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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Azizi BS: BNP on question time (285* d) RE: BS: BNP on question time 23 Oct 09

Thanks for posting those links, Mr. Happy.

Here's a link to a post-program discussion that I find interesting:

Do you speak Race?
Mark Easton | 12:42 UK time, Friday, 23 October 2009

[And let me say at the onset that I have absolutely no clue who Mark Eston is and what his politics are either.]

Here's an excerpt of that blog post:

"A telling moment on last night's Question Time did not involve Mr Griffin at all. It was an exchange between Jack Straw and a black woman in the audience.

This is what she said:

"The parties must listen because, one of the things, I am sitting here and every time Jack Straw or somebody or one of the panel says 'Afro-Caribbean', I am cringing."
(The justice minister holds up his hands in apology.)

"Afri-CAN Ca-RIB-bean!" the woman corrects him.
Discussing race in this country is to walk on egg-shells. When even an experienced signed-up multiculturalist like Mr Straw gets caught out, it becomes obvious how difficult it is even to find the language in which to conduct a grown-up debate about it...

People generally don't want to offend and the shifting sands of acceptable racial vocabulary mean that many dare not even step into the territory. It is a dangerous domain - one false move and you are branded a bigot.

Part of the problem has been the absence of formal public debate about race. Mainstream politicians have tended to opt out or dodge the subject, so the boundaries of acceptable discourse are poorly understood - even by our Parliamentarians.

Last night's programme saw all the panellists try to shift the discussion away from the question of race onto less troublesome terrain.

"This is not a race debate, this is a debate about resources," said the Conservative Sayeeda Warsi, adding that she didn't want a BNP-style discourse "about black and brown people". (I suspect few white politicians would ever dare employ the phrase "brown people", incidentally). All are happy to see the discussion shifted onto safer ground.

Nick Griffin used the expression "indigenous British people" to describe the constituency he seeks to represent.

"The whites!" retorted jack Straw, keen to push the BNP leader into the race debate. "Skin colour's irrelevant, Jack, skin colour's irrelevant," Mr Griffin responded, as anxious as the rest to avoid the elephant traps of a debate about ethnicity."

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