Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Late Night Barking

"Oh no, there's another one of those ghaaaastly BNP types!! You there!
 Are you eligible to vote in this country? Have a Labour Leaflet, Quick!

I had been aware that there was going to be a documentary featuring on the British National Party for quite a while now. It was only last week though, between the interludes of other shows, when I saw the clips being shown to advertise the programme. "The Battle For Barking" was apparently going to be it's moniker.

It was from these previews (and selective footage) that I thought my fears about it were already being confirmed - a British National Party stall holder being spat at and verbally abused, selective footage of Bob Bailey exacting some self defence against some Asian hecklers, some tattered old flags fluttering in the wind of a "sink estate" or concrete monstrosity tower block.

Another "BNP Wives" meets "Undercover BNP" I thought, with a helping of "poor uneducated white scum classes, who are not aware of what they are doing and blame all the wrong things".

After years of this depressing combination of outlooks, I was expecting some more car-crash TV along the same lines. I said to myself and others that I wasn't going to watch it for that reason - but curiosity got the better of me and I ended up staying up late to see it right until the end.

Although there was a bit of a tinge to it which was not particularly flattering, I was actually quite surprised how even handed the documentary maker tried to be, compared to what we have been dealt before. 

It could have been a lot, lot worse - we already know what the media and camera crews are like. Good for her for at least trying to balance it out, it shows some sign of proper journalistic thinking (compared to the likes of the BBC).

It wasn't an ideal programme though, but that is perhaps more my opinion because I would like things to be a bit different in the British National Party (and some of its fellowship/voters). In some of those ways therefore, it was not all that brilliant, but still, it showed what appears to be real life down there in Barking - from a perspective that is well outside my own bubble.