Why do I have the impression that the BBC is enjoying (even revelling in) the controversy it has generated over the Question Time programme tonight? All those hours of newstime devoted to analysing itself, all those interviews with BBC bigwigs and, of course, the prospect of higher than ever ratings for the programme itself.
On the substantive question of whether the BNP should be given airtime on Question Time, I cannot decide one way or another. On the one hand, I favour freedom of speech (provided of course that Mr Griffin keeps himself firmly within the legal requirements to do with hate speech and so on); and perhaps his exposure might acquaint the viewers with the reality of the BNP's policies. On the other hand, there is a strong case to be made for ostracising such a loathsome bunch as the BNP and as far as possible denying them the opportunity to preach their evil doctrines.
But I do wish that the BBC would not take such delight in being yet again the centre of attention.