The BBC has invited the controversial politician Jack Straw to appear on Question Time, their flagship political program, next week.
Straw has the opportunity to look like an ordinary, mainstream politician. No doubt other panelists, such as Nick Griffin, will seek to ridicule and destroy him. For one evening, however, Straw will be legitimate. Don't forget Straw is the 'Human Rights Czar', the man who put the loony into 'Loony Left'. It is this man who helps free killers and rapists after the briefest of prison sentences.
Question Time is surely the wrong program. It will not examine Straw too closely. Instead this master of soundbite politics has been given the opportunity to revel in the spotlight. There is a real danger that lots of Guardian readers could attend and his agenda could dominate the show.
Nick Griffin has come under increasing pressure not to appear on the same program. However, Griffin believes that he can show that Straw is a dangerous extremist, totally out of touch with the opinion of the British population. "People fought in world wars against people like him"' said Griffin. "I believe that in a democracy we should not ban politicians. A debate will show that Straw has little to offer the nation."
The BBC has been accused of sensationalism, of trying to boost viewing figures. Jack Straw is no normal politician and by inviting him to appear on Question Time the BBC offers him legitimacy. However, Straw is an elected politician, which is quite rare in the current cabinet.