Labour MP for Erith & Thamesmead

Teresa Pearce MP

Archive for October 12th, 2009

Question Time Comments Off on Question Time

Posted on October 12, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

I have been following with interest the debate regarding the invitation to Nick Griffin to appear on Question Time. There is the view that allowing the BNP on the BBC gives them status and credibility the other side of the argument is that they should be given the airtime so that their views can be challenged and exposed.

My position has always been that if Labour leaves a vacuum then the BNP will fill it. This is what we have seen happen in many of the areas where the labour core vote has felt ignored. I think that there is a long list of policies that have been delivered to help those who would be described as the traditional labour vote, such as the National Minimum Wage, Sure Start, Tax Credits, Winter Fuel payments for pensioners, outlawing racial discrimination in public functions, increasing child benefit, rights to 4 weeks holiday pay, free travel for pensioners, introducing NHS Direct, and more…BUT those voters feel they are ignored. So making sure that as Labour politicians we engage fully with those communities is paramount so that they can see the delivery of those policies is a result of Labour being in power. Focus less on Mondeo Man & Worcester Woman and get back on the streets and into the flats talking to Woolwich Woman & Thamesmead Teen.

The BNP have targeted the areas where voters feel no one is listening to their concerns and fears. They have told people that they will speak up for them. This has resulted in the BNP winning elections at local and european level. It is for that reason that Labour must appear on Question Time with the BNP. There is a large group of people in this country who voted for the BNP (not because they are racists, although some of course are) because they felt no one heard their voices, to ban the BNP would effectively say to those people that we ignored you and now we continue to ignore the party that is claiming to speak for you. It would play into the BNPs twisted argument that they act for the underdog when nothing could be further from the truth. The BNP is the party of targeting and scapegoating the underdog, lying to the public and inflaming and inciting social division and unease.

The BNP go door to door telling people whatever they want to hear, whatever you are against they will be against it too. They say they will pull out of Europe, stop working with other countries for common good, bring back national service, end immigration, if you are are a family who have no jobs or security they will invite you to blame your neighbour. They say all these things without challenge and without the truth ever getting in the way of their propaganda. Let’s shine a light on them and expose them and their tactics for what they are:  anti freedom, anti liberty, anti progress and anti democracy.

It is no good saying that by allowing them on the BBC gives them credibility as for the growing minority in this country that are minded to vote for them they are already credible. They already have members who are receiving tax payers’ money as elected councillors or MEPs.

Trying to deny them the “oxygen of publicity “ has failed so we need now to bring them forward to show people that a fascist in an ill fitting suit is still a fascist.

I have said in the past that I would never share a platform with the BNP. I no longer stand by that statement. By refusing to acknowledge that the BNP is a party that has won votes then we ignore those voters and it’s that very perception of being ignored that gave the BNP a foot in the door in the first place.



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