I've been dithering about this post, writing and discarding a previous version. As an ex-lefty I can grasp pretty much exactly what's going on in the non-communalist bits of the Respect split - but with the BNP I felt I just didn't know enough about the internal dynamics of the party to produce anything meaningful or interesting. Then I read this pretty damn poor piece in the Guardian and thought "I know more than he does, anyway", scrubbed the original post and decided to shoot from the hip.
I won't revisit all the reasons we are where we are, the long journey from Windrush, via Notting Hill and Enoch Powell to Gordon "Union Jack" Brown and the prospect of the natives becoming a minority in the next 50 years. Read the posts on demography, immigration and the BNP.
Let's just draw a few straw men in the sand and see who salutes. A great deal of what follows is guesswork. Comments will be opened for anyone who wants to fill me in on where I'm guessing wrong.
You have to assume that Nick Griffin and his closest followers are driven by either extreme ideology, which may not be National Socialism but partakes thereof, or hatred of non-Brits. How else have they stayed motivated through all the long years of struggle after the National Front fell apart ? Given the amount of harassment - up to and including violent assault - that they must have had over the years, they must be pretty committed to have stayed the course.
All that struggle and toil - and paradoxically, that which they feared, the cleansing of the Native British from large parts of their homeland, is becoming their great asset. As the natives see the (non-integrated) immigrant population grow, and find that they are strangers in more and more areas of what used to be their country, so will any nativist party find votes just waiting for a home. The BNP brand, thanks to constant negative publicity, is well positioned for the 'plague on all your houses' vote - and commentators from Jackie Ashley to Nick Ryan in the Cif thread above have testified to the strength of this political current.
But the new BNP voters - and activists too - don't do fascism. They're British, damn it !
I'm never sure if this is a difficult one for the left to get their heads round or whether the accusation that 'you hate black/brown/Muslim/Polish people' is just a useful way of abusing a political enemy. Let's have an example. I have a favourable prejudice, born of good times drinking with them in ski resorts, towards North Italians. But that does not mean I'd be happy if the entire population of Turin decided to move to Gloucestershire. Some of them, yes - that would be fine - but not so many as to wipe out the local culture and leave me living in Lombardy on the Severn. I like my North Italians in North Italy, thank you.
And that's IMHO how many Brits feel about mass immigration. They don't hate the immigrants as individuals - indeed they're hardly to be blamed for grabbing a chance to better themselves. But they don't want to be strangers on their own streets. A proportion (IMHO a significant one) of these people are potential BNP voters. And the less jackbooty the BNP, the more of these voters they'll pick up.
So - you've got a leadership - and the leader has his old, trusted comrades - who are well to the right of the new followers, new activists, and potential new voters. Perhaps a few of the trusted followers ARE Nazis. While others aren't apparently very good organisers.
I know not what prompted the BNPs webmaster, head of events and group development, and the head of administration, to set up a blog attacking one Mark Collett and one Dave Hannam, both close to leader Nick Griffin. Apparently the one is a liability and the other incompetent. But the leadership found out, they were expelled (one having her house entered by what appears to be deception and her computer taken) - and it was discovered that a huge number of activists, some pretty senior, agreed with the rebels rather than the leader.
There are ongoing suggestions that the individuals concerned have a hold on Mr Griffin which makes him want to keep them on board. Maybe a few skeletons rattling in the back of a cupboard.
Another leader of a nationalist party, some seventy years back, had to make a choice between jettisoning his old comrades of the early days and potentially losing a new-found power base. He chose to stick with the new power and ruthlessly cast off (or shot) the old brigade. But Mr Griffin's nowhere near power yet.
Guessedworker, posting with his usual readability at what otherwise IMHO seems to be an increasingly eccentric Majority Rights, maps out a few possible scenarios - none comforting for Mr Griffin. I get the impression that a compromise is being sought - certainly the "Real BNP" website is but a cached shadow of what was there a day or two back.
I would guess that there's a tremendous desire to try and get things sorted, given the possibilities for all that EU Parliamentary dosh in next year's Euroelections. From their perspective the one good thing is that the split has hardly registered on Joe Public's radar. But a lot of hard words have been spoken - and they'll all be on anti-BNP leaflets though letterboxes next year.
(In the long run, the demise or otherwise of the BNP won't IMHO affect the future shape of divided politics in divided Britain, which will still be driven by demographics. There'll be a party for the Native Brits, but it's somewhat less likely to be the BNP).
Any (non-actionable) ideas, you who read this ?
A couple of walks
4 hours ago
It's difficult to assess exactly what has been going on these last few weeks within the BNP. As I've become more and more concerned about immigration and it's consequences I've taken the time to look more closely at the them via their website. Their policies aren't particularly extreme unless you measure them against those of the Labour party over the last 10 years or so. It wasn't just their immigration policies that interested me. As I tried to understand just what has driven the Labour party to oversee such high levels of immigration it became obvious that an important element was the European Union. I'm reading the excellent 'The Great Deception' by Christopher Booker and Richard North, of EU Referendum fame, at the moment. Right from it's very conception the aim has always and still is a 'United States of Europe'. Immigration is just one of the ways of destroying the sense of nationalist identity that is a barrier to that aim. This, for me, is what drives Griffin et al. They are at heart Nationalists with a love of country. I don't get the impression that they are driven by an intense hatred of 'non Brits'. They seem quite aware that these non Brits are just pawns in the game. They appear quite happy to strike alliances with 'non Brits' and they describe them as 'friends but not family'. One example is Rajinder Singh who's interview on BNP TV is well worth watching (link below). Their hatred seems to be reserved for the rather odd union of the 'far left' in the form of Labour, Respect, Searchlight, UAF, BBC, Guardian etc and big business Capitalists who are driving this relentless wave of immigration. They're committed because they have no choice. They can't just sit back and let it happen. That said I do think that Griffin, and I would suspect many others in the BNP, have evolved over time and come some way from their more extreme past. Indeed in a recent post on his blog, in reference to his earlier Holocaust denial, he said he was angry at the time about the way it was being used by Marxists (I'm paraphrasing from memory) but that he now saw it as one of the great tragic events of the 20th Century. One question I ask myself is if former Communist and self confessed admirer of Stalin Jack Straw can become both Foreign and Home Secretary why shouldn't Nick Griffin be given the benefit of the doubt?
From reading his blog (in which it seems clear he has a deep love of the history and culture of this country) I do think he has genuinely changed but I'm not sure all within the BNP have which is why, even though I feel comfortable with most (but not all) of their policies, I couldn't join. I'm desperate to become actively involved in something because of how passionately I feel about what's happening. I've sent them a few quid and they may well get my vote but that's about it. On the face of it this seems to be one of the things that has caused the present problems. Mark Collet is said to be seen as a liability by the 'rebels'. I can though understand Griffin's loyalty towards him, particularly after the court cases they went through. He may well have called it correctly because their setting up of the 'Enough is Enough' website and attempts to destabilise the party seem indefensible.
I think you're spot on with pretty much all in your article. We don't 'do fascism' and it us just a useful way of abusing your political enemy. I'm far from convinced that the BNP are fascist. Indeed their policy commitment is to devolve decision making down to the lowest local level possible and for Swedish style citizen initiated referenda. Maybe the BNP will break through and become the party for the native Brits that you correctly predict is inevitable. Or maybe their break through will be the catalyst for another, similar, party to appear. Either way I think that reports of the BNP's demise are greatly exaggerated. They'll be around for a while yet.
PS Sorry for the long post I got a little carried away. Also can't you just moderate comments in the future? This blog is excellent but having comments makes it that bit better still.
I think you have hit a nail on its head quite firmly with the comment regarding the BNP needing to be 'less jackbooty' in order to gain a popular (or populist) vote.
In similar vein, George Orwell, in his asessment of the English character, thought that the 'coloured shirt' version of fascism would never catch on here (after all, Moseley and his shirts didn't amount to much after the Cable Street debacle).
However, a close examination must be made of the state of political interest in the native class. If there's a widespread belief that voting changes nothing (and, god knows, voter turnout is execrably low) then how is any 'saviour' going to rouse the rabble in to voting for them? Even Adolf only just squeaked in on a democratic vote and needed the farce of an Enabling Act to consolidate power.
"even Adolf ?"
I was hoping that we could avoid using him as any kind of role model.
apostate - good point about Collet. I forgot he was Griffin's co-defendant in the trial a year or so back.
You can see why some loyalty would be there ...
I note that you buy into the Cable Street mythology. Oliver Kamm (no right winger) gives a better account here.
Mosley had a brief period of high profile and support from the Mail, but the event that destroyed him was the scenes at the Olympia rally. Afterwards he lost Rothermere.
Nevertheless your basic point is right - the black shirts were seen as a foreign influence, which kinda contradicts the nationalist ethos.
As on the extreme left, so on the extreme right: small groups of fanatics tend to be fissiparous and fissile.
Mark Collett is on the record as stating: “Churchill was a f****** c*** who led us into a pointless war with other whites standing up for their race.”
Griffin has said of the Holocaust: “The ‘extermination’ tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie and latter-day witch-hysteria”.
Whatever they now claim they believe, I doubt they have fully repudiated those statements, any more than Sinn Fein has genuinely repudiated violence. Any repudiation is likely to be a tactic - to help the BNP attract the sort of members and voters that Laban identifies.
guardian apostate: 'The Great Deception' is an excellent book, which deserves to be more widely read.
Laban: Perhaps it is coincidence, but your posts have become even more incisive and compelling since you introduced your 'occasional comments' policy. Stick with it!
"Mark Collett is on the record as stating: “Churchill was a f****** c*** who led us into a pointless war with other whites standing up for their race.”
Griffin has said of the Holocaust: “The ‘extermination’ tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie and latter-day witch-hysteria”."
Apart from the bad language these seem defensible positions to me but hardly relevant to modern British politics. That stuff like this is brought up routinely is done purely to try to portray the BNP as something they are not.
btw guardian apostate that was a very good post.
Does anyone know if there are any... actual... you know...policy differences between the two factions or is this just a personality dispute between the disloyal faction and the totalitarian faction?
The ANC has just gone through a tumultuous change in leadership. Perhaps the BNP could look there to see how to conduct grown-up politics! In my view the British have just not suffered enough yet to create the kind of cohesive spirit that a Nationalist party needs. I mean if the die-hard activists can't put aside their personal differences what chance is there of the rest of the population getting serious?
Neither position is remotely defensible for any rational and reasonably well-informed person...
Leaving aside the tedious denial of the industrial-scale extermination of Jews et al, was WW2 really just "a pointless war with other whites standing up for their race"? Of course not: it was a struggle for national survival. The Nazis were not "standing up for their race": they aimed to impose a impose a totalitarian regime on the whole of Europe.
paul ilc, you're right about both statements. Neither are defensible or stand up to scrutiny. I can't begin to fathom the rationale behind Mark Collets statement. As I said in my previous post Nick Griffin has since qualified his earlier position. It's also worth remembering the BNP's pro-Israel stance in last years stand off with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Maybe it's not just a tactic, maybe it's genuine. Wouldn't you prefer to find out for yourself by the BNP being given time and space in the MSM?
Wouldn't you prefer to find out for yourself by the BNP being given time and space in the MSM?
Yes, guardian apostate, I would. I think that would be very healthy.
Well Paul Ilc do you not think that there is a struggle for national survival now?
the invaders do not wear uniforms but they have elbowed the locals out.
As for totalitarian - all those CCTV cameras must give a whiff of this.
You made a fleeting reference to individuals having a hold on Griffin.
This seems rather implausible as individuals tend to tell other individuals and so on up the line till it then becomes common knowledge (after a few pints), and leaked out all over the place.
If there WAS a skeleton it would be out by now.
Recovering Liberal. (awful lot of 'recovering' people these days?)
You say the Brits just have not suffered enough yet, to get them going. How true, and is what I've been saying for years, and the only way this suffering will take form is when spending money starts to dry up. And it will; iether by interest rates having to go up or inflation taking off. If that happens even the 'lowly jobs' will be worth having again, with all that implies......
The problem I have with the BNP is that, well, I'm not racist. On so many issues they are correct, on immigration, on big business, on society, on crime, on agriculture, on Europe. I struggle to fault them. But I will not surrender the view that people are to be judged on the content of their character, and that does seem to be an issue with the BNP.
Another problem with the BNP I have is that we have to look at our internal problems before we start blaming others. Britain is dying, with an indigenous fertility rate of 1.6 children per woman, that's a population that will be halved in two generations.
That's a gap that WILL be filled, because it is concomitant with an increased demand for labour as the population ages. Civilisations die, they are not killed. If this is not Britain in any meaningful sense in 30 years, it will not be the fault of immigrants. We need to look at ourselves, at our families, our society, our culture, our identity, our religion before looking out.
Just curious, why the eccentric moniker for MR?
Hugh, people react to what they see, and the TV is a very selective mirror. You can bet that if the government wanted our population to replace itself or grow, it would.
This country started dying forty years ago. The contraceptive/abortive culture, the welfare state, the withering of Christianity, moral relativism.
I'm not saying the state hasn't been complicit in that (my MP refuses to defend marriage, the family and human life), but it's come organically from the people, at the end of the day. It's what we "chose", through our moral action and inaction.
Well that is true, that is true. While we can say it was the government playing on our weaknesses, and claim mitigating factors such as extremely clever propaganda techniques, the nub of it all is as you say. Enoch was right - I just wish he had stood in his own right, then things may have been different.
I see something of Enoch in Ron Paul. I think Ron Paul is the wests best shot at the moment. He will leave Europe to its own mire and insulate America, reverting it back to tiny government and the founding constitution.
It seems to me that folk don't need to join the BNP, or contribute, but they are voting for the BNP in ever increasing numbers. In particular, there is a good electoral response to local BNP candidates, who seem to have built up a track record of working on behalf of constituents of all racial groups.
The other aspect is the British are so sick of being branded racists by every "activist" with an axe to grind, there is no longer any great groundswell of support for anti-racism. In fact, there is a growing perception that there is a whole racial grievance industry out there, and the race hustlers have a vested interest in keeping the cauldron on the boil. And the more trouble they can "identify", the more public funding they get.
Whatever happens to the BNP, the nationalist resurgence will not go away any time soon.
You made a comment about "making/breaking of the working class" recently.
You may find this article relevant:
"The white working-class and the British elite: from the salt of the earth to the scum of the earth"
Very good article Bert. I enjoyed reading it. It goes a long way towards refuting Hugh Oxford's contention that 'we' have bought it all on ourselves.
I know we've been betrayed by our political and intellectual class, but I don't think that happens without, on some level, the consent of the people.
If this was a happy, content, fecund, stable, ordered and coherent society, there would be no room or need for immigration on the scale we've seen.
The state HAS been the enemy of the people, never more so than in the last ten years, but WE voted for them.
Blaming Thatcher is absurd BTW. Completely absurd. What were we to do, carry on as before?
"Leaving aside the tedious denial of the industrial-scale extermination of Jews et al, was WW2 really just "a pointless war with other whites standing up for their race"? Of course not: it was a struggle for national survival. The Nazis were not "standing up for their race": they aimed to impose a impose a totalitarian regime on the whole of Europe."
On the contrary, what is tedious is this bizarre assumption that an ethnic conflict* of 60 years' vintage somehow Has A Lot To Tell Us. And, indeed, that the leader of one of the factions in said conflict is The Worst Dictator Ever, as oppossed to to a fairly common or garden totalitarian mass murderer (such as Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Lenin and co., Napoleon, Sherman, Mugabe, the Rwandan lot, etc, etc, etc ad infinitum).
Let me come clean and say that I regard WW2 as a mistake: more specifically, I regard making war to liberate Eastern Europe and maintain the Continental balance of power [i]on the side of Stalin[/i] as quasi-delusional. I also, alongside the entirety of the historical profession, am fully aware that the UK declared war on Germany, not vice versa, giving the lie to your claims about national survival.
Fundamentally, however, I do not regard such questions as any more relevant to modern UK politics than, say the Spanish Armada or the Suez Crisis. Germany was thoroughly de-Nazified, and Nazism was never a popular belief in the UK, even on the nationalist right.
Apparently, however, what matters the most isn't the here and now, but rather the BNP's opinions on strictly historical questions. For some people, it is always 1939, and there is always another Hitler on the prowl.
*Just how much it was an ethnic conflict, little different to what took place more recently in Rwanda, can be gathered from perusing the highly popular (amongst Jews, esp.) 1920s book, entitled "Germany Must Be Destroyed". One might also look at the preponderance of German Jewish suppport for the Soviet-loving German Communist Party, a party which looked with approval upon the Jew-organised mass murder of Ukrainians known as the Holodomor.
Lee Barnes has an illuminating set of articles from the Daily Express, Independent etc:
MI5 admit plan to infiltrate and destroy the BNP
Note: Though this particular post does not contain foul language, some others do, especially in the comments.
I know this is off topic, but why has the entry for 30/10/2005 regarding a report in the Observer about the riots in Birmingham in 2005 disappeared from your blog:
If you google the following:
“Labour chose to bury mounting concern"
You will find google has the link but it seems to have disappeared.
Ignore my last comment. I found what I was looking for.
Have a good Christmas
It's worth reading Nick Griffin's New Year message for his take on the whole thing.
Laban, thanks for a year of excellent posts and a very happy New Year to you and your family.
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