Thursday, April 12, 2012

BNP irony overload

You may have noticed that BNP's candidate for mayor of London is, erm, how do I put this...? Well, the guy, he's, erm, he's foreign. Seriously, born in Uruguay to Spanish and Italian parents. Of course I think foreigners should be allowed to naturalise in this country and should be allowed to run for office. It's just the BNP who don't. He's their former head of policy.

He and I have a little history. He doesn't like me very much after I completely trashed him in a debate on a Russian TV station.


And so he wrote a piece on his blog about me called "Kate Smurthwaite and the Third Reich", in which he accuses me of basically being a Nazi. Argh! The irony! I can't take any more! His "point" (in the loosest sense) is that I support the work of Marie Stopes who a very long time ago were involved with eugenics. Of course I don't actually support eugenics (surprise Melanie Phillips and interesting how you and the BNP can only come up with the same transparent arguments eh?). I don't make the assumption that anyone who eats Kellogg's cereal is an anti-masturbation campaigner, though again there is a historic link. A strong one actually.

There is however a serious point here. We are widely aware of the BNP's very very unpleasant attitude towards anyone who isn't white-British. We can forget sometimes that they're also horribly horribly sexist. And yes they have female members and candidates but as we've seen they also have members and candidates who aren't white-British. One of their stated policies last time I looked (their website is down today, sorry fascism fans - try the Conservatives site instead) is that any single mother who wears a short skirt should have her children taken away.

Footnote: When I agreed to do the interview Russia Today did NOT tell me I would be up against a BNP guy. They said it would be a religious anti-choice person. I don't particularly have a strong view on when one should and shouldn't "no platform" an organisation like the BNP, I was live on air when I found out who I was debating with and made the snap decision to carry on. Love to hear views on whether that was the right choice or what you-all would advise if it happened again another time...?

7 comments:

PaulB said...

Not only was Marie Stopes in favour of eugenics, she was also strongly opposed to abortion. What was the BNP argument again?

aew782 said...

Good job Kate!

Philip G said...

I heard part of a Radio 4 programme tonight on the involuntary sterilisation of women in Ubekistan. Sounds horiffic.

Unknown said...

I do so love people who pick up on the smallest, insignificant detail, then blow it up into a major point....

.... only to get shot right down.

Top job!

Ingenuity Lee said...

I think you made the right choice regarding carrying on the debate when you found out it was a BNP spokesman. The "no platform" position only ever gives the advantage to them. It makes them appear to be a serious threat who everyone is scared of. When the truth is they are a bunch of bumbling idiots with no facts to back up a single of their ridiculous arguments. I've never seen any of them win a single tv debate or come out of it looking less than foolish.

Manu Lee said...

http://theubiquitousmind.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/do-we-have-moral-right-to-gag-bnp.html

Cruella said...

Yes interesting piece but doesn't really address the difference between denying people the right to discuss a subject and "no platforming" someone with offensive views. It's not about free speech. I have free speech, I don't have the "right" to be on Question Time. The producers of Question Time have the freedom to choose which views and which guests are right for their show.

This is a big problem. Often when I discuss abortion it will be me and someone who opposes abortion. This can give the impression that it is a 50-50 debate subject. But it's not - the vast majority of people in the UK are broadly pro-choice. The anti-choicers are a small extremist minority. Similarly when we put the BNP on shows it makes their views appear more mainstream.