How far do we go in legitimising the BNP?


by Sunny
24th June, 2009 at 2:17 pm    

The BNP thrive off an anti-establishment and anti-politics fervour. They thrive on a victim mentality that is ingrained in their hardcore supporters and attract whites who buy into that victim mentality. I get that. And MaidMarian in the comments earlier made a good point about the BNP being more about getting their message to be common currency, with votes and political office only as a secondary concern.

But there is a danger of going the other way too far. I don’t think BNP affiliated teachers should be banned from the classroom, and Neil Robertson makes a good case here, but some seem to worry that we should avoid doing anything that helps Nick Griffin play the victim card.

Listen folks, if you want to stop the BNP then volunteer for the Hope Not Hate campaign, don’t become so afraid of stepping on the BNP’s toes. There is a need to continue delegitimising the BNP while not letting them paint themselves as victims. But I refuse to go so far that we have to accept the BNP as equal partners because the alternative is that we feed their sense of victimhood. When will people call them out for that?


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Media,Race politics,The BNP






26 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. pickles

    New blog post: How far do we go in legitimising the BNP? http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4957




  1. marvin — on 24th June, 2009 at 2:39 pm  

    The wall to wall coverage on the BNP on the left has already helped to establish the BNP as a tour de force in British politics.

    Why give them so much free publicity?

    If I were lefty, I’d be ignoring them, and talking up that other EU party that got a similar share of the vote, the Green Party. I’ve virtually no idea on their policies. Nobody is talking about them!

    Trying to legally discriminate against the BNP and it’s members will fail in it’s aims. It perpetuates the siege mentality.

    The BNP will always be a fringe party with a very small number of votes nationally. We’ve always been against that foreign and repellent import; fascism.

  2. Sunny — on 24th June, 2009 at 2:45 pm  

    Given that not many of my regular readers are likely to vote for the BNP, unless they already do, all this coverage makes no difference in terms of votes.

    I would however like to discuss how to combat them.

  3. hantsboy — on 24th June, 2009 at 2:47 pm  

    The BNP will always be a fringe party with a very We’ve always been against that foreign and repellent import; fascism.

    We didn’t need it in the 30s because Britain still amounted to a force in the world.
    Fascism was only for defeated demoralised countries like many in Europe.

    Now we’ve sunk to the same level with endemic political corruption to boot , Fascism or Nationalism if you prefer is gaining ground

  4. munir — on 24th June, 2009 at 3:06 pm  

    marvin
    “The wall to wall coverage on the BNP on the left has already helped to establish the BNP as a tour de force in British politics.

    Why give them so much free publicity? ”

    No because very few people pay attention to the left

    What has propelled the BNP is the rampant anti-immigration/ Muslim stories day in day out in the tabloid press. I mean look at them – they were a ramshackle outfit with no financial backing who even now cant put up candidates in some areas because of cash shortages.

    Dont believe me? This is what Nick Griffin said
    “a great political opportunity to surf our message into the public mind on the back of a media tsunami of ‘Islamophobia’.”

  5. 1mongrel — on 24th June, 2009 at 3:34 pm  

    All philosophies built on lies eventually collapse. Multikulti orthodoxy has foundations that are even shakier, depending not just on outright lies but the vicious suppression of even the smallest evidence of failure. You may not realize it but we are witnessing the fall of a Berlin Wall of myths and lies. Unlike previous centuries the internet keeps accurate records, Greg Dykes “Hideously White” outburst is unerasable, The METBPA can change it’s website overnight but yesterdays version is still there on alexa. You can remove Charlene Downes entry from wikipedia but you wont erase her murder from the internet, in fact by trying to hide it you illuminate it more.

    http://ukcommentators.blogspot.com/2007/06/wikipedia-memory-hole.html

  6. Joe Otten — on 24th June, 2009 at 3:41 pm  

    What is “legitimacy” in this context? And who is this “we” that has a choice of conferring it or not?

    Also unity against fascism is a double-edged thing. The fascists like to say that we’re all the same. It might be better not to unite disparate political movements against fascism as such, but rather for each to oppose fascism in their own way.

  7. Yahya Birt — on 24th June, 2009 at 3:58 pm  

    I assume any strategy has to be built on denuding the BNP’s growing electoral support base, not just decrediting its leadership. Despite Hope not Hate’s sterling efforts at containment around the country, the BNP is still gaining votes and elected representatives. If the support base itself already feels victimised and excluded then that has to be addressed as well as delinking those grievances from the BNP’s racial politics. Otherwise sending a undifferentiated message of rejection to the support base and the leadership may play into the victimhood “we’re in this together and we’re right, see look we are being victimised by the ‘elite’ of this country” schtick.

    Another fancy term is “bilateral radicalisation” — one fringe plays off the other to squeeze the moderate centre. Look at the al-Muhajiroun-far-right dynamics in Luton, that’s really damaging to civic solidarity. While they are not directly comparable, there can be advantages to looking the lessons of “Hope not Hate” with regard to al-Muhajiroun. A “Hope not Hate”-style campaign against al-Muhajiroun’s leadership could be important too.

    The Muslim communities up and down the UK disdain this organisation or chase them away but they are not being actively monitored, discredited, debated thoroughly on neutral platforms, or have their events/programmes actively but peacefully disrupted. Al-Muhajiroun have continued their effort under bans before and legal restrictions on their speech so the law is blunt and ineffectual tool as I’ve said elsewhere. So is this kind of civil society action an alternative? I don’t want to suggest this is a Muslim community responsibilitly only, but they need to be at the centre of any initiative like this. How would a coalition like Hope not Hate involving various civil society actors be built. Again, like with the BNP, the aim of all this civil society action would be to delegitimize al-Muhajiroun’s leadership and its politics while reducing its appeal among its support base and potential supporters.

  8. damon — on 24th June, 2009 at 4:14 pm  

    Munir said @ 4 ”What has propelled the BNP is the rampant anti-immigration/ Muslim stories day in day out in the tabloid press.”

    That’s only a part of it in my opinion. (And maybe just a small part).
    I also think that there has been what you could call a ”law of diminishing returns” on liberal and leftist anti-racism. (What some people have refered to as ”official anti-racism”).

    The kind of anti-racism that is very quick to throw out charges of racism (and fascism) against people who don’t fully suscribe to their views.
    Lee Jasper is one person like that. I heard him live on Ken Livingstone’s staurday radio show on LBC radio (in London) call a Tory member of the London Assembly ”a racist” because he had been questioning Jasper’s record when he was employed as Ken’s advisor on policing and race issues.

    I think that a lot of ”ordinary people” get the hump with the professionalism of groups that push a line quite hard, when people’s own (anecdotal) experience seems to tell them otherwise.

    So for example, listening to Keith Best being interviewed on the radio about the asylum system.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3545962.stm
    He argues very passionately about how mean and unwelcoming our system is, while other people maybe not so sympathetic as he is because they have seen the queues outside the Home Office in Croydon, and seen the change in the places that have become transformed by immigration in recent years. Places like West Croydon, Walthamstow, Finsbury Park, Tottenham and the East End.
    Then they read a Daily Express like Munir says, and see a front page story about the would be asylum seekers trying to get into England across the Channel from Calais.

    Just today on BBC London, on the Vanessa Feltz show, they were discussing the story about what the French president said about banning ”the burka” (or niqab face covering).
    It’s a three hour show and all manner of opinion was given by the callers to the show.
    It’s clear that many people don’t like it, while other callers (many of them Muslim) are asking what’s the problem. ”People are free to wear what they like” etc

    I agree that you can’t go banning a style of dress, but that doesn’t mean I have to like the niqab either.
    To those women who rang up the show and said that they just wore a hijab most of the time, but had some niqabs and also wore them sometimes (and by the way they spoke you could tell that they were educated women), I felt the desire to ring up the programme and put the point that wouldn’t our society look completely mental if ALL people out in public were to adopt this garment. Bus drivers, shop workers, postmen and women … everyone.

    So even a liberal like me can get wound up by some of the BS that gets pumped out by the consensus of a certain kind of leftist liberalism.

    Let’s just face it and admit that although it may be a small minded view, some people living in ‘middle England’ (or a town like Eastbourne), might not care to live in the multi-culturalism of some of our inner-cities.

  9. marvin — on 24th June, 2009 at 4:24 pm  

    I would however like to discuss how to combat them.

    Why has the left taken it upon themselves to ‘battle’ with the BNP?

    I know the left have lost their way as of late, but the only way is to provide a positive alternative. Talk about your policies and how they are going to help the working class.

    Stop expensive and exclusive focus on minority groups, promote unity not ‘diversity’. Explain how you are going to assist people get jobs, and prevent a sudden influx of workers from some new EU country which results in massively undercutting the manual labour market. Promote actual equality where possible not discrimination in favour of minority groups.

  10. billaricaydickey — on 24th June, 2009 at 4:28 pm  

    Children,

    You still do not understand, do you? The place to be is City Hall in London, tomorrow morning at 10 am when the Friends of Blair Peach will be questing the Commissioner of the Met about the Cass report. Be their or be racist, like Simon Wooley. I have applied to join the campaign to OBV and if refused will sue Wooley and his other black nazis as racists. Should be interesting!

  11. dashenka — on 24th June, 2009 at 4:35 pm  

    why don’t muslims unite to stop some hate preahcers like choudary or others?

    any movements or petitions?

    NO. it means that you are supportive to islamic fascism or racism.

    that’s why people will still vote for BNP

  12. Shatterface — on 24th June, 2009 at 4:49 pm  

    The Left has two great advantages: rational, evidence based counter-arguments to anything the BNP can throw up; and mockery.

    These can be used against the BNP itself AND the media which whips up their support.

    Unlike shouting them down, throwing eggs, banning them from the workplace or sending in the lawyers these tactics can’t be characterised as ‘bullying’ unless the BNP conceed we’re smarter and wittier than they are.

  13. Clairwil — on 24th June, 2009 at 5:27 pm  

    ‘Listen folks, if you want to stop the BNP then volunteer for the Hope Not Hate campaign…’

    I’d love to and looked into it a while back but they don’t appear to operate in Scotland. Unlike the BNP who’ve been quite visible in Glasgow of late.

  14. Jamie Sport — on 24th June, 2009 at 5:34 pm  

    Why has the left taken it upon themselves to ‘battle’ with the BNP?

    Because they represent all that is bad with the world? Jeez marvin, it’s not a bad thing that people want to ‘battle’ fascists. Oh and incidentally it’s not just ‘the left’ – all parts of the spectrum are fairly united in wanting to diminish the BNP.

    As for Why give them so much free publicity?, I believe you’re misguided to think ignoring them helps. An awful lot of voters put a cross in the BNP box at the Euro elections because they didn’t know all that they stand for; they’d heard the guff about being a legitimate, perfectly acceptable party that just wants a reasonable immigration policy.

    That is not what the BNP is. You actually have to delve into their policies, manifesto and closely read their literature to see the true Nazism within. This is not something your average Yorkshire voter does with any party, so instead responsible media/blogs/whatever should be active in highlighting and deligitimising it.

    Trying to ignore them makes the situation worse and plays into their hands, allowing them a greater share of the political voice on their own terms. They’re not going to shut up if you pretend there not there, but they are going to become even more acceptable in the eyes of a lot of lay voters.

  15. damon — on 24th June, 2009 at 5:34 pm  

    Shatterface, I want to agree with your sentiments.

    And I don’t know what to do (or say) about people like @ posts 5.
    ”Charlene Downes ” he mentioned, and never having heard the name, I googled it, and know about it now.

    I don’t think there is much you can say to the guy who whote that. I knew people who said such things 25 years ago.

    In fact, there was a murder in my locality about 25 years ago when a group of black youths pulled a passing (totally unconnected with the incident) motorcyclist and his pillion passenger off their motorbike in some street fracas, and the pillion passenger was killed with blows from an axe.
    When I googled the man’s name (which I had remembered all these years), the only place it came up on the world wide web, was on the National Front’s website, who have this page on that site about ”The Fallen”.
    It’s some sick site where they highlight every killing of white people in Britain by a non white assalient.

    I like this journalist Sorious Samura, and have seen some of his documentaries. But does this one he did the other night about the disturbing number of gang rapes by black youths, just feed the maliciousness of some people? (Who use things like that as ”evidence?”)
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/gang-rape-is-it-a-race-issue-1711381.html

    Does Hope not Hate have any answer to what to do about issues like this? When Lee Jasper was on another radio programme on LBC one morning when the presenter had picked up on a story in the media about racist bullying being prevalant in schools, Jasper did his piece on the radio just presuming that all the racism that was being higlighted was white against black and minority pupils (and teachers were also victims of this racist bullying I remember).
    As soon as he hung up after being interviewed on air for five minutes, for the rest of the hour it was (London) listeners ringing in to say that they and their children had experienced the ”racist bullying” being mostly (in London remember) being black towards white. Or children at a Jewish school in north London frequently being the targets of incidents after school on busses etc. Again, mostly from non white sources.

    I know that kind of thing might chime with some people.
    Maybe those claims can be debunked as lies or exaggeration.
    I don’t think they should be entirely ignored, as this kind of thing is fuel for the BNP.

    Btw. Today’s Vanessa Feltz show that I mentioned @ 8 (about ”the burka”) can be listened to again for the next week by getting up the BBC London website. Clicking on ”listen again” and then look for the Vanessa Feltz show for wednesday 24th of june.

  16. MaidMarian — on 24th June, 2009 at 5:51 pm  

    ‘don’t become so afraid of stepping on the BNP’s toes.’

    Yes – for too long, many have seemed reluctant to take on the BNP’s populism. I suspect that part of the reason for that is the tone of internet debate (and be in no doubt – this is very much an internet exercise).

    To take on the BNP’s brand of populism has been to invite a pasting, to be branded an apologist, to be dismissed as heartless – or worse. To be told you don’t care about British workers being done in by Poles. Or to be told that you should not share a platform with them.

    Cobblers – I am more than capable of separating race and questions of labour relations, management, international affairs, social policy and the like.

    I want debate, politics and ultimately government to be about more than the anti-political lowest common denominator. I want people to accept that there are compromises and balances. And I want people to accept that there are shades of grey.

    In the thread yesterday some BNP chap appeared to suggest that the BNP had an appeal to those disappointed by Blair over a real or perceived lack of adherence to international law. It was a BNP person scoring political points about international law!!! I do not mind stepping on that person’s toes and when debate is at that level of manifest bollocks no one should fear stepping on toes – regardless of whether those toes have been ‘victimised.’

    It is almost as if the tip-toeing around the BNP has (like Islamic groups) given them a sense of privilege, that their arguments demand some special response.

    It was great to see the recent PP series of questions to the BNP, to see someone get serious about scrutinising their ideas – it was just five years too late.

    The stark reality is that the BNP see votes as secondary because they are at a stage where they don’t need them. When it is a standard line that, ‘I don’t support the BNP, but….’ the election result doesn’t matter.

    It is not contrarian or heartless to face down populism – it just does not chime with an anti-politics climate.

    Hope not hate? good as far as it goes – what is needed is politics as something more than a self-indulgent bun-fight.

  17. marvin — on 24th June, 2009 at 5:55 pm  

    I like this journalist Sorious Samura, and have seen some of his documentaries. But does this one he did the other night about the disturbing number of gang rapes by black youths, just feed the maliciousness of some people? (Who use things like that as ”evidence?”)

    We should never censure the truth just because it’s fodder for bad people. Otherwise what kind of world would we be living in?

    Talking about things out in the open help to prevent extremism. How many Independent readers are going to go out and commit a hate crime against a black youth after reading that article anyway?

    their children had experienced the ”racist bullying” being mostly (in London remember) being black towards white. Or children at a Jewish school in north London frequently being the targets of incidents after school on busses etc. Again, mostly from non white sources.

    Ignoring shit like that is exactly the kind of thing that nurtures grievances. Not the other way around!

    Sometimes I think otherwise intelligent people are extremely stupid when they act is if the only racism is white on black. I mean, seriously, get a grip!

    Stats would be nice but people generally avoid stats on racial incidents where they specify the race of the perpetrator, cos they don’t want green haired people screaming raaaaaaaacist at them.

    Of course statistically more white people get racially attacked than any other group, as would be expected :P

  18. 1mongrel — on 24th June, 2009 at 6:35 pm  

    Damon (5). When a people are so downtrodden that even the naming of their dead is forbidden you may expect a reaction. The NFs “Fallen” website was a reaction to The IRRs much earlier “Victims of Racist Britain” webpage, where the bodies of every dead ethnic (Even those killed by other immigrants, rival drug dealers or in accidents) were utilized for political purposes. Sauce for the Goose.

  19. 1mongrel — on 24th June, 2009 at 6:42 pm  

    Marvin (17),

    “Of course statistically more white people get racially attacked than any other group, as would be expected :P

    Now use the same data to work out who commits the most “Hate Crimes”, pro rata, you might be surprised at who the biggest haters are.

  20. marvin — on 24th June, 2009 at 6:51 pm  

    I give up, who da haters?

  21. comrade — on 25th June, 2009 at 12:10 am  

    I would however like to discuss how to combat them.

    we need to fully expose all thier polices and not just constrate on their racism [ in 1984 they were advocating the use of troops against the miners and thei communities} and in the BNP question and answer, the called the Trade Unions fascits.

    In the late 70s they were easier to deal with and they were on the streets, we were able to mobolize the people of all races, we were blacks/asian and whites. Now we are sikhs, muslims, hindus and Jews.

    The only way we can effectively counter their racism and other polices is in their own back yard. We need to target their support base and organise public meeting and engage in political debate and not just leafleting at election times.

    I am afraid the so called left has compleatly ignored this areas of ‘working class’ people.

  22. comrade — on 25th June, 2009 at 12:14 am  

    I would however like to discuss how to combat them.

    we need to fully expose all thier polices and not just constrate on their racism [ in 1984 they were advocating the use of troops against the miners and their communities} and in the BNP question and answer, the called the Trade Unions fascist.

    In the late 70s they were easier to deal with and they were on the streets, we were able to mobolize the people of all races, we were blacks/asian and whites. Now we are sikhs, muslims, hindus and Jews.

    The only way we can effectively counter their racism and other polices is in their own back yard. We need to target their support base and organise public meeting and engage in political debate and not just leafleting at election times.

    I am afraid the so called left has compleatly ignored this areas of ‘working class’ people.

  23. billericaydicky — on 25th June, 2009 at 7:30 am  

    Nearly all of the strategies outlined above are already being put into practise across the country. The BNP are being contained and their vote, although it went up across the country slightly fell in some areas.

    All of the results from this country and across Europe will be up on the Searchlight site soon. The success of the BNP in getting two elected to Europe must be put in the context that it could have been more. Last year there was the possibility of three in London but we held them to one and they still have only just over fifty councillors across the country.

    Off to London’s City Hall now. At ten oclock the Green member of the Greater London Authority will be questioning the Commissioner of the Met about the release of the Cass Report after thirty years.

  24. comrade — on 25th June, 2009 at 10:50 am  

    Nearly all of the strategies outlined above are already being put into practise across the country. The BNP are being contained and their vote, although it went up across the country slightly fell in some areas.

    billericaydicky

    Nearly all of the strategies outlined above are already being put into practise across the country. The BNP are being contained and their vote, although it went up across the country slightly fell in

    Can you please let me know of which organistion who isinvolved in the West Midlands region, Iwnnt to help

  25. billaricaydickey — on 26th June, 2009 at 1:23 pm  

    Comrade@24.

    Go to http://www.hopenothate.org.uk, click the main page and then in the middle of the top are all the links across the country with contact details. We need you!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.