Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Two Very Important Points

I am going to post here a letter from my friend Andy Bartles which he wrote to Baroness Kennedy regarding her attitude and responses to the BNP being allowed a platform on Question Time. I know its old news so to speak but the BNP are not going away and the issues will resurface the nearer we get to an election over the coming 6-7 months.

Andy raises two very important points; firstly why are traditional “tribal” voters deserting their traditional political parties? And secondly “totalitarian regimes” irrespective of their supposed claim to be of the Left or Right are no different to each other and still authoritarian and controlling, and seek to stifle debate and criticism no matter what their political hue.

I will be picking up on these themes and blogging about them later.

“27th October 2009

Dear Baroness Kennedy,

Following your recent appearance on the Andrew Marr Show I feel compelled to write to you.

I considered your conduct towards Dan Snow particularly reprehensible. When asked for his opinion on whether Nick Griffin should appear on the BBC’s Question Time Programme you looked at Dan half way through his response as though you had just sucked on a lemon. Dan Snow himself caught sight of this and made a polite remark to the effect that he could clearly see you disagreed. Your action demeaned him and intimated his opinion was unworthy. For the record I thought his view was coherent, logical and well thought through.

One surmises that supposedly pre-eminent people like yourself attempt to close down any type of debate using this kind of action, treating anyone else’s view with contempt on the basis that only your opinion is worthy and that only your opinion occupies the moral high ground. Worse still when anyone disagrees with your view then you almost invariably invoke racism, sexism, fairness, justice or morality (concepts which are highly subjective and emotive) to support your position, because the actual evidence doesn’t support your position. This is why we no longer live in a society where liberty, freedom of thought, and traditional rights and morals hold sway and I would contend is why we no longer live in a free society.

When it came to your turn to speak you did so in a most condescending manner promoting the belief that only highly intelligent people like yourself could see through the BNP and consequently only the likes of you should be trusted to deal with them. The “great unwashed” should certainly not be allowed to listen to Mr Griffin on “Question Time” because in your view this is a unique platform where the atmosphere would be highly charged and a clever man like Nick Griffin could well resonate with the audience. After all, you went on, (and I paraphrase here) “Nick Griffin is not a toe-rag but a clever man educated at Cambridge”. What an insulting remark to the rest of us out here in the real world.

By inference does this mean that those of us who not Oxbridge educated are toe-rags? If I am regarded as such by the political elite such as you why should I pay my taxes and support the likes of you in the rarefied atmosphere of the Westminster Village? Does it mean that you are not a toe-rag if you hold BNP views but have been to Oxbridge? Are you saying that it is an accident of birth matter and that this determines whether you are a toe-rag or not? Or if someone supports the BNP are they automatically a toe-rag? After all the support for the BNP lies in Labour strongholds and those that voted for them formerly voted Labour. So is it that whilst individuals vote for Labour they are decent hard working citizens but immediately they desert the Labour Party they become toe-rags?

Worst still was the level of condescension you displayed. It really does show what little appreciation you have for members of the working class. Your argument that we would be swayed by Nick Griffin was completely without foundation. What evidence do you have to support this view? In fact your whole hypothesis was destroyed by “Question Time” itself. The people turned on Nick Griffin so much that he complained to the BBC about his treatment. This wasn’t politicians turning on him; this was the general public (toe-rags). Those watching were not swayed by his arguments as could be seen by the feedback to the programme on the following day. He was found to be wanting and in most people’s eyes was exposed as a light weight buffoon.

What is more the panellists on the whole behaved impeccably, David Dimbleby chaired the meeting most effectively and indeed brought Nick Griffin to task on a number of occasions by quoting back to him a number of his pathetic utterances. The only poor performance on the night (and confirmed in independent reviews after the programme) was that of Jack Straw. He came across as vacuous and generally indecisive. On a number of occasions he had an open goal and missed the target completely. Many were left wondering how on earth he has held a cabinet post since 1997.

Jack Straw showed why Labour voters are turning to the BNP. When confronted on the programme by ethnic minorities who wanted tighter controls on immigration he was found to be wanting and out of his depth. Indeed this probably goes to the heart of the matter on the subject of immigration. Labour has used the policy of “denouncement” against anyone who dares to oppose their policy by branding them racist thereby closing down any form of coherent debate. In short Labour is responsible for the resurgence of the BNP on two grounds; firstly closing down any sensible debate on immigration and secondly by taking their own core vote for granted and not listening to them. You should consider the fact that BNP’s strength lies in solidly Labour areas, not in Tory or Liberal Democrat areas. This is a pattern which has been repeated elsewhere as Labour voters have turned to Nationalist parties in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and now England.

Is this the real reason you didn’t want Nick Griffin on “Question Time” because it would expose the Labour Party on immigration, show them up for abandoning their core voters and being ultimately responsible for the resurgence of the BNP?

One final thought. The BNP are undoubtedly odious but why do you reserve all your ire for them? And why do you and many others use the term right-wing? Most of their policies are left wing – state control, repression and State ownership of assets by the people. Indeed the Nazi party in Germany was a party of the left, not the right. The clue lies in the title “National Socialism”. The war against the USSR can be seen as a war of the same strands of ideology, much the same way as today we see Shias pitted against Sunnis. The correct definition of Right Wing is one of laissez-faire, small government, individual freedoms, liberty and self determination.

This leads to further questions. Why don’t you reserve the same ire you have for the BNP for Communists? Why do you accept Communists and why does our Society accept them? After all Communism is the biggest tyranny of them all. Let’s look at some simple facts. Hitler was a monster but killed less people than Mao Tse-Tung or Joseph Stalin. In percentage terms of killing your own population the biggest monster of them all was Pol Pot. But all this appears forgotten by the likes of you and I never hear you or your ilk condemn the Communist party. On the contrary the Labour Party has been instrumental in appointing a former Communist to head up the English FA? If you believe in equality and Mr Griffin renounced his views would you back him to head up an organisation such as the FA?

I am appalled by the way you view people like me and my dad “Red Ken” is probably spinning in his grave at the thought of the fact that you have allowed the BNP back into mainstream political debate and in the way you view members of the general public (toe-rags). If you feel that we are unable to see through the likes of Mr Griffin why don’t you take away our vote as clearly we are not to be trusted?

I hope to receive some honest answers to my criticisms as it is little wonder with your kind of attitude why the population is disenchanted with politicians. Like many members of the working class I am sick of tired of being lectured, hectored and told we are not astute enough to understand Society’s underlying problems yet when catastrophic mistakes are made in government we (the toe-rags) are expected to pick up the tab.

Yours faithfully

Andrew Bartles”

We will of course keep you informed if any response arrives?

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