"London Has Been Ethnically Cleansed"

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 110 months ago
"London Has Been Ethnically Cleansed"

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"A lynch mob", was how Nick Griffin described his treatment by the audience on Question Time last night. After his attempt to defend the "non-violent" Ku Klux Klan during the broadcast, his cliche was particularly appropriate.

Waking up to a chorus of media ridicule over his controversial appearance on the show — in which, far from the calculting demagogue many feared, the BNP leader came across as confused, nervous, and thoroughly insincere — Griffin has emerged fighting. He will lodge an official complaint with the BBC over his "unfair" treatment, though his bile is directed chiefly at the members of the crowd who peppered him with boos and discomfiting quesions.

For a man who declares that he's not "obsessed by race", the racial make-up of the audience clearly unnerved him. In an extraordinary outburst this morning, a grumpy Griffin described London as "dominated by ethnic minorities" and people who were "not British", with the real population having long been "ethnically cleansed".

The response from Boris Johnson has been swift. Tempering his normal rhetorical curlicues, the Mayor said:

""Nick Griffin is right to say London is not his city. London is a welcoming, tolerant, cosmopolitan capital which thrives on its diversity... The BNP has no place here and I again urge Londoners to reject their narrow, extremist and offensive views at every opportunity."

So will Griffin get another chance to squirm and sweat under the media's wide spotlight? The Beeb's ratings alone might encourage them to let him prepare his own petard for self-hoisting once more: 8 million viewers tuned into the show last night, the highest in the programme's history. Who says we're an apolitical nation?

Last Updated 23 October 2009