Thursday, May 28, 2009

Night in after all...

At this precise moment, I should be on my way to Erwood Market Hall to represent Plaid Cymru at an Any Questions session organised by the Wye Valley branch of the Brecon & Radnorshire Liberal Democrats. I was really looking forward to taking part, but unfortunately have had to pull out as they'd also invited a speaker from the BNP. Whilst a part of me would love to challenge the BNP during a public debate and tear them to pieces, I don't think they should be given the time of day to be honest. By agreeing to share a platform I'd be legitimising their existence, and that's something I really don't want to do. Its a shame as I would have loved to debate with the other parties, but there we go. I'm sure I might get criticized for pulling out by some, but I have to stick to my principles. So, an unexpected night in for me tonight then. At least I'll have Question Time to keep me company!

7 comments:

Crefishgyn said...

Penderfyniad call yn fy marn i. A good decision in my opinion.

MECCAnopsis Cambrica said...

No platform. I wouldn't give legitimacy to the repugnant views of al-Qaida inspired extremists by sharing a stage with them either. Thankfully those who fall into this category wouldn't vote let alone form a political party in this country, so the situation would never arise.

Daran said...

Gwnest ti'r penderyniad iawn. Gad nhw yn llacs eu hyn.

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

Sorry the 'no platform' idea is weak and shows a lack of willingness to tackle the horrible ideology of the BNP in democratic debate.

They are, regardless of a how horrible, a party taking part in democratic elections. Why fight a fascist party with a denial of freedom of speech?

What should happen is that reasoned debate, exposing the hate behind the BNP ideas, is needed. The 'no platform' idea allows the BNP to present itself as 'honest joes' against the political class, offering themselves up as the party for the voiceless.

The 'no platform' idea essentially thinks that ordinary people are too stupid to see through the BNP charade, that they will blindly fall for their lies and vote for them. That is the lazy attitude of the political class - that people are too stupid to make up their own minds.

MECCAnopsis Cambrica said...

Sorry Hooligan, perhaps not surprisingly, I disagree.

Everyone with a blog is 'tackling the horrible ideology of the BNP' and we are managing to do it without inviting them to share space on our blogs. Are we being anti-democratic? Are we denying them freedom of speech? No that would be shutting down their blogs, shutting down their website and denying them the ability to create their own opportunities to meet and for getting their message out to the public.

The 'no platform' policy is not as you suggest a nanny state type initiative to protect a weak-minded public from being brainwashed (I have more faith in the average person than that). It is to send a message to the BNP that their views are so vile that no-one will dignify such views by inviting them into a civilised debating arena.

If people feel disenfranchised and voiceless, it is the fault of the mainstream parties and their responsibility to engage with this section of the electorate. The card-carrying members of the BNP have bought into the ideology of hate...it's the floating voters who don't have a racist bone in their body but are prepared to cast a protest vote who need to be reached. But engaging with the voiceless doesn't require us to sit alongside the odious, racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic pond life who are masquerading as a political party.

Just my opinion.

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

"But engaging with the voiceless doesn't require us to sit alongside the odious, racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic pond life who are masquerading as a political party."

Right, so we should just cut off the thousands people who vote BNP.

The only way to truly eradicate the BNP is too beat them in a democratic debate.

MECCAnopsis Cambrica said...

"Right, so we should just cut off the thousands people who vote BNP."

We are not talking about the thousands who have voted for the BNP, we are talking about giving legitimacy to utterly vile views through sharing a political stage with BNP ideologues. My position is we should not, and therefore on principle I will not.

Let the mainstream parties put forward some real solutions to the issues that the BNP have hijacked. Your party's policies should sell themselves; you don't need to hold them up to comparison against the very worst of your opponents' to prove what's better. If Dai Public should accidently happen across some beer hall where the BNP are offering their words of 'wisdom' he will have the debate in his own head and write the BNP off as nutjobs, provided that your party has made its case coherently and often.

The ball is firmly in the court of the mainstream parties.