The BNP's recruiters must be doing their own little cha-cha-cha over the Anton du Beke race row. Can you think of anything more likely to stir the righteous indignation of the Mail-reading classes than another "Political Correctness Gone Mad" story? I can see them now, spitting marmalade all over their union jack tablecloths. "I'll call a paki a paki if I want to" they'll shriek, without a golden shred of irony or self-examination.
Never mind the row itself, the red-tops and the narrow-sheets know how to whip up a storm. We get the media we pay for. They'll continue to pander to the knee-jerkers with this story until the next one comes along, because instead of demanding a real debate about race in Britain, it’s much simpler to browse the Mail’s editorial and suck your teeth.
The really sad thing is, each time the papers print this drivel, the sort of people who would shout the word ‘Paki’ at a random person in the street will feel better for doing so. They'll think they're striking a blow for freedom of speech, when all they're really after is freedom of abuse. In the meantime Mr du Beke (A man who I can't really see hurling insults at anyone in the street) will find himself the unwitting poster-boy for a right wing campaign to liberate great British racial jibes.
While the tabloids pander to the knee-jerkers and simplify the arguments to the monosyllabic, what chance do we have of ever having a mature debate about the future of a multi-cultural Britain?
The fact that I don’t want to see Anton Du Beke hung, drawn and quartered does not mean I approve of what he said. It was clearly tasteless and improper. I won't stand by and accept people using racist and/or homophobic remarks around me. I have got into trouble on more occasions than I care to mention by challenging racist language/behaviour in public. I despise racism regardless of who it is directed at or who it's coming from. Racism and xenophobia are the foundation stones of an ugly lurch to the right in British politics which I detest.
Thought for the day: Nick Griffin thinks he should be able to call a spade a spade.