Friday, October 23, 2009

Report on Newsround at 5pm last night -

Sonali: First - should you be allowed to have your say even if what you're saying really upsets people? That's what's being talked about today in a big row over a political party called the BNP. Its leader is appearing on a BBC show tonight, but lots of people think he's racist and shouldn't be allowed on. And in the last half hour protesters have broken through security here at BBC Television Centre in London.

Video, includes interviews with Martin Smith of Unite Against Fascism, and Mark Byford, the "BBC's deputy boss."

Sonali: This is the person at the centre of the row. His name is Nick Griffin and he's the leader of the British National Party or the BNP. Lots of people don't like the BNP because they think they're racist. The party doesn't allow anyone who isn't white to join them, and it doesn't like people from other countries moving here. The BNP insists that doesn't mean they're racist. They say they're just standing up for white people who were born in Britain. And some of the public agree, because in elections over the summer the BNP got more votes than they've ever got before. That's why the party's leader Nick Griffin has been invited to appear on Question Time tonight here at the BBC. Every week millions of people tune in to hear what politicians have to say. But as you can see people don't want to hear what Mr Griffin has got to say.

Martin Smith: We believe that Nick Griffin and the British National Party are a fascist racist party. And we believe his appearance on TV will create more racism and violence.

Sonali: But should you be able to say what you think even if people don't necessarily like what you've got to say? The BBC certainly thinks so.

Mark Byford: He's the leader of a party that's allowed to stand in elections, and the amount of support that they have now had at the most recent election means that they qualify for having an appearance on Question Time where they can be questioned about their policies by the British public.

Sonali: And even though lots of people think it's wrong to give people like Nick Griffin a chance to appear on TV, others believe if you don't like someone's views it's better to let them talk and then argue against them. In the last half hour around twenty-five protesters have broken through the gate at the entrance to the BBC's Television Centre. It looks like the situation is now under control, but the demonstration continues.

See also blog on 3 October 2009

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