Monday, 19 October 2009

Refusal is a Weapon

The decision by the BBC to invite the loathesome Nick Griffin of the BNP to take part in the BBC's Question Time panel this week is theirs to make, I suppose, but it strikes me that we are missing a trick in our understanding of the tactic of 'no platform' for fascists.

Almost every politician and hundreds of celebrities share something in common: they have all performed under the control of the "ringmaster of our democracy" David Dimbleby on the programme. If they, along with potential future guests, say publicly to BBC Director General Mark Thompson, "if you think it is important to invite Griffin to appear on Question Time, I think it is important not to take part in any future episode", then perhaps Thompson will be forced to decide what is of greater importance to him.

Refusal is a weapon, a form of non-volent direct action that has been employed successfully before. And it is not as if politicians and celebrities are giving up that much by boycotting Question Time for providing a platform for Griffin's bile. Not if they are really outraged by the invitation.

All they have to do is refuse to get on the bus...

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