Public interest

Moving on from health fascists to real fascists, the news yesterday told us that the entire membership list for the British National Party from 2007, complete with addresses and phone numbers, had been published on a website. Although the original website has been pulled down, it has been republished on Wikileaks and a few other places, while bloggers, frantic to avoid legal repercussions, have insisted that their commenters not post links to it. Meanwhile, LOLGriffin has been posting LOLcats-inspired cartoons and wants more; the original leak was in violation of a court injunction, but as for anyone who just wants to read it, there is a European Court ruling protecting people who publish what is already public. The original Data Protection Act contains an exception when the leaked material is “in the public interest”. (More: Pickled Politics.)

I think that at least part of this leak is in the public interest. As it turns out, there are a few people on this list who were in banned professions for BNP members, including the police. The prison service is another example; this makes sense, as grim as Wandsworth jail is reputed to be, it’s not supposed to be Dachau-on-Wandle and the police aren’t meant to be the Gestapo. The list may also be of use to anyone who is pursuing litigation relating to racial or religious discrimination and the like.

Radio 5 Live had a feature on the leak this morning, and the tone of the three BNP members they interviewed disgusted me. All of them sounded like middle-aged, low-class white men, and they had a rather unpleasant cocky tone, kind of like one you’d develop to tell the world you’re not really a racist, just a “nationalist” who wants to keep his country decent. One of them even told the world that some of his best friends were foreign and he even had an Asian friend. The presenter did not challenge him. Of course, you can’t call one of these low-lifes a Nazi anymore, but perhaps she could have asked him if he still would have by the end of today. One of them also said that he had joined after seeing Nick Griffin “persecuted” for things he had said in a private meeting in 2004. Those things include:

This wicked, vicious faith has expanded from a handful of cranky lunatics about 1,300 years ago and it’s now sweeping country after country before it, all over the world. And if you read that book (the Qur’an), you’ll find that that’s what they want. If you doubt it, go and buy a copy and you will find verse after verse and you can take any woman you want as long as it’s not Muslim women.

The tone of the men in that interview gives the lie to the idea that people might join the BNP with motives other than malice. The party’s constitution restricts membership to members of eleven so-called “folk communities”, among them “The Anglo-Saxon Folk Community”, “The Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Folk Community” and “The Celtic-Norse Folk Community” (Scots, Welsh, Irish and Cornish are also included). Why would anyone want to be a member of a party which excluded non-white people from membership, particularly a party which has its roots in an explicitly racist party from the 1970s, which itself was rooted in an actual facist movement, and a party out of which various stories have circulated about racism and thuggery over the years, unless he was a bigot himself? After the end of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, the files of the secret police were opened, so that all those who had collaborated were exposed; this leak gives us all a chance to know who the enemy are today.

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