Unite Against Fascism – media alert

UAF media alert – URGENT – Complain to the BBC about Thursday night’s interview with fascist BNP leader Nick Griffin

Thursday night’s Newsnight programme contained a special report on the BBC’s White Season, a series of programmes billed as addressing the question of white working class alienation. As part of the report, Newsnight carried interviewed Nick Griffin, the leader of the fascist British National Party, who holds a conviction for inciting racist hatred for denying the Holocaust. We must reject the BNP’s attempts to present itself as spokespeople for the white working class and seek the legitimacy of the media including news programmes such as Newsnight. Griffin is seeking to scapegoat black communities for the decline of industrial manufacturing, the loss of council housing and some social services, when both black and white working class people experience the same problems and hardship.

The BNP is not a legitimate organisation: despite its attempts to present itself as an ordinary political organisation, the BNP has been exposed for its links to fascist groups around the world, its leading members and supporters who have been convicted of racist violence.

The Newsnight position on the show was to say that it “entertained all manner of opinion as long as it was within the law”. The BBC should acknowledge that the BNP’s racist, homophobic, Islamophobic hate-speech results in a rise in hate crimes, and these should not receive uncritical coverage or platform on the licence fee.

The BNP are the modern day successors of Hitler and Mussolini. The mainstream media should remember that when fascism took power last century, it shut down the free media. The BNP denies the reality of the Holocaust and whips up racism in areas it targets leading to a rise in racist attacks.

The program presented a survey which obfuscates many of the positive gains that Britain has made as a result of immigration, instead reflecting some of the perceived problems that people have on the issue. It should be the responsibility of Newsnight to challenge these perceptions, not entertain them. For example the view expressed by one of the interviewees that white people are becoming a minority in England should have been challenged as non-white people only represent 9% of the population.

Griffin was allowed to promote view that blamed Islam and the Pakistani community for drug crimes. The BNP’s position of being “wholly opposed to any form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples” was alluded to, but the nature of the interview meant that he was allowed to give this view cover by claiming that other ethnicities generally share this view, which is also untrue.

Please write / phone to complain about the BNP being given unfettered coverage on Newsnight to spread its fascist views. You can watch the programme online at the following link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/7281314.stm

In the run into the elections this May, we believe giving legitimacy to the fascist views of the BNP will give it the legitimacy it craves in order to make gains at the ballot box.

BBC complaints:
0870 0100 222 (telephone/textphone) http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/

Please let us know when you have complained and send us any responses you may get.

020 7388 4816