Tomorrow night’s BBC Question Time will not, I guarantee, reach the nub in precisely that fashion. Nor have four superannuated generals quite got the hang of the “No Platform For Fascists” gambit, though their medals are in the right place.

The BBC has, meanwhile, failed to cover itself in glory by inviting the BNP’s Nick Griffin in for a chat. Other stuff adheres.

Having forbidden a humanitarian appeal for the victims of Israel’s assault on Gaza, Mark Thompson, the director-general, now says he has an obligation to duly-elected students of Rassenschande.

That’s “racial defilement”, by the way. It was once a big deal. Had there been a Question Time bleating from “people’s receivers” (radios) in Germany in the mid-1930s, it would have been everyone’s top topic. It remains Griffin’s specialist subject. Whatever he says, however often he adopts the protective colouration of polite discourse, he peddles skin tone as an argument, a “philosophy”, and a means to power.

Why, then, all the dicking around? I don’t mean to be colloquial, but it strikes me that a “dilemma” has been cobbled from a simple inability to sort moral hierarchies. Here’s “free speech”; then “democratically elected”;

then, consequentially, supposedly, those rights “we take for granted”. And on the other hand -- straight and aloft, perhaps -- there’s Griffin.

It is said, first, that because some people did not appreciate the aerodynamic qualities of a Euro-election flyer with a picture of a Spitfire and send it winging to the bin, the BNP has democratic rights. Specifically, “a right to be heard”. This must be a new rule. It has certainly not been applied in the past, by the BBC or anyone else. And nor does it bear examination.

First, the suburban Geheime Staatspolizei who infest Griffin World would not, if allowed, recognise the rights they claim. They are great ones for banning, that lot. They don’t do free speech and “politically correct”. The BNP exists to put a stop to the world that cherishes the right, among other things, to speak freely.

Hence an apparent, but figmental, paradox. Hence the asinine rhetorical question you hear too often:

“But if we ban them, aren’t we just like them?” No, poor bleeding heart, and no.

Bear in mind that they love those liberal agonies. They play suckers -- and directors-general of the BBC -- with real delight. But if we smack them whenever they raise their heads, we reduce the risk of hatred passing for normal. In other words, put a small crimp in free speech, BBC-style, in order to preserve real liberty from its enemies.

So call for a show of hands, Mr Dimbleby: all those in favour of hatred and measures against “non-Caucasians”? With my home-made attitude, as a bonus, efforts to extirpate the BNP might just prevent a re-run of the 20th century. That’s something.

A ban, it is said, would “play into the hands” of those who quibble over the Holocaust’s body count. Apparently, it would allow them to claim that there exists a liberal conspiracy against sturdy patriotism. And wouldn’t that be awful?

Think of it as a double bluff.

Then ask yourself why there is not, in fact, a proper conspiracy, liberal or Sandhurst-educated, to drive Griffin back under the skirting boards.

Why is more time being spent assessing the allowance of rights appropriate to fascists than is allotted to rhetorical baseball bats? (A Woody Allen bit. Society dame: “Isn’t satire so effective with Nazis?” Woody: “Baseball bats. Baseball bats are effective.”)

The “debate”, so-called, misses two larger facts. First, that the fascist

tradition represented by the BNP never went away. It persists like a

fungal infection across Europe and gains its recognition -- Adolf understood this game -- through self-

lacerating liberal institutions from Poland to Italy to the BBC. Yet imagine, if needs be, a species that could witness Armenia and the Shoah and still indulge a Nick Griffin.

Modern Europe does anti-Semitism, old style and new, with an enthusiasm that would have cheered the British Union of Fascists. Meanwhile, it adds an Islamophobia -- the ugly word will have to do -- to the brew. Hence the inescapable second fact: we only have ourselves to blame.

“We” is tricky in this context. I could say that, personally, I always thought the “war on terror” a catastrophically bad, criminal idea lending cover to a conspiracy. I could add that Britain’s immigration policies, Tory and New Labour, were an obvious incentive, from the start, to the old fascists.

So what? I abide by a rough social contract: we, all of us, did this. We institutionalised racism. Now Griffin, ever reasonable, burrows to the surface.

Generals Sir Mike Jackson and Sir Richard Dannatt, Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank and Major-General Patrick Cordingley -- what’s the British for junta? -- have been naive, perhaps, in lending themselves to a Tory(ish) campaign. That party should ask itself why it still regards the BNP as an electoral threat. Never­theless, the old brass make a significant point. Their army has a historical memory, and a sense of honour.

Tens of thousands of the men who fought in the Second World War were under no illusions. They disputed fascism with their lives and voted Churchill -- whose image Griffin will not relinquish -- out of office. A handful of them had bled with the International Brigades long before anti-fascism was “premature”, and found themselves treated to the state’s suspicion when they enlisted. No matter.

They did not go to death just to allow us the luxury of sophistry. The BNP is old evil newly painted. It finds democracy charming, and stupid. It loves our “debates”. So here’s a fact: no free society can allow liberty to those who loathe liberty.

A plan, then. When the BNP is obliged by the law to change its

Caucasian-only membership rules, let’s all join. After a democratic debate, we can empty the accounts and give all the money to the British Legion, the James Brown Fan Club and children in the streets. Meanwhile, get online and find your friendly neighbourhood fascist. For safety’s sake.