The news reports are true. Nick “Fat Hitler” Griffin of the British National Party has posted a cookery TV show online. Personally I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea of no-platforming fascists. Don’t get me wrong, I can see the argument in favour of it. Even so, when Griffin was invited on BBC Question Time, the result was a more effective anti-BNP message than years of Unite Against Fascism’s campaigning – through the simple expedient of letting him open his gob.
So, with that in mind, I’m going to review his culinary extravaganza.
The show opens with the BNP TV logo, which looks strangely like the Eurovision Song Contest logo with a Union Jack slapped over it. The screen cuts to a surprisingly posh-looking kitchen for a man who’s just been declared bankrupt. No doubt his creditors are watching the show with a calculator in hand.
On the table in front of him is some veg, including a bag clearly labelled “British White Potatoes”. Presumably Nick wanted these on display because he’s British, white and has the intellect of a potato.
Nick starts talking about the impact of poverty on food budgets, and how he was at an event where people complained that “they can’t afford – their wives can’t afford to put enough decent food on the table.” Their wives? Who was he meeting with? The Stepford Racists?
He then suggests that the problem here is that a lot of people only know how to cook processed food, and don’t know how to make cheap food from raw ingredients. “Our chaps said to me, you like cooking. Why don’t you show a few examples of how cheap it is, how simple it is to cook really good food for yourself and your family.”
Wow. There actually was a BNP meeting where they decided, “You know what, Nick? See that Jack Monroe? You could do that!” Be very afraid.
1.00 Nick warns “We’ve not done this before. BNP TV does politics, not cookery, but we’ll see how it goes.” Building up the tension here until it’s almost noticeable.
1.20 Nick takes us through the ingredients, which he’s spent about £10 on. He provides the startling revelation that a good place to find reduced prices is in the the reduced section of the supermarket. I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of this sort of revelations.
1.35 He found some stewing steak in the reduced section. Naturally it’s made from British beef. “Good stuff!” He’s got some carrots, onions, parsnips and swede. But there’s an important warning. “You can have too much swede, unless you’re a goat.” The nation’s goats breathe a sigh of relief.
2.05 There’s some condiments too – some salt, pepper and in a magnanimous gesture to Johnny Foreigner, some tabasco sauce.
3.00 He launches into a sob story about how he used to be living hand-to-mouth when he first moved to London. This doesn’t seem so much to be to empathise with the nation’s poor as to justify having a bottle of beer to hand. No doubt this would elicit more sympathy if he wasn’t a fat man standing in a very expensive kitchen.
4.15 Having bleated his poor-me history, Nick then promptly starts bragging about how nice his kitchen is, and to be fair, it is a nice kitchen with a great big Aga. Or at least it will be until the bailiffs arrive next week. However, he reassures us that in order to heat up a pot of stew you don’t need a fancy cooker, just any old burner. That’s right. Tesco Everyday Value fire is just as hot as Marks and Spencer’s fire. Well, I never.
4.25 “Different things take different times to cook, so obviously you’ve got to make sure that the things that take longest are done first of all.” Glad to hear we’re getting to grips with the concept of time.
4.40 I am now watching the leader of a political party explain how to chop an onion, while explaining that you don’t actually eat the peel. You won’t other political leaders doing that, eh? EH?
6.10 Hey up, we’re off. He’s starting to cook, though not before explaining that there are different types of cooking oil.
6.30 After explaining how time works, we now have more basic physics as we learn that a handy way to speed up the cooking is to put the pan on a hotter ring. He then grabs a wooden spoon, presumably the one he was awarded at the last election.
7.00 Sometimes meat comes ready-chopped. If this isn’t the case, Nick helpfully advises that as an alternative you can cut it up yourself.
7.40 It seems not only are there different types of cooking oil, there’s even different types of meat! “You could use pork, you could use chicken.”
8.00 Handy hint from Nick. If you buy a slow cooker, you’re getting a cooker and a pan for £12. How he hasn’t got a sponsorship deal from Russell Hobbs, I’ll never know.
9.14 Time to peel some vegetables. “You can peel with a knife.” YES YOU CAN!
10.05 According to Nick, British cooking used to be the best in Europe, but was scuppered by Ze Germans. “It became very simple after the Hanoverians came over from North Germany.” Fear not though, since “I spend a lot of time on the continent” and he now believes British cooking is becoming the best in Europe again.
10.50 Oh no! An onion has escaped the round-up. He leaps on it like it’s a fleeing immigrant.
11.30 Speaking of immigrants, “Don’t let people tell you that you need huge numbers of immigrants to have good cooking. We’ve got a Mexican restaurant in a town near here. The place isn’t swamped with Mexicans. You take the recipe, that’s really all you need.” Though to be fair, his attempts to recreate the dishes at home probably don’t include those “extra ingredients” they probably secretly slip into his food when they see him walking into their establishment.
12.20 Time to move the pot of stew onto a smaller ring. He conveniently tells those with a one-ring burner that they can get the same effect by turning the gas down.
14.05 Nick’s Handy Economy Tip! Too skint to buy meat? “Go to a butcher, and tell him you’ve got a dog. Can you have some dog bones?” Then scrape off the meat. Apparently he’s tried this himself, although your butcher may not sneak out back and wipe his bum on the dog bones first, like Nick’s presumably did before handing them to him
16.10 “With a stew, if you find you haven’t cooked if for long enough, just cook it for longer.” Amazing.
17.40 Another one of Nick’s Handy Economy Tips. Can’t afford to buy a recipe book? Just go into a shop use a camera phone to take photos of the recipes.
20.40 Brief rant about “all that green bullshit”. He really doesn’t like anything coloured.
21.20 Important advice on using stock cubes. Take the tin foil wrapper off because “tin foil really is unpleasant in your food. It’s not a good additive.”
21.50 Nick laments the fact that although you can get beef, lamb or chicken stock cubes, you can’t get pork ones. However, he has a solution. “I reckon if you put one beef one in and one chicken one in, you’ve more or less got pork.” How much time has Nick spent experimenting with mixed stock cubes?
22.05 “Food without salt is absolutely disgusting”. Between his political speeches and his salt advice, he really isn’t doing wonders for the nation’s blood pressures.
22.45 We now learn that opening a tin of tomatoes requires a tin opener “unless of course, you look for the tomatoes which have a lid with a pull-ring, and then you don’t need a tin opener.” At this stage, I’m starting to worry that watching this show is causing me to become dumber.
23:20 Nick cheerfully sloshes some rather nice-looking Hobgoblin beer into the stew, before taking a swig from the bottle. “The fact that you’re able to drink the beer as you’re cooking makes it worth cooking.” I am now regretting watching this while sober.
24.00 Nick explains how the Mexican police use tabasco sauce as a torture instrument. Perhaps in future they’ll just use his cookery shows instead.
30.20 With the stew cooking nicely, Nick puts in a request for “serious, constructive criticisms” of the show. Naturally, the online masses will hear this request as, “Troll him! TROLL LIKE YOU’VE NEVER TROLLED BEFORE!”
31.10 It’s now time for those immortal words, “Here’s one I prepared earlier”, as Nigella Hitler dishes out his stew to two old guys and a teenage girl. The girl looks embarrassed to be there.
31.30 Adolf Ramsey scoops the stew into bowls. It looks like a cowpat with carrots.
32.30 The old guys declare the stew to be “first class, delicious.” Nick doesn’t ask the girl what she thinks, probably because she’s wishing she could sneak out to the Mexican restaurant that Nick slagged off earlier.
And that’s it. Nick tells us he’ll be putting a list of the ingredients online – because nowhere on the Internet could we find a recipe for beef stew – and the show is over. This is something of a relief because if I’d had to watch any more of it then my IQ would have probably dropped to the level of Nick’s stew. Or possibly that of a BNP supporter.