New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Election 2024
20 October 2009

Richard Littlejohn is right!

A sentence I never thought I'd write . . .

By Mehdi Hasan

I have always believed Richard Littlejohn of the Mail to be one of this country’s most prejudiced, narrow-minded and reactionary right-wing commentators: a writer who prefers to indulge the casual bigotry of his readers rather than confront them with facts, figures or reasoned arguments.

But not today. In his column, Littlejohn takes on Nick Griffin, the BNP and the BBC with a verve and gusto conspicuously absent from much of the commentary by the centrist, liberal and left-wing press. Littlejohn argues, for example, that:

. . . the BNP isn’t a serious force at Westminster, nor is it likely to have any MPs after the next general election. So the BBC is under no obligation to give Griffin a platform.

We are told the programme offers an opportunity to expose the BNP. To whom?

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

The party trawls for support among white working-class voters, those the advertisers refer to as C2DEs.

How many of them do you imagine watch something as cerebral as Question Time?

“Oi, Doris. I never realised the BNP were racists. I’ll be voting Lib Dem in future.”

If they’re hoping that Griffin will come across as the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, they are going to be sorely disappointed. He won’t rise to the bait.

Littlejohn — deep breath! — is right. Griffin won’t come across as a Hitler figure, or as a fascist or a nutter. He will, instead, calmly pontificate on the issues of the week (postal strike, anyone?) and will be applauded. And the BNP will move one step closer to the mainstream of British politics.

The more I think about this, the more I become convinced that Thursday night on BBC1 will be car crash TV. I only hope I’m proved wrong.

Content from our partners
"Heat or eat": how to help millions in fuel poverty
We need an urgent review of UK pensions
The future of private credit