Thoughts on legal action against BNP’s membership policy


by Sunny
23rd June, 2009 at 3:52 pm    

You must be aware the Equalities and Human Rights Commission is saying it may launch a legal action against the BNP for its discriminatory membership policies. Their press release today states:

The letter, sent to the party chairman Nick Griffin, outlines the Commission’s concerns about the BNP’s compliance with the Race Relations Act. The letter asks the BNP to provide written undertakings by 20th July that it will make the changes required by the Commission. Failure to do so may result in the Commission issuing an application for a legal injunction against the BNP.

The Commission has a statutory duty, under the Equality Act 2006, to enforce the provisions of the Act and to work towards the elimination of unlawful discrimination. This duty includes preventing discrimination by political parties.

The Commission thinks that the BNP’s constitution and membership criteria may discriminate on the grounds of race and colour, contrary to the Race Relations Act. The party’s membership criteria appear to restrict membership to those within what the BNP regards as particular “ethnic groups” and those whose skin colour is white. This exclusion is contrary to the Race Relations Act which the party is legally obliged to comply with. The Commission therefore thinks that the BNP may have acted, and be acting, illegally.

Anything that continues to highlight the BNP’s racist policies is good for me, especially since the BNP cannot say here that their membership policies merely echo those organisations such as the National Black Police Association (which has never had a bar on race).

But why has it taken them so long to launch this anyway? It’s good publicity now for everyone involved, but this BNP policy isn’t new, is it? Is this a belated attempt by Trevor Phillips to shore up his position?
Watch the press conference here (info via Zohra at the F Word)

Update: Afua Hirsch writes on the legal hoops it may have to jump.


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  1. Carmenego — on 23rd June, 2009 at 4:02 pm  

    I’ll sign up! I’m a British National, I care about this country, my Grandad was in the RAF, my great-Grandafther was awarded the Victoria Cross for services to the British Empire, my Mum makes a delightful cup of tea, and my Gran makes the best chutney in the Northern Hemisphere.

    I’ve got brown skin though…

  2. Carmenego — on 23rd June, 2009 at 4:05 pm  

    Ooh… also my dad played field hockey for England in the 1992 Olympics (Madrid, I think). He was born in Hammersmith, he’s proper UK.

    He’s got brown skin as well…

  3. 1mongrel — on 23rd June, 2009 at 4:14 pm  

    “Anything that continues to highlight the BNP’s racist policies is good for me, especially since the BNP cannot say here that their membership policies merely echo those organisations such as the National Black Police Association (which has never had a bar on race).”

    You sure about that? Sounds like another multikulti myth to me.

    http://www.metbpa.com/About_us/Membership

  4. Sgt Twining — on 23rd June, 2009 at 4:25 pm  

    Here here Sunny.

  5. Sgt Twining — on 23rd June, 2009 at 4:28 pm  

    I thought membership of the NBPA, of which I am a part incidentally, was not retricted by ethnicity. Anyone can apply to become a member.

  6. Don — on 23rd June, 2009 at 4:31 pm  
  7. Sunny — on 23rd June, 2009 at 4:39 pm  

    carmenego – that brown skin will let you down!

  8. Sgt Twining — on 23rd June, 2009 at 4:40 pm  

    I am telling you folks I really don’t think the BNP like some of us. Here here Don.

  9. Sgt Twining — on 23rd June, 2009 at 4:44 pm  

    My biggest worry is the BNP will take out their anger on someone, with all these challenges looming against them. That is my genuine worry.

  10. 1mongrel — on 23rd June, 2009 at 4:57 pm  

    Seems the NBPA need to inform their brothers in the METBPA of the need for inclusivety in these challenging times. A hasty addition to their webpage should do the trick, then we can go after The BNP at full speed, secure in our rightonness.

  11. Clairwil — on 23rd June, 2009 at 5:03 pm  

    I think this will backfire in the longer term.If the BNP are forced to change their policy on membership, all they need do is parade a few non white, non-Muslim faces and continue to shift the emphasis of their stated policies to culture, religion, integration and volume of immigration and they become a hell of a lot more electable than they are at present.

    All they really have to lose is the knuckledragger element who I suspect don’t contribute much anyway and certainly aren’t as valuable as a few council or parliament wages and expenses claims would be. In addition if the knuckledraggers take the huff and go off and form their own all white organisation it let’s the BNP claim to be moderates and that they’ve got rid of all their extremists.

    Nick Griffin has already gone from being a holocaust denying admirer of Gaddafi to a vocal anti-Muslim who’s quite happy to have Jewish party members. Then there are these party members with mixed race partners we hear so much about.

    Of course it’s all just political opportunism and any minority group could find itself back on the wrong side of the party if it looked like there were a few votes on it but as no race or creed has a monopoly on stupidity I doubt they’ll have to struggle too hard to scrape together a few useful idiots.

    Much as I hate to agree with them I think this is a politically motivated response to the European elections. Their policies have been well known for some time, they weren’t secret so why go legal now? I hope I’m wrong but it looks like a massive own goal.

  12. Adnan — on 23rd June, 2009 at 5:32 pm  

    What Clairwil @11 said.

  13. Dalbir — on 23rd June, 2009 at 5:36 pm  

    This isn’t a smart move by the EHRC. The long outstanding issues/gripes of working class whitemen need to be addressed. A million odd whining Northerners need some TLC.

    Many (most?) of their issues are just plain scapegoating and ignorance by people unable to compete or adapt in a rapidly changing and competitive capitalist world, ironically created/fostered by whitemen.

    However, the danger lays in the fact that some possibly genuine issues of theirs will be be packaged within the hidden agenda of the white supremacists. This essentially uses genuine concerns to give xenophobic hatred an appearance of logic or validity, that it would not otherwise have.

    These guys essentially want to be able to openly refer to us as niggers, pakis and whatnot and tell us to “f**k off back home” without penalty (like they used to).

    They don’t like the competition – when they are losing. This goes for jobs, education and believe it or not, women.

  14. Sunny — on 23rd June, 2009 at 5:42 pm  

    Hmmm – good point Clairwil. Hadn’t thought about that.

  15. 1mongrel — on 23rd June, 2009 at 5:55 pm  

    You know Dalbir (13) the world is a big place and out there there’s someone even better qualified than you who will do your job even cheaper and take your women too (If you ever let them out of the house alone). Much handwringing from the ethnic “Communities” when so many well qualified Poles arrived here and upset the status quo. In fact immigration was unmentionable until then, though being white the debate was able to begin. Interesting to see where it will lead.

  16. Ravi Naik — on 23rd June, 2009 at 6:24 pm  

    let’s the BNP claim to be moderates and that they’ve got rid of all their extremists.

    I read somewhere that Nick Griffin wanted to open membership to some non-whites in an attempt to capitalise anti-muslim sentiment, but it was fiercely opposed by its members. This was as far as they could go.

    The worst case scenario is that Nick Griffin may say to their hardcore followers: you know, we were forced to have non-whites, there was nothing we can do. You know that deep down, our hearts are pure and indigenously aryan. And to mainstream: we are a moderate party, look at this token paki who is a proud BNP member. However, I do not think Nick Griffin is that clever – the BNP is still surrounded by racist primates, and I do not think they will be able to capitalise this situation.

  17. MaidMarian — on 23rd June, 2009 at 6:29 pm  

    Sorry Sunny – too simplistic.

    I suspect that the BNP would indeed agree that British people can be of any colour, thier argument(I think) is that Britons are white. Now this argument is impossible to reify in terms of a political party, because groups of different races can hold similar views. The BNP has a hole in its heart for this reason – it is a repository for gripes but can not articulate a vision beyond some land of milk and honey. The BNP is set up for politics, not government.

    Pain me though it does to say it, this looks like the sort of thing that will feed into victimhood that the BNP thrives on. Whether the ECHR is acting politically or not, it looks like political action.

    For too long the equality bodies failed to see that being good and looking good are not the same thing and the ECHR looks to have walked into the trap.

  18. Ravi Naik — on 23rd June, 2009 at 6:34 pm  

    The BNP is set up for politics, not government.

    For a political party aspiring for office, how does one not lead to another?

  19. MaidMarian — on 23rd June, 2009 at 6:44 pm  

    Ravi Naik (18) – Politics is not the same as government, sure the two are linked but they are not whe same thing.

    Anyone can promise the earth on the stump – the BNP have learned profoundly from New Labour c1997 in a way that more leftis parties have steadfastly refused to.

    Delivering the Earth is far more difficult because government is about the mucky decisions between the crummy and very crummy decision.

    The BNP exists, to my mind, fundamentally, to promote a world view. As the questions on here to the BNP recently exposed very well there is not much consistency in BNP thought – it is a programme for populism, not government. I would argue that the BNP’s rasson d’etre is first and foremost to get thier message to be common currency, votes and office come second (I know many on here strongly disagree).

    Hope that sort of explains it.

  20. Robert — on 23rd June, 2009 at 7:01 pm  

    Carmenengo @2: No, it was Barcelona ’92.

  21. Sunny — on 23rd June, 2009 at 7:06 pm  

    MM – you seem to think these days everything will feed into the BNP’s sense of victimhood and thus strengthen them.

    They have a ban on non-white people becoming members. That is illegal under the RRA. What’s not to understand?

  22. Shatterface — on 23rd June, 2009 at 7:18 pm  

    (18): The Greens are a good example of a party which succeeds in politics rather than in government. Pretty much all the mainstream parties have taken on board some green concerns and they continue to act as a highly succesful pressure group; a trickle of election successes gives them a platform. Nobody really wants them running anything larger than the bin run though.

    The BNP are similar: even their most rabid supporters don’t want them running the government but they do want some of their arguments put on the agenda.

    As to fighting a legalistic battle against those democratically elected (no matter how much we might deplore that fact), well that really gave George Bush the legitimacy he wanted, didn’t it?

  23. Refresh — on 23rd June, 2009 at 7:36 pm  

    Excellent points at #19 MaidMarian. That is indeed what is going on and people here see it, but it hadn’t been so clearly articulated.

  24. Refresh — on 23rd June, 2009 at 7:38 pm  

    I do worry about people thinking that BNP supporters are whiners. They do have something to whine about, as do most working class people. Regardless of race.

  25. Raven — on 23rd June, 2009 at 7:49 pm  

    The action by the EHRC is of course about more than membership. Are BNP elected representives willing to represent all their constituents equally, regardless of race? The EHRC’s statement says:

    “The Commission is also concerned that the BNP’s elected representatives may not intend to offer or provide services on an equal basis to all their constituents and members of the public irrespective of race or colour. The Commission thinks that this contravenes the Race Relations Act and the Local Authority Model Code of Conduct and that the BNP may have acted illegally and may act illegally in the future.

    The Commission’s letter asks the BNP to provide a written undertaking that its elected representatives or those working for them will not discriminate on grounds of race or colour in the provision of services to members of the public or constituents.”

    They need to say – let’s know about it. I appreciate the victimhood arguement but what’s that quote about the good ‘men’ staying silent…?

  26. Clairwil — on 23rd June, 2009 at 7:59 pm  

    @Ravi,
    I hope your right but there’s nothing like a bit of success to bring the troops into line. Besides remember Griffin is a pretty canny operator in terms of political intrigue. The following link gives a fairly good rundown on his role in various splits and intrigues through his time in both the NF and the BNP. http://www.socialistunity.com/?p=4185

    It’s also worth remembering that given the BNP’s undemocratic constitution Griffin would be tricky to shift. Provided he could keep the hierarchy onside I don’t see why he couldn’t turn the situation to his and the party’s advantage.

    Let’s remember there were people who thought New Labour would revert to their ‘true’ left wing principles once they got into power and we all know how that turned out.

  27. Refresh — on 23rd June, 2009 at 8:17 pm  

    I agree

    ‘what’s that quote about the good ‘men’ staying silent…’

    Its now or never.

  28. MaidMarian — on 23rd June, 2009 at 8:22 pm  

    Refresh (23) – Thanks!

    Sunny (21) – ‘you seem to think these days everything will feed into the BNP’s sense of victimhood and thus strengthen them.’

    Nothing could be further from the truth! I actually come down believing that many BNP followers need to pull themselves together. What I am saying however is that victimhood IS powerful here, a look at the number of threads this has generated tells you that. I don’t like it, but it is plain to see.

    What I feel is needed (and, again, I know many will disagree) is a move away from the level of thought that asserts that all politicians are irrideemably malign. The BNP have turned anti-politics into an almost zen-like thing where nothing about their brand of anti-politics is to be questioned on pain of being seen as ‘supporting the status quo’ and a likely internet pasting.

    The BNP’s message seems to be, ‘if you have a gripe, bring it to us.’ For goodness sake, they even started to tag onto the anti-politics sentiment surrounding Iraq as though pacifism is a central tenet of BNP thought.

    Hence the BNP do not look for conventional votes, they look for a mindset to be established where there is a view that they were, ‘right all along.’

    Sure, the idea that nothing should be done, no stand taken lest the BNP feed on is is a fallacy. My point is that what the BNP have learnt to feed on is anti-politics. Feeding anti-politics feeds the BNP. And I do accept that may not be a totally palatable thought.

    ‘They have a ban on non-white people becoming members. That is illegal under the RRA. What’s not to understand?’

    I don’t disagree, but like it or not, this is not the time for this investigation.

  29. Tony from Middlesex — on 23rd June, 2009 at 8:22 pm  

    Amazing how quick the establishment is to enforce its idea of the law when it comes to chiding a minor right-wing party which has next to no real influence and not part of the establishment. Meanwhile Iraq and Afghanistan are up in smoke because of the lies of a right-wing leader (T. Blair) who is part of the establishment, and he is living the life of Riley swanning around as a self-appointed saint.

    The BNP is not on the map yet in terms of the damage it has done to Britain and world civilisation in comparison with that perpetrated by our conventional New Labour and Conservative parties in going to war illegally.

    When the authorities pick up and try Tony Blair as the war criminal he is, that is when I’ll respect their handling of the BNP.

  30. MaidMarian — on 23rd June, 2009 at 8:41 pm  

    Sunny (21) – just to add to my earlier comment at 28 – Tony from Middlesex (29) gives a good illustration of my points.

    Fisst the BNP are set up in his post as a plucky underdog, quietly tapping into the pool of sentiment about ‘oppressive government’ that has lazily been allowed to become common currency on PP and other talkboards.

    He then reinforces this with personality politics in a way that makes no doubt that his intent is to make everything about gripes.

    The thing about, ‘going to war illegally,’ would be funny were it not serious – presumably we are all being asked to hold the BNP as being big on international law! The issue does not matter – just the internet friendly soundbite that takes anti-politics rather than a hard vision as its sustenance.

    You see, what TFM then uses is the magic word, ‘respect.’ That catch-all positive flourish that means nothing. Were TFM to tell us all what he thinks should happen over, say, North Korea he may have a coherent view that could be gauged in terms of fitness for government.

    But all we have is politicking and a faux-worldliness designed to suggest that there are easy answers and that the BNP have all the answers, when they have said nothing.

    Message free Anti-politics, pure and simple. It’s just that the BNP are rather better at it by and large than is TFM.

  31. comrade — on 23rd June, 2009 at 9:14 pm  

    The blacks and the Asians are lining up to join the BNP as soon as the ban is lifted.

    Why is it, when capitalism is in crisis, that this force are brought into play, wasn’t it the rightwing media that gave it oxigen. Is it not true when capitalism is in crises, it tries to put the blame on everyone else, does it not find scapegoats, it brought Hitler into play. Blame the Jews, commies and trade unionist for the crisis in Germany.

  32. Clairwil — on 23rd June, 2009 at 9:14 pm  

    @MaidMarian (30)

    Superb!

    I’ve actually seen the ‘Iraq’ argument crop up in a few places lately. I wonder if they all get a newsletter. I don’t know where they get the notion this ‘killer’ argument will silence their opposition. Everyone I know manages to despise both Tony Blair and the BNP with ease.

    Still to be fair no BNP government would get into an Iraq style war. Not because of their sophisticated grasp of international law but because there’s no way on Gods earth they could afford it after wrecking the economy with their ruinous policies.

  33. comrade — on 23rd June, 2009 at 9:35 pm  

    Still to be fair no BNP government would get into an Iraq style war. Not because of their sophisticated grasp of international law but because there’s no way on Gods earth they could afford it after wrecking the economy with their ruinous policies.

    We don’t need the BNP to wreck the economy, it has already been wrecked, its the other way round’ the Government need the BNP to shift the blame onto the immigrants.

  34. Shamit — on 23rd June, 2009 at 10:04 pm  

    Comrade

    I guess you remember the late 70s. I was a child but I remembered the dustbins and the hospital trash not being taken out and therefore endangering lives.

    I remember Scargill and his dictatorial tactics in the 80′s. Why were those people’s homes attacked when they decided to not continue with the strike? Why a ballot was not ever granted. There was nothing rosy about Scargill or the trade unions during the 70′s. They were ruining the country. Or do you like to be part of a bankrupt and demoralised country? I don’t.

    So yes I for one am glad that the trade unions and the false religion called communism is debunked.

    It did the world a lot of good when it was around — even Hitler did not manage to kill as many people as the high priests of communism did.

    :ike typical commies don’t think I am against “working people” — guess what everyone works – some works as surgeon, some as lawyers, some as brick layers and some as janitors. This false division of what constitutes a Working Man is another myth that has been created by the loony left. People don’t want that and trying to present loony left ideologies with their dictatorial attitudes are something I think the world can live without.

  35. Don — on 23rd June, 2009 at 10:39 pm  

    MM,

    Excellent points @30.

  36. Shatterface — on 24th June, 2009 at 12:46 am  

    (34): I remember Scargill. He seemed to have some daft idea the government was out to destroy the coal industry and here we are 20 years later knee deep in cheep energy.

    And I’m unaware of any union that has promoted genocide, even Unison. If you know of any countries with strong trade unions AND death camps let me know.

  37. Kulvinder — on 24th June, 2009 at 12:47 am  

    merely echo those organisations such as the National Black Police Association (which has never had a bar on race).

    I was curious about this so looked it up, membership of the national black police association is automatic to any member of reginal black police associations, i tried finding the constitution of the met’s bpa but couldn’t find it. The merseyside bpa at least pubishes its constitution even if said constitution isn’t exactly clear.

    4.1 Full Membership to the MBPA is open to all serving employees of
    Merseyside Police, as described in paragraph 3.1 who satisfy the definition of
    ‘black’ as set out in 1.3.

    4.2 Associate Membership shall be open to those persons or organizations
    6
    whose aims are compatible with and who are supportive of the aims of the
    MBPA, but who are otherwise ineligible for Full Membership to the MBPA.

    and in 1.3

    1.3 The definition of ‘BLACK’ does not necessarily pertain to one’s appearance
    or even one’s ethnic origin, but rather places emphasis on having the typical
    common experience and determination of people of African, African-
    Caribbean, Asian, Asian Sub-Continent, Middle Eastern Origin who oppose
    the effects of racism and victimisation.

    So if you aren’t ‘black’ you can only be an associate despite sharing their aims; the definition of ‘black’ is so vague as to be pointless – which calls into question the entire rationale for having a bpa.

    They aren’t saying white people can’t join, they’re just saying they can’t join as full members, but neither are they defining what ‘black’ is (persumably to avoid calls of discrimination).

    Its just being disingenous. The BNP could list all their irish-celtic-folk groups as ‘white’ and only allow those as full members.

    This isn’t to say id want the bpa or bnp banned, and im certainly not saying their goals are in any way comparable.

    As for the EHRC, i’m not sure how we can lecture iran on democracy when an unelected bunch of officials can effectively question the legality of a party that attracted hundreds of thousands of votes. The EHRC is acting a defacto guardian council – vetting the suitability of any parties before the populous can vote for them.

    Its repugnant, a politically motivated reaction that as clair correctly said only came about because of the election ‘success’.

    It’ll backfire for the same reason the egg throwing will, the bnp can truthfully point to the EHRC as being antidemocratic. You can’t – and shouldn’t – stop people voting for someone by seeking to ban or censor them.

  38. douglas clark — on 24th June, 2009 at 12:51 am  

    MM,

    I think you are much misunderstood.

    I agree with Don, even if it isn’t the party line around here.

    The BNP are masters of the black arts of public relations. Anyone naive enough – me for instance – that thought that TB is guilty of something, well anything at all really, over Iraq is a natural bedfellow for them, really is on the spin.

    I suspect that that is their membership base. People alienated by idiots, (oops mainstream politicians!) from any reasonable engagement in discussion or debate.

    Which frankly is why I am completely pissed off with career politicians. I have rallied to the flag a few times and written to my MP about a range of issues we hold dear on PP.

    I have had nothing but anodyne shite back.

    They do not engage with us, and it becomes increasingly hard to justify them to myself. They are playing a senatorial game and I, for one, don’t like it.

    So, it is hardly surprising that some folk hear the siren song of fascism as an answer when it clearly isn’t. It survives and thrives partly on the fact that the majority always thinks it is the victim in any society. And secondly, the politicians we do have are not very good.

    It is probably the latter point that allows fascism to grow. But it is not, unfortunately as simple as the rallying cry that Refresh wishes to take up:

    I agree

    ‘what’s that quote about the good ‘men’ staying silent…’

    Its now or never.

    I really wish it were.

    If it were, where is the charismatic candidate that we could all rally around? The Nelson Mandella, the Ghandi, och, anyone with a reasonable vision?

    What Clairwil said:

    Everyone I know manages to despise both Tony Blair and the BNP with ease.

    I subscribe to that.

    So, where do we go from here?

  39. douglas clark — on 24th June, 2009 at 1:16 am  

    For instance, they could have tried to listen to Ghurkas complaining about their lot.

    It really shouldn’t have been an issue. Nor too difficult.

    It ought not to have needed to have a high profile, it should have been obvious what needed to be done.

    It should have been done without the clamour that had to ensue for our bloody Parliament did what was transparently right.

    Then the buggers pat themselves on the back.

    Heroes in their own lunchtimes.

  40. Sunny — on 24th June, 2009 at 1:26 am  

    MM – I agree what you say about the BNP at #30. I’ve never denied they’re about politics and being the anti-establishment party. It’s what I said in my article for the Guardian following the Euro elections – that the gesture politics of ‘united against the BNP’ is useless.

    My point was merely that don’t swing the other way too far in thinking that everything plays into the BNP’s hands if we criticise them.

  41. douglas clark — on 24th June, 2009 at 1:50 am  

    Personally I found this a bit worrying:

    The BNP is not on the map yet in terms of the damage it has done to Britain and world civilisation in comparison with that perpetrated by our conventional New Labour and Conservative parties in going to war illegally.

    Not on the map yet?

    But you could be just as bad?

    Fucking morons.

    We need a better politics than this.

  42. billericaydicky — on 24th June, 2009 at 8:05 am  

    I think Kulvinder at 37 has summed the whole thing up. The situation is unclear but I think the EHRC has shot itself in the foot. It is under fire from black “activists” like the Lee Jaspers and Simon Wooleys because the gravy train of the old CRE was abolished and has undergone a crisis with many of its Commmissioners resigning.

    Trevor Phillips is also under fire because of a private consultancy in which Phillips is involved has been criticised because he appears on its website in his capacity as Chair of EHRC. It is a classic case of trying to latch onto an issue to try and show that you are doing something.

    It is clear from the constitution of the MBPA that white people are excluded from membership and if that is thecase then they are a racist organisation which should have its Home Office funding pulled and prosecuted but pigs might fly.

    It comes down to the definition of black. Now according to OBV and Lee Jasper, who is trying to resurrect his political career with an article on its website last week, the term is a “political construct” to define anyone who has suffered as a result of their racial origins.

    At least that is what they seem to be saying because things change from time to time. They certainly exclude the Poles and Romanians are borderline but Chinese are black it seems. The Merseyside definition is certainly racist and if we could get the one for the Met then I think we would find that was as well.

    I would also be interested to know who actually thought up the definition of black as a “Political construct” Can anyone enlighten us?

    Interesting that when I contacted Lee Jasper some years ago to ask for the support of the Greater London Authority in getting the Cass Report into the death of Blair Peach made public he declined saying it was not a black issue.

    There is a real contradiction here between the demands seemingly being made on the BNP and the ones by the race industry for all black short lists. They can’t have it both ways. If the BNP is breaking the law with its current constitution then a lot of organisations with “Black” in the title are going to have some explaining to do.

  43. 1mongrel — on 24th June, 2009 at 8:19 am  

    Prophetic eh? The METBPA changed its website during the course of this thread.

  44. Rumbold — on 24th June, 2009 at 9:05 am  

    Well said Shamit (#34).

    I am not sure why non-whites would want to join the BNP anyway.

    I think that private organisations should be able to accept whoever they want as members. If a party wanted to restrict its membership to Latin-speaking hoodies, it is surely up to them. As long as parties don’t receive taxpayers’ money, why is it anyone else’s business?

  45. CB01 — on 24th June, 2009 at 9:17 am  

    If Griffin can accept that the BNP has no choice other than to comply with the EHRCs guidelines, he will take the first step, towards becoming a wiser politician.

    However, Nick is acutely aware that the EHRC has manoeuvred the BNP’s entire ideological mindset into a corner. The BNP has never had it’s back to the wall to this like this before.

    Even if Griffin wants to comply, there are those around him that will remain entrenched in their positions. It’s somewhat of an understatement to say that this is the BNP’s biggest ever challenge.

    Will the only party that stands up for the downtrodden white people in the UK run with the changes or will they destroy themselves with division?

  46. Ravi Naik — on 24th June, 2009 at 9:22 am  

    So if you aren’t ‘black’ you can only be an associate despite sharing their aims; the definition of ‘black’ is so vague as to be pointless – which calls into question the entire rationale for having a bpa. They aren’t saying white people can’t join, they’re just saying they can’t join as full members, but neither are they defining what ‘black’ is (persumably to avoid calls of discrimination).
    Its just being disingenous. The BNP could list all their irish-celtic-folk groups as ‘white’ and only allow those as full members. This isn’t to say id want the bpa or bnp banned, and im certainly not saying their goals are in any way comparable.

    You are certainly saying that there is a double-standard. But the differences between them are not subtle at all.

    To start with, the Black Police Association – like other minority groups – focus on supporting the needs of a minority group.

    Similarly, there is a minority group – racists who are incapable of living with people who do not look like them, and see the “other” as social parasites, do genuinely need a support group, and an organisation like the BNP has every right to provide that support to these poor souls as the BPA does. I have absolutely no problem that an organisation like the BNP – like the BPA – would cater only people they feel need support.

    But here is the kicker.

    The BNP is also working to get MPs elected to change the law, redefine Britishness on racial grounds, create an Apartheid system in Britain, deport people on the basis of their race, and a sort of other things based on that pattern.

    You might find this to be a small insignificant difference, but I think is disingenuous to make a comparison: it’s apples vs oranges.

  47. Sgt Twining — on 24th June, 2009 at 9:25 am  

    A commentator here has made accurate reference to the issue of membership of the NBPA. You can join if you are Black, that is my understanding. If you are White you can join by application. The term Black make reference not to colour as such, but as to the common experience of racism against minority ethnic people. The whole issue is fudged I am afraid, but what are we to do?

    I cannot ever recall me going out anywhere as a youth wanting to beat up White kids, yet we were on the end of racial assaults by some White youth. The natural thing is to group up and protect. That’s what the NBPA is trying to do. Despite this I still think some in the NBPA have no idea about the discourses going on here……Incompetence?

  48. Sgt Twining — on 24th June, 2009 at 9:27 am  

    It’s disingenuous because inside we are struggling to tackle root level racism. At every stage we are pummelled by those in power. Come on, look at what happened to Ghaffur and Ali.

    Even then I expected either of these two or both to have some courage to actually question whether race was a factor in the De Menezes tragedy. The NBPA, as far as I am aware, never asked the question. There is little academic debate in the movement.

  49. Ravi Naik — on 24th June, 2009 at 9:37 am  

    But the real question is what are the limits of a liberal Democracy. Would we accept a political party which only accepts men, who run on a platform that men should come first in jobs, that believes that women should be at home and not have a choice to be educated?

    MM and Clairwil may well be right that this may backfire. I am completely torn on this issue: I do believe a lot depends on how Nick Griffin is able to capitalise this, and how smarter we think he is outside the nationalist movement.

    I do think however, that this legal action against the BNP will have a few benefits: (1) it will highlight the BNP’s whites-only policy and undermine and perhaps discredit the BNP when they say they are neither racist nor racialist, (2) make it harder for the BNP to present themselves as a moderate party if they keep on fighting this, (3) open the debate on their claim that they are just protecting an endangered “species”, and how they are actively seeking in excluding others, (4) any money spent fighting this in court, is less money spent in propaganda.

  50. Refresh — on 24th June, 2009 at 10:18 am  

    Shamit, I am afraid you cannot blame the 70s on Scargill. If I recall he was not leading the NUM. The lesson of the 70s is an important one, if you cannot address issues of the masses then you can expect mass unrest. When inflation is running at 26%; and wages are kept low then what you are asking the masses to do is sustain the economy from their pockets. How long could that go on before there are serious repurcussions?

    In addition, just be thankful there was a political method of organising mass labour – the trade unions. Can you just imagine what the consequences could have been without this political outlet. Perhaps there is a lesson in the General Strike at the beginning of the century when the army was called and workers were physically attacked for withdrawing their labour. Or earlier still, when people were hanged or transported for resisting the will of the employer.

    The situation we could have now could be lot closer to the period of a General Strike where the Unions have little left in their arsenal.

    As for Arthur Scargill, he correctly identified the nature of Thatcher’s plans and opposed it. She wanted a war with the Unions. She saw the manufacturing base of this country as the hotbed of labour unrest. And by 1995 they had shut down pretty much all of the mines. You may disagree with him on tactics but Scargill was not wrong.

    Communities serving coal pits have been destroyed, now with many families seeing multi-generational unemployment. If you read some of the material put out by the BNP, it is communities such as these they are trying to co-opt. The irony is the BNP and its predecessors were quite happy to support Thatcher in her war against these communities.

  51. Jai — on 24th June, 2009 at 10:21 am  

    Excellent points by MaidMarian throughout this thread and also the last couple of posts by Ravi. Post #46 is very much “the kicker”, to use Ravi’s term.

    The BNP is not (just) some kind of “special interests group”. They are actively seeking political power over the entire population of Britain.

    And that, my friends, makes it a whole different ballgame. This is the reason that the BNP’s claims such as “A, B and C exclude people on the basis of X, Y and Z, so why can’t we ?” are indeed inappropriate, and (again to use one of Ravi’s remarks) an attempt to compare apples and oranges.

    Now if Mr Griffin wished to draw comparisons with Al-Muhajiroun, another organisation with exclusionist, supremacist ideas seeking ultimate political power over the inhabitants of Britain (albeit, in their case, not necessarily through democractic means), with a similar claim that its ideology and policies are “the answer” to everything, with a similar claim to represent the “true voice, beliefs, concerns and grievances” of people ostensibly from the same background despite not actually having the mandate or support of the majority of the latter, with a similar desire to “turn back the clock” to some mythical halcyon past, with similar claims about grievances, persecution, and blaming “the Other” for absolutely everything, and with a similar hostility to what they both term “American cultural imperialism” and “the Zionist regime of Israel”…..then Mr Griffin would very much have a point.

  52. Kulvinder — on 24th June, 2009 at 10:36 am  

    You might find this to be a small insignificant difference, but I think is disingenuous to make a comparison: it’s apples vs oranges.

    I actually wasn’t comparing them (and did point out their goals weren’t comparable); rather i was pointing out their membership criteria isn’t as open or straight forward as saying ‘anyone can join’ – self described ‘white’ people can’t become full members even if they support the general goals of the organisation.

    I don’t have any problem with a minority of whatever description creating an organisation to address shortcomings in an institution, but i think the difference between creating a ethnic/gender/sexual clique and a truly effective means of addressing discrimination is the way in which you deal with the ‘other’ people.

    If they truly want to change the police force its pretty obvious they need to get more involvement of ‘white’ officers, and thats hardly going to happen with a two-tier membership system.

  53. Ravi Naik — on 24th June, 2009 at 10:54 am  

    I agree with what you said Kulvinder (#52). I just have a problem with the BNP reducing itself to an ethnic interest group, which sees our mere presence in this country as an attack to “their” community, and at the same time seeking political office.

  54. Draman — on 24th June, 2009 at 11:09 am  

    What about this: if the BNP are forced to open membership, then could all those of ethnic minorites sign up en masse to become members? They might then well outnumber the original BNP members and force a change to the constitution and thereby dissolve the party?

    whadda ya think?

  55. 1mongrel — on 24th June, 2009 at 11:27 am  

    Sgt Twining-

    “I cannot ever recall me going out anywhere as a youth wanting to beat up White kids, yet we were on the end of racial assaults by some White youth. The natural thing is to group up and protect. That’s what the NBPA is trying to do. Despite this I still think some in the NBPA have no idea about the discourses going on here……Incompetence?”

    Seems grouping up to protect (With Deadly Weapons) has now reached the stage whereby a state sponsored Tontonmacoute is effectively enforcing a curfew with the death penalty for transgressions on white youth. Who needs a Stasi? The “Omerta” of the MSM on these cases is failing. The lid wont stay on much longer.

  56. hantsboy — on 24th June, 2009 at 11:32 am  

    hey might then well outnumber the original BNP members and force a change to the constitution and thereby dissolve the party?

    Draman
    That’s obviously what mainstream politicians are hoping.
    BNP will resist as long as possible through the legal system.
    I don’t see however that there is a problem provided that minorities accept policy. If they don’t BNP will have a stronger right to resist membership. I can’t see existing legislation preventing this.

    Don’t forget that Nick Griffin is threatening a private war crimes prosecution against T Bliar for some incident in Serbia either here or in the Hague. Not much in the mainstream media at present but could account for establishment hysteria and the current action by EHRC.

  57. Ravi Naik — on 24th June, 2009 at 11:35 am  

    Don’t forget that Nick Griffin is threatening a private war crimes prosecution against T Bliar for some incident in Serbia either here or in the Hague.

    You are right. This is pure entertainment.

  58. MaidMarian — on 24th June, 2009 at 11:44 am  

    Ravi Naik, Jai and others – Thank you for taking the time to reply. It is a pretty good thread here and I hope it does not peter out.

    My thoughts are that the rise of the BNP in recent times can, fundamentally be traced to a lack of consensus. ‘Democracy’ is not the same thing as a consensus, nor is democracy, ‘the outcome I want.’ At the moment, the only agreement would seem to be that all conventional politics is awful. To my mind this is self-indulgence, as ever I recognise many will disagree.

    The BNP have tapped into this widespread sentiment, and done it pretty well. There is, of course a huge gap between their land of milk and honey vision and what they could deliver, and that gap exists because they feed on the negativity around conventional politcs. When you get support from a level of thought that agrees with any sense of victimhood, real or perceived, the actual deliverables don’t matter, all that matters is the, ‘understanding.’

    What will combat the BNP is a combination of a vision around which society can group (before anyone says it, yes Thatcherism or Blairism – would be recent illustrations) and confronting interest groups with the truth that government does not exist to legislate for the prejudices of identity politcs; that not pandering does not infer some racism.

    What type of politics do we want – one where everything is one big gripe, or one with consensus?

    I do agree with an earlier comment that government has become anodyne – it tries to please all and in doing so satisfies none. I do not deny that New Labour’s curious hyperactivity is one of the conditions that has fed the BNP’s brand of anti-politics. What will anodyne that is a consensus that allows politicians to be a bit braver about saying no.

    What will cut the legs from under the BNP is a polity where there is more to both politics and government than the anti. Not a palatable thought I would guess for those who have spent five plus years sharing their sense of injustice with the world on CiF.

    There will always be racism – sad but true fact. But the flip side is that quitely, away from the heat of talkboards and gripes there is plenty of integration going on out there. Cohesion and diversity are not exclusive. All anti-politics does however is play the gripes against the bigger picture and it is that that feeds the BNP. Consensus across those lines is the key – after all, if you don’t have a gripe with your neighbour, what does his race matter?

  59. Refresh — on 24th June, 2009 at 12:04 pm  

    Douglas, my rallying cry is one of despair.

    It is now or never. The situation could get out of control, I am all for multiplicity of actions from a variety of angles. The biggest one of these is from the government, despite its proven stupidity, going right back to Blunkett. All the levers should be at our disposal, the biggest of which is civil mobilisation.

    As MaidMarian correctly identified, for the BNP it is all about setting the scene, changing the language of discourse. It is very similar to what New Labour has sought to do. And as someone else upthread noted, its the marketing of politics.

    If we are happy to accept terminology such as the underclass, and treat manual workers on low wages with disdain then we really do have a problem. More than a few PP commenters fall into that category.

    The actions that need to be taken fall on both sides of this BNP divide. If we cannot afford dignity and respect to all our citizens and think the economy is only thriving by the grace of those with middle-class incomes and professions then they will have won.

    With the Labour Party having deserted the working class, both white and black then its time for a change. This can come in the form of pandering, adopting anti-immigration policies a la ‘British Jobs for British People’ and Phil Woolas, or it could harness the ‘talents of all our people’ and re-engage the white with the black. Both share the same problems.

    Here we have a country of diversity which should enable us to lead the world on social and economic development; where the many languages and global connections through ordinary people could so easily bring us so much social and personal wealth.

    In that context, I would seek to strengthen ties between countries by way of trade and use our collective connections and linguistic skills to improve commercial and social contacts between various regions of the UK.

  60. Refresh — on 24th June, 2009 at 12:10 pm  

    last para to read:

    In that context, I would seek to strengthen ties between countries by way of trade and use our collective connections and linguistic skills to improve commercial and social contacts between various regions of the UK and developing countries to the benefit of both.

  61. Charlie — on 24th June, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

    ‘Don’t forget that Nick Griffin is threatening a private war crimes prosecution against T Bliar for some incident in Serbia either here or in the Hague.’

    Sweet Jesus! That’ll be one where I hope both sides lose.

  62. Shamit — on 24th June, 2009 at 12:22 pm  

    Refresh

    Very well said 59 and 60

  63. Jai — on 24th June, 2009 at 1:11 pm  

    Ravi,

    Since you’ve previously mentioned that the implementation of the BNP’s policies would potentially lead to South Africa-style apartheid in Britain, the following article should be of particular interest to you, as one of the key individuals concerned has indeed previously made explicit references to the system of apartheid:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jun/14/bnp-andrew-brons-mep-racist

  64. comrade — on 24th June, 2009 at 3:38 pm  

    So yes I for one am glad that the trade unions and the false religion called communism is debunked.

    Shamit, its least you have got something in common with the BNP

    Shamit you don’t have to be racist to be fascist, the point I tried to stress was the threat also lies somewhere else, I can see that threat in you and try to stick to the topic in stead of ranting and making crass remarks,

  65. Shamit — on 24th June, 2009 at 4:18 pm  

    What is the threat Comrade that you see in me?

    That I make sense and I have a strong dislike for Communists and their debunked theories. Well that should be a badge of honour considering all your high priests have killed way too many innocent people and rather than individual freedom they focused on ruining lives.

    And me having something in common with BNP – now thats a low blow.

  66. Shamit — on 24th June, 2009 at 4:18 pm  

    But since when have commies cared about the truth eh Comrade?

  67. Shamit — on 24th June, 2009 at 4:26 pm  

    Are you still reading your Pravda? I repeat I am glad that the trade unions do not have the power to disrupt the country anymore like they did in the 70′s.

    You want to talk about issues — feel free and I will answer.

    But you try to paint me as a fascist next time — I am going to rip your flawed logic into shreds and make you look like a fool. You want to try it – go for it. But for everyone’s sake here please refrain from making assumptions about people you have no clue about.

  68. Dalbir — on 24th June, 2009 at 4:56 pm  

    ———–
    You know Dalbir (13) the world is a big place and out there there’s someone even better qualified than you who will do your job even cheaper and take your women too (If you ever let them out of the house alone).

    Much handwringing from the ethnic “Communities” when so many well qualified Poles arrived here and upset the status quo. In fact immigration was unmentionable until then, though being white the debate was able to begin. Interesting to see where it will lead.
    —————

    Sorry for the late response 1Mongrel.

    You need to understand I don’t have any problems with accepting that there are other qualified people from different races able to do my job. I’ll ignore the stereotype of the Indian women being chained to the sink, unable to leave the house. I think anyone that has actually met the women in my family would laugh at your assertion. Some have chosen partners from other races. Despite BNP rhetoric, this is not the end of the earth as we know it, nor does it signify the destruction of my ‘people’.

    I feel qualified to comment on your views regarding the recent Polish migration. You see, much of my own family is quite heavily involved in the trades these people are seeking to work in. Although I have heard minor gripes about the competition, I haven’t heard a single one say that they shouldn’t be allowed here etc. etc. Much less try and organise themselves into hate filled groups to “combat” the threat. So, no, not everyone has to overreact to change like the BNP and jump head first into a vortex of negativity.

  69. comrade — on 24th June, 2009 at 5:50 pm  

    You want to talk about issues — feel free and I will answer.

    Did the fascist in Germany first destroyed the trade unonist the organised sector of the working which wAS resisting the fascist or did the fascist killed the Jews fisrt?

    Why did the Fascist destroyed the head offices of the trade unionist in Germay?

    How many people has the commies killed across the glove?

    How many people has capitalism/Imperilism killed upto date.

    Stallin ‘killed 40 million’ Have you any facts on these figure?

    Was it not the Red Army who destroyed the fascist war machine?

    What would have been the consequence if the commies had captulated to the Nazis?

    Did the The British Coalboard conduct a Ballot amonst the Miners before they closed the Pits?

    Shamit if make crass remarks, then I am afraid I will respond in Kind.

    And finally I do sincerely appologies for in directly calling you fascist.

    Has you know, I lack the academics skills to hold an articulate bebate, but still I try my best.

  70. A Councillor Writes — on 24th June, 2009 at 7:30 pm  

    [...]Why did the Fascist destroyed the head offices of the trade unionist in Germay?{…]

    For exactly the same reason that the trade unions were replaced and purged in the Soviet satellites.

    [...]How many people has the commies killed across the glove?[...]

    Loads, but to be fair rarely through targeted extermination. The obvious exceptions being the Holodomor in the Ukraine and the Pol Pot regime.

    [...]How many people has capitalism/Imperilism killed upto date.[...]

    Equally loads, but again rarely through targeted extermination.

    [...]Stallin ‘killed 40 million’ Have you any facts on these figure?[...]

    Well, an old tankie friend of mine would claim he killed none personally. Conquest’s work, which is hardly unbiased and based on the Soviet Census (although that is statistically dubious) claims 13-15 million.

    [...]Was it not the Red Army who destroyed the fascist war machine?[...]

    Whilst my admiration for the heroic resistance of the Soviet people during the Great Patriotic War knows few bounds. It really didn’t actually matter what the Soviet Union did in the war. Britain and America were safe behind a huge anti-tank ditch and had massive air superiority. The two deciding acts of the war was the choice of Churchill over the craven Halifax and the commissioning of the Manhattan Project.

    [...]What would have been the consequence if the commies had captulated to the Nazis?[...]

    Mushroom clouds over Germany rather than Japan. Remember by 1946, the Americans would have been able to drop two atomic bombs a month.

  71. comrade — on 24th June, 2009 at 10:07 pm  

    Mushroom clouds over Germany rather than Japan. Remember by 1946, the Americans would have been able to drop two atomic bombs a month.

    If the American had droped the A-Bomb on the German army, the war would have ended earlier, they droped the A-Bomb on Japan, who was on the point of surrender, most of poeple who died were civilians. The use of the A-Bomb was a warning to the advancin Red Army.

    For exactly the same reason that the trade unions were replaced and purged in the Soviet satellites.

    The German Nazi Party, with its racist ideology, could only perpetrate the holocaust after it had first destroyed the defensive organisation of the working class.

    Loads, but to be fair rarely through targeted extermination. The obvious exceptions being the Holodomor in the Ukraine and the Pol Pot regime.

    I have no time for likes of Pol Pot. As for the Famine in the Soviet Union, yes including the Ukraine millions died, recenting the Ukraine government as been accusing Stalin of genocide and were cought using photos of Americans to strengthen their claim,

  72. Charlie — on 25th June, 2009 at 12:05 am  

    I think that this is great that the BNP are left with no choice but to let non whites join or face legal action,I can see that wiping the smile right of Nick Griffins ugly mug.Id love to see some black and asian BNP councillors ,It would stall the party and make the white racist popularity cry .The BNP are a bunch of Racist Neo Nazi homophobic cunts.They need the book thrown at them.

  73. Jill — on 3rd July, 2009 at 8:31 am  

    Whats wrong with a British person wanting whats best for Britain.I am British,White and Very proud of it.Now surely every other person regardless of colour religion,who ever they vote for.All these people ashould be proud of their own country.So why the big fuss of Britain wanting whats best for the British?

  74. Ralph Musgrave — on 23rd October, 2009 at 10:00 am  

    What’s Sunny doing writing an article on the BNP membership carry on when he’s obviously not up to speed on this topic? He displays his ignorance with the question he puts at the end of his article: “But why has it taken them so long to launch this anyway?” Here is the answer.

    The BNP’s membership rules were perfectly legal under the law in force at the time of the recent court hearings involving the BNP and the Equalities Commission. However the BNP’s membership rules would arguably not have been legal under the Equality Bill, which at the time of those hearings was still in the future (and may still be in the future, as you read this). Moreover, the BNP have undertaken to abide by the latter legislation.

    Also, the BNP’s lawyers do not even accept that its membership rules are necessarily unlawful under this new law. What they do accept is that the court case needed to resolve this issue would have been expensive. And we all know who wins expensive court cases: those with the most money. In this case that would be the Equalities Commission, backed by a limitless pot of money, namely taxpayers’ money, and the Labour Party, backed by sleazy millionaires.

    Passing laws that make life difficult for one’s political opponents is what Mussolini and every other fascist does. And I’m not even sure that Mussolini harassed anyone on the basis of laws not yet on the statute book. But then Mussolini can’t hold a candle to ZaNuLabour.

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