Sunday, July 20, 2008

No surprise: the BNP is utterly cynical

I've been writing today on the BNP and its recently acquired respect for Israel and Jews more generally. This has meant lots of reading the BNP website - a rather depressing experience - but I turned up one gem of political cynicism from the pen of Nick Griffin himself. A 2007 article called "By their fruits (or lack of them) shall you know them" is basically a reply to American neo-Nazis who have criticised the BNP for being to cosy with 'the Jews'. These US anti-semites parrot some of the Islamist (and indeed "Troofer") conspiracy theories, that terror attacks like 9/11 were really the work of Mossad and represent Israel's continued machinations to get the US west to fight their middle eastern wars for them. Griffin writes that these conspiracies "may or may not contain some elements of truth" but this is not the point:
“May or may not contain some elements of truth,” I said. Is that too cynical for the purists? Then they need to wake up to the rules of real life politics rather than settling for last place every time. It’s better to be a little cynical on this issue and stand a chance of winning than to fret about which bunch of liars are lying in this particular instance and in so doing miss a great political opportunity to surf our message into the public mind on the back of a media tsunami of ‘Islamophobia’.
Everyone accuses politicians of utter cynicism, but normally they at least have the decency to try to hide it. Mr. Griffin rather lays it out for all to read. He then goes on to consider why the British media have become so critical of Islam in recent years - suggesting various explanations before concluding:
Frankly, who cares [why]? We don’t have the media clout ourselves to swim against the tide, but as it’s running in our favour in terms of boosting public rejection of mass immigration and the multi-cult, why should we even want to? Instead of wasting time worrying about it, we should - to mix metaphors - be organising to make hay while the sun shines.
By their own word shall you know them.


KGS said...

That is the reason why the BNP will never be welcome in the ranks of the Counter-Jihad.

By their words AND deeds "shall ou know them.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Interestingly though, they agree with you on virtually everything. What standards do the Counter-Jihad have for parties with difficult pasts? Clearly they have to prove they have truly renounced antisemitism - but how do they do that? They have local councilor who is Jewish and they are actively courting wider Jewish support - particularly in London. They say they support Israel in its fight against it enemies. I know you think it is very different case from say Vlaams Belang, but in 2001 the Vice-President of the then Vlaams Blok suggests that the holocaust was exaggerated and not a organised policy of the Nazis as such. So what have Dewinter and co done to make VB on the right side and could Griffen not do the same? He says he has changed his views - but do you think the BNP needs a new leader?

KGS said...

Let me put it in another way, the BNP has a long, long way to go before I would pay it any attention. Some disagree with me, but as it stands right now, they are not even close to being taken seriously, nor is Jean Le Pen's group .

One standard, is being a solid supporter of the Jewish state of Israel, with words accompanied by actual actions, as well as no tolerance for any Holocaust denial. The BNP are a "Johnny come lately" to the former, and desperately lacking with the latter.

Another point worth mentioning is the BNP's party platform, in that it differs greatly with that of the VB's. As far as I can tell,the BNP are "statists" through and through.

The Brits I deal with all point to the talk within the BNP of nationalizing British industry and a greater role for government, as well as many other "big government" policies that could make it more easily implement racist policies, than the small and limited government that the VB policies promote.

There is way too much fundemental differences between the two for anyone to conclude that "they agree with virtually everything".

Proper safeguards are the watch word here, and a political party that advocates a big role for government (with a very racist past and present) cannot be trusted as allies within the Counter-Jihad movement, at least in my POV.

Any governmental form of institutionalized racism in the past 100 years, has had a very strong centralized form of government. The twin brothers of the socialist movement, Communist Socialism and National Socialism were openly racist and genocidal. The US Democratic Party of old was very much the party of the old segregated South and big government orientated (still are).

So, one way to weed out the racists is a strong emphasis on support for Jews and on limited government. Clue, I have never seen true Fascists able to stomach either.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

You can download the BNP's manifesto from their website and read the chapter on economic policy - it is absurdly simplistic, but nationalist rather than statist. They want much lower taxes, and welfare payments. They support free private enterprise within the UK, rather than globalized free markets and call South Korea and Singapore models. And of course they are against the EU. And they say the govt. should support and encourage British industry. The only thing that could be described as overtly statist is that they say monopolies should not be privatised and sold to foreign buyers.

It's not very convincing, but it's not so different from what is on the English part of the Sweden Democrats' website. Another populist party that has been struggling to disassociate itself with dubious figures in its not so distant past.

I think Vlaams Belang was doing a good job of putting clear blue water between itself and some of the nastier people in Vlaams Blok past, but then joining the ITS group in the EP in 2007 was a major misstep as once again they were aligning with Le Pen and other fascist groups who are really very different from VB's politics. Although I accept that Dewinter has a personal friendship with Le Pen and it must make it hard to totally renounce him.

KGS said...

I believe that the BNP's wanting to renationalize utility monopolies and services certainly places them closer to the statist camp than what you allude to. If they are that open about nationalization of those sectors, then they are only a few jumps away from doing it other sectors of big industry. That's how Hugo Chavez started out, look at Venezuela now.

Sorry, it might be just a "knee jerk" reaction on my part, but when a political party openly talks about nationalizing part of the public sector, and they are not even close to being in power,'s a warning sign to me.

Concerning the VB joining the ITS, lets be fair. You most certainly are aware of the way the EU parrliament is set up, and the only way for a VB voice to be heard, in that forum, is to be accepted into a regional block of parties.

Since the VB has been selectively sidelined by all the other "mainstream" parties in the parliament..due to Belgian and EU "wink and nod" politics, the VB was effectively silenced.

The only way for it to be heard, was to renig on its own party platform, and the people that support it. In order for it to be seen as a relevant party, it had to first "get its mind right" and embrace the EU in a smooch smooch love embrace like it never had done before.

OR, join the ITS block out of sheer necessity, not from ideological fellowship.

You must certainly be wise to the shennanigins of the Belgian Walloonists and the socialist Flems -as well as the rest of the EU member parties- that deem the VB's agenda of the break up of Belgium as a complete anethma.

They have gone more than out of their way to smear the VB in every way possible. I am not up to snuff on De Winter's personal friendship with Le Pen. I would hope that it was maintained out of the political convenience just mentioned.

But one thing is for sure, the Swedish SDP has NO PROBLEM in its associating with the brown shirts of the Antifascistisk Aktion (AFA) and Expo.

This is a group that acts with impunity with the party's blessing, and likes to brag about its victories, which include clubbing and intimidating people it disagrees with.


I think I would be more concerned with anti-Fascist movements (and yes I am very anti-fascist as I am againsts all forms of socialism) and how they are given a wink and a nod by the Socialist elite and the media.

As for being anti-EU, its one feather in the BNP's hat, but not enough for me to pick up the phone for all the reasons just mentioned.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Well as I said, the BNP's policy is absurd in my opinion but unlike Chavez, they aren't saying they want the oil industry - it's not worth so much in the UK these days! Being American, you probably don't know of the politics that went on around Thatcher's privatisation campaigns in the 80s. The BNP are just being populist in talking about possibly re-nationalising public utilities, because privatisation of things like the railways or buses is considered by so many in the UK to have been a disaster with worse service for higher prices. Notice they even get a dig in at Tescos! It's almost an afterthought - hoping to pick up another vote or two. Of course they have no idea what to do if they ever really got power - but that is what populism is all about! :-)

I'm not really interested in the Swedish SDP and their associates. I was genuinely interested in whether you feel there are some sort of benchmarks that a post-fascist (to quote Fini) party can take to prove that they have turned their backs fully on the past. I happily accept that the Sweden Democrats mean everything they now say, but I'm trying to understand whether the acceptance into the Counter Jihad fold is arbitrary or not. Saying the "other side is terrible too" doesn't help on that. How have SD, a party which comes out of very far-right background, proven that they now reject their heritage? And could the BNP not do the same? Surely it has to be more than their economic policy that separates them?

On VB and the ITS; why didn't they just join the Union for a Europe of the Nations in the EP as the Dansk Folkeparti has done? I don't think VB is any more or less controversial than DF, but their MEP seems quite happy there. You say they were sidelined, can you give some evidence for this? I'd be genuinely interested. I know the Belgian parties maintain their cordon sanitaire around VB, but I have never heard of it happening within the EP.

BTW, there are logistical advantages to being in one of the EP party groupings but it is simply not true that you have to join one. There are currently 31 MEPs who are 'non-aligned', including ironically all the VB MEPs. They didn't need to join ITS, they clearly wanted to for some reason. If it wasn't ideological, it was very bad politics because after all the work of purging people from the party on the national level, they have opened themselves up again to accusations of being 'crypto-fascists' or whatever.