There are many contentious issues surrounding the Nick Griffin interview that have been exhausted by other writers. I will do my best to focus solely on the ‘offensive’ question. I do, however, find it necessary to assert beforehand that I do find the views of Nick Griffin repulsive.
Sitting in the Better Union debate, one of the many arguments against the publication of the interview was that it was offensive. Can someone please tell me, in what way, in what world, this argument actually means anything? The claim of offence has become the universal trump card, from which we are all expected to tiptoe piously away. Who among us hasn’t had the experience of speaking an uncomfortable truth, only to be told by someone that we have offended them? The next time this happens I implore you to ask them (after wiping the hot vomit from your mouth), “Have I offended you? Should I call you an ambulance or a psychiatrist?”
What, if anything, does offensive mean? A disagreeable notion, perhaps. Well, a newspaper is nothing but a collation of remarkably agreeable and disagreeable notions. Since we don’t, unfortunately, live in a world where everything that ever happens is agreeable, a newspaper will by definition be filled with offensive things. One cannot say, in the same breath, that Nick Griffin’s views were presented as credible and that Nick Griffin’s views are offensive. To say that a statement which is true can also be offensive is to bankrupt the word of all meaning. The reason that Nick Griffin’s views can be said to be offensive is precisely because they are such obvious nonsense.
In no way can anyone claim to be hurt by such bigoted drivel. Driven to debilitating fits of laughter, perhaps. Baffled by how a mind could be so unfathomably small and still function, maybe. Curious as to whether or not such a strong desire to condemn certain practices is indicative of a repressed desire to do them himself, possibly. But hurt? Offended? Please.
If you’re offended, be offended. It will cause you no damage. The stars won’t fall from the sky, you’re heart won’t cease to beat and Nick Griffin will still be the greasy, chinless source of ridicule that he always has been.
There will be a referendum on the Better Union Forum idea ‘Should LUU extend their exclusion of fascists and hate speakers to student media?’ Leeds Student will be campaigning against this idea passing.