Tuesday, July 08, 2003

BNP Website Shock Horror

Looking back at the archives I wonder if I haven't got some kind of BNP fixation - I think I probably have. Watching their rise is like witnessing from a high window an accident about to happen - you can't look away but wait with a kind of fascination for the inevitable collision. As I've said before, liberal hegemony (as Gramsci or Ralph Miliband would put it) on race matters is so absolute, and educated white self-hatred so prevalent, that I simply can't see them going away - because, in marketing-speak, they're meeting a need that no other party is attempting to meet.

Not a need to be racist (I'm sure that's met too, but I don't think that has a wide appeal), but a need to be proud of one's nation, to feel that you belong, have a culture, a history and a homeland.

Unexceptional for Iraqis, Palestinians, Irish ('Ourselves Alone'), Scots ('Whae's Like Us ?') or Zimbabweans - but for those who identify as British or English a very thin diet is provided. You should see my son's school history textbooks.

But whether or not you agree with the above, you would probably be surprised, as I was, to learn that the BNP site is the most popular UK political party site by far - twice as popular as the Labour Party, according to Alexa. Indeed, I was so surprised that, just like the BNP webmaster, I had to enter the urls myself and see if it really was true. It was.

But on reflection I could pull some threads together.

I visit the BNP site every week as part of a trawl through political sites like Weekly Worker (see - don't get me wrong - some of my best sites are left-wing), urban75, Fabians and stopwar. And I'd read the New Statesman if they didn't charge.

But I rarely if ever go to the Labour, Tory or LD sites. The difference being that there won't be any news on them. Weekly Worker will tell you who's slagging off whom on the Left, or carry a passionate denunciation of 100,000 anti-war lefties being led by a mullah in cries of 'Allahu Akbar !'. Stopwar has details of the latest actions at the Fairford perimeter fence. U75 has some of the funniest bulletin boards around.

And the BNP site gives news. The last time I read any political theory on the BNP site was when the Weekly Worker linked to it. And I hated it. But when the riots broke out in Wrexham the BBC was almost useless as a news source in terms of what had taken place and in what order.

When you find your children scrapping your first questions are 'What actually happened ? Who started it ?'. You try getting that data from this, entitled 'Complex Truth Behind Wrexham Riots'.

You could, if you checked several different pages on the BBC and Guardian sites, put together a story. The first day's trouble - an isolated incident followed by the trashing of a pub. You could read between the lines - would it be the locals trashing the Red Dragon ? And the second day - presumably the locals didn't take too kindly to their pub being trashed. Or you could go here (Parental Advisory - possible neo-Nazi content).

It's a shameful thing when national news organisations report news as some kind of morality play rather than telling us what happened. The coverage of this incident on the BBC was basically 'There's been a lot of trouble. The trouble was between locals and asylum seekers. Racism is bad.' That may all be true, but it ain't news coverage worthy of the name.

Similarly when the Oldham riots broke out only the BNP and the Guardian carried what now appears to be accepted as the truth about their genesis - that they were sparked by Stoke City thugs who acted most unpleasantly as they walked to Boundary Park on their way to a football match.

Just as the main political parties have aided the BNP by bequeathing them a swathe of political territory, so the mainstream media, in their desire not to report anything which may reflect badly on multiculturalism, are creating an alternative news source - the only news source which is a wholly owned subsdiary of a political party.

Bloggers, Web nerds and others like epolitix are keen to see the Web as a means of creating alternative political structures - but this may be a bit too alternative for them. What will they make of it ? Harry - what do you think ?