Why not giving a prominent platform to the BNP can be an act of Bourgeois Socialism

Black writer Bonnie Greer will appear on next week's controversial edition of BBC1's Question Time, which will feature British National Party leader Nick Griffin.
The Anglo-American playwright and critic has been confirmed as a guest panellist by the BBC today, along with Justice Secretary Jack Straw, due to appear on the programme on Thursday 22 October.

A statement on the Unite Against Fascism website said: "We are calling a demonstration outside Question Time at the BBC's Wood Lane centre to show our opposition to Griffin and the shameful decision to grant him a platform.

As anti-fascist as I am, I cannot but support the BBC’s decision to feature Griffin on the said show, whilst also supporting the UAF planned demonstration.

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Having had personal experience with a successfully instituted and popular BNP-like fascism amongst the people, political parties, and its respective congregations in singapore, and whom are currently engaged in transitioning the state into a democratic fascist one, I am quite aware that fascists can’t generally be reasoned with as they are quite inclined to stop listening in the face of contradiction – given that, by definition, fascists believe in an unegalitarian ‘one-way’ system of thought and thoughtlessness.

However, I am not concerned with convincing fascists, which is quite the oxymoronic task in itself, but in canvassing the ‘floating vote’ that’ve yet to make up their minds. Granting Griffin a platform can go far in compromising their ‘underdog’ or ‘persecuted’ status which can, amongst those ‘whites’ who feel disenfranchised, garner support-via-identification. Secondly, the demonstration that is being organised by the UAF will itself be a multicultural one and serve as a clear and popular alternative rallying point for the floating vote as well. And the complementary debate that goes on in the show will serve as the rational refutation of the standpoint of the ‘British’ National Party. Having such discussions out in the open can serve to destabilise the tendency amongst people to add their own sense to a phenomena, and in the absence of open discussions, render them more receptive to their own biases, ignorance, the aforementioned ‘support-via-identification’ and so on.

Given that popular support for fascism generally comes from those of a lower socio-economic status, or, as in Confucian societies, from society as an oppressed class in itself, in a relatively democratic milieu such as the United Kingdom, such publicised debates will also force us to look into the class-based social causes of it. It is only when we accord equal and public prominence to the devil, that we will be able to coax him out of his refuge and burn his house down whilst he is engaged in a BBC-sponsored banter. If we were to relegate them a shadowy position such as an 'Osama', that is when we can simply discount the work of either as that of evil wo/men instead of affording it a scientific scrutiny for causation-identification that, amongst others, holds the potential of perhaps revealing our own unwitting complicity.

To not allow the BNP to speak on a platform as prominent as the aforementioned is, in essence and consequence, a bourgeois socialist act. For when they are left to stomp their boots whilst maintaining a steadily inclined salute in the shadows, the well-lit streets of civilisation is exonerated from allegations of maintaining the shadowy alleys that flank it. The system is left untouched and we move on to casting slurs and placards in the face of the by-products of a system wherein we thrive – just as charitable organisation subsidise the elite and unwittingly maintain the systemic causes of their existence.

It is not that opposition to granting the BNP a platform is a bourgeois socialist act in itself. But this becomes the case when it provides us with that modicum of cathartic relief that it takes to compromise even 1% of our vigour and numbers in addressing the system that produces the likes of the BNP. If we can afford even more significant opposition to the system itself, then opposition to their being accorded prominence ceases to be an illustration of the best traditions of bourgeois socialism. That said, I fully and proudly stand by the planned demonstrations, but it will be to illustrate our opposition, not to the platform they have been granted, but to them as a non-progressive entity.

So bring ‘em on, says ed. If that’s what it takes for society to engage in critical introspection, than this evil becomes a good.