October 24, 2009

Adolf Brent

Lenin's refusal to join in the celebrations about Nick Griffin's shambolic performance on Question Time last night is well founded. Griffin may have come across as what Peter Serafinowicz called "Adolf Brent" but bumbling incompetence didn't stop George W Bush being elected twice (or Jack Straw from serving in government for over a decade, for that matter).

Lenin is right. What you have to think about is how last night looked to those with sympathies towards the BNP: an unctuous liberal smug-in which cast Griffin in the preferred role of the racist, victim. Griffin's claim that "we are the aboriginals", his talk of whites as the "real victims of racism" makes plain the racists' envy of those they hate, based on the conviction that "they" enjoy more than "we" do. The fact that Griffin's 'arguments' don't stand up to rational scrutiny means nothing. Since when has racism relied on rational argument? For all his squirming and dissimulation, Griffin at least looked as if he had a libidinal honesty - the fact that there was an evident obscene underside to his discourse last night will only confirm in his sympathisers' mind the impression that he was prevented from telling the 'truth'. Meanwhile, Straw's window-dressing evocation of multicultural values looked disingenuous because it entailed no political cost: when it comes to immigration policy, Straw will do what he always does, and dance to the tune called by the right wing press. The same press that has successfully propagated the doublethink whereby immigration control "cannot be discussed" while it endlessly discusses it, concealing the reality that what cannot be countenanced in mainstream political discourse is any positive narrative about immigration, and the fact that the whole focus on immigration is a massive smokescreen, a displacement from the real issues of resource distribution and class - a displacement that New Labour has been more than happy to go along with. So we have yet another odious "debate" on immigration in which all of the parliamentarians compete to demonstrate how "tough" they are on it...

Posted by mark at October 24, 2009 12:59 AM | TrackBack