BNP members found in the immigration service


by Rumbold
14th January, 2009 at 10:54 am    

It has been revealed that two BNP members were working in an immigration removal centre, and were only exposed after the BNP members’ list was leaked:

“The UK Border Agency said the pair were employed in an immigration removal centre until a BNP member list was posted on the internet, last November. An agency spokesman said one resigned and the other has been suspended. He added anyone working with the agency must sign a declaration stating they are neither BNP nor Combat-18 members.”

One resigned after this, while the other one was suspended. The Border Agency was right to suspend their non-resigning employee, as he/she had lied about his/her membership of the BNP when accepting the job. Nor will the immigration service be worse off now that two racists no longer spend their days deporting people (I suppose that for BNP members, working in a centre that deports immigrants is probably a dream job).

Yet this story does raise some questions. Presumably the BNP workers did not display sufficient signs of racism before the list was published, otherwise they wouldn’t have been in their jobs at that point. While the BNP is emphatically a racist party, a number of parties have anti-immigrant policies. UKIP argue for a five year freeze on immigration, a massive deportation programme and strictly-controlled immigration thereafter. The Conservatives periodically have anti-immigration flushes, while some of Labour’s utterances wouldn’t seem out of place on a BNP leaflet.

So what should be the criteria for working in such roles as the police or immigration service?


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  1. MaidMarian — on 14th January, 2009 at 12:36 pm  

    ‘So what should be the criteria for working in such roles as the police or immigration service?’

    Relevant experience/qualifications, demonstrable competence and the clear potential to work effectively. The political point is a real red-herring.

    I have never been a frother about immigration. I have mentioned on here previously that my wife is an immigrant. But one story. We (not wanting to experience the well-known chaos of the BIA/IND postal ‘service’) did our immigration business in person. If ever anyone wants an advert as to why some harbour resentment about immigration, look no further than the waiting room at the BIA in Croydon.

    I do not condone those who hold racist views however if I were to work in that environment, was exposed to the chancers etc day-in-day-out I am sure that I would not be sanguine about immigration. I can well imagine that some of the BIA staff’s entirely legitimate frustration could manifest itself in an inclination to the BNP’s sugar-coated race-hate and its willful confusion of (anti-)immigration and racism.

    Of course thw two people are in the wrong – contractually and morally, however the BIA staff work in an environment where they are exposed to the very worst face of immigrants. Indeed, I would be interested to know if they offer any training/support to prepare staff for this. It got to me after a couple of hours in a waiting room reading Viz, goodness knows what it must be like day-in-day-out.

    I have no doubt that the BIA’s staff work hard in a very difficult situation. I am also sure that they know a good case the moment they see it. They need support as much as they need bad apples removing.

  2. Rumbold — on 14th January, 2009 at 12:42 pm  

    MaidMarian:

    “Relevant experience/qualifications, demonstrable competence and the clear potential to work effectively. The political point is a real red-herring.”

    Sorry, I meant criteria purely in terms of political views. Should belonging to a party make you unfit for work, or do you need to demonstrate racist thoughts/actions beyond mere membership of the BNP?

  3. MaidMarian — on 14th January, 2009 at 12:56 pm  

    Rumbold – ‘Should belonging to a party make you unfit for work…’

    Very much on balance, no.

    Though I think that in asking that question it is rather too easy to get tied up with the BNP. There is probably a better case for restrictions on (for example) DUP/Sinn Fein members than for BNP members.

    It is opening a hornets nest though.

  4. fug — on 14th January, 2009 at 1:00 pm  

    employers self select anyway through valueing certain gestures, habits of thought and institutional imprints on candidates.

    that self selection and self reproduction is much more of a problem in this country than ‘should they be allowed to work’, and affect many more people.

    were these bnp people members before or after they worked in the immigration system?

  5. Rumbold — on 14th January, 2009 at 1:05 pm  

    Fug:

    “were these bnp people members before or after they worked in the immigration system?”

    It’s not clear.

  6. Edwin Greenwood — on 14th January, 2009 at 1:10 pm  

    Rumbold,

    I can’t see why membership of the BNP or any other political party should ipso facto preclude someone from this kind of employment. Knowing of presumed potential prejudice at the time of recruitment might lead management to be rather more careful in supervising the employee, but in the end it is how the person carries out the job in practice that counts, not their personal belief. It seems as likely to me that a BNPer in this sort of job would be more inclined to do the job scrupulously “by the book” for his own protection than to grasp the opportunity to persecute his charges. He might, perhaps counter-intuitively for many people, be a better officer than his liberal counterparts.

    Let me offer you a counter-example to consider. If you were recruiting people to work in Lunar House interviewing immigration applicants, would you preclude a British citizen of Nigerian heritage on the grounds that he might be tempted to favour irregular applicants from his ancestral homeland? Or would you employ him and keep an eye on him?

  7. Rumbold — on 14th January, 2009 at 1:23 pm  

    Edwin Greenwood:

    The problem with the BNP is that it is clearly a racist party, dedicated to persecuting foreigners and non-whites. So joining it does indicate a serious lapse of judgement if you desire to work in an environment where you have to deal with and/or have power over a significant number of foreigners/non-whites.

  8. fug — on 14th January, 2009 at 1:37 pm  

    the ‘render them unemployed’ strategy is wrong and approaching inhuman, but its the common sense first kne jerk reaction.

    there are other means of social sanction and reform without that kind of social ‘betrayal’ of that group.

  9. Edwin Greenwood — on 14th January, 2009 at 1:39 pm  

    Rumbold,

    I don’t think it’s correct to say that the BNP is “dedicated to persecuting foreigners and non-whites”, as if that were its primary and possibly sole raison d’etre. It sees itself as representing the interests of the “indigenous population”. To that extent it is comparable to the many organizations that purport to represent the interests of other ethnic, religious, etc, groups.

    If the BNP turns out to be antipathetic to, or to the interests of, non-Whites and the non-indigenous generally, that is a consequence of its core interest, just as I might feel as a non-Muslim that the various Muslim and Islam-promoting organizations are agin me as a kuffar. And I might well have doubts about their even-handedness when in a position of power over me.

    My example of the Nigerian in UK Immigration is particularly relevant. What say you to that?

  10. platinum786 — on 14th January, 2009 at 1:45 pm  

    Edwin, there is nothing to say that a Nigerian will favour other Nigerians, there is a chance, but no evidence. Memebership to the BNP is evidence of racist views, views which are deemed legal to hold, but do not make you a balanced and fair individual.

    Would you hire a member of Hizb Ut Tahrir has a neutral advisor to the police or something regarding the Jewish community?

  11. Ravi Naik — on 14th January, 2009 at 2:02 pm  

    I don’t think it’s correct to say that the BNP is “dedicated to persecuting foreigners and non-whites”, as if that were its primary and possibly sole raison d’etre. It sees itself as representing the interests of the “indigenous population”.

    These two are intrinsically linked: the BNP sees non-white population as a primary danger to the interests of the white population. That’s their sole raison d’etre. Look at the BNP site, and it is all about immigration, non-whites, Muslims…

    would you preclude a British citizen of Nigerian heritage on the grounds that he might be tempted to favour irregular applicants from his ancestral homeland?

    I agree with you that people should not be persecuted because they support a legitimate political party. However, when you sign to be a policeman or an immigration officer, you probably should declare that you are not racist and that you treat everyone fairly regardless of race, sexual orientation, etc. Given that the BNP core beliefs (see above) conflict that statement, then it’s enough to be fired on that ground.

  12. Sofia — on 14th January, 2009 at 2:46 pm  

    Edwin, if their ‘personal belief’ means they hate all immigrants, non whites etc etc..then their working at immigration control is totally unsuitable.

  13. Sofia — on 14th January, 2009 at 2:48 pm  

    indigenous population – plz don’t make me laugh.how far back do you want to go to find out what mix this indigenous population is..maybe if the bnp ever come to power they could get rid of all us non whites, and take back all the expats that have gone overseas..maybe they can give back australia to their ‘indigenous population’ and take back all those who come from here.

  14. Sofia — on 14th January, 2009 at 2:51 pm  

    you are also assuming that the total needs of the ‘indigenous population’ (please define)are somehow completely different to everyone else. Is the ‘indigenous population’ in some way another species??

  15. persephone — on 14th January, 2009 at 3:00 pm  

    Dear Edwin Greenwood

    I have just visited your blog and must admit that I felt like washing my hands clean after reading it. Just wanted to see if you worked in immigration is all.

    You have a few stereotypes about asians on it. In particular re: unshaven wogs. Do remember that us women prefer to wax not shave.

  16. Leon — on 14th January, 2009 at 3:00 pm  

    The problem with the BNP is that it is clearly a racist party, dedicated to persecuting foreigners and non-whites.

    That’s the process, their aim is to remove us from our own country.

  17. sonia — on 14th January, 2009 at 3:50 pm  

    well this is a difficult one. you’ll find that a lot of people who work in immigration (who would want that job after all – its not a pleasant one) have a certain amount of nationalism – keeping our country for us- whether that’s based on racism or not is another question.

    its certainly a form of group-ism, and we know that group-ism fosters feeling of pride in one’s group.so perhaps then its not such a slippery slope towards racism.

    my point perhaps there is a wider question about the kinds of people who work in immigration. Its a very difficult job – even if you believe that there is nothing wrong with a nation-state in being a club, essentially operating as a membership, turning that from an abstract idea, to the reality where you evaluate the reality for individuals, and are the ‘gatekeeper’ is a tough one. Anyone with experience of immigration officials around the world (regardless which country) is aware of the power implications – embassies and consulate staff are key examples. what you do about this – who knows? the system seems to accept it.

    I find it interesting that its only when it comes to ‘race’ people find it problematic.

  18. sonia — on 14th January, 2009 at 3:51 pm  

    good point sofia in no. 14

  19. Beavis — on 14th January, 2009 at 4:20 pm  

    Its a difficult one to call, would the same criteria apply to religious people, be they muslim/christian/jewish in a job where they dealt with gay people?

    I think its possible to have beliefs, but not act them out in a working environment.

    It still sounds a bit wrong to me though.

  20. persephone — on 14th January, 2009 at 4:26 pm  

    Beavis @ 19 thats an interesting point. Especially, where we have religious priests (in a religion where they are against homosexuality) who may have gay people in their congregation.

  21. SE — on 14th January, 2009 at 4:39 pm  

    Edwin (Piece of shit that should fuck off back to whichever Stormfront-esque forum he came from) Greenwood is a BNP member, look at his blog.

  22. Ravi Naik — on 14th January, 2009 at 4:50 pm  

    I have just visited your blog and must admit that I felt like washing my hands clean after reading it.

    Tsk tsk.. rookie mistake. :) I always wear gloves when I go to those sites.

  23. Jai — on 14th January, 2009 at 5:02 pm  

    Edwin Greenwood,

    If you dislike (or indeed actually hate) Asians and are a member/supporter of the BNP because you agree with their stance on racial matters, perhaps you should just be honest about it and speak your mind.

    Have the guts to be honest about your racism. Don’t hide behind politically-correct fabricated nonsense such as “the BNP’s not really racist and neither am I”. Be completely frank and open about your real views; anything less is cowardice.

  24. Sofia — on 14th January, 2009 at 5:13 pm  

    i’m waiting for him to say ‘one of my dogs is asian so how can i be racialist’ doh!

  25. Don — on 14th January, 2009 at 5:35 pm  

    @Beavis #19

    Muslims/christians/jews are not inherently homophobic. It is entirely possible to be religiously inclined and not be a bigot. Certainly, many leaders of religion have a long track record of homophobia and misogyny but by no means do the whole congregation buy into that.

    Choosing to join the BNP is to make an unequivocal declaration of bigotry. To declare a hatred/loathing/hostility towards a specific group should certainly preclude holding a position of power over members of that group.

    Oh, and Greenwood. Yes, his comments did have that tell-tale foetid aroma.

  26. Beavis — on 14th January, 2009 at 5:58 pm  

    I’ll play devils advocate here, Don.

    “Certainly, many leaders of religion have a long track record of homophobia and misogyny but by no means do the whole congregation buy into that.”

    True, but do all bnp members actively hate people of a different skin colour? Maybe some are just opposed to immigration as a whole?

    All of the big 3 religions have a bummer about gays(sorry couldn’t resist)no one can deny that.

    So if as you say (And I agree) that the individual doesn’t have to follow every tenet of the faith, why doesn’t that also apply to members of the bnp?

    Before I get jumped on, I am playing devils advocate here, There is no compulsion in religion, nor in politics. So I think there is a comparison to be made.

    If you follow a belief system that discriminates (and they all do, one way or another) how can you say its wrong for others to do exactly the same thing?

    I’m not anti-faith either, as it can bring a lot more happiness to people than voting for the bnp, which would only bring discord.

  27. Sofia — on 14th January, 2009 at 6:05 pm  

    “True, but do all bnp members actively hate people of a different skin colour? Maybe some are just opposed to immigration as a whole?”

    I think you’d have to be completely stupid to not think that the bnp as a party is completely fascist and racist. Then again if you’re a member that automatically makes you stupid in my book. There also needs to be a separation of bnp sympathisers who are not actually members, and those who have been seduced by their ridiculous propaganda because apparently they form part of the ‘indigenous population’ that is white working class and ignored.

  28. Beavis — on 14th January, 2009 at 6:10 pm  

    Thanks for the insult…

    I agree that the bnp is facist and racist, I don’t believe however that everyone who votes for them is, if that makes any sense?

    I could equally say all christians/muslims/jews are Homophobes and bigots if they follow there respective books, but I know that isn’t true IRL.

  29. Sofia — on 14th January, 2009 at 6:21 pm  

    I could equally say all christians/muslims/jews are Homophobes and bigots if they follow there respective books, but I know that isn’t true IRL- well you could say that about their religious texts and you wouldn’t be far off. Everyone has prejudice, it’s what you do with it and whether you are open to debate, which the bnp isn’t

  30. Beavis — on 14th January, 2009 at 6:27 pm  

    Agreed, i’m certainly not defending the bnp, as my family and I would be first on the boat if they ever got to power.

    I just like looking at stuff from opposing sides, I learn more that way

  31. marvin — on 14th January, 2009 at 6:46 pm  

    Members of countless Islamist organisations are allowed to be immigration officials, other religious extremist groups, as would be Ligali, or any other single-race supremacist organisation. Are members asked if they are Nation of Islam? Do they have a bleeding heart and want *everyone* to come in regardless of character? Perhaps such a person would assist a person intent on terrorist activities in to the country.

    I’m all for consistency, but it would appear that only white extremism is wrong… Which will fuel resentment in those who already feel hard done by…

  32. Don — on 14th January, 2009 at 7:00 pm  

    Beavis,

    Point taken, but many people are ‘cradle’ religious and pay no heed to the dogma, if they are active at all it is for social/ritualistic/family tradition reasons.

    That doesn’t apply to choosing a political party. That is taking a look at their policy and joining on that basis.

    True, but do all bnp members actively hate people of a different skin colour? Maybe some are just opposed to immigration as a whole?

    Leaving aside the question of whether the immigration service is an appropriate career for someone opposed to immigration as a whole, does BNP membership necessarily imply bigotry and ethnic hatred? I’d say almost always yes. Unless, as Sofia rather brusquely put it, they are seriously stupid. Or incredibly uninformed.

    I admit that can happen. I recall a woman who was elected as a BNP councillor having been taken in, who was horrified when she finally worked out who her new chums were, left the party and campaigned against them as an independant.

    So, OK. The odd eccentric case might arise. But joining the BNP and the immigration service? Combat 88 is also a bar to employment in the same fields. You join something, you pay a sub and get a card, it’s up to you to know what you have joined.

    Conning voters, I’ll agree, may be a different matter.

  33. Beavis — on 14th January, 2009 at 7:13 pm  

    As I said earlier, bnp members working for the immigration service does leave a bad taste in my mouth.

    Maybe a caveat should be included in contracts for jobs wielding that amount of power.

    Do you think your religious or political beliefs will put you at odds with (whatever departments) policy of inclusivity and fairness?

    If you tick no and its later you’re found to have breached the guidelines, instant dismissal.

  34. MaidMarian — on 14th January, 2009 at 7:17 pm  

    This discussion rather reminds me of Homer Simpson’s assertion that he got out of jury duty by saying he was prejudiced against all races.

    I see no reason why an individual, any individual, can not acknowledge the rule of law over and above any political (and I include religion in that) affiliation.

  35. Beavis — on 14th January, 2009 at 7:23 pm  

    I’m trying to find the case where a devout pharmacist refused to give out the morning after pill.

    No matter what his beliefs, imo they should have no place in the health care system.

    Not sure what the outcome of this was, but I don’t think he was sacked.

    Just trying to find scenarios where belief (political or religious) has come into direct conflict with a persons job.

  36. Rumbold — on 14th January, 2009 at 8:48 pm  

    Voting for the BNP might just be a sign of frustration. Joining them is a sign of racism.

  37. cjcjc — on 15th January, 2009 at 9:10 am  

    “BNP dream job” – yes I imagine it is!

    But surely we can all agree that membership of a legal organisation should not be grounds for refusing employment or dismissal?

    Or just the organisations which *we* don’t like?

  38. Dave S — on 15th January, 2009 at 11:44 am  

    Perhaps nobody should be allowed to have power over other people, and then we just wouldn’t have these problems.

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