Wednesday, 24 October 2012
The elephant not in the room
I’m currently busily engaged in my two favourite pursuits of recovering from a stomach bug and organising an impromptu séance. Therefore, sad to say, I don’t have as much time for adding bits to my shed...
But, never fear, luckily I still have enough residual Catholic guilt left over to worry that I’m neglecting you, my dear patrons.
And so, I will now do the unthinkable and recycle an old blog post. But, I've at least picked one that’s sort of topical...
Last week, as you probably know, Nick Griffin, MEP, decided it was time for him – and his twatty 'British National Party' – to stand up for an English B & B owner, who had decided to bar a gay couple from sharing a room in his guesthouse, on some apparent religious grounds.
Griffin, and his party, were naturally appalled that the B & B owner wasn’t allowed to openly discriminate against his own customers, and came out with the usual bollocks about ‘an Englishman’s home being his castle’, etc. (- clearly, this is not the case, Nick, when his home is also a place of business!)
But, anyway, it made me think fondly of a time when Nick Griffin was himself excluded - and from a slightly more famous residence.
In August 2010, Griffin was invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace - but, just minutes before he got there, Palace officials suddenly changed their minds...
Poor Nick Griffin – all dressed up and nowhere to go. *
As an elected MEP, Nick Griffin – the leader of the British National Party – was automatically invited to the Buckingham Palace Garden party last week. That was all it was – a mere formality; a quirk of our democratic system – just Mr. Griffin and eight-thousand other elected parlitarians.
When this invitation was rescinded at the last moment on grounds that Griffin had ‘sought to make political capital’ from it, it was funny, sure – but was it right?
As much as I consider the man an odious and unpleasant arse (I assume the feeling would be a mutual one, since my parents are Irish immigrants), the decision to exclude him on such a spurious pretext was counter-productive and actually generated rather a lot of unnecessary publicity for him and his ridiculous party.
Watching Griffin trot about furiously in his little patent-leather shoes, amid a bustling crowd of press photographers was, again, funny. (And his insistence that his exclusion was “thoroughly un-British” was brilliantly ill-thought-out considering his party, the British National Party, are basically all about exclusion. That’s pretty much their whole thing, isn’t it?) But, by barring the BNP from events and attempting to muzzle them, we’re just giving them currency…
Sure enough, if you look on their website this week (I’m not adding a link), their lead article points out how Griffin’s expulsion from the garden party was ‘unfair and undemocratic’. Annoyingly, this is actually true.
Wouldn’t it have been better to allow him into the party? Clearly, since the man is such a massive oaf, all that has been achieved by excluding him is to deny him the opportunity to stand around on his own for a bit (in a stuffy, hired suit), imbibe too much free Pimms and stagger off home with a bit of eggy vol-u-vant hanging off his cravat.
But people still seem to think that there something to fear from Griffin. It is assumed that because he went to Cambridge University this somehow makes him brilliant (he got a 2.II in law), and it’s this brilliance that makes him somehow dangerous.
But anyone that saw Griffin’s dismal performance on BBC1’s Question Time last year, knows there is nothing to fear here. As a panellist on the show, Griffin came across as an ugly (I’m not talking about his looks here, but, yes, obviously), ill-informed and badly-prepared man, floundering amid a series of very obvious questions, whilst being too cowardly to admit what he actually thinks.
His performance was so weak, in fact, that even his fellow bigots watching at home must have felt horribly misrepresented…
By excluding Griffin from the garden party last week, the officials at Buckingham Palace have simply afforded the man the oxygen of publicity once again. This is simply not necessary…
* I've just realised that you can see Mr. Griffin's entire home address in this picture. A bit of an oversight, you'd think - it's usually other people's addresses he likes to make public.
- ebook edition