The BBC finally got back to me with a response about the BNP hijacking the Have Your Say forums:
Thanks for your further e-mail. Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We've raised your concerns with those responsible for managing the Have Your Say board. They recognise the board is open to abuse and there are other systems being used to run forums elsewhere on the web. Nonetheless the moderators do their best to try to ensure a representative response is published. They will very shortly be making some changes to the HYS system which will have an impact on this kind of behaviour. Thanks again for taking the time to contact us with your concerns. Regards Gemma McAleer BBC Complaints
I was hoping for some more concrete proposals to sort this out, but hopefully whatever they are planning will improve the situation.
As a bit of an aside I think this sort of thing is unfortunately symptomatic of the BBC’s attitude towards the viewers. The opinions of the public are held in high regard, and it’s normal for them not to be challenged at all. To me that seems completely backwards. Members of the public are usually the least likely to have any kind of reasoned and informed opinion, while those who can bring those qualities to the debate are interrogated vigorously (as they should be).
With regards to HYS specifically, the decision not to allow any kind of structured debate where people can respond to each other is, IMHO, a clear example of treating the public’s opinion with more reverence than it deserves. If someone says something which cannot stand up to scrutiny or debate then the BBC should not shield them.