Question Time fun

I was one of the many people last night slumped over my laptop, trying to debate with my flatmates, drinking some beer, whilst trying desparately to tweet, retweet, stop myself from laughing/shouting/crying, and watch Question Time. I was very cautious not to give it all away for myself by reading certain other members of the twitterati inform their followers of the events taking place outside and in. Though I did catch mention of the UAF protesters who had broken in, or engaged in scuffles with the police, followed by the twitter tag #thisisnothelpful, or something to that effect.

Everyone I had spoken to about it during this time had a favourite bit (mine was when Jack Straw, as Secretary of State for Justice, invited a wriggly, smirking Griffin to tell us the details of his change of heart on matters such as the holocaust, replying in an instant to Griffin that he’d sort the French and German’s out if they kicked up a fuss). And I should imagine a lot of naysayers changed their tune. Jon Snow on the news at 7 mentioned the many people who will boycott the event, but I really felt it wasn’t worth the trouble for them. There were fears that it could mirror Le Pen’s mainstream genesis, but Le Pen seemed to hold the audience hostage by making them give a minutes silence, a real showcase. Griffin is too uncomfotable with his disavowal, and that really came across last night, he was tripping all over himself, and often the real side slipped out, the KKK are non-violent, Europe holds my tongue but when asked to clarify squirms and rolls into a ball etc etc.

The first thing I did when I woke up at 7 this morning was watch it all again with my girlfriend, who couldn’t watch it the first time around. By this time I was able to point out before it happened ‘oh watch this bit, he says David Duke is a non-violent person’ and so on. On the tube to work I shared a nod and a raised eyebrow with a fellow commuter when we both realised we were looking at the same article in the free morning newspaper. And now at work the conversation has not entered anything else (apart from work matters, obviously). I’m even speaking to a colleague of mine who is on his day off over google. Now I’m taking 10 to write a brief entry on it. I’m consumed by the happenings of last night. Because it went so dreadfully wrong. Never have I ever felt so bad, about not feeling bad, about watching someone die on their arse, in front of his friends, family and followers. It was very backfoot telly.

A number of articles have been passed my way as well today, in particular the one of by David Cohen, that elaborated on Griffin’s claim that him and Greer got on fabulously. He’s nutty as a fruitcake. He tried to “beg pals” with her, I think I saw him pat her on the back, the constant faux laughing and uncomfort should normally evoke bum-clenching upon me, but it didn’t, I loved it, I wanted more, 1 hour was not enough and it seemed to go too fast. Watching the debate, and engaging with my own on a Thursday night normally sets me in the right frame for instant sleep, but last night was different.

Against all odds, thank goodness UAF failed to barricade the centre in White city, because that would only benefit Griffin and his claim to victimhood, thank goodness he wasn’t able to answer usual questions of the weeks events like the postal strike, potentially bringing him in agreement with other panellists and getting an unwarranted ish-clap. Thank goodness the audience asked hard questions without booing (too much, or over his pathetic answers), and thank goodness that the only new recruits that that performance will earn are pity recruits.

Lastly, if, as I had wished, an hour had been added, I would have wanted asked the following:

- why were a group of non-white people turned away from a meeting by Barnbrook the murder fabricator, on the day that the BNP were told to allow non-white members?

- why don’t you think global warming is man-made?

- why did Griffin [once] describ[e] British RAF pilots as war criminals and murderers. He wrote an article in The Rune, the antisemitic journal he edited, praising the “courage and sacrifices” of the Waffen-SS soldiers while claiming in another piece that “the Waffen-SS were undoubtedly no worse than the troops of other nations … ” including Britain!

- What is Mark Collett if not the Director of Publicity for the Party, like it says on wikipedia – the source of ALL knowledge!!

The Failed Attempts to Destabilise the BNP

Constant observation of the legal framework is, as much as anything, the acid test with which to judge political concern. 2 days ago Andrew Dismore, MP for Hendon, raised a point of order (that was subsequently dismissed as a point of debate) on motion 52 which excludes Members of the European Parliament from gaining access to the House of Commons through passes, thereby making sure Nick Griffin can not be seen in or around the house.

All the while many established political figures and pressure groups alike pour scorn on the BBC’s decision to allow the BNP free air time on this coming week’s Question Time, it should be reminded of how much the BBC have attempted to forge the perfect oppositional panel to counter every last aspect of Griffin’s bile.

Nick Cohen in his Observer column today has noted the ways in which nervy producers have panicked about how to stage Thursday’s ‘car-crash television’ event. At first the BBC had booked Douglas Murray to oppose him, as he was only so happy to do so, but moments later the BBC cancelled his inclusion as Murray takes firm support for restricted immigration, something Griffin will not put up too much of a fight about, making him appear ‘like he was the voice of the consensus’.

For a voice on the right the BBC settled for Lady Warsi, who may not see eye to eye with Griffin on the subject of defining Britishness, but would certainly be able to share a quip o two on homosexuals, owing to Warsi’s claim that Labour allowed children to be propositioned for homosexual relationships, printed on her campaign material in the run up to the 2005 Dewsbury elections. The BBC, instead of coolly slotting strong voices from both the left and the right to pull the turf from beneath Griffin, they have ended up pulling their hair out and ‘hitting the phones as they began to realise the 1,001 ways the show could go wrong.’

Another recent aim at destabilising the BNP, gone awry, was the pressure put on them to change their all whites constitution by the Equality and Human Rights Commission

But this new core of legality and legitimacy only serves to benefit the BNP. Not only does it serve to obscure the hub of the BNP’s existence – to secure a white only Britain – but it also fragments the moral high ground of the other parities in the UK, who do not oppose non-white membership.

The same, I will suggest, goes for quotas in political parties. For example in Spain the Constitutional Court confirmed a 2007 law obliging political parties to have at least 40% female candidates on their electoral lists. This of course suited the leading Socialist party (PSOE), whose moral compass directed them in this direction anyway, recognising societal gender inequality, and taking the measures themselves to lead the way for a more egalitarian political structure. The point of failure for this measure was when the law obliged the opposition Conservative party (PP) to do the same. They of course appealed against the measure, preferring to maintain a majority of white male candidates to a mixed setting.

Until this law was established, PSOE, on the issue of gender equality, held the moral high ground over PP, and Spanish women who had previously felt vilified against, seeing the socialists as their natural friend and the conservatives as foe, now, because of the forced level of egalitarianism fostered upon PP, are no longer necessarily the nasty party, and have benefited in turn, not through any conviction, but have basked in the success of the socialists.

The same logic can be seen with the BNP now. Through no conviction of their own to redress their racism the authorities have offered them an olive branch of legitimacy, and as Sunny H recently tweeted, ‘Griffin…has always wanted to change the rules’ – for this very reason, not because at heart the BNP are a multi-ethnic, inclusive organisation, but because it takes the burden away from him to get party backing and change their constitution, all under the guise of modernisation (after all, the leaked membership list by a disaffected ex-member is enough to see why Griffin would see such a move as burdensome).

All this created fuss has done nothing at all to destabilise the BNP, in fact it has only further secured their main aim, to seem like a consensus party, when in fact they are an extreme party, employing seemingly successful methods to avert this fact, and being helped along the way by the very people who think they are taking measures to destroy them. Nick Griffin has said it himself on stage with the KKK’s David Duke in 2000:

Once we’re in a position where we control the British broadcasting media, then perhaps one day the British people might change their mind and say, ‘yes, every last one must go’. But if you hold that out as your sole aim to start with, you’re not going to get anywhere. So instead of talking about racial purity, we talk about identity.

The true colours of the BNP, again

Its the year that the far-right party gained 2 MEPs and therefore should be one to celebrate for them, but the BNP are having severe problems regarding friends, namely that they cannot find enough in Europe, and the ones that they do have are a nasty bunch indeed. For me as for most, the BNP are a nasty lot, so it is unlikely to be of much surprise that their friends are too, but it is particularly damaging for them since they for a while now have been trying to appear a more moderate force, family oriented and not connected with the grit of international politics.

Who the BNP makes friends with has come to the fore in the press again as one Preston Wiginton, an American white nationalist, was refused entry to the UK “under laws to keep out “undesirables”.

The Mail also noted that “The BNP’s deputy leader Simon Darby said of Mr Wiginton: ‘He came to last year’s Red, White and Blue and was coming to this year’s but they wouldn’t let him in for some reason. He wasn’t coming to speak.”

Wiginton is an outspoken critic of immigration, has been documented blaming Jews for economic problems, has strong links with ‘murderous’ neo-nazi groups in Russia, and organised BNP leader Nick Griffin’s anti-Islam tour of three US universities at the end of October 2007.

Wiginton is not the first controversial American friend of the BNP’s in recent times. It had been reported that James W. Von Brunn, the neo-nazi who murdered a security guard at the doors of the Washington Holocaust museum in June this year – when he was at the age of 88 – was also a regular attendee at meetings held by the American Friends of the British National Party in Arlington County.

A further strong linking the BNP had with the American far-right was with David Duke, the former leader of the Klu Klux Klan who called President Obama a “visual aid,” which this picture certifies. It was on the stage with Duke that Griffin showed the true colours of his attempts to gain parliamentary influence by appearing to modernise the party, which can be seen on this video;

A list of the International friends of the BNP can be found here that include the usual suspects like France’s National Front. Though, in spite of the links which the party has with a cell known as the European National Front, the BNP, along with the Hungarian anti-gypsy party Jobbik, have failed to make a proper right-wing bloc in Europe (perhaps the Tories have stolen possible links with the creation of the ECR!). A video – here – also shows the party’s attempts at securing unpalatable support in Europe, and who can forget the time that Simon Darby was greeted to fascist salutes in Milan.

It doesn’t get any prettier online. Harry’s Place has created a profile of one BNP supporter on YouTube anda shortlist of his friends which include a supporter of American neo-nazi terrorist David Duke, a Serbian neo-Nazi who approvingly quotes David Lane, and a supporter of the neo-nazi party the British People’s Party – who are committed to the fourteen words.

Any attempts by the BNP to distance itself from groups and individuals that may ruin their attempted image change, is constantly pushed to the backfoot by loyal supporters themselves. The current issue with Preston Wiginton is testimony to this.

BNP’s position on Belfast/Gypsy situation

The BNP website has an article posted yesterday detailing the party’s position on the gypsy situation in Belfast.

It is a reiteration of party leader Nick Griffin’s take, detailed in an email Thursday, opposing all violence, and calling for the police to come down hard on those perpetrators.

Has the BNP condemned the racism?

Not exactly. The article points out the “sickening wave of racist violence”, but seems to only hold contempt for the way in which the situation has escalated. Its obviously a necessary strategy for the BNP to be seen to oppose violence, since details are regularly found regarding BNP members’ violent and criminal past.

Now with relative electoral success, the clean image façade is working for them, so why rock the boat.

It becomes clear that it’s only the unclean image that violence evokes in people that is the strategic problem for Griffin, when he continues in his email;

“the truth of the matter is that as long as multiculturalism and uncontrolled mass immigration continues to be official policy, we will continue to see inter-communal violence and bloodshed like recently in Belfast.”

For him, hatred of the Romanian gypsies may be justified only within the context of perceiving violence as bad image.

Is Gypsy/Traveller relations a new dawn for the BNP?

No of course not, they are on the back foot since there are reports circulating that BNP policies are being used to justify the actions taking place in Ireland. And of course this is embarrassing because the BNP cannot be seen to condone what is going on, if it is to enjoy relative electoral success.

So I guess this is OK, if the BNP cannot be seen to condone violence, perhaps this is OK, after all, aren’t politicians allowed their own personal convictions at home separated from the work life?

Absolutely not the case. The tactic of faux subtlety has come straight from the horse’s mouth, as this video (must see, if you haven’t already) of Griffin speaking in America – alongside former KKK terrorist David Duke – shows.

In his address to the friends of America – one of whom is James Von Brunn who killed a security guard 2 weeks ago – Griffin explains “that the long-term BNP goal of forcibly expelling all non-White Britons from the their homes is, for the time being, best served by “being rather more subtle” – because in the short-term, the BNP being HONEST about their real beliefs would get his party “absolutely nowhere”.

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