25th September, 2009
15th September, 2009
Richard Barnbrook, the BNP’s sole representative on the Greater London Assembly, has been found guilty of inventing three murders in order to spread fear amongst his constituents:
“The BNP representative is to be sent for training in ethics after he exploited peoples fears about knife crime in his constituency by inventing a series of murders. He was banned from B&D council today but escaped suspension from the Greater London Authority.
The BNP, however, are furious and Simon Darby has called the decision, â€œutterly vile hypocrisyâ€. The party are using the Baroness Scotlandâ€™s â€outrageous whoppersâ€ to help deflect attention away from Barnbrooks own conduct. Lee Barnes, the BNPâ€™s legal director and advisor to Richard Barnbrook, has said that the decision taken by B&D council will be appealed.”
Richard Barnbrook did lie about this. But we mustnâ€™t forget that there are actually people in Barking and Dagenham who carry blades, and think nothing of posing for pictures with them.
(Thanks once again to 5cc for the image)
14th September, 2009
And well done to him:
“I’ve gone 59 years without sharing a platform with a fascist, and I don’t intend to start doing it now,” he told yesterday’s BBC Politics Show after being asked by presenter Jon Sopel if there was any circumstances in which he would change his mind.
The Labour party has made clear that no minister will be forced to debate with the BNP, but it is reconsidering its customary ban on sharing a platform in the light of the BBC’s invite to the BNP following their success in the European elections. I wonder how many other cabinet ministers will go down the same road?
10th September, 2009
The BNP are championing a man who revolted against the Anglo-Saxons (i.e. the English):
“Clothing depicting the last native Prince of Wales are on sale through the BNPâ€™s merchandising website Excalibur, accompanied by the slogan, â€œBritish By Birth, Welsh by the Grace of Godâ€ across the front. Costing Â£10, the T-shirts are for sale alongside other items of clothing as part of the partyâ€™s â€œBritish Heroesâ€ range, which includes merchandise adorned with the faces of Richard the Lionheart and Horatio Nelson.
Glyndr, who led the historic uprising against the English rule of Wales, was proclaimed the last native Prince of Wales on September 16, 1400. The image used on the BNP T-shirts is taken from a statue of Owain Glyndwr on a horse that was presented to the people of Corwen, Denbighshire, in September 2007, the town where Glyndr was born.”
Given that Owain Glyndwr was opposed to English rule in Wales, will the BNP now support Welsh independence? The BNP’s use of the Welsh prince as a hero makes about as much sense as the BNP praising Nehru.
It is unclear what the BNP’s take on history is. At times it appears to be a very English nationalism, at other times the focus is on ‘shared’ British or European heritage. Some BNPers are very Christian, others worship Norse gods. I don’t think they have a unified view of history beyond the notion that non-whites are foreigners. They struggle to reconcile a British nationalism based on racial purity with the fact that most Britons are of immigrant stock in some shape or form.
8th September, 2009
Author and ex-SAS man Andy McNab has attacked the BNP for auctioning off signed copies on his books, which might have given the impression that he was backing the BNP. As Mr. McNab said:
“”When someone called me to say that the BNP was using one of my books in a publicity stunt, I was sick to the stomach. I served with men of all colours and from many nationalities. They were all equal to me. Thatâ€™s what the army teaches you.
Nick Griffin thinks differently. He thinks the British Army should be for whites-only. He thinks heroes like Johnson Beharry, our only living VC, should be sent back to Grenada. He doesnâ€™t understand that what makes the British Army great, and what makes this country great.”"
(Hat-Tip: A number of readers who sent this in)
6th September, 2009
Now the Guardian’s diary editor wants panelists on Question Time to interrogate Nick Griffin:
“What matters now is that the BBC, having made its ruling, subjects the party and Griffin to the proper scrutiny. The BNP, at least the bits of it that matter, wants to be regarded as a legitimate part of the political fabric. It should face the scrutiny that comes with it.
And what that means is no more half baked, poorly prepared interviews, that allow Griffin to continue to present his party as anything other than the racially divisive hate-mongerers that they are. When Alistair Darling or other senior politicians appear on the Today programme or Newsnight, they face rigorous factually based inquisition. When Griffin appears, he is accused of being a racist; he says he isn’t. And that’s about it….
Does Griffin think, as his colleagues in east London appear to do, that local authority care is an unnecessary expense and that vulnerable families might best be housed in caravan parks? What does he make of the motion, apparently prepared for the forthcoming party conference, which suggests single mothers should lose their benefits and risk losing their children if they wear short skirts? So many good questions. Eighty five more, independently prepared on www.pickledpolitics.com.”
Sunny and others have argued that the BNP can’t be defeated by exposing their useless, vicious and contradictory policies. I disagree. You will never convince the hard core racists in the party, but those aren’t our targets. Our targets are the voters who choose the BNP as a protest vote and those who argue that they aren’t really racist: show these swing voters what the BNP really are and you reduce the party to an electorally-irrelevant racist rump. The BNP have got so many votes precisely because they have portrayed themselves as more moderate than parties like the National Front. We need to strip away that mask.
(Questions here (links to all parts at the bottom of the article), BNP responses here and here)
4th September, 2009
Thanks to their European electoral success, the BNP have been invited to appear on Question Time:
“The BBC changed its position after the party won two seats at the European elections. Its share of the national vote at that poll was 6.2%. “They got across a threshold that has given them national representation and that fact will be reflected in the level of coverage they will be given,” said Ric Bailey, the BBCâ€™s chief adviser on politics. “This is not a policy about the BNP. Itâ€™s a policy about impartiality.”
The decision was approved by Mark Byford, the deputy director-general. David Dimbleby, the showâ€™s host, backed the change.”
I think that this a good idea. I have long been a supporter of debating with, and exposing, the BNP. The BNP do best when people don’t challenge their individual policies and instead just shout racist. Other panellists would do well to read eGov’s/Pickled Politics’ 85 Questions for the BNP, as well as the BNP’s responses (here and here). This is an opportunity to show the country while the BNP’s manifesto is both unworkable and extreme.
3rd September, 2009
It’s occurred to other people as well, but I’m really annoyed now that the EHRC didn’t think through their case against the BNP because of it’s whites-only membership rules.
BNP must adapt membership rules or be crushed, says Nick Griffin. You see, he’s out-manoeuvred the EHRC. To his own party he can now say: ‘look guys, I’m sorry but the law is forcing us to change our membership policy‘, knowing that they would not have allowed it otherwise.
But Griffin knows there aren’t going to be that many ethnic minorities who’ll join the BNP. But changing the rules takes away the most obvious and potent symbols that the BNP remains a racist party. If the rules change and Griffin goes on television and declares that he’s not racist, merely standing up for British culture, what can journalists obviously point at to illustrate the party’s racism?
Sure, there are things we can probably point. But pointing out things he’s done in the past can easily be batted away. To the person considering voting for the BNP, the biggest source of stigma has been taken away. And you’re left with a party which is succeeding more and more daily in hiding its origins and true inclinations. This helps Griffin enormously and he knows it – which is why he’s embracing the change quickly. It’s a huge own-goal by the EHRC. Thanks guys.
28th August, 2009
There has been a lot of discussion about the English Defence League, the far-right group with links to the BNP that caused trouble in Luton and Birmingham recently. The EDL has attempted to distance themselves from the BNP, but as this video shows, you can see why people make the connection.
The video is one of a three-part interview with the central command of the EDL, and has them talking about issues like this:
“The main speaker complains that his home town is being taken over by Muslims, who, he claims, have a birth rate of 10 children per family. He says that on occasions of one minute silences in the town â€œany Asiansâ€ will deliberately make noise, and that they yearly celebrate 9/11. He also objects to Muslims â€œinfiltratingâ€ the local council and government, and suggests that they make decisions to close down churches and turn them into mosques, and to ban St. Georgeâ€™s Day parades while allowing extremist events. Further, he alleges that the police arrested protestors from across all the local estates as a strategy in order to discourage further protests, and that the arrests were in the form of raids in which doors were smashed open.”
27th August, 2009
Via Anton Vowl – the Telegraph’s columnist Melanie McDonagh isn’t bothering with racist dog-whistles, it’s all about protecting middle-class whites against the unwashed ethnics from abroad.
The Office for National Statistics suggests that the increase in the population to 61.4 million is mostly attributable to an increase in the birth rate â€“ for the first time in a decade the increase in births has overtaken net immigration as a factor. But the figures don’t suggest that Brits from all classes and communities are merrily procreating to the same extent. More than half the increase is attributable to mothers born outside the UK, and many of those mothers born here will be second generation immigrants.
Oh shit, these brown and black folks are making babies! More than the white folks! We’re all gonna be overrun by darkies in ten years time! Time to emigrate to Spain!
That’s why organisations such as the Optimum Population Trust seem so beside the point, proselytising about how we shouldn’t have more than two children. The people most likely to take their views to heart are the agonised Anglo-Saxon liberals, for whom excess fecundity is never going to be much of a problem in the first place. They don’t seem to cut much ice with the Somali mothers you see in West London.
Oh yeah, if there’s anything worse than black babies, it’s the off-spring of middle-class liberals, who are even more determined to take the UK to hell in a handcart.
In fact this kind of naked racism about black babies has become so common half the time it’s not even worth getting angry about. There is ample evidence that the off-spring of first-generation minorities (like yours truly) become quite integrated within mainstream culture in a sort of hybrid way.
And yet the people spouting this rubbish state they’re not actually being racist it’s just they want to protect their precious heritage.
As someone in the comments of that article states:
Let’s see, you lot buy foreign cars, Chinese-made electronics, holiday in Europe (or further afield), worship Hollywood, dress in designer clothes made by children in India, get Polish people to do your building work, eat foreign food, have Latvian nannies, sleep with Russian call-girls, spend your time running down your own country and then you have the cheek to moan about your cultural identity being lost…
Heh. Spot on. Welcome to modern right-wing wingnuttery – want to enjoy all the benefits of globalisation and free markets but as long as the darkies and their babies are kept out of the country.
25th August, 2009
Inayat Bunglawala, one of the grandees at the Muslim Council of Britain, has had a sensible idea:
“In 2005 a parliamentary committee against antisemitism was established to “confront and defeat antisemitism in this country and beyond”. At a time when anti-Muslim bigotry has become pervasive and is now translating into actual hate crimes, it is surely crucial that a similar committee against Islamophobia is also set up to monitor and help combat anti-Muslim prejudice and discrimination.”
If it performs as well as the committee on anti-Semitism, it could turn out to be very useful. It would be able to highlight incidences of low-level Islamophobia, as well as more shocking cases. Of course it isn’t a panacea, but it would demonstrate to Muslims that the authorities are taking Islamophobia (or Muslimophobia to be more accurate) seriously.
24th August, 2009
This is a guest post by Lucy James from the Quilliam Foundation
Following the BNPâ€™s annual event â€˜Red, White and Blueâ€™ the other weekend, what should have grabbed the headlines (and which was only mentioned in passing was the racism endemic in the event itself.
What in fact grabbed the headlines were the 19 protestors arrested largely for public order offences (4 of whom were charged), and the Â£500,000 policing cost at public expense. Only a few weeks ago, violence had already made the headlines.
Whilst I am by no means undermining the importance of peaceful protest as a legitimate method of getting heard (I do, in fact, attend rallies), if the right-wing extremists remain predominantly challenged by the left-wing extremists, the argument against the BNP gets distorted. In fact, it can serve to bolster the BNPâ€™s message as did the photographs of young Asian men attacking white-protestors during the Birmingham riots. Moderates need to reclaim the upper hand by systematically challenging the BNPâ€™s ideology rather than resorting to violence.
Since about 2006, particularly post-7/7, the BNP has consciously changed their rhetoric from being anti-Asian, -Black and -Jewish, to being ardently anti-Muslim. In a paper that I authored entitled In Defence of British Muslims: A response to BNP racist propaganda (pdf), I therefore took 10 of the key accusations directed against Islam and British Muslims by the BNP and systematically deconstructed them by highlighting their intellectual inconsistencies and factual weaknesses.
28th July, 2009
From the News of the World:
A 12-year-old girl there with her dad (we are protecting her identity) held a golly called Winston over the fire as Coombes “charged” him with “mugging, rape, drug dealing”.
He sneered: “Right Winston, you’re about to get cooked. Anything else to say?
“Says he ain’t a drug dealer. He thinks he’s not black. He’s charged with being black. Now get on there.”
Skinhead Hamilton chipped in: “If he jumps off he’s innocent.” Coombes went on: “He’s guilty, guilty as charged.
“Let’s get a real one – in the town we’ll find one or two. They’ll also be guilty of the heinous crimes I charged him with – may God forgive your horrible soul.” Coombes repeated the charges then added: “He may have appeared innocent to you lot but I’m sure he done lots of things wrong.”
There’s two elements to this: caricaturing black people as muggers and racists, and then of course the incite to violence ‘let’s find a real one’.
The caricaturing has almost become common practice: blacks are constantly implied as being inherently violent – Rod Liddle does it shamelessly in the Sunday Times – and Muslims as secret terrorists or sympathisers. Or that they want to turn Britain into a caliphate.
That link between caricaturing an entire group and incitement to violence is plain to see above. Once you’ve villified and dehumanised a group enough, these people start thinking they’re doing humanity a favour by attacking them. The rise of the BNP has increasingly led to the legitimacy of the view that people should do something about the ‘ethnic problem’ – hence the right of far-right extremism.
15th July, 2009
Edmund Standing, who recently published a report into the BNP’s activities on the internet, now shares some more of his thoughts on the BNP, focusing on their creation of a false image for themselves, and how the media feeds their fantasies:
“The truth is that the BNP hates Muslims because they are predominantly brown skinned. In ‘white nationalist’ ideology, everything ultimately boils down to an obsession with race.
When it comes to Islam, the BNP hasn’t exactly had to work hard to whip up anti-Muslim bigotry and paranoia about ‘Islamification’. Looking at the scare stories on its website’s news section, a large number of them are drawn straight from mainstream media sources…
So, when the BNP claimed in its European election material that it would ‘ensure that British troops are not abused on the streets of our cities by Muslims’, it was in particular cynically appealing to the concerns of those who get the majority of their understanding of the world from reading simplistic and hyped up tabloid stories.”
(Hat-Tip: Shamit at eGov)
14th July, 2009
So the oxymoronically named ‘Centre for Social Cohesion’ has published a report on the BNP (pdf), which Rumbold mentions below. It’s nice the British neo-cons are paying some attention to white-extremism but the report makes one glaring omission. Spotted it yet?
The report plenty of activity by the BNP on messageboards and blogs. It lists some vile comments made by BNP supporters and is rather obsessed by the gimp a.k.a. Lee Barnes. The report’s authors could also have spent their time better transcribing outrageous things Nick Griffin has said in speeches littered all over YouTube, rather than that of some anonymous commenters on random blogs. In fact I think Pickled Politics/eGov did a better job in attacking the BNP with our 85 questions directed at the BNP.
But that isn’t my main beef. What’s glaringly omitted from the report is an analysis of how the BNP has in recent years shifted its strategy from outright racism and anti-semitism to attacking Muslims and Islam generally. The report briefly mentions Muslims in the intro and lists some comments that include the word Muslim, but its conclusion doesn’t even mention anti-Muslim bigotry. It avoids the topic despite the fact Nick Griffin went on the record to say it was politically better for the BNP to focus on Muslims rather than Jews or racism.
Now, why would a report by the CSC avoid talking about the one subject that the BNP constantly campaigns on now? Why ignore it when it is repeatedly mentioned in its literature and by its supporters online (much more than other enemies)?
9th July, 2009
It is fair to say that we on Pickled Politics are not novices when it comes to BNP internet warriors. Although we won’t link to them, the fascist forum Stormfront has been discussing Pickled Politics/eGov’s questions and Lee John Barnes’ responses on behalf of the BNP. Few support his decision to respond, and many took to calling him “Jew Boy”.
Thanks to Edmund Standing of Harry’s Place, we now have an even more comprehensive idea of how BNP members conduct themselves on the internet, after his report for the Centre for Social Cohesion was published. I haven’t read through the whole piece yet, but below is the executive summary. Though it contains no shocking revelations, the report, like our ’85 Questions’, is part of the process by which the BNP is exposed for what it really is. The BNP has gained greatly from the main parties and other noted commentators merely yelling ‘racist’ at them, telling everyone not to vote for them, then running away. It makes the BNP’s arguments look powerful and allows them to adopt a faux-victim mentality. We, Harry’s Place, Richard Bartholomew, The Spittoon and others want to keep them squirming under the spotlight.
Incredible comment from Nick Griffin:
“But the only measure, sooner or later, which is going to stop immigration and stop large numbers of sub-Saharan Africans dying on the way to get over here is to get very tough with those coming over. Frankly, they need to sink several of those boats. Anyone coming up with measures like that, we’ll support, but anything which is there as a ‘oh, we need to do something about it’ but in the end doing something about it means bringing them into Europe we will oppose.”
Of course it’s not incredible that this is what him and his ilk are like, we know how vile these people are. The incredible thing is how fast the media friendly mask has slipped. Perhaps now journalists will start asking some real questions of these people? Maybe those who voted for them would like to reflect on the fact that they’ve endorsed a party that condones murdering innocent civilians?
If you believe Nick Griffin should be fought please join the Hope Not Hate campaign, contribute what you can whether it’s time, money or signing petitions. Every effort we make culminates into a greater effect. We’ve beaten back the Nazi’s before, we can do it again.
The BNP have admitted to not having enough allies to form a bloc within the European Parliament. It would take a heart of stone not to laugh:
“As an “unattached” party outside a European political grouping, the BNP’s two MEPs will lose out on extra funding worth Â£1 million a year, will not get a party office or administrative staff, and will not possess the right to vote on the parliament’s main committees.
The parliament’s rules state that at least 25 MEPs from seven different member states are required to form a new bloc.”
And why were they unable to form this group?
“Mr Griffin, along with his colleague Andrew Brons, had been in talks with Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party; France’s National Front; Belgium’s Vlaams Belang and Ataka, the nationalist Bulgarian party.
Their plans to forge links with other parties, such as Italy’s Northern League, failed because other Right-wing groupings feared that the BNP’s controversial reputation would lead to isolation.”
So even parties that want to sink boatloads of immigrants or contain fascist paramilitaries think the BNP are a bit too racist.
7th July, 2009
Amrit sent me the link to this today on Vice Magazine’s blog – Babes of the BNP. It is seriously funny and, unbelievably, not a piss-take apparently.
Anyway, Amrit adds on her blog:
The irony – and hypocrisy – of allying oneself to a rabidly anti-immigrant party, whilst hoping to become an immigrant oneself, is particularly rich. It’s hard not to feel really quite sorry for these women. I would mock them, but they seem genuinely deluded, and not quite as self-important as, say, the largely male BNP trolls now popping up like Whac-a-Moles on PP.
That said, I’m not endorsing many of the vile and sexist comments posted underneath that article. These girls look young and deluded. Echoing what Amrit says, they deserve pity more than scorn. But these are the kind the BNP attract.
I’ve been talking about the rise of far-right militancy on this blog a few times, and yet the national media has barely made this into a story worth talking about in detail. This weekend the Sunday Times reported:
A network of suspected far-right extremists with access to 300 weapons and 80 bombs has been uncovered by counter-terrorism detectives.
Thirty-two people have been questioned in a police operation that raises the prospect of a right-wing bombing campaign against mosques. Police are said to have recovered a British National party membership card and other right-wing literature during a raid on the home of one suspect charged under the Terrorism Act.
This is really what the BNP are about. Despite all the media hype about how housing shortages has driven people to the BNP, now exposed as a lie (see Rumbold’s post below), what the right-wing press don’t want to talk about is that there are still large numbers of far-right nutters in this country who want any excuse to attack minorities.
The election of the BNP MEPs has only given legitimacy to the notion that it’s now acceptable to echo what the BNP is saying. Hence, the increasing activity of these people.
Yesterday, the Guardian reported:
Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command fears that right-wing extremists will stage a deadly terrorist attack in Britain to try to stoke racial tensions, the Guardian has learned. Senior officers say it will be a “spectacular” that is designed to kill. The counter-terrorism unit has redeployed officers to increase its monitoring of the extreme right’s potential to stage attacks.
What we won’t see is a rash of columnists pointing out that the right-wing media has worked up these nutters into such a frenzy through their lies that they’re now willing to go out on killing sprees. What we are more likely to see are columnists solemnly claiming that increasing immigration has led to this extremism, so blame people coming into the country.
6th July, 2009
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has confirmed that there is no evidence to support the idea that immigrants are getting preferential treatment when it comes to the allocation of council housing:
“The report – based on figures from the 2007 Labour Force Survey – was carried out by the centre-left Institute for Public Policy Research think tank.
According to the study, 64% of people who arrived in the UK within the last five years live in private rented accommodation. Just 11% of new arrivals get help with housing – almost all of them asylum seekers.
But after five years, when many immigrants are able to get residency and become entitled to government help, one in six live in social housing – exactly the same proportion as those who were born in Britain.”
I hope that this has an impact, as it is being widely reported.
24th June, 2009
Recently eGov sent the BNP a list of the â€˜85 Questionsâ€™. We have now received an answer to the next set of questions. The response was written by Lee John Barnes, a member of the BNPâ€™s legal affairsâ€™ team and a well-known blogger. Below his unedited response, a number of us have printed our collective reaction to his answers:
Social and legal impact of a BNP government
Q. Exactly how much of Britainâ€™s current GDP, in terms of gross, net, and overall percentage figures, is a result of the non-white British population?
A – Who knows. Anyone who believes any of the bullshit pumped out by the present Labour government concerning any statistics related to immigration or immigration linked issues is an idiot. Neither the government nor the politically compromised public institutions who generate such statistics related to the effects of immigration on our economy can be trusted. Those that accept any such figures as either correct or partially correct from the government or the various QUANGOâ€™s and civil service institutions it has politicised are the sort of people who respond to e mails from the â€˜relativesâ€™ of deposed ex-African presidents who have ten million dollars in the bank and they will send it you if you merely provide them with a ten thousand pound bridging loan.
23rd June, 2009
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?
22nd June, 2009
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 Commissionâ€™s concerns about the BNPâ€™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 BNPâ€™s constitution and membership criteria may discriminate on the grounds of race and colour, contrary to the Race Relations Act. The partyâ€™s membership criteria appear to restrict membership to those within what the BNP regards as particular â€œethnic groupsâ€ 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.
20th June, 2009
Recently eGov sent the BNP a list of the ’85 Questions’. We have now received an answer to the first twenty questions, while the other questions remain unanswered, with no indication of when they will be. The response was written by Lee John Barnes, a member of the BNPâ€™s legal affairsâ€™ team and a well-known blogger. Below his unedited response, a number of us have printed our collective reaction to his answers:
more recent posts » — « previous posts
I’m a bit late to this of course, but this comment by Daniel Davies on Crooked Timber (via Don Paskini) is worth highlighting:
As Iâ€™ve noted before, thereâ€™s a Laffer Curve implicit here. If nobody ever egged Nick Griffin, then heâ€™d never get egged, which I presume nobody wants. On the other hand, if he was egged every single time he went out, then heâ€™d never leave his house â€“ result, no eggings. But I really donâ€™t believe that weâ€™re on the right hand side of that Laffer Curve, not yet.
And in this particular case, the egging itself is actually a very important speech act and a significant contribution to our national debate. Based on the fact that they got two MEPs elected, non-white British citizens might justifiably be looking with suspicion at their white neighbours today, thinking that a significant proportion of us were secretly harbouring fascist sympathies.
And as a commenter notes right underneath that blog post: “As I recall, the fascists didnâ€™t like it when people chucked bricks at them back in 1936; Mosleyâ€™s Blackshirts didnâ€™t gain political support after that, they lost it.”
So frankly, I can’t say I have I did that much hand-wringing over Nick Griffin’s pelting. It is our democratic right to signal disgust at fascists and the pelting didn’t go completely over-board. Though I would probably draw the line at Unite Against Fascism basically stalking the guy and trying this at every possible event.