Wednesday, November 19, 2008

BNP membership

Aside from some of the weirdness identified by Cloud last night, there are a range of things that strike me about the current BNP membership list row.

1) Nick Griffin has stated that the person they believe leaked the document was "one of the hard-liners I'd inherited from my predecessor who didn't like the direction the party was going, regarding us as too moderate"

-- how bloody worrying is it that the current BNP is actually a moderate (and by implication therefore perfectly reasonable) party? I know it's all a scale and that in the past there really were some seriously barking fascists in the party, but I'm not convinced they can't still be defined as fascists. In my book, that doesn't mark you out as a good thing.
2) The BNP describes it only as "ironic" that they are using the Human Rights Act to defend their members privacy.

-- No. You cannot have it both ways. If you believe that the European Union, and its legislation, has no business interferring with UK rights and attitudes and actions then surely you are giving such Acts of law legitimacy in your use of them? For whatever purpose you may want to use them? Seeing it as reasonable to use for "privacy" but not for "freedom" also seems like a rather strange distinction.
3) As a legitimate political party, members have a right to keep their political affiliations private....

-- Hmm. I'd personally dispute seeing the BNP as a legitimate political party, but within the scope of them being currently defined as legitimate, fair cop: their members do deserve to be able to keep their affiliations private.

Of course, the fact that some would prefer to keep that affiliation quiet because it demonstrates they hold some fairly dodgy political opinions is another matter. Which brings me to ...
4) Griffin spoke of the intimidation of BNP members being a consequence/part of the "Labour regime". When presented with the statements of the Prison Service about the problems they felt legally existed with serving officers being members (and similarly the Police Force), Griffin added that the restrictions being placed on these groups were themselves arising from the "Labour regime" as "this rule was forced on the Prison Service by the Labour Government". He described the restrictions on membership of (racist) parties like the BNP* within the civil service as akin to those of "Nazi Germany or the liberal totalitarianism of modern Germany".

Moreover, when told that the Association of Chief Police Officers believed that membership or promotion of parties like the BNP "would be incompatible with our duty to promote equality uner the Race Relations Act..." Griffin again disputed that such thinking wasn't imposed by the Labour regime as "parliamentary legislation is passed by the main liberal parties", and therefore reflects the agendas for political correctness etc etc etc...

-- I almost don't know where to begin taking apart this nonsense: its (incipient) racism, the fall-back onto 'political correctness' as the bogey of modern society, the 'they're all against us, the proper white British folk!'... there's just too much to choose from.
5) One small point in his defense (though not for the reasons he implied): YES, Hizb ut-Tahrir doesn't really have any place being tacitly tolerated as a representative group on behalf of Muslims. Sorry, but it really doesn't.

* BNP as a racist party: a definition I note Griffin did not deny


Jane Henry said...

I have to say I think it's crap that all their addresses have been printed online. And equally crap if as reported people have been threatened as a result. I might not like what you say but I reserve your right to say it etc.

BUT... I find the rise of this New Improved Nice BNP very worrying. New Labour has failed so many of its traditional voters they are falling into a gap where they feel their needs and wishes are unheard and unattended to, a gap which that nice friendly Mr Griffin is exploiting, and one which I don't think is helpful.

To me he and his party still represent something deeply unpleasant and for all their posturing about how nationalistic they are, unEnglish. I despise them as much as I despies islamic fundamentalist groups.

So you're right he can't have it both ways - knocking human rights then using the HR act. And if their disaffected employer is so right wing, it doesn't mean that they are now suddenly left wing...

What has always made me laugh about the BNP is that no one in the country can truly truly call themselves English, except possibly the Cornish and the Welsh. We're all a mishmash (I've just discovered I'm a lot more Irish then I knew - my dad always said we were English) and that's what's so great about this country. It doesn't (or shouldn't) matter where you're from. If you're born here, you're English. Whatever your creed or colour.

SwissToni said...

It's dangerous ground for Griffin to be bringing up the nazis, isn't it? Apart from the fact that a good slug of his members will presumably be all too happy to sieg heil with the best of them, am I not able to invoke Godwin's Law and immediately declare that he's forfeited the argument?


SwissToni said...

On a similar topic, did you see that thing about the BNP hailing UKIP as their friends? I was reading someone the other day saying how that, for UKIP, that must be like the really drunk, horrible, smelly tramp in the street telling you that you're just like him.....

tee hee.

MediumRob said...

I think it's okay(ish) for Griffin to argue against the Human Rights Act, but it depends on whether he's an idiot or misinformed. His argument is that the HRA has been imposed by the EU and that it shouldn't have been - I don't know if his argument is with privacy per se. I guess it's something like someone in Iraq objecting to being invaded by the US coalition but not being against democracy. If they're against the US, that doesn't mean they can't avail itself of the democracy imposed.

However, given that the whole point of incorporating the HRA into law was to avoid people having to take recourse to the European courts so much, he's either an idiot or misled.