Anti Fascism

The BNP’s uneasy relationship with free speech

This is a cross post by Nothing British

Times reporter Dominic Kennedy is evicted from the BNP meeting in Hornchurch

Times reporter Dominic Kennedy is evicted from the BNP meeting in Hornchurch

Yesterday’s expulsion of Times Reporter Dominic Kennedy is just the latest in a long series of actions that shows the BNP’s uneasy relationship with freedom of speech.

The BNP claims that it is a democratic party and committed to the political process. One of its favourite narratives is to cry that “the Establishment” is anti-democratic. It likes its followers to believe it is a band of lonely patriots resisting oppression. When it is refused (wrongly in our view) a platform, its members protest as “victims” at student rallies. Anyone who disagrees with this narrative is dismissed as a “liar”.

Adam Walker at Durham

BNP “victims” Adam and Mark Walker protesting at Durham Uni.

Unfortunately for the BNP, actions speak louder than words.

By way of an example, on a number of occasions over the last year we have contacted the BNP to encourage them to be more open and accountable by allowing us to subject them to the same level of scrutiny as any normal party.

We have asked for spectator passes to their events, a common practice at mainstream party events. We have telephoned their Press Office for comments or to confirm facts before we put up articles on our site. Needless to say, on all of these occaisions they have refused to cooperate.

A few examples of BNP non-cooperation:

1. Won’t allow observers at its events – we wrote a letter to Wendy Russell, BNPchief organiser for Red, White and Blue festival, and Lee Barnes, BNP Legal Director, for an observers pass. We have received no reply  (30th July 2009)

2. Won’t debate us – the BNP refused to take part in a debate with Nothing Britishon Sky News because it said we were “un-democratic”. (20th October 2009)

3. Won’t talk to us – the BNP wouldn’t cooperate with us in our enquiries into its attempts to hijack the Armed Forces telling one of our freelance researchers to “f*** off!”. You can listen to our recording of the conversation here. (5th February 2010)

Last week, our Policy Focus series looked at how it is Griffin’s policy for a future BNP administration to censor television, bully the press and indoctrinate our children. Nothing shows more clearly their priorities than their current actions.