... sincere though their intentions undoubtedly are, the content of the latest statement from the two archbishops of Canterbury and York, warning people not to vote for the far-right British National Party (BNP) in next month's European and local elections, must be counted a mistake.
Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu are playing directly into the hands of the BNP by whipping up yet more brouhaha over what is likely to remain a marginal force in Britain's political life. Quite inadvertently, they are feeding the party with the oxygen of publicity to a degree that must be delighting the party's leader
Fine advice to give to their graces in private, perhaps, but isn't publishing that advice in a major newspaper doing the exact same thing that it is criticising the Archbishops for doing - giving the BNP the oxygen of publicity?
The hypocracy of the editorial is added to by the fact that the paper not only has a lead comment about the BNP, and coverage of the Archbishops' comments but also two other stories both of which relate to the fascists apparent high rankings on the internet. These two stories actually highlight the danger of the dont give them the oxygen of publicity argument. If Archbishops, humanists, newspapers, mainstream politicians and bloggers don't expose the BNP for the foul and hateful organisation that it is, for fear of giving it publicity, the only source of information that people are left with is the fascists' own self-generated propaganda.
I wish that the BNP didn't exist, but I have to face the reality that it does exist. Ignoring it in the hope that it goes away isn't going to work. The only way to deal with it is to confront it and tell people loud and clear why it is evil and why it is not worthy of any decent person's support. I am glad that Rowan Williams and John Sentamu have done so.