June 08, 2009

The BNP are elected, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves

Writing about web page http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/notinmyname

There were a lot of people talking on Thursday about going out to vote to make sure the BNP “doesn’t get in”, but it looks like that’s failed since the BNP got their first ever country councillors and have had two people elected to be MEPs.

Since I’ve spent the majority of my adult life living a couple of miles away from Coalville, having a BNP Country Councillor getting the most votes there is particularly poignant to me. I may be being naïve but I simply cannot fathom how anyone in the streets can agree with BNP policies.

Indeed, there has been some suggestion that a lot of people who vote for the BNP do so without understanding their policies. So, the BNP in a nutshell:

  • Do not allow anyone to join who isn’t “indigenous Caucasian”, even if they have been born/brought up in the UK
  • Non-”indigenous Caucasian” peoples will be allowed to stay in the UK, but only as “guests”
  • No mixed-race relationships. The BNP “do not [...] accept miscegenation as moral or normal.”
  • Belief that homosexuality is “unnatural” – opposition to civil partnerships
  • Repatriation of non-Caucasians.
  • Reintroduce capital punishment for convicted terrorists, paedophiles, murderers
  • Holocaust denial (by Nick Griffin, at least – the party has removed most anti-semitic policies). This seems mostly due to a wish to remain anti-Islamic, which has led the party to come out in support of Israel.
  • Introduce a Muslim no-fly policy to stop Muslims flying in and out of the UK
  • Ban Halal/Kosher slaughter of animals
  • Propose that “citizens” should keep a rifle and ammunition in their home

I wonder how many of those hundreds of thousands of people who voted BNP did so because they were in agreement with these policies. Having spent a lot of time in Coalville I can understand that some people definitely agree with these policies, sadly (in my view).

Some have suggested that Labour are to blame for the BNP getting in. This, frankly, is ridiculous – the media are fully prepared to jump on the anti-Labour bandwagon at the moment because the momentum is there and that’s the general public “opinion” at the moment. The fact of the matter is that fewer people voted BNP this time than in 2004 – the problem was that there was:

  • A (relatively) small swing from Labour to Tory, UKIP, Green
  • Lots of people who traditionally would vote Labour decided not to vote at all

So who’s fault is it that the BNP got in? Ours. By not voting, or not explaining to those people willing to vote BNP and didn’t fully understand their policies, we’ve allowed a fascist party a soapbox to preach their messages of hate. Brilliant. I can’t think of a time I’ve felt more depressed about people in this country.

There is a petition, Nick Griffin: Not In My Name which may be a good place to express at least some of the outrage.

- 25 comments by 4 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Charles Letterman

    “I may be being naïve but I simply cannot fathom how anyone in the streets can agree with BNP policies.”

    OK maybe you’re right, but unfortunately there are not enough parties out there with policies or values that people are willing to support. We should have many more options than to cast a ‘protest vote.’

    08 Jun 2009, 10:53

  2. Mathew Mannion

    OK maybe you’re right, but unfortunately there are not enough parties out there with policies or values that people are willing to support.

    Personally, I voted Libertas in the European elections, as I felt they were closest to my views (though their views differed from mine on a number of points). Surely it’s better to vote for the best option for someone to represent your views, than for nobody at all? Even if we assume that some people agree with parts of the BNP’s mandate (I can understand how they can agree with general euro-scepticism, for example) I find it difficult to believe that anyone would find the BNP their “best option”.

    08 Jun 2009, 11:03

  3. Robyn Slingsby

    Having once lived in Coalville (a year of my life I try not to think about) and edited the local newspaper there, I truly think the people of Coalville get what they deserve. They moan about this, they moan about that. They want things to change and when they do change they don’t like it. Now they’ve got a change – and one they voted for – and it’s going to kick them in the teeth. Good luck to them, they’re gonna need it.

    08 Jun 2009, 11:08

  4. Here’s my reading of this.

    The election of BNP candidates as MEPs is a shock but let’s dig into things a little.

    Why did so many Labour voters not turn out? Is keeping out the BNP strong enough a motivation to make a positive vote for another party? Especially a party that has lost the backing of significant parts of its traditional membership for various reasons – expenses, war, economy, jobs etc etc.

    I don’t think you can build an opposition to the BNP by saying, vote for x or they will get in! That smacks of the sort of politics that he BNP love – the politics of opposition – we oppose this that and the other. The easiest path in politics is define yourself against something rather than for something. I would argue that this is not a mechanism with which to build a long term challenge to the rise of the far right.

    To my mind the problem for the left, and I think that this is a european issue, is that there is no really well defined alternative philosophy currently on the table to challenge the political philosophy of the right. The BNP can thrive because there is not strongly articulated alternative that provides answers to the questions their electorate face. Labour has been found wanting and this is a big issue.

    I think most concerning here is that there are certain things that have been taken for granted by many – multiculturalism, social liberalism, immigration, european engagement and membership for example. The case in support for this is so rarely made that it is all too easy to see these things as problems rather than sources of benefit. The policies of hate will find purchase if nobody is making a clear argument FOR an alternative. Merely saying ‘they are fascist and wrong’ is not enough. There needs to be reason and ideas to support a positive way forward.

    Labour (and Tories/Libs) have lost the ability to stand there and say ‘We believe in….’ with any sense of credibility.

    I would rather vote for a positive agenda than simply in opposition to something. If we are to explain to people why voting BNP is a bad idea then that needs to be supported by a political agenda that builds a case FOR a set of ideals rather than one focussed on preventing the ideals of another. Otherwise you feed the sense of alienation and otherness that the BNP thrive on.

    08 Jun 2009, 15:07

  5. Susan

    I didn’t vote in the elections in the end. My son was a bit shocked when my daughter and I told him and he said “What about the Suffragettes?” and she said “It’s not going to make any difference, anyway”. My mother wasn’t pleased at all, she’s usually first in the queue outside the polling station on election days. The first thing she said when she saw me on Saturday was “Did you vote?” and when I said “No” she said “Oh, Susan!!” in answer to what my daughter said she always says “Imagine what sort of state we’d be in if everyone thought their vote wouldn’t make any difference and didn’t bother.” The trouble is I’m not sure how much difference that would make.

    08 Jun 2009, 16:40

  6. They still got fewer votes than the Greens but the media loves a villain. Sure they’re tosspots, but two MEPs doesn’t mean they’re that popular – the number of votes they got is less than last time. Apathy is the enemy here, as you say.

    I voted. No one else I live with did. 25%, about the national average. Depressing.

    08 Jun 2009, 22:19

  7. Sue

    According to the British Red Cross attitudes towards asylum-seekers are being skewed by gross over estimation of the numbers of refugees reaching the United Kingdom and prejudice towards immigrants among young people. Apparently, nearly a quarter of people believe there are more than 100,000 asylum applications every year which is four times the actual figure. On average people think that the UK is home to 24 per cent of all asylum seekers when the figure is only 3 per cent.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think apathy is the only enemy. On the 10 o’clock tonight they were interviewing people in Salford who said they had voted for the BNP as a protest. I’m loathe to do so but I’m going to have to cite stupidity too.

    08 Jun 2009, 23:20

  8. Big H

    Not really sure why we should blame ourselves collectively to be honest. It’s quite possible that the people voting BNP aren’t mindless automata and have come to the conclusion that the BNP best represents their political views. This is a problem with one of the many subcultures in Britain. What needs to be done is better education in general rather than looking at the BNP results, throwing a few mea maxima culpa phrases out there and wondering how we allowed the proles to vote the way they did.

    The BNP is terrible and should be banned for its platform alone but let’s not pretend that a lot of the people who vote for it tend to share at least some of their beliefs. And for those who don’t care or just wanted to protest vote: shame on the BBC and other media organisations in the UK for the insane coverage they’ve been giving fringe parties. That also goes for their coverage of UKIP. Not only was Farrage invited on to several programs to share his ‘opinon’ (and get out a quick party political point or two) but he was often invited to do so with fairly weak criticism.

    In short: ban the BNP for being terrible and racist; ban the UKIP for being terrible and stupid.

    09 Jun 2009, 08:28

  9. John

    I was quite amused lately when I read that the BNP don’t allow immigrants to be members of their party. I’m sure they’re all devestated.

    09 Jun 2009, 20:21

  10. Pauline Wallin

    It is a discrace that two BNP members should be representing us in Parliament. If anyone is to blame, it is the greedy bastard MPs who were busier feathering their own nests by abusing their expenses system than looking out for their constituents.
    The MPs in the north where there is much social deprevation should be hanging their heads in shame.

    10 Jun 2009, 08:10

  11. Something I read on Twitter:
    “Why do the BNP want to be in the European Parliament? They won’t like it there, it’s filled with bloody foreigners.”

    10 Jun 2009, 23:07

  12. There may be one possible upside to the election of the BNP, at least their views and biases are now firmly out in the open. It is of course deplorable that they will receive funding and air time, but sooner or later the mask will slip publicly and the people will see them for what they really are. If these kinds of people were forced underground they would return to the violence of the national front.

    In addition, perhaps now the mainstream parties will wake up and start addressing a bit more seriously the concerns of those members of the public who voted for the BNP in protest. If they do this, the support the BNP has gained will melt away and they will be defeated next time around.

    Finally, perhaps this will be a wake up call to the majority of tolerant people that they better get out and use their bloody vote next time!

    11 Jun 2009, 02:07

  13. Leon Hidderley

    I am from Oldham, which was severely hit by race riots a few years back (in 2001) and became a stronghold for the god awful BNP party.

    Tension in the local area is very high between different racial groups, single race schools and communities play a huge part in making a bad situation worse. The local newspaper is also forever printing articles involving race related incidents which add more fuel to the fire.

    8 years have passed since the riots in 2001 and travelling back home you realise very little has changed.

    The BNP continue to put forward their message which to some voters portay the most practical solution to the situation.

    This could not be any further from the truth and all that happens is that it alienates people from Asian backgrounds and makes them feel unwelcome which just adds to the problem of distant communities.

    When will Oldham (and the rest of the North West) learn that voting the BNP is not the solution, it is the route cause of the problem??

    Some people have put in incredible amounts of work to try and bridge the gap but they seem to be losing the war as they are a minority.

    I live in Coventry now and things are so much different (it is like another world), I just really hope that Oldham will one day find its true identity and embrace its diverse and multicultural make up.

    Ever since I moved away I have always been proud of where I am from, after seeing the election results I could not be any more ashamed!

    11 Jun 2009, 12:37

  14. Sue

    Do you know Smokies Hotel? I remember going there for the wedding reception of someone I used to work with. She was from the Carribean and goat curry was served. I didn’t have any because I didn’t fancy it.

    14 Jun 2009, 07:30

  15. will

    I’ve nothing else to go on but what the BNP publish on their website and it is not what you have written here. Therefore you at once claim that the BNP lie about their real intentions and further that you know their true intentions.
    Now that kind of stuff by any other name is called your opiniion backed up by zero evidence.
    I wonder why you lie so blatatnly and expect readers to believe your lies? If BNP policies are not as they state in their manifesto, then we will not vote for them next time. If they are to the liking of the majority, then get used to the will of the majority or leave for somewhere more to your likiing…..perhaps Pakistan.

    14 Jun 2009, 22:00

  16. Mathew Mannion

    Oh fine, I’ll bite. Walking through my “lies” (Hi Mr Griffin?) one by one:

    • Do not allow anyone to join who isn’t “indigenous Caucasian”, even if they have been born/brought up in the UK

    BNP constitution (8th edition): http://web.archive.org/web/20070629010001/http://www.bnp.org.uk/resources/constitution_8ed.pdf

    (Page 4)

    1) The British National Party represents the collective National, Environmental, Political, Racial, Folkish, Social, Cultural, Religious and Economic interests of the indigenous Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Norse folk communities of Britain and those we regard as closely related and ethnically assimilated or assimilable aboriginal members of the European race also resident in Britain. Membership of the BNP is strictly defined within the terms of, and our members also self define themselves within, the legal ambit of a defined ‘racial group’ this being ‘Indigenous Caucasian’ and defined ‘ethnic groups’ emanating from that Race as specified in law in the House of Lords case of Mandla V Dowell Lee (1983) 1 ALL ER 1062, HL.

    • Non-”indigenous Caucasian” peoples will be allowed to stay in the UK, but only as “guests”

    Archived, from the BNP website: http://web.archive.org/web/20071010043702/http://www.bnp.org.uk/articles/race_reality.htm

    Those non-Europeans who stay will have British passports and will be protected by our laws, but they will be regarded as permanent guests, and not as native English, Scots, Welsh or Irish, because such status springs from blood and not from printers’ ink.

    • No mixed-race relationships. The BNP “do not [...] accept miscegenation as moral or normal.”

    Nick Griffin:

    … while the BNP is not racist, it must not become multi-racist either. Our fundamental determination to secure a future for white children is restated, and an area of uncertainty is addressed and a position which is both principled and politically realistic is firmly established. We don’t hate anyone, especially the mixed race children who are the most tragic victims of enforced multi-racism, but that does not mean that we accept miscegenation as moral or normal. We do not and we never will.

    Also, from the BNP website: http://bnp.org.uk/2007/12/countering-the-smears/

    While a small number of mixed marriages – or mixed race children – in Britain won’t, in themselves, make any difference, if this is encouraged however as it is at present by politicians and the media then inevitably the traditional British genotype will be endangered in the long-term.

    • Belief that homosexuality is “unnatural” – opposition to civil partnerships

    From the BNP website: http://bnp.org.uk/2007/12/countering-the-smears/

    We therefore believe in a policy of tolerance to all forms of adult sexuality, but homosexuality should not be promoted or encouraged. The BNP supports the traditional ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ attitude to homosexuality and is opposed to the flaunting or celebrating of homosexuality which ‘civil partnerships’ represent.

    • Repatriation of non-Caucasians.

    In 2001 the BNP dropped their policy of compulsory repatriation of “immigrants” – ie non-white people – and replaced it with one of “voluntary” repatriation, as part of a re-branding by Nick Griffin.

    15 Jun 2009, 09:27

  17. Mathew Mannion

    • Reintroduce capital punishment for convicted terrorists, paedophiles, murderers

    From their 2005 manifesto, available on the BBC website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/BNP_uk_manifesto.pdf

    From page 24, article 4 in the list:

    We support the re-introduction of corporal punishment for petty criminals and vandals, and the restoration of capital punishment for paedophiles, terrorists and murderers as an option for judges in cases where their guilt is proven beyond dispute, as by DNA evidence or being caught red-handed.

    • Holocaust denial (by Nick Griffin, at least – the party has removed most anti-semitic policies). This seems mostly due to a wish to remain anti-Islamic, which has led the party to come out in support of Israel.

    In 1998 Nick Griffin said,

    I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that 6 million Jews were gassed and cremated and turned into lampshades. Orthodox opinion also also once held that the Earth was flat… I have reached the conclusion that the “extermination” tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter witch-hysteria.

    • Introduce a Muslim no-fly policy to stop Muslims flying in and out of the UK

    From http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2006/oct/05/uk.advertising – admittedly tenuous and the source has been repeated in several other places. I couldn’t find a better source, sorry. This is a fairly well known BNP policy… oh, here we go:


    The British National Party Executive’s solution to this problem is to ban immediately, ALL MUSLIMS from flying out of (and in to) Britain until the security situation has been fully resolved.

    • Ban Halal/Kosher slaughter of animals

    Part of the BNP’s “animal welfare” policies, unfortunately I can’t find a direct source atm, only second party sources.

    • Propose that “citizens” should keep a rifle and ammunition in their home

    Again, from the 2005 manifesto: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/BNP_uk_manifesto.pdf

    (Page 12)

    It is primarily for this reason – although defence against violent criminals and some at present unforeseen potential foreign aggression are also important considerations – that we advocate the adoption of the modern Swiss model for a responsibly armed citizenry. Under this all law-abiding adults who have successfully completed their period of military service are required to keep in a safe locker in their homes a standard-issue military assault rifle and ammunition.

    15 Jun 2009, 09:28

  18. Shalada Lorne

    Why can’t the BNP be subject to a legal challenge and banned? Please can someone tell me why?

    15 Jun 2009, 10:10

  19. Mannion ftw.
    But unfortunately I’m now very angry and want to batter Nick Griffin even more than normal: “We don’t hate anyone, especially the mixed race children who are the most tragic victims of enforced multi-racism, but that does not mean that we accept miscegenation as moral or normal.” – seethe

    Good question, Shalada.

    15 Jun 2009, 10:49

  20. Nick D

    To some (not I!), the BNP are the only party willing to tackle britains problems head on – evil so often wears the mask of righteousness.

    28 Jun 2009, 08:54

  21. Charlie B

    The BNP are the last people who can sort out Britains problems.If the BNP ever got in to power they would destroy Briatin.Once they got rid of all the blacks, asians and Jews our economy would crash as some of the nhs’s top doctors and surgeons are black & asian.Our financial organisations and banks are owned by the Jews,the Jews are a massive part of britains economy,this country would be bankrupt,they would’nt be able to afford to send any troops out to Iraq.Most of our top athletes ansd sports professionals are black,multicultrallism plays a big part in britain.Britain has been multicultral for over 5o years and for the BNP to make britain all white will destroy this country,there will be no culture,no tourist attractions,if they were to make homosexuality illegal that would be good bye to the pink pound as the gay scene plays a big part in britains economy,no gay clubs.A lot of people voted for the Bnp because Gordon Brown is doing a shit Job of running this country and letting this country run itself into financial ruin and a high riise in unemployment,too much imigration and threats of terror.The BNP winning 2 seats in european parliment is a wake up call to all these mainstream partys to fix up !!

    29 Jun 2009, 00:59

  22. “willing to tackle britains problems” – But the majority of the population do not agree with them as to what constitutes a ‘problem’.

    29 Jun 2009, 10:35

  23. Stephen Bone

    I am bitterly disappointed to read responses to the BNPs actions and proposals that have little or no genuine understanding of the situation many peoples find themselves in. As a mixed race individual reflecting upon my time here and in other nations, it is clear to me that the true nature of racism in this country is of self-loathing. If you truly want to “fight” racism (and I feel that even this may be a misguided terminology) you have to understand the nature of the human condition. This cannot be done by ignoring human behaviour elsewhere and inferring that in some way the BNPs philosophical outlook is anything more than common place. This may appear to be unfortunate, distasteful or shocking. The truth usually is.

    13 Jul 2009, 18:31

  24. Lastkingoftheenglish

    Anyone who thinks Halal slaughter shouldn’t be banned is sick. Same goes for hanging the vile swine that murered baby P and that Huntly scum bag.

    Stupid Liberals have ruined this society with their tampering. Coalville has always been a Labour town until now so why have the people suddenly turned into morons if they weren’t before June?

    22 Aug 2009, 00:01

  25. Lastkingoftheenglish – Stupid liberals tampering? You mean people who are members of society passed laws which the majority agreed with?

    Also, just out of curiosity – Would you hang everyone convicted of murder or just those who kill Caucasian children? And what if evidence ever came to light that proved their innocence?

    While you consider that, do me a favour and make sure you know the difference between the words “paedophile” and “paediatrician”. You strike me as the type who might make that mistake.
    And now I’ll stop feeding the troll.

    22 Aug 2009, 12:37

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