Tag Archives: BNP

Bizarre BNP accuse Nigel Farage of converting to Islam

Griffin visits Hamilton
Yesterday the increasingly bizarre BNP accused Nigel Farage of having undertaken ‘a recent conversion to Islam’ in a post which was primarily made up of a copied and pasted spam email.

As they face the final steps towards political obliteration (they have now lost all council seats they once held and are on course to lose their two MEPs in May’s elections) they appear to have resorted to trying to win back the particularly islamaphobic UKIP voters by making stuff up about Nigel Farage.

Classy huh!

This latest move is only one step removed from the utterly bizarre plea they sent out before which asked for members to ‘engage in making babies’.

Yep, after last May’s drumming at the local elections the BNP sent out a message calling for nationalists to reproduce more to fight the growing wave of immigration.

Little things like this can lead one to think that things are getting a wee bit desperate in BNP HQ.

If you live in the North West and want to make sure that the BNP see their electoral death, read this tactical analysis on how to best beat the BNP in May’s elections.

 

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Nick Griffin’s twitter account hacked

Griffin visits Hamilton
Chairman of the British Nationalist Party (BNP), Nick Griffin, last night had his twitter account and website hacked.

The hacker using the twitter feed @Anon_OxO3 immediately claimed credit for the hack:

https://twitter.com/nickgriffinmep/status/462348339221397504

Before posting a string of tweets that showed that his feed had been compromised:

https://twitter.com/nickgriffinmep/status/462351946872274944

https://twitter.com/nickgriffinmep/status/462375100424413184

https://twitter.com/nickgriffinmep/status/462378660981665792

The hacker also posted Nick Griffin’s personal information including his mobile number online (at the time of writing it is still up on his twitter feed).

The challenge for this blogger though is trying to work out when the hack started…Did Griffin really tweet about a pie just before he was hacked?

 

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The BNP and the tactical battle for the North West

In 2009, Nick Griffin won a seat in the European Parliament after his party, the BNP, secured 132,094 votes*. We are now just over 4 months away from kicking him out. But the question is how? And what might come in his place?

Griffin visits Hamilton
The BNP’s political performance is like that of rollercoaster. What goes up must come down. Wherever the BNP saw electoral success they very quickly saw dismal failure. On this rollercoaster we are about to hit the final dip that, rather than swooping them back to dizzying electoral heights, will leave them derailed.

In the North West the BNP won 132,094 votes – enough to elect their racist-in-chief, Nick Griffin, to the European Parliament**.

If opinion polls are to be believed it would be a fair bet to assume that the BNP won’t be retaining their seat in the North West. The BNP are to British politics what Ford Pinto’s were to advancements in automotive safety.

Confident that this could play to their favour, UKIP activists were quoted in today’s Huffington Post saying they expected to win 50-75% of these votes – You know you’re a classy party when you’re celebrating mopping up the aftermath of a fascist party’s demise.

Saying that, we can also expect UKIP to gain in other areas. They are increasingly positioning themselves as the protest vote – it would be a reasonable assumption to say that this will hit those in power in Westminster the hardest. The Tories and Lib Dems picked up 4 seats between them in 2009. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that half at the 2014 elections.

Last but not least there are The Green Party who in 2009 missed winning another seat by a meagre 5,000 votes or, put another way, just 0.3%. With the right campaign there is little reason to think that they won’t secure one seat in the North West***.

It is important, in relation to keeping our fascist friend Mr Griffin out of office, that The Green Party does beat the BNP. It is very hard to imagine the BNP securing a seat in 6th place – but if Labour and UKIP fail to perform as well as expected the BNP could once again slip through the backdoor if they finish 5th.

So my conclusion is this.

  • If you vote Labour you will help them secure a third seat, but in reality your vote will be one of tens of thousands that places them between the benchmarks for gaining 3 or 4 seats.
  • If you vote UKIP you will contribute to both their regional and national rise in these elections. But a warning that I read on twitter today offers some humbling advice. Voting UKIP as a protest vote is like shitting in a hotel bed to protest about the bad service…only to realise you have to sleep in it that night.
  • If you vote Liberal Democrats, you will be fighting for them to keep hold of their one elected representative. Sadly I think this might well turnout to be losing battle.
  • If you vote Conservative you will be, in reality, fighting to put a stopper in the hemorrhage of votes flooding to UKIP. You might just enable them hold onto 2 elected representatives.
  • If you vote Green you will contribute in all likelihood to them securing their first MEP in the North West. I would argue that tactically it is also the most useful party to vote for if your aim is to keep the BNP out.
  • Lastly if you plan to vote BNP…well what can I say?
  • Oh, and if you’re one of those inexplicable 25,000 people who voted for the Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship – can you please get in touch…I’ve never met one before!

The North West will be a fascinating political battle ground over the coming months. We have to wait until May 22nd though to find out who will come out on top.

 

* The 2009 North West election results can be seen here.
** On a side note, one of my personal highlights of my time spent working in Brussels was watching Griffin lost in the, admittedly quite confusing, European Parliament.
*** The lead candidate for The Green Party is less sure about the demise of the BNP and wrote this article in the Huffington Post calling for unity to defeat the BNP…and get him elected. 

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3 points on partly political funding

Today the quarterly donations for political parties in the UK was published.

Apart from the actual quantities (millions of pounds) there were a few noteworthy figures to highlight:

  • The mystery of Ms Joan L B Edwards – Sitting in both second and third position (after UNITE) for biggest donations was a Ms Joan L B Edwards who donated £420,576 to the Conservatives and £99,423 – curious isn’t it? Our friends over at Lib Dem Voice helped unravel the mystery though – apparently Ms Edwards left £520,000 to “the government of the day” in her will. It was decided that because of the coalition this should be split between the two parties by number of MPs and cabinet members.
  • UKIP and BNP are making a mint while the Greens are looking green  – UKIP was donated a hefty £153,229, the BNP (considering that they have almost ceased to exist in any elected sense) picked up an impressive £97,879, while the Greens took home a measly £27,242. To put this into context, the Tiverton branch of UKIP received almost twice as much as the national Green Party.
  •  If things look bad for the Greens though…it’s worse the SNP – Once again the SNP have picked up little more than peanuts (£4,500). This, if not bad in itself, shows the nationalists to be in stark contrast to The Labour Party who, in Scotland alone, picked up £66,032. With an independence referendum coming…this sort of money disparity will surely have an effect.

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Greens look to oust flailing BNP from European Parliament

Green Party announces list of candidates to take on far right in European elections while the BNP appear to struggle to find suitable candidates.

Yorkshire and Humber Green Party have today announced their list of candidates that they hope will kick far-right MEP Andrew Brons (former BNP) out of the European Parliament.

The Green Party’s lead candidate for Yorkshire and Humber seat will be Cllr Andrew Cooper, currently national energy spokesperson and a Kirklees councillor for over 10 years.

The standing MEP, Andrew Brons, last year resigned from the BNP after a public row with the leader and fellow MEP, Nick Griffin.  The BNP’s quest to find an alternative candidate looks increasingly desperate though as they put out one appeal after another for candidate applications – each time extending the deadline.

The BNP picked up some 120,000 votes (9.8%) in the 2009 election while the Green Party narrowly missed out on gaining a third MEP with 104,000 votes (8.5%).

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We are still haunted by the legacy of colonialism

We have to reclaim our history, however vile!

The modern western world has colonialism and imperialism entrenched into its history.  The racial and ethnic tensions that are apparent in contemporary society can be traced through history back to the time of colonialism and imperialism.  To pretend it is not there is to play into the hands of the modern far right.

Colonialism refers to the political authority of the European powers over some of the areas of Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas.  Broadly it is the time when there was a political economy based around the slave trade By the end of the 19th century nearly all Africa had been colonised by one or other of the Great Powers.

Modern racist discourse can be traced back to the slave trade.  Although, it is important to remember that racism and slavery did not always go hand-in-hand (think of the ancient Greeks!).  Why then, in our murky colonial history did race become such a big deal? From the earliest recordings of British involvement in Africa (large scale in 17th century) the exaggerated term “black” was used to describe the very obviously different skin colour between British and the (at first) West Africans.  However the colour ‘black’ came with some deeply ingrained values; it was associated pre 16th century with dirt and death.  It had connotations of evil and wickedness.  This is illustrated in the distinction between black and white magic and as well, the Black Death.  This all came at a time when the ideal of beauty in Britain was very much of a pale white face.

Throughout the Colonial period the appearance of the African was stretched and exaggerated through European discourse.  Their nakedness was often highlighted to illustrate their difference from the ‘civilised’ European.   To start with people were content to comment on skin colour to describe their difference; during the 17th and 18th centuries however a number of other characteristics were attributed to them.  Soon African men were considered to have potent sexuality.  The men were considered to have a larger penis and to be extremely lusty.  Some Europeans at the time speculated on the sexual intercourse that might have occurred between apes and Africans.  Indeed increasingly Europeans would compare the Africans that they ‘discovered’ to the apes that they “discovered” at a similar time. Indeed, other characteristics were recorded at this time such as laziness and superstition.  After meeting Africans as neutrals (pre slave trade), the colonial legacy slowly degenerated into a deeply racist discourse.

Towards the end of the 19th century a movement developed to legitimise Imperialism.  Social-Darwinism was used to justify the colonial power’s actions in Africa.  There was a belief that there was a natural hierarchy of races.  These were predominantly European ideas and as such Europeans were normally ranked as the ‘highest being’.  This is an almost laughable idea today, but at the time was considered gospel by many.  It is important to note that such broad biological assumptions are still made and believed in modern racist belief.  For example Charles Murray’s book ‘The Bell Curve’ (1994) is still used by extremists to argue that White people have a higher I.Q than black people. Stereotypes still persist in main stream society in many western countries as the mass of the population still see Black Afro-Caribbean’s consistently performing low skilled manual jobs (a changing but lingering phenomena).

Although the dark days of our colonial past, are just that, our past.  It is worth taking a moment to reflect the impact that they are still having on our society.  There are some very clear ethnic tensions that can be directly linked to European colonial past.  The continued conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo demonstrates some extreme racial tensions that have a clear link to the Belgium legacy there for example.  The racism that we see most regularly today however is a lot more subtle.

Modern conflicts, especially in the West appear to be increasingly more complex than simply a reflection of race.  Ethnicity is a wider term that can describe a group of people beyond their inherent characteristics.  For example the Muslim community in the U.K could easily describe themselves as an ethnic group.  No longer does it simply describe your skin colour. This leads to a more complex system of discrimination where culture, religion and race all become intertwined.  In the UK there is no simple way of defining what it exactly is that people discriminate against. However appearance still plays a large part in social discrimination in contemporary society.  This is reflected in police stop and search figures; increasingly Arabs have been subjected to a greater number of searches.

Despite conflicts growing increasingly more complex, there are still racial elements to most conflicts in the western world.  In November 2005 large-scale riots broke out throughout France.  The BBC described these as ‘race riots’ as it was predominantly members of the black community rioting.  However a more accurate way to try and have one term to describe these riots would perhaps have been to describe them as socio-economic deprivation boiling over.  It is no coincidence that these riots took place in some of the poorest neighbourhoods across France.  However these riots were portrayed across the world more as race riots.

Today we can see the BNP riding a roller coaster of popularity (for whenever they have risen high they have very soon plunged in public opinion).  The peaks of the BNP’s popularity however should worry us.  The BNP often attack a way of life opposed to a specific “race” (although the racist undertones are clear).  For example their leader Nick Griffin was cleared of the charge ‘inciting racial hatred’ for describing Islam as a ‘wicked faith’.  In his trial he argued he did not hate Muslims or any ethnicity but purely the faith they followed.  However what the B.N.P does illustrate is that there is still interest and small support for such extreme right-wing politics.  They often play on fundamental fears that are still apparent in society; for example they argue that these ‘migrants’ are stealing British jobs.  It is apparent that there is interest in these ‘racial’ issues in the main stream even if there is not much support for it.  A lot of the discourse they use is similar to that of colonial times.  For example the B.N.P campaigned for many months about the Asian ‘sexual predators’ that were coming after ‘our girls’.  This is a clear link back to colonial stereotypes that play into the discriminative discourse that the B.N.P wishes to capitalise from.

To forget our colonial past, in all it’s ugliness, is to give the modern racist a free use of a deeply ingrained sub-conscious tool.  Regardless of whether we would like to admit it or not, racism still exists in this country.  We have to acknowledge that it has a long history.  If we do not acknowledge this history, then those outdated images of the black man as a sexual predator, or the monkey chants across football grounds will continue to be used.  We have to reclaim our history, however vile it is! At least we have the decency to acknowledge it to be vile!

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Young, Gay and Conservative?

Boris at last years Gay Pride March.

A recent survey has found that young gay voters are most likely to vote Conservative in the coming General Election. 45% of those under the age of 23 (first time voters) said that they would vote Conservative.  The Greens came 4th picking up just 19% of the surveyed vote.  Does anyone else find this a little surprising?

This is a like a Muslim saying that they would vote BNP, or (perhaps less sensationalist) a Trade Unionist voting Tory. 

The Conservative Party overwhelmingly voted against lowering the age of consent to bring it in-line with heterosexuals. The Conservative Party overwhelmingly voted against sexuality being included in the Equalities Act.  This is before we even get started on all their tripe about the nuclear family and marriage being the cornerstone of life.

Why then would this be the case.  Specifically why would first time voters, be wooed by the Cameron Conservative Crew (CCC)? Firstly, they are not old enough to remember the joys of living under a Conservative government, which forced section 28 on the UK (The piece of legislation that effectively banned the promotion of homosexuality).  Secondly, they are faced with a constant Conservative PR stream painting the Tories as the Cameron cuddles. The Tories (quite successfully in the short term) have succeeded in painting themselves as the gay friendly vote.  Just look at Boris’ big gay face. This is quite a remarkable achievement considering the reality of this situation.

The Conservatives have become cuddlier.  Cuddly with people that MacMillan Scott (Former Tory, MEP) described as “homophobic and racist”.  The extreme right that they sit with in the European Parliament oppose all concepts of “gay rights”.  As one of the ECR groups political advisors said to me recently, working on LGBT rights was “out of the question”. This is without the harder to prove grumblings within their own party.  At best, I could find no mention of LGBT issues on the Conservative Party web site.  A cynic might say that’s because they have nothing positive to say.

Lets not just pick on the Tories though. My own Labour MP David Drew has consistently voted against lowering the age of consent to 16 and against the rights of same sex partners to adopt.  Entrenched homophobia (whether it be from a “Christian Democrat” position (Drew) or a Tory one) is still rife within politics.  Even our beacons of change the Lib Dems make no mention of LGBT issues in their pocket policy guide.

The concepts of ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’ are central to me. I have a progressive minded MP who I believe is trying to work towards equality.  David Drew’s understanding of equality however, appears to be one that excludes members of the LGBT community.  For me, this is unacceptable.  Equally, the Conservatives not only ignore many LGBT issues, but also actively work to further ignorant bigots by forming political alliances with them.  For me this is unacceptable. 

The only party that I can find that will stand up and support these basic concepts of fairness and equality that are so central to me are The Green Party. The Greens would:

1) Open up civil marriages and civil partnerships, without discrimination, to both same-sex and opposite sex couples.

(2) Require all police forces to have LGBT Liaison Officers with paid time allocated within their work schedules to tackle homophobic and transphobic hate crime.

(3) End the blanket, lifetime ban on gay and bisexual blood donors.

(4) Amend the Equality Bill/Act to provide explicit protection against harassment to LGBT people.

(5) Refuse visas and work permits to “murder music” singers and others who incite homophobic and transphobic violence.

(6) Ensure safe haven and refugee status for LGBT people fleeing persecution in violently homophobic and transphobic countries.

 Only the Greens hold an all-encompassing understanding of equality.  For an equal and fair society, you need to look after all your citizens.  I do not believe that any of the three major political parties are in the position to be able to stand up for the rights of the LGBT community here or abroad! That’s why I would urge anyone concerned with LGBT issues to vote Green!

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Do you have an opinon about the BNP?

Do you have an opinion about the BNP? If so lets hear it…no qualifications needed.  Literally anyone can say anything.  Stupidity is no restriction and badly thought out views are welcome.

If you quickly have a look around cyber space you will find lots of badly thought out opinions when it comes to the BNP.  They are not reserved for the likes of amateur bloggers such as me.  Lots of public figures have been out and about stating that they don’t like the BNP.   Even Pete Doherty hates the BNP (http://www.nme.com/news/pete-doherty/45098).  Can you imagine the situation?… A young male is angry and alienated and is considering joining the BNP.  Just at that crucial moment however, he stumbles across Pete Doherty, the moral guru of a generation and sees the light! Another soul is saved by Doherty.

Just in case you cannot be bothered to trawl your way through all these opinions, the BBC has served its purpose as a public service and provided a nice over-view. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8321627.stm.  This way you can be sure lots of people agree with you when you tell the BNP to go f*ck itself and such forth.

If however, you feel like me, and share Mitchel and Webbs concerns (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyl9wltqQZ4).  Then please stop filling cyber space with nasty drivel about the BNP.  Yes we know that they are a racist party; even Nick Griffins mother in law says so (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/6431159/Nick-Griffins-mother-in-law-says-the-BNP-leader-is-a-racist.html).  We know that their party is based on a core membership of some nasty characters. 

This is blog is simply a plea.  There are a few really well thought out responses to the BNP.  An example being the recent Quilliam foundation report that can be found at: http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/images/stories/pdfs/in_defence_of_british_muslims_09.pdf or a guardian article by Sunny Hundal  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/19/bnp-nick-griffin-question-time.  Use your cyber space time wisely and get people to read and think.  Do not spend your time entrenching others engrained forms of hatred by ranting about how you would smash Griffins face in if you saw him.  If someone raises questionable views then challenge them but do not waste your time reiterating the anti-BNP message to no-one.  There are lots of people more qualified than us to do that.  Let’s try and rise above it.

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Learning to listen, engaging with BNP supporters

The BNP has been receiving more air-time and discussion than they deserve. Yet there seems to be one aspect of this debate which is not being discussed. No one seems capable or willing to listen to what BNP members have to say. It is essential that we do not lose sight of the fact that BNP members (spokesmen and leaders) are still humans with emotions, families and friends just like the rest of us. Portraying them as monsters that bear no resemblance to our-selves is morally naive and ultimately detrimental to tackling the sort of hatred some of their policies can incite.

It is essential that we do not carry on condemning the individuals who support the BNP like we are in a bizarre 21st century witch hunt. Instead we should stop and listen to try and understand why they may have come to these political views. The moment we lose the ability to empathise with BNP members, sympathisers and leaders, is the moment we get dragged into the sort of politics that the BNP has become renowned for. This is not the same as saying we have to accept their political message. Indeed, I think we will be in a stronger position to tackle far-right politics if we first learn to listen.

I have never had the opportunity to sit with a BNP official or member (to my knowledge) and talk to them on a human level. The BNP are obsessive about infiltration and leaks. Everybody outside of the BNP is petrified of be associated with the BNP in any way because of the stigmatised image of the BNP. There is an atmosphere of ignorance and that is being driven on by a mutual distrust and a breakdown in communication. There is responsibility from both sides to try and tackle this situation.

It is apparent that at the moment there is no shortage of voices condemning the actions and policies of the BNP. There is, however, a distinct lack of people willing to listen. There is a subtle balance in recognising the humanity of all, whilst still denouncing beliefs that we feel to be fundamentally wrong. It is a balance that perhaps we must all strive to make.

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