Last night’s Question Time certainly provoked a backlash. Not entirely unexpectedly, Nick Griffin’s appearance caused controversy in and out of Television Centre. I’ve previously posted on the BBC’s handling of this and I simply don’t buy the argument that the BNP should be denied public scrutiny because they don’t really believe in democracy. Presumably Question Time would be an oxymoron in a Griffin-led administration.
There was a deliberate strategy at work by Mr Griffin. It was to attempt to look like any other elected politician by denying things he has been documented to have said that make him stand out (e.g. about the holocaust) and to capitalise on those views he could share with others (e.g. critique of bankers bonuses). This failed because he was exposed time and again as a peddler of untruth, half-truths and rewriter of history. It has to be said that he looked distinctly uncomfortable- which betrayed his feelings about what he was doing.
What are we like when challenged about our views? Does our body language suggest that we are uneasy about our own beliefs? Or perhaps we avoid the position of being quizzed by sceptics. One member of the public commented this morning that this is what happens when someone so used to being surrounded by those who share his views is exposed to outside analysis. Cause for thought there, especially for those of us working for Christian organisations. An untested faith is no faith at all, a faith open to scrutiny is authentic. And that’s what everyone is looking for- something genuine, honest and authentic. Are we engaging with wider society or pretending to fit in?