Monday, 17 April 2006

25% Would Vote for the BNP?

A survey to be published soon shows that up to 25% of voters would consider voting for the BNP. A Home Office minister dismisses the trend as "protest vote" as if this would make it less dangerous.

It is due to such foolish and ill-considered "protest vote" (as well as low turn out) that Jean-Marie Lepen, leader of the National Front party in France found himself in the run for the second round of the presidential elections in 2001.

A true protest vote would, I think, be one with little political implications other than the defeat of the party voted against. Voting for the BNP and other far right parties is in no way neutral and people should consider this before casting their vote, as I am sure they do. My view is that the results of this survey have much more sinister implications. It is also part of trend in several countries on Europe.
[...] we have Jorg Haider's Freedom Party in Austria, Le Pen's Front National in France, the Vlaams Blok in Belgium, the Pim Fortuyn List in Holland. In the recent Swiss election 26% voted for the People's Party after it covered the country with posters showing a black face and the slogan 'The Swiss are becoming Negroes'.

Although they come from a long tradition in this domain, the BNP strongly defend themselves from being a racist and xenophobic party. Yet their discours is mostly focused on immigration and is articulated in terms of race and cultural invasion.
The BNP was formed in 1982 by John Tyndall and a small group of supporters who had previously been involved in the National Front. It is currently led by Nick Griffin who replaced Tyndall in September 1999 after an acrimonious leadership battle. Griffin is a man with an openly fascist past. Griffin was a member of the National Front until 1989 and in the 90s he was advocating defending rights for whites 'with well-directed boots and fists'. He is a Holocaust denier who attacked David Irving, the historical revisionist writer, for being too soft by admitting that the Nazis may have killed some people. He has now however attempting to modernise the BNP in the hope of greater electoral success.
This should deceive no-one. BNP candidates include people with criminal convictions for violence, terrorism, drug-dealing and football hooliganism. Its youth leader and Yorkshire organiser, Mark Collett, recently had to resign after admitting on television that he admired Hitler and wished he'd lived in Nazi Germany. As the anti-racist magazine Searchlight put it: 'Armed robbers, hooligans and Nazis: The BNP has them all!'
The BNP has indeed moderated its policies. It no longer advocates the compulsory expelling of all black people. It still however claims that white people are second-class citizens in Britain and wishes to ban all immigration and to use the overseas aid budget to persuade black people to leave. Its says all asylum seekers should be expelled because they are all either bogus or ought to be somewhere else. Its slogan is 'Help win Britain back for the British'.
Very recently, the selection in Bradford as candidate of one Sharif Abdel Gawad created a strong controversy within the party, where segregationist elements disregarded the fact that this man is actually white (greek-armenian) and Christian.

This morning on the Today Programme, reacting to the survey, the BNP spokesman, Phil Edwards, said that immigrants bring "tribalism, violence and diseases" to this country and that the traditional Christian British culture (the one upholding the values of neighbourly love, no doubt) was in danger.

Well Mr Edwards, your sweeping generalisations are not only offensive, they are wrong.

As an immigrant to this country, I would probably qualify as an economic migrant (the worst sort apparently). Not only am I healthy (in the six odd years I have spent in this country, I have only been three times to see a GP for very minor things), I pay taxes, generating more wealth for this country. Finally, rather than favouring tribalism (which is incidentaly what your party is doing by pitting ethnic groups against each others), I give my time to charities and volunteer organisations which actually work for and support greater social cohesion through the acceptance of minorities. I am sure that the vast majority of immigrants want nothing else than to contribute to a society that would welcome them and live peacefully with their neighbours.

People like you and your hateful, close-minded, petty party do nothing positive to facilitate a peaciful society where people can live in harmony.

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1 comment:

  1. London has been built on immigration and I agree wholehearedly with your comments.

    It just saddens me that I live in the constituency that secured the BNP with its biggest ever vote in the last general election. Our MP reckons as many as 8 out of 10 local white working class people will vote this time around for this odious party. The questions remain: why has she done nothing to counter their offensive lies and to address the genuine sense of anger and powerlessness here?


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