Monday, June 08, 2009

BNP: Still Odious

So the BNP have had some success. The flight of some voters into the hands of racist ignorance is never a pleasant concept. But let’s not panic. Let’s keep this in perspective. The BNP – or National Front, as they once were – have been promising a major breakthrough since I was born, and I turned 30 this May. There is no immediate danger of this nation becoming a BNP run country.

And let’s not pretend that the BNP success is down to their ability. More than anything else, it is about the failure of the Labour government to govern and the Tory opposition to effectively oppose. The BNP had nothing to new to say other than further window-dressing of their racist and socialist views. In fact, they remain fundamentally incompetent. Let’s not forget their laughable inability to protect the list of knuckle-draggers who joined their party. The next time one of the major parties rediscovers the idea that there is a place for ideology in politics and/or manages to actually get a leader with conviction, the BNP support will start to wilt again.

But if we do really want to write the BNP off and consign them to the dustbin of history where they so richly deserve to reside, then we need to end the silence that surrounds the BNP. So many of the methods surrounding the control of the BNP are about not dignifying them with debate. Pretending they don’t exist. The problem is this allows an even vaguely media savvy character like the ridiculous Nick Griffin to make the party look passably respectable for some voters. If you want to neuter the BNP it is best to do so by taking them on in debate and showing just how ignorant and deeply unpleasant their views are. And also reminding BNP supporters that it isn’t just the current views that are so unpleasant. After all, they have only recently turned their back on ideas such as Holocaust Denial.

The main parties spend a lot of time picking holes in the ideologies of their main rivals – something that is quite difficult to do given the broad, post-Blair consensus on this country. Taking pot shots at the BNP should be far easier. And that’s what should be done. Complaining about the success of the BNP is not enough. If you want to stop them, you have to take them on and show just how odious what they represent is. Then you will see the return of the BNP to its rightful place – on the periphery of British Politics, mouthing the views of maladjusted, misfit racists.

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At 2:26 pm , Blogger Matt M said...

It's also worth bearing in mind the fact that, while more people voted BNP than in 2004, it's only the fact that the main parties are haemorrhaging voters that allowed them to succeed.

They've had a minor success that's been amplified by the incredibly poor showing of pretty much everyone else.


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