Should the BNP be able to use military imagery?

October 20, 2009

griffinThis is a busy week for the British National Party (BNP).

Today it was warned to stop using military imagery in its campaign material. A group of former military leaders accused the BNP, which has used photographs of spitfire fighter planes and Winston Churchill, of hijacking Britain’s history for their own “dubious ends.”

The distinguished generals said this tarnished the reputation of the armed forces and called on them to “cease and desist.”

Meanwhile, the BNP’s membership list has been leaked again. The names and addresses of thousands of members was posted on Wikileaks, a website that allows information to be published anonymously. BNP leader Nick Griffin said the list was a “malicious forgery.”

Most controversially of all, Griffin is scheduled to appear on BBC’s Question Time this Thursday evening. The decision to give the BNP a seat on the panel has angered some people, who feel they should not be given a platform to air their extreme views on issues such as immigration.

However, despite calls from Welsh Secretary Peter Hain to have Griffin dropped on the grounds that the party “is not lawfully constituted”, Director General Mark Thompson defended the BBC position of due impartiality. He said: “If there were to be any election –- local or national –- tomorrow, the BNP would still be able to field candidates.”

Do you think the BNP should be stopped from using military imagery to promote its policies? Is there a danger the armed forces will be tainted by this association with the far-right? Do you agree with the BBC’s decision to invite Nick Griffin to appear on Question Time?

Question Time will be broadcast on BBC1 at 10.35pm this Thursday and we will be live blogging throughout the programme.


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Iconic images like the Spitfire are part of a common cultural heritage. They don’t belong to the Tory Generals who have criticised the BNP. Anyone is entitled to refer to these images and interpret them.

The BBC are absolutely right not to be bullied by Labour Ministers and uphold their impartiality and democratic values. A recent Sunday Times/YouGov poll said that 63 percent of Britons back the BBC’s decision to invite Griffin on to “Question Time” compared to 23 percent who oppose it. The public have made it clear they want to hear all sides. That is democracy.

Posted by Pat Harrington | Report as abusive

Let’s invite nazis on to question time as well, that would be fair partial and unbiased! … wouldn’t 😀

Posted by Zaf | Report as abusive

Well Zaf perhaps if the nazis had been given more debat they may not have come to power.In reality they came to power because ordinary Germans were seeing that politicians were not listening to their concerns. they were being exploited by small sectors of society. their proud heritage and culture were being stolen from them Sounds familiar to me Zaf. And lets face it so many people want to come here for a better life funded by the efforts of us and our predecessors only to want to introduce the vile things that they ran from in their own countries into OUR country. Like censorship, which you seem to advocate.I don’t consider myself a racist or any other ‘ist’ I am fed up like the majority of being ignored and mocked by newcomers and politicians. I am seriously thinking of voting B.N.P. I’m what you might call silent majority. Change MUST come, we never voted for multiculture and most people hate it. Why did the indigenous people vote with their feet and vacate the cities? 40% of London not British (no silly a passport does not mean British) Well we’re proud of that are’nt we! Well done Griffin a brave man who can stand against the P.C. lefty shouters.

Posted by roger | Report as abusive

We have former Communists in government, and running the EU in some countries, and they killed more people than the Nazis. We should ban the communists too. And let us not forget that Nazi stands for national SOCIALIST so perhaps the labour party should remembner its origins

Posted by peter german | Report as abusive

It is paramount that Nick Griffin is heard by the British tax paying public. When 63% have voted in favour for appearance on Question Time. Look back in time to Enoch Powell’s day, the genius politician, who spoke for the silent majority to push immigration to become a national issue. Politicians have a duty and democratic right to air their views, and speak on behalf of their constituency; or on wider issues that the vast majority may not want to hear. Alf Garnett, was thought to be a racist, his opinions and ideas on Britishness, but the fact is, this fictional character was created from real people who understood his views. And no one wanted to express such racist ideas so openly in public, but again the silent major made that programme and character a legend. At University, I alone thought that freedom of expression, and of ideas should not be censored regardless of the nature of those views. On many occasions I have heard talk of the majority being banded around; the word majority is open to interpretation; the majority may not be counted voters, but those waiting to vote. Enoch Powell, turned a 6% poll sample into 70% government action issue. Now here is Nick Griffin, years later, on track something similar but with an added bonus. To boost his parties profile, and no doubt sway the silent majority to vote BNP. You can guarantee, polls will not see a drop in BNP members you can be certain of that.

Posted by Merton Sheen | Report as abusive

While i dont regard myself as racist there should be some means of diong something about the sections of the Moslem population of being able to preach against Christianity While it is great to have a country with free speach This is ridiculous !! also that Moslems boo-ing British troops returning from Afganistan No wonder people are attracted to seems the only party promising to STOP immigraPeople instinctively dont like to see their country being taken over by a different culture Especially one that expouses violencs against the quote “UNBELIVERS”

Posted by john clark | Report as abusive