Robin Brown

Journo. Editor. Tutor. Dour northerner.

Archive for the ‘nick griffin’ tag

The fall and fall of Question Time

with 7 comments

I tend to watch Question Time after a few pints down the pub, as I suspect most do.

I’ve started to wonder, recently, whether the programme is actually pitched at a demographic of half-pissed pub goers who may happen to come across BBC1′s flagship discussion programme while channel hopping.

The reason why is there’s been a steady flow of genuinely awful pantomime dames and villains on recently on QT, who make it genuinely hard to watch.

There’s always been a wild card element to the QT panel – an Ian Hislop here or a Mark Steel there – but recently we’ve had Nick Griffin, Carol Vorderman, Kelvin Mackenzie and David Starkey, all so odious that I’ve not been able to sit through it for more than ten minutes.

I generally head over to Twitter to see if it’s just me going stark raving bonkers, but the Twittersphere seems to be in agreement (although that’s a demographic that, in all likelihood, is pretty similar to my own).

While Starkey is a renowned historian, he’s also a renowned nutcase but I can see the logic in getting him on. But Mackenzie? He’s just a fat horrible twat. And Vorderman? A celebrity debt-pushing adder upper? And that’s before I get to Griffin. Who’s next? Eugene Terre’Blanche?

I’m putting this down to the desire for an outspoken right-wing professional splutterrer to articulate the voice of the fabled common man, but really it just makes the whole thing unwatchable.

Seeing politicians trying to score points off one another is one thing. Seeing the latest right-wing rent-a-gob frothing, ranting and generally being oafish just exposes the pointlessness of the whole thing, especially with the increasingly fogeyish Dimbleby failing to preside over the whole sorry mess.

Below are my favourite Starkey reactions from Twitter, where the pompous old hobbit briefly became a trending topic earlier tonight. Keep a look out for Jim Davidson this time next week.

My favourite David Starkey reactions
 on Twitter

@jonboy79 [David Starkey has] spent so long studying the lives of pompous priggish royals that he has become one, by some sort of historical osmosis


@heppy: If David Starkey didn’t exist he’d have been invented by The League Of Gentlemen

@NinaGleams: RT @zofiewonkenobi David Starkey looks like an evil doormouse


@marcusbrig David Starkey is so utterly vile that I feel weepy, tired and unwell everytime he speaks


@Bethemediauk David Starkey is a pompous, overbearing, stuck up old tosspot. Which overshadow the rare ocassions when he actually has a point


@DCPlod It’s not just America that has crazy conservatives: David Starkey on BBC Question Time said 25% of British children are feral
 


@samdbarratt David Starkey is properly bonkers, too much. Next week a panel of Farrage, K McKenzie and Street-Porter? 
 


@Ruaridhnicoll Could David Starkey look any more like a Hogarthian nightmare? I can smell the corruption from here




@Scalded_Bollock I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say David Starkey is absolutely batshit.
 


@Drattigan Hello. My name is David Starkey, the Toad of Toad Hall
 


@dooobeee David Starkey, YOU ARE NOT AN ECONOMIST! listen to the 60 leading economists and IMF! 



@Julie4GS: David Starkey needs to be catapulted back into the seventeenth century where he belongs. Shut up you antiquated old

@Joemuggs Is David Starkey a ludicrous, clumsy prank designed to discredit Conservatism?

n.b. these represent a snapshot of about five minutes of tweeting. There was a whole hour to choose from.

Written by Robin Brown

March 19th, 2010 at 12:12 am

Bonnie Greer kills Nick Griffin with kindness on Question Time

with 5 comments

I was of the opinion all along that Nick Griffin should be allowed to be shown on the Question Time panel because, much as I like the BBC, I don’t want them deciding what is and what isn’t fit for broadcast on the basis of taste.

As it was, those worried about Griffin’s appearance on the panel need not have worried. The BNP leader looked nervous, ill-at-ease, under-prepared and rather stupid.

What I assume was a rather nervous laugh in reference to quotes that showed him to have some rather unpleasant, decidedly racist view made him look out of his depth, frivolous or insensitive. And when he did hit his stride he came close to some of the nastiness that we know forms the basis of the BNP’s politics.

Jack Straw seemed emotional, David Dimbleby seemed barely able to look at him. But it was Bonnie Greer who punctured Griffin most effectively.

She was courteous, concise, slightly condescending and appeared slightly disappointed in Griffin, who she pointedly called ‘Nick’.

It was clever stuff and Greer scored several direct hits. Griffin didn’t seem to realise he was being set up. But I don’t think anyone really addressed the reasons behind the BNP rise to prominence.

The fact is that UK works through economic migration. If we didn’t have blacks, asians, Jews and now east Europeans coming to the country to sweep our roads, clean our toilets and fix our plumbing the country would be on its knees.

That’s how it works, it’s how it;s worked for decades and there’s very little that can be done about it, as all the political parties would admit if they weren’t busy electioneering.

Griffin got in a dig at the ‘political elites’ he believes oppress the white working classes at the end of the show, in which he lambasted the BBC for being ‘ultra-leftist’.

It showed how absurd a man he is, believing in his own fantasy world of indigenous persecuted whites. He showed himself up for what he was, and no amount of grandstanding could change it. Dimbelby asked if Question Time had been an early Christmas Present for the BNP.

Question Time audience

I watched the show in my local cricket club. Question Time would rarely be on the television in the club under different circumstances, yet everyone was rapt.

I think everyone realised the gravity of the situation – a racist political party was threatening to break through into the mainstream. But as the night wore on and Griffin proved inept and vaguely comical, people drifted away.

Dragged into the light, Griffin had wilted. He was not the bogeyman everyone expected, but a small-minded racist man utterly out of his depth and skewered not by the politicians on the panel but by the gentle but pointed mocking of Bonnie Greer.

At the end of the show the audience was noticeably mocking Griffin. He had become a joke. Griffin’s appearance on Question Time had not been a present for the BNP, it had been a poisoned chalice.

Written by Robin Brown

October 22nd, 2009 at 11:48 pm