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Outrage: Anger erupted at the decision to air an interview with National Front leader Marine Le Pen on the Andrew Marr Show on Remembrance Sunday [Image: Reuters/Charles Platiau].

Outrage: Anger erupted at the decision to air an interview with National Front leader Marine Le Pen on the Andrew Marr Show on Remembrance Sunday [Image: Reuters/Charles Platiau].

Courting controversy shouldn’t be taboo – although I think the Marr Show producers really should have thought twice about having an interview with a fascist on Remembrance Sunday.

Oh, does Marine Le Pen not call herself that? This Writer calls ’em as I see ’em.

I wasn’t taking detailed notes but what I got from the interview was that she doesn’t like the European Union, does like Russia, and both hates and likes Muslims, depending on whether they’re immigrants or not. I think she may have been economical with the truth about the Muslims somehow…

It was worthwhile to hear all this because, you see, it reflects in an interesting way on our own politics.

Nigel Farage and UKIP, along with many members of the Parliamentary Conservative Party, don’t like the European Union and are delighted that the UK is coming out of it, no matter what economic damage we do to the country along the way.

The same people don’t like immigrants – or at least, they have been stirring up anti-immigrant sentiment even though they are blaming these people for problems that have been made by a Conservative government that has brought back rationing under a different name (“austerity”).

She has an “us against them” attitude which is no different from the “divide and rule” mentality of the Conservative Government, here in the UK – a government that has pointed the finger at the sick and disabled, at the unemployed, and at the afore-mentioned immigrants as scapegoats for their own political choices.

So I think Mr Burley’s comment – that the possibility of a win for the French National Front means the BBC must either treat her seriously or is censoring her – is more valid than even he might think.

We didn’t censor Nigel Farage and UKIP.

We don’t censor the Conservatives.

Their policies aren’t significantly different from those of Marine Le Pen.

But we say her attitudes and those of her party are beyond the pale.

That is hypocritical.

And the BBC can’t claim any holier-than-thou rights either – it might not censor Ms Le Pen but it has certainly marginalised the United Nations report showing that the Conservative Government has committed grave and systematic violations of the human rights of UK citizens. Why has that not been a major headline?

That is hypocritical too.

Obviously This Blog does not and cannot support the policies of Ms Le Pen and her fascists.

But if we want to show the world that they are unacceptable, we need to concede that the behaviour of our own government and the state broadcaster is unacceptable too.

What’s the Biblical line?

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’, when all the time there is that plank in your own?”

BBC executives have defended the decision to air an interview with French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Remembrance Sunday following an angry backlash on social media.

The BBC has dismissed the outrage, claiming the controversial politician is a “serious contender” for the French presidency.

Among the reasons [Andrew Marr Show editor Rob Burley] stated was Donald Trump’s shock election win which he said made victory for Ms Le Pen a “possibility”.

He wrote: “Marine Le Pen is a controversial booking. But she is a serious contender for the French Presidency whatever you think of her views. . .

“Her party’s support – 6m in 2015 elections, 6m in the last Presidential Election and her ratings ahead of 2017 election significant. .

“In French politics she is “normalised” by public support. We either treat her seriously or censor her.

“The shocks to conventional wisdom of the Referendum result & Donald Trump’s election make her victory a possibility if it wasn’t already.”

Source: BBC editor defends decision to air interview with Marine Le Pen on Andrew Marr Show amid furious row | London Evening Standard

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