour and invited onto the main TV political entertainment show “Question Time”.
No previous BBC Director General made such a judgement and Mark Thompson has significantly shifted the BBC position today in his Guardian article to treat Nick Griffin as a “normal” political party leader. They did not do the same for Webster (who got 16% in a by election in 1973) or Tyndall or Jordan or Mosely so this marks a significant change by our publicly funded poll tax financed BBC.
I listened to the self justification of the Today programme and I was appalled at the soft questioning of Deputy Director General Byford. The French Holocaust denier Le Pen was given a major boost by media coverage given to him in 1984 and it seems the BBC is similarly losing all judgement in the interests of boosting its ratings by doing the same.
I have always been a strong supporter and defender of the BBC but recent events including the refusal to broadcast the Gaza appeal, intrusive personal questioning of Gordon Brown and now this disaster lead me to question the judgement of BBC management and the pusillanimous BBC Trust.
I placed the following Early Day Motion on 22 October 2009
That this House believes that the BBC are profoundly wrong to argue that just because the modern heirs of Hitler, the holocaust-denying racists of the BNP, have the support of six per cent. of the UK population they should be treated as a normal party and invited onto the main television political programme Question Time; notes that no previous BBC Director General made such a judgement and that neither Martin Webster, who polled 16 per cent. in a by election in 1973, John Tyndall, Colin Jordan or Oswald Mosley were treated in the same way; and further believes that this significant change of policy by Mark Thompson, Director General of the publicly-funded, poll tax-financed BBC further calls into question the judgement of BBC management and the role of the pusillanimous BBC Trust.
Posted 22 October 2009