The two faces of the BNP

The rise of British racism may be horribly close — The Spectator

Fraser Nelson goes “on the stump” (meaning, out knocking on doors) with BNP activists in Hertfordshire and discovers that people are no longer convinced that the BNP are the same racist thugs they were ten years ago, and that even local Black people are receptive to parts of their message (see page 3):

As Mr Dunne continues down the road, this is his pledge. ‘I’ll work for you, the Lib-Lab con will not.’ In itself, it’s a bland and unremarkable democratic proposition. But what strikes me is that the letters BNP are not in themselves off-putting. I wonder why until we meet a lady in the next house. ‘Only ignorant or illiterate people think the BNP is about black vs white,’ she says. ‘The BNP principles are absolutely fine. The issue is about immigration — and this government is soft in letting everyone in.’ To hear this from a swing voter is disarming, to say the least. But what makes the remark so staggering is that the woman who utters it is black.

She immigrated from Jamaica aged three, and proudly considers herself British, ‘which is why I wasn’t happy when they sprayed “NF” on my car.’ Mr Dunne sympathises. ‘My parents came here when they said “no dogs, no Irish,”’ he said. ‘But you work your way up, obey the laws.’ The lady nods. The question of racism and anxiety about immigration — so often conflated in Westminster — are totally separate matters in her mind. Not only does she not regard the BNP as racist, she believes this to be a slur.

That the BNP is racist is, of course, not a matter of opinion. It has a whites-only membership policy, for example, and while it no longer supports compulsory repatriation, there are no prizes for guessing its definition of ‘indigenous population’. But there is no hint of this on the campaign trail. The letters BNP are, to me, hatefully synonymous with racism and all its sickening implications. But the people who have BNP posters in their windows regard this primarily as a gesture of defiance, a protest, a means of throwing stones at the glass of the Palace of Westminster.

The BNP play up their so-called record on local issues (in fact, BNP councillors are notorious for incompetence) and the corruption of Westminster, and replace anti-Black rhetoric with a focus on Muslims and “political correctness” (actually, most of these stories are exaggerated), and thus do well in areas with a substantial Muslim population (however, they lose support in areas with a heavy Black population).

What the BNP really think of Black people is revealed in some of their blogs and Facebooks: one of their candidates set their Facebook status to read “Wogs go home”, while an organiser in Essex headed a blog entry about a stabbing in London with “Another teen stabbed in Coon Town” and showed a racist mock-up of the US dollar labelled “Obama Wog Dollar”. Several of their activists, including Griffin, have criminal convictions for violent and racist actions.

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