The Oxford Union has voted to go ahead with the invite to the British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin and Holocaust denier David Irving to speak at a free speech event at the Union on Monday November 26th. Despite opposition, the Oxford Union Debating Society members voted by a margin of 2 to 1 to continue to extend the invite made some weeks ago.
As I stated earlier in the week, debating with the likes of Griffin and Irving may well prove intellectually stimulating for some members of the Oxford Union but the realpolitik is that the BNP is very keen to be seen as moving into the mainstream of British politics, an invite from the Oxford Union may well help the BNP in achieving this ambition.
The racist, bigoted politics of hatred expounded by the BNP will, as a result of the Oxford Union's invite, help the likes of Griffin secure some short term political credibility. In the minds of some the invitation will signify that the views of the far right are gaining in respectability.