Sunday, 19 April 2009

Taking the BNP seriously

By Edmund Standing, cross-posted with Harry's Place

What the BNP’s ‘modernisation’ reveals about modern Britain

The BNP’s rebranding strategy reveals something very interesting about Britain, and white British people in particular. For years, by promoting ‘racial nationalism’, the BNP remained an utterly marginal organisation, largely attracting hardcore racists, skinheads, and social misfits. The fact that the BNP now feels the need to tell its activists to cover skinhead haircuts, to not make extreme statements, to avoid any violent rhetoric or acts, and to appear ‘normal’ and ‘respectable’ clearly demonstrates firstly that there are still plenty of extremists in the BNP, but also shows the extent to which Britain has changed - the vast majority of Britons want nothing to do with racist bigots and do not want to be associated with a party that represents hatred. It is also interesting that, as with other far-right groups, as well as with Islamist and pro-Jihadist organisations, the BNP is attempting to tap into the widespread feelings of alienation and atomisation felt by many in a society that is perceived to have poor social cohesion and to lack a sense of ‘old fashioned’ community. The BNP’s activists’ handbook reportedly states:

Millions of people live very lonely and isolated lives. The decline of the family and the break-up of communities mean there is a big gap in [their] lives. Filling that gap, giving people an ‘alternative extended family’, is the most powerful recruiting tool.

Note, therefore, that appeals to racist sentiment are seen as far less likely to succeed than manipulatively offering a superficial form of community and family. The ‘modern’ BNP seeks to appeal to the many people who feel isolated, not just on a personal level, but also detached from a political process that is seen to favour the views and interests of elite groups of politicians and big business, as well as minority groups and foreign workers at the expense of the bulk of the population. When people find themselves agreeing with the BNP now, it is far more likely they fear social degeneration and the marginalisation of ordinary people’s views than that they subscribe to pseudo-scientific racial ideologies or want to see every non-white person in Britain forcibly shipped off to their ‘ancestral lands’. The BNP’s leadership sees this - they know full well after years in the wilderness promoting ‘white nationalism’ and loony ideas such as Holocaust denial and Jewish conspiracy theories (step forward Mr Nick Griffin), which got them nowhere electorally, that they now have to project an image of populist patriotism and opposition to migrants undercutting Britons or minority religious groups (in particular Muslims) being pandered to while white Britons are ignored.

‘White Nationalism’ - a dying and unworkable ideology

At this point, it is worth considering the other parties and groups of the far-right in Britain, who still preach to varying degrees a Nazi-esque racial ideology, in order to demonstrate quite how alien such views are to the vast bulk of British people, and how hard line far-right views are completely dead in the water.

Take the National Front, for example. Once a fairly large organisation (back in the ’70s and ’80s), the NF is now a shadow of its former self, fielding few candidates in elections and gaining a pathetic number of votes when it does so. Even today, the NF still has as one of its key policies the mass repatriation of non-whites from Britain and the creation of a white racial State. According to the NF website:

[T]he National Front would halt all non-white immigration into Britain and introduce a policy of phased and humane repatriation of all coloured people currently resident here. Such a policy would be expected to extend over 10-15 years and its completion would thus depend on the recurrent election of successive NF governments.

However, the NF now realises how implausible and hard to sell this proposal would be:

Repatriation, is of course the most difficult of all political issues, a hard sell even to an open minded population. But almost impossible to justify to a population who have been brainwashed from their earliest years to believe that foreigners have as much right to live in Britain, as native Britons.

The National Front does intend to repatriate, as many as possible to their original countries, this will takes many years to do. Hopefully many can be encouraged to leave voluntarily.

Despite recognising how such a policy would be ‘almost impossible to justify’, they still believe such an idea could be workable and clearly imply that people would be forced out regardless of their wishes.

The NF is not alone in promoting this policy. The British People’s Party (a proud member of the World Union of National Socialists and Aryan Unity) proposes ‘[t]he ending of all non-European immigration and the introduction of a compulsory, phased, humane policy of repatriation’.

The England First Party claims it would ‘[s]top all further immigration and start a programme of voluntary repatriation of non-European immigrants back to their lands of ancestral origin’. However, how ‘voluntary’ such a programme would be is called into question by their plan for ‘[t]he abolition of all non-European faiths and religions along with the removal of all their mosques and temples’ (they apparently see Christianity as a ‘European’ religion).

The British First Party also promotes repatriation and is a front group for the November 9th Society, which states ‘[t]here’s black or brown or yellow, but to be white in Britain is our stand. The answer is clear, we must throw them from our land’. The N9S website proclaims:

We class ourselves as National Socialist Priests, if you like. The coming times will be hard, not every one will have the strength, nor the courage to take the path we have. We believe it is our sacred duty to carry on the work of Adolf Hitler, whilst remembering that the glorious Third Reich cannot be emulated. The N9s is a British National Socialist Movement that is guided by the immortal teachings of Adolf Hitler.

An 2006 undercover investigation of the N9S by a Jewish Chronicle journalist found them to be a bunch of thugs who engage in violent attacks and hurl racist insults in the streets. An unsurprisingly twisted bunch, the group tries to recruit alienated teenagers and sought new members by hanging around outside a shelter for abused children. So desperate is the group to make up numbers they even (despite nominally supporting a Nazi eugenics philosophy) count a physically and mentally disabled youth among their members.

Other groups promoting Nazi fetishism include Combat 18/Blood & Honour, the Racial Volunteer Force, and the British Freedom Fighters. Even these cranks recognise the reality of modern Britain.

C18, for example, admits that ‘[n]o doubt the odds are against us, and a bookmaker would probably not touch us unless someone put a gun to his head’ and that ‘the situation is indeed desperate’. Their answer? Violence:

As warriors of the political underground we shall thrive on anarchy and chaos! If anybody reading this sitll believes in the phrase of “law and order”, they have understood absolutely nothing and are of absolutely no value to us or our race. The “law” is the Talmudic law and the “order” is the order of ZOG’s zombies - a state of total control through total mind death.

The Racial Volunteer Force states that ‘[t]ime grows short for our Race’ and that it ‘does not believe that ZOG will ever let us win our fight by the use of the so called Democratic system’. Again, violence is seen as some sort of solution.

No longer the swaggering self-confident drum beaters and flag wavers of past decades, the hardcore supporters of organised white racism in Britain are now a ghettoised bunch of infighting sociopathic failures, who know in their hearts that they have no real chance of ever seeing their fantasies become a reality.

The changing face of modern Britain

Britain has changed dramatically since the early days of the National Front, and even the neo-Nazis know it (hence, of course, the BNP’s major rebranding effort in recent years). A bitter comment from the English National Resistance website is very telling of just how far modern Britain has moved on:

Racial mixing is becoming more trendy and widespread especially in the big cities , on any given day you will have the misfortune of seeing some white chav woman with an IQ of about 75 walking down the street hand in hand with a big black negro and more noticably lately white men walking around the city with their ‘prize’ african or chinese woman. So many white girls (and boys) are now going with blacks and producing bastard offspring which do not belong to any race . You seriously have to ask yourself the question what if this continues and gets worse as it is doing , then in 100 years will my great-grand children be white ? who will your children reproduce with ?

Despite the crude way in which the ENR present the changing racial makeup of Britain today, this is not mere paranoid ranting. Earlier this year, Lucinda Platt of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at Essex University published a report that examined the growing phenomenon of mixed race relationships in Britain, which found:

One in 10 children in the UK now lives in a mixed-race family … Mixed-race relationships are now so common that some ethnic groups - starting with African-Caribbean - will virtually disappear, the research states. Young people are six times more likely to be mixed-race as adults … Half of all men in Britain who have Caribbean heritage and are in a relationship already have partners of a different race. The same is true of one in five black African men, one in 10 Indian men and women and two out of five Chinese women. One in five children belongs to an ethnic minority - a far higher proportion than among the adult population … Over the past 14 years the number of children of Caribbean heritage with one white parent has risen from 39% to 49%. Among the Indian population it has increased from 3% to 11%, for Pakistanis from 1% to 4%, and for Chinese from 15% to 35%.

Platt predicts that this is a trend that is set to continue:

Early research carried out by the Turquoise Association found that the reason Caribbean men and women were most likely to enter mixed-race relationships was because they had been settled in Britain the longest. Platt agreed, and argued that other groups - from black African to Chinese and Indian - were therefore likely to follow suit in time.


The shift has been most marked for the Caribbean population, but Platt argued that others would move in the same direction the longer they stayed in Britain. In almost all minority groups, people born in the UK were more likely to have relationships with people of different races.

These facts leave any hope of mass ‘repatriation’ in tatters - after all, how can people born in Britain be repatriated anywhere, and where exactly would a child with a white British parent and a black British parent be sent ‘back’ to? And what about a child with one ethnic minority grandparent? In order to decide who was white and who wasn’t there would have to be a return to the racial categorisation notions and policies last seen in the Third Reich. Then there’s the problem that decades worth of television, films, popular music, literature, sporting achievements, and so on, would have to be erased in order to ‘purify’ British society and culture. After all, you can’t very well ’send back’ all non-white British people but continue to enjoy the fruits of their former presence. Essentially, over forty years of British history would have to be presented in an entirely negative light and culture would have to be ‘ethnically cleansed’ to remove all evidence that there ever was a non-white presence in Britain. Anyone who sees this idea as workable is obviously severely deluded and quite possibly pathological.

For many people in Britain today (especially readers of certain tabloids), Islam is seen to represent a major colonising threat - but the primary objection most people have to the growing visibility of Islam in Britain seems largely to be based around fears of Britons’ freedoms being eroded by a totalitarian ideology espoused by people who refuse to integrate. The problem is not largely seen as one of race, but belief and attitude (of course, the two are sometimes conflated - and the BNP tries very hard to do this). Some on the far-right are all too aware of this. For them, the primary issue is race, and the Final Conflict blog, which represents the remnants of the International Third Position (a Fascist group which once counted Nick Griffin among its leading lights), makes this very clear. Telling its readers not to get over excited by Jihadist attention seekers such as Anjem Choudary’s crew, Final Conflict reminds its readers who the real enemies are:

We have more to fear from the Zionists who embroil us in foreign wars and the Muslims, Sikhs, Jews and African Christians who come here and integrate - than we ever will from a handful of hotheads.

And again:

Even if we look at the barbed issue of Islam, we have to ask who’s more of a threat: the “mad mullahs” who are promoted by a Zionist media eager for an eternal bogeyman, backed up by the CIA’s “Al Qaeda” myth; or the Asians (Muslim, but also Sikh, Hindu etc.) who wish to integrate.

The biggest threat from coloured immigration comes from the move to a coffee-coloured secularised State, something that Communists push for, something the Capitalists like (hey - we’re all consumers!) and something that the Masons approve of as they try to destroy the last vestiges of Christianity.

This melting pot, faggot-ambivalent, ecumenical, social controlling, Big Business led, Masonic State, where the only enemy is “hatred” and “extremism” is our nightmare.

FC is well aware that many immigrants do want to integrate into British society and that more importantly they largely succeed, and this is a ‘nightmare’ from the racist perspective it promotes. For FC and the other racist cultic groupings on the far-right, the presence of a Sir Trevor McDonald or a Dame Kelly Holmes in Britain is a matter of disgust. Fortunately for us, the vast bulk of the British population thinks otherwise, as the far-right knows all too well.

The BNP and ‘Trojan horse’ racism

The reality of many of the old crowd in the BNP is that they feel the same way as Final Conflict and the other social misfits and cranks detailed above. Back before he decided to put on a ‘moderate’ face, the current BNP leader, when asked if his party would ‘force’ all non-whites to leave Britain ‘whether they were born here or not’, answered, ‘Ultimately, yes’.

That underneath the apparent changes in the BNP’s focus and message there is still a strong undercurrent of ideological racism is clear both from the party’s Constitution and the statements and associations of many of its members and supporters online (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, for example).

The current BNP Constitution states that membership of the party is open only to those of ‘the indigenous Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Norse folk communities of Britain and those we regard as closely related and ethnically assimilated or assimilable aboriginal members of the European race also resident in Britain’ and that the BNP ‘is wholly opposed to any form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples’. In stating this, the BNP is admitting that it still advocates ‘white nationalist’ - i.e. explicitly racist - conceptions of who can and can’t be classed as British and that it desires as an interim measure a kind of Apartheid ideology in which all mingling of white Britons with non-white Britons is minimalised.

The party’s long term goals are also clearly laid out in its Constitution, where we read that the BNP is ‘committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent, the overwhelmingly white makeup of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948′. Of course, what this would mean in practice is mass deportations and the introduction of Nazi-style racial laws. One can safely assume, for example, that the kind of ‘race mixing’ that is now increasingly common in Britain would have to be put to an end through legislation and punitive measures, in order to prevent any further ‘form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples’.

In so far as this ideology remains a part of the BNP’s programme, the BNP’s leadership remains almost as delusional as the leadership of any other far-right party or group. However, unlike the NF and co who continue to openly promote a completely unworkable racist ideology, the BNP in recent years has sought to greatly play down the ideological racism that lies at its core and to re-make itself as a party for ordinary patriotic British people who are tired of ‘political correctness’, out of touch political and financial elites, and seemingly unchecked immigration. Looking at the BNP’s leaflets, the racial ideology is now sidelined in favour of Daily Express and Daily Mail style material.

For example, a ‘British Jobs For British Workers’ leaflet states:

NO to migrant workers
NO to factory closures
NO to sending British jobs abroad
YES to putting British workers first!

According to the leaflet, the first three are ‘Labour’s three pronged attack on British jobs’, while the BNP will provide the solution.

Another leaflet, this time on Islam, states:

Nearly half of all Muslims admit to wanting to see Sharia Law forced onto Britain. This would make the Muslim Koran the source of all law. Among other things it bans women from going out in public without wearing headscarves and fully covering their bodies. It turns women and non-believers into second class citizens; forbids alcohol and replaces democracy with the rule of fanatical Imams and Mullahs.

Only the British National Party speaks out against both Muslim extremist terrorism and the threat that ‘mainstream’ Islam poses to our British culture, heritage and ways of life. We are not against individual Muslims, who should not be blamed for the attitudes taught by their religion. We don’t want to force the Islamic world to ‘Westernise’, but we aren’t prepared to stand back and watch as Britain drifts into being an Islamic republic.

The first leaflet doesn’t state who the BNP defines as British workers (the reality is only white Britons) and the second leaflet even states that the party doesn’t oppose ‘individual Muslims’ (it wants to deport them all, in reality).

Based purely on the leaflets they hand out, it’s not hard to see why the BNP has managed to considerably raise its level of support in recent years. After all, who would be opposed to keeping factories open and improving employment levels in Britain? And who, except a tiny fringe, would like to see Britain become an Islamic dictatorship in which most Britons are second class citizens and alcohol is banned? The reality behind virtually every issue raised by the BNP is of course far more complex than how it is presented by them. In the case of Islam, for example, it is utterly absurd to suggest that Britain is on the verge of being over-run by ‘fanatical Imams and Mullahs’, despite the problems in recent years with some Islamist groups.

The problem with the BNP today is that it is increasingly becoming slippery and resourceful in its approach to promoting racism, and is ‘playing to the crowd’ by parroting the kind of paranoid and hyperbolic material seen all too often these days in certain sections of the British media, as well as picking up on genuine social and economic problems and twisting them to suit its purposes. The underlying beliefs remain the same - racism, bigotry, and scapegoating - but the BNP is now successfully making use of a variety of Trojan horse issues to mask its true ideological agenda.

What needs to be done

If, you might ask, ‘white nationalism’ is an unworkable ideology and doomed to failure, and if the BNP still essentially represents this ideology, then why worry about the BNP at all? Despite the fact that the BNP will never win, will never make up a government, and will never see its dreams of mass deportations come to fruition, there are two very good reasons for being concerned about its growth.

Firstly, there is the fact that the BNP wants to divide communities, play up tension that may already exist, and create problems even where none actually exist, all in order to foment the racial and religious conflict that they see as key to their future success.

Secondly, there is clearly something profoundly wrong in modern Britain when a party like the BNP starts picking up support and credibility. Even though the BNP now seeks to appear relatively ‘moderate’ in order to attract mainstream voters, the fact that its simplistic rhetoric holds appeal for normal people (not just the skinhead crowd of old) should act as a serious wake-up call to the major parties.

In terms of solutions, there are two approaches that are needed:

Firstly, we need people from a wide variety of backgrounds and political persuasions to unite in getting the facts out there - both about the BNP’s true agenda and about its distortion and misrepresentation of social and political issues.

Secondly, the major parties need to take the rise of the BNP seriously. The vast majority of British people have no time at all for racism and extremism, but many people have concerns about a variety of complex and thorny issues - the economy, employment, the EU, globalisation, immigration, migrant workers, Islam, social cohesion, law and order, and so on. If increasing numbers of hard working and ‘ordinary’ Brits are turning to the BNP for answers and solutions to major issues, and if many people feel that the major parties are self-serving, out of touch, elitist, and unrealistic, then the major parties need to wake up and find out exactly why it is that people are turning to the BNP or giving up on caring about voting at all. It is simply not enough to make the usual statements about what a bad bunch the BNP are and how no decent person should support racism - it will largely fall on deaf ears. If the major parties don’t want people voting for the BNP they had better get on with addressing their concerns.


Anonymous said...

If The British National Party is dead in the water. Then why are they doing so well?

Epping Forest BNP Watch said...

Try reading the article to the end and then comment.