Thursday, 15 October 2009

Thanks but no thanks, Mr Griffin

I may stand on the historic threshold of acquiring the world's most useless right.

The BNP is set to revise its constitution so that it would have to admit black, Asian and mixed race Brits as members.

Don't all rush at once.

Though the BNP often claims to have modernised into a non-racist party, this could hardly be a more reluctant 'clause four moment', brought about by the Equality Commission's legal challenge.

I think that a rather better argument would be that the BNP should not be allowed to use the word "British" in their party name.

You could call it the "you can't be British if you'd have been cheering on the wrong side in the second world war" amendment.

(Mark Collett, BNP head of publicity, recently given the ludicrously soft and unprofessional interview on Radio 1 Newsbeat, knows which side he would have been on, having previously featured on Channel 4's "Young, Nazi and Proud" programme in praise of Hitler).

Perhaps the Electoral Commission could look into that one, though the Trade Descriptions Act ought to cover it too.

For the argument that the BNP is deeply unBritish and fundamentally opposed to British political traditions and values has been set out by Nick Griffin himself.

He said so pretty explicitly in 1997, setting out his real views to an undercover Cook Report reporter, because he thought he was talking to the French NF.

'Britain does not have the tradition of intellectual fascism which is such an important factor in many other countries. While I do have a number of proposals to help rectify this deficiency, the truth is that this is a handicap which we can never overcome completely.'

As Andrew Anthony set out in his Observer profile and interview in 2002, the broadcast of those comments helped to convince Griffin of the need for a more 'respectable' far right party.

But there has never been any doubt that the aim remains to pursue those same neo-fascist and unBritish ends.

Again, he set out the argument very clearly to David Duke and his White Nationalist KKK supporters at a private Texas meeting in 2000.

There’s a difference between selling out your ideas and selling your ideas. The British National Party isn’t about selling out its ideas – which are your ideas too – but we are determined now to sell them. That means to use saleable words, basically …freedom, security, identity, democracy. Nobody can criticise them. Nobody can come at you and attack you on those ideas.

They are saleable. Perhaps one day by being rather more subtle we have got ourselves in a position where we control the British Broadcasting media, then perhaps one day the British people will change their minds, and say that every last one of them must go. Perhaps they will one day.

But if you hold that out as your sole aim to start with, you’re going to get absolutely nowhere. So, instead of talking about racial purity we talk about identity.”

Yet it seems that even the BNP's well-trained salesmen can often forget what the "we're not racist" line is, as when BNP spokesman Chris Roberts said today:

"If we want to be in the electoral process, which we do, and we are being forced by the establishment to change our rules then we are going to have to change them. But the fundamental beliefs of our party and our core principles will never change."

Still, the party's finest scientific minds remain committed to uncovering that elusive British gene that people like me lack. As the website tells us:

To be truly British one has to have a British genotype, as well as to have fully adopted British culture. Blacks and Asians born here are legally British and should be treated as such, but they are not genetically British.

Sorry, Mr Griffin, but you can't really get less British than that.

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