Anti Fascism,  UK Politics

BNP attack from the left

One of the more tiresome debates that springs up in threads about the BNP is whether they are a far right party or a left party. Who cares? Racist totalitarian nationalists may want to keep post offices in public hands, it doesn’t make them any less dangerous. Martin Fletcher, in The Times, reports on Nick Griffin’s recent visit to a pub and the wider BNP scene in Barnsley. Griffin uses the opportunity to tap into the new climate:

“This country is full. It’s time to shut the doors and look after our own people,” he declares from a platform adorned with a huge Union Jack. Britain should leave the European Union so it can stop the “huge swamping wave of mass immigration from places like Poland which has put hundreds of thousands of our people out of a job”. Instead of bailing out “greedy, corrupt, incompetent banks”, Westminster’s “scumbag, thieving politicians” should be using those billions to rebuild British industry.

Mr Griffin expresses sympathy for the 1984 miners strike, triggered by the closure of the Cortonwood colliery in Barnsley. He denounces the Government’s privatisation programme. He accuses Labour of crushing ordinary people to ensure maximum profit for its corporate financiers. “It has sold out,” he thunders. “The old Labour Party is dead. Long live the new party for British workers — the BNP.

His audience stands and cheers. “Labour has sold this country down the Swannee,” declares Christine Hanson, 59, whose two sons fought in Iraq. “Why the f*** should foreign people take English jobs when there are English lads who can’t get work,” says a young man in a baseball cap — one of the more thuggish faction.

It is a remarkable speech for the leader of a far-right party: large chunks of it could have been delivered by Barnsley’s very own Arthur Scargill. But the shameless economic populism and scapegoating of immigrants resonates in struggling towns like Barnsley, and look set to propel the BNP to a startling breakthrough in next month’s European

I disagree with Fletcher. I find it completely unremarkable that the BNP is taking this line. It is to be expected. Having done my fair share of time in Phoenix Night style clubs in the North, I suspect the BNP will find a willing audience for their views. Labour’s failure and the general implosion of our political class, with their sickening sense of entitlement, will sadly allow the BNP to obtain even more support. Even the BNP’s rallying calll was a gift from Labour.

What a terrible mess and confluence of events.