Opinion: From Our Readers - Parties should not fear open debate with BNP

I do not think the BBC's invitation to the BNP to appear on Question Time is just a publicity stunt (prweek.com, 7 September). It is also not a question of whether or not it is a good move - it was the only move if the BBC is to maintain its impartiality.

I am at odds with many colleagues in the Labour Party in that I do think we should share a platform with the BNP. We have to recognise that the BNP's spin and half-truths are being listened to on the doorsteps - that is why two BNP MEPs and dozens of councillors have been elected.

The BNP is winning votes from disillusioned non-voters and disaffected working class Labour and Tory voters. Their messages have resonance and the only way to defeat them is by exposing them. Attempting to censor them gives them more power on the doorsteps, because they can then say 'this is the truth "they" don't want you to hear'.

The three main parties can defeat this by not being afraid to debate with the BNP and expose it for what it is.

Stuart Bruce, MD, Wolfstar

- Email letters (200 words maximum) to prweekletters@haymarket.com.

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