Irish Time

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

OLYMPIC LONDON 2012 : The Alf Garnett Factor

London 2012 Olympics is located in Cockney land a unique part of London with a culture all of its own. To understand Cockney English culture, the Alf Garnett character of the BBC is a must for anyone interested in the cultural setting of Olympics 2012.

The Alf Garnett Factor

Robert Henderson
In the 1960s one of the most celebrated British sit-coms Till Death Us Do Part appeared. Its central character was an elderly working class Londoner Alf Garnett (For American readers his character inspired that of Archie Bunker).
Garnett’s most noted characteristic was what we would call these days being non-PC, especially about race and immigration. The author Johnny Speight swore blind that he had no sympathy with the character’s views and he had created him only to show how bigoted and unpalatable they were. (The suspicion grew as the character of Garnett became more and more dominant in the sit-com and ever more outrageous in his words that Speight was actually peddling his own secret views. Speight vehemently denied this but the accusation followed him to his grave.)
The effect of the Garnett character was the exact opposite of Speight’s stated intention because he became a character who, far from being treated universally as a figure of fun or despicable, was taken by many people as a conduit for their opinions, opinions which otherwise were even in those days severely censored by a liberal media and a political class (with the exception of Enoch Powell) which had already fallen under the liberal Omerta on honest discussion of race and immigration. (The first British Race Relations Act was passed in 1965).
Something similar to the Alf Garnett effect has taken place with the BNP. It did not really matter how well or badly Griffin did on Question Time. What counted was the fact he was on it saying, amongst a good deal of confused nonsense, what large numbers of Britons felt about mass immigration and the multi-cultural reign of terror which prevents people in any normal circumstances saying what they feel about its consequences. That Griffin was crude in his claims, lacking in examples to back up his claims even where examples were readily available, for example he failed to quote one of the many Churchill statements on race which would be considered unequivocally racist today by the liberal bigot definition, and palpably nervous was of little account. What mattered was that he was saying things which had not been said in such a forum for many a long year.
The BBC, hermetically wrapped in their liberal bigot cocoon, played into his hands. There was never going to be a detailed discussion of the issues and the choice of a panel which was not only universally hostile to Griffin and to any honest discussion of immigration, but also emblematic in its make up of the grip that politically correctness has got on this country with three members of ethnic minorities out of the five panel members – Jack Straw (Jewish), Sayeeda Warsi (Asian Muslim), Bonnie Greer (black American) – ensured that the viewer would see the programme as an exercise in liberal elite control. (Had I been Griffin, before I said anything else I would have pointed out the unrepresentative nature of the panel. Coincidentally, Greer is the woman I crossed swords with over Obama’s Nobel Prize on BBC Radio 5 a couple of weeks ago. List members will be delighted to hear that for Ms Greer the panel far from being an unrepresentative travesty “celebrated a racial mix. Sayeeda Wasi was amazing and I was very moved to hear about Jack Straw’s Jewish background. I had no idea. (Telegraph 24/9/2009″. Exactly how someone supposedly very well attuned to British politics could not know Straw is Jewish is a mystery only Ms Greer, a UK resident for 23 years, can explain. Equally difficult to explain is why the BBC think she, someone who has never been elected to public office in her life, deserves to be wheeled out to give her political opinions so often.)
Add in the chairman David Dimbleby’s grossly biased questioning of Griffin – “Is it fair that the BNP has hijacked Churchill as its own?” – and the choice of questioners (disproportionately ethnic) and universally hostile questions from the audience and none but the most dishonest liberal bigot could see the programme as anything other than hideously unbalanced and unfair.
The other mistakes Griffin made were:
(1) trying to ingratiate himself with other panel members especially Greer.
(2) Smiling too much.
(3) Getting into ridiculous discussions about whether the indigenous population had been in the islands 17,000 years or not – they haven’t and even if they had it would be irrelevant.
(4) Absurdly playing the pc game by claiming that the colour of skin does not matter, the determining factor of acceptability being how long a people have been in a country, absurd because the BNP’s position has been unequivocally that race matters right up to the present, including the banning of non-whites from membership.
The most interesting single response came from Straw when Griffin was being questioned by Dimbleby on the subject of the Holocaust. Griffin said that he could not explain his original position on the Holocaust because that would put him at risk of being extradited to places such as Germany on an European Arrest Warrant. Straw immediately jumped in and stated categorically that it could not happen. This is nonsense as Holocaust Denial is one of the categories of crimes extraditable under the warrant. As a one time Foreign Secretary, a lawyer and now Justice Minister, Straw must have known that what he said was untrue. (BTW his real name is John Straw. Whilst at university he changed it to Jack Straw, in imitation of the Peasant’s Revolt leader).
It wasn’t only Griffin who was nervous on that programme, it was also Jack Straw and Chris Huhne, both of whom were utterly terrified and incoherent when the question of immigration over the past 12 years was discussed. That is why they mainstream politicians fear the BNP: they force discussion on the ultimate treason which is mass immigration. – Griffin has given so many hostages to fortune in the past with the Holocaust denial and dalliance with the likes of the Klu Klux Klan that it tells you all you need to know about the utter failure of mainstream British parties to deal with immigration that they have had the success that they have had. Griffin and the BNP are catalysts to drive the major parties towards a more reasonable position of immigration. They are doing that regardless of the quality of the membership or leader.
Some idea of the extent to which the British people feel betrayed by their political elite can be seen from the facts that 8 million tuned in – a phenomenally high number for a UK politics programme – and over 500k of hits were made to the BNP website in the next 24 hours.
The Question Time programme is on the BBC IPlayer for another 4 days. Just go to the BBC website and type in Question time and the link will come up near the top of the page. RH


  1. John B 
    Yes. It is somewhat similar to what was happening just before the 1979 election but I fear there is no Margaret Thatcher around (for all her short comings) to pick up the ball and run with it. So it is a different ball game, indeed.
  2. The ruling ‘elite’ and the BBC have been betraying their country and they concocted a sordid lynch job in the belief that they’d fooled everyone for so long, they could carry on doing so.
    Hoist by their own petard. Rumbled, scorned.
    Prior to QT, they hadn’t realised quite how seriously they’d been rumbled by the electorate. Even the sleepiest, most docile of people are aware that there’s something rotten in the stables and it has the whiff of Labour all over it.
    The Tories wonder (publicly) why they’re not doing better in the polls. But they know very well that they’re not conservative – they’re wet liberals with rich friends and ambition for high EU/UN office.
    So different are their principles from those of this conservative country’s bedrock that they might as well be Labour under a different guise.
  3. Graham Davies 
    I would have like to have seen more made of Jack Straw’s communist past by Griffin – that would have been an open goal when the ad hominems started flying(about 0.02 seconds into the programme). Nor have I seen anyone mention the fact that the panelists seem to have been briefed at taxpayers’ expense by the fake charity Searchlight, all the material that was thrown at Griffin originated from this organisation several years ago.
    I’d imagine this programme will have polarised society in its own small way. Some will be embarrassed at Griffin’s performance and some will be sympathetic towards him. The most certain aspect is that it has laid out the bias of the BBC and the remoteness of modern politics for all to see.
  4. It seemed more of a show trial than a lynch mob. It was discncerting, to say the least, to find a senior minister and lawyer so seemingly playing the role of prosecutor in a forum run by our BBC. It was a sad night. Bonnie Greer came off best. All out of Africa and much good law out of Rome. CL

VETERAN IRISH Republican Marian Price has been imprisoned without trial since May 2011. This harks back to the British government’s widespread use of internment in the 1970’s as a way of silencing opposition to its rule in the north of Ireland. This repressive policy only succeeded in broadening the scale of the anti-Unionist and anti-British revolt.
The 57 year old activist had been given a life sentence following the Old Bailey bombings in 1973, then released in 1980 following a prolonged hunger strike in which she had been force-fed over 400 times. She had been suffering from tuberculosis and weighed five stones. Her release had been based on a royal pardon.
Northern Ireland secretary Owen Patterson signed an order revoking her parole licence claiming that she had encouraged support for an illegal organisation. This amounted to holding up the script of a message read out at an Easter commemoration from a masked man representing the Real IRA.
Marian’s lawyers pointed out that she was not on licence and there was no legal right to detain her as her release was based on a royal pardon. Patterson’s lawyers were unable to find the royal document – the only copy of which it would appear was conveniently destroyed in 2010 – hence their claim it was not a pardon but a conditional release! After her arrest, the judge granted her bail only for Marian to be immediately rearrested on Patterson’s orders.
Last July Marian was further charged with “providing property for the purposes of terrorism”, linked to the Massereene shootings of two soldiers. But as Eamonn McCann points out, she “had been questioned for two days about this allegation in November 2009 and released without charge. There was no change in circumstances in the interim and no new evidence offered.” Again the court offered her bail only for Patterson to overrule.
It is patently obvious that Marian’s detention is not about her being guilty of a serious crime, but about the British government’s desire to silence her. As Bernadette McAliskey commented at a recent protest in Belfast: “This is a clear message that no dissent will be tolerated. You challenge the status quo at your peril.” In short, don’t oppose the Good Friday Agreement!
The British government would love to fool us into believing that a just peace reigns in the north of Ireland – but the reality is different. It is British repression that reigns supreme. Maghaberry republican prisoners are still subject to beatings and strip-searches. Loyalist parades continue to march through nationalist areas. Raids and beatings are regularly dished out in the pursuit of ‘dissident’ republicans. The northern state is still a sectarian prison house for all those that identify with a united Ireland.
Marian has been illegally incarcerated for a year now. She had been locked up in the all-male prison at Maghaberry and put in isolation. This long-term solitary confinement is a form of torture. Due to a serious deterioration in her health she has been transferred to the hospital wing of Hydebank prison where she still remains in isolation. The authorities are intent on breaking her body and spirit. Many protests have taken to the streets in Ireland.
We must demand Britain drop the charges and release Marian Price now!

London 2012, 2012 Olympics, Boycott Olympics, Galway Whooker, Internment, london 2012, London Olympics, London Olympics 2012, OlympicGames, OlympicLondon

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