Well, I thought that went reasonably well. Andrew Neil is pointing out as we speak that there's a danger people will have seen this week's Question Time as being five people and an audience ganging up on one person, but given Griffin's spectacularly unconvincing performance, I'm not too worried. He said more than a few things that had me spluttering into my toast, but I suspect his biggest mistake politically was pointing out that David Duke's branch of the KKK is "almost totally non-violent". Griffin knows full well that the only way the BNP can make any more significant progress is to pretend that their views aren't racist really, and that can only work so long as the people inclined to vote for you think that racists are other people. When people say "I'm not racist, but" it isn't (generally speaking) because they know they are racists and want to hide it, it's because the word "racist" carries (entirely deserved) negative connotations that people are desperate to believe don't apply to them, whether or not they actually do.
Linking Griffin to the KKK removes his ability to start sentences that way. When people in Britain think of racists, they think of the KKK (whether this has something to do with "Only in America" thinking, I wouldn't like to speculate). You can't get out of that. You certainly can't get out it by arguing the particular faction of the KKK with which you are associated is "almost totally non-violent". Griffin said other reprehensible things tonight: calling it "creepy" to see two men kissing, arguing teaching about homosexuality to children is "perverse", and of course his continued Holocaust denial, but I suspect it's the link to David Duke that will prove the most damaging politically.
While on the subject of the Holocaust, I thought Jack Straw did very well tonight. At least, he did very well when directly facing Griffin, his squirming on the topic of Labour's track record was standard political stuff (not that I was really expecting anything different). If Griffin got anywhere tonight (in addition to anyone who really did feel sorry for him under withering fire, and there were a number of audience members who didn't really help their own cause in that respect), it was in stating that the dominant political parties are useless and fractious, and then sitting back to watch them squabble. Of course, even the briefest thought would reveal that Griffin's argument boiled down to saying "These three firemen have failed to put out the blaze engulfing your house; so isn't it time for me to SET YOUR FUCKING FACE ON FIRE!?!", so I'm not too worried.
On the other hand, probably the best moment of the whole programme came from Griffin claiming European law forbade him explaining his views on the Holocaust, only for Jack Straw to promise as Secretary of State for Justice that he could have full immunity to say whatever he wanted. I've heard Griffin use that excuse before, and seeing it so totally swept aside was a wonderful moment.
All in all, I'm calling it a win. Once you reduced to saying the KKK faction you're pals with hardly beat up any black people at all, then you're done.