Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just seen some rough clips on BBC News. Dimbleby on stunning form. First question about the BNP's adoption of Churchill. Griffin concludes his case for Churchill's natural home being in the BNP with a snide dig at Jack Straw, talking about his own father's WW2 service versus Straw's father being a conchie. Dimbleby - nobody's idea of a Trot - straight in: "What relevance does that have on the question?" (doubtless thinking "If you want to play that game, matey, my father was one of the first Allied personnel into Belsen after the liberation"). Griffin restates the slur. Dimbleby restates the question. Clip cuts off. Later, Griffin responds to suggestions that he said "Thank you, Auntie" with a statement that he doesn't regard the BBC as Auntie, but instead as part of "nasty, ultra-leftist establishment" that is the enemy of Englishness. The response is pure tumbleweed. If the clips are representative, Griffin gets hung out to dry in the fairest possible manner. The British way, if you like.
Roll up for the first must-see Question Time since Ian Hislop ripped Mary Archer a new arsehole in 2002. As a man of the left, I have to say that Peter Hain's posturing has done nobody on the liberal side of the equation any favours. I suppose the protest had to be made, in full knowledge that it would be rejected by the BBC Trust, and I'm just grateful that it was made by the risible Hain rather than anybody I respect. Attempting to silence the enemies of understanding aids their cause (which can also be taken as a comment on the Jan Moir situation).

Whatever happens, it'll be interesting. If sparks fly, it'll be worth seeing whence they come and where they go. If it's dull and polite, that will be interesting in itself, as it's the least likely outcome. I'll be there with popcorn, a tumbler of something cheering and a big pile of cushions to throw at the TV.

For what it's worth, Griffin got a laugh out of me on the radio news the other day, defending the party's decision to use images of a Supermarine Spitfire on its literature. Some said it was an attempt to ally the BNP with our brave boys and girls in the public perception. Griffin said it was merely an emblem of the defeat of European dictatorships. What, Nick? Fascist dictatorships, you mean? The biggest laugh of all, however, came when it was reported that the pictured Spitfire was from the RAF's celebrated 303 Squadron. That was the one composed entirely of the immigrant Polish airmen who came over to our side just before the Nazis occupied France.

UPDATE: Another laugh. After years at Teddington, TV Burp is now recorded at BBC Television Centre, and this week's is being done tonight at roughly the same time as The Jack and Shite Minstrel Show. Question Time is good, but so's TV Burp. Which is better? There's only one way to find out...

Monday, October 19, 2009

So farewell, then, Ludovic Kennedy. Quite apart from being a television heavyweight from the golden age of current affairs, he was also a campaigning, crusading man of principle, whose book 10 Rillington Place led pretty much directly to the pardoning of Timothy Evans. He could do funny too, as his cameo in Yes Minister and his partnership with Peter Cook on A Life in Pieces proved.