Contemporary British Fascism

Our people need to be steered back with a sensible and carefull approach,one devoid of hate.If the public hated like we do,Black and Asian ghettos would not exist.

This is now why we must tread carefull and play our enemies at their own game.If people all over the country aggree with us ( and majority do ) then why are we not in power? Its becouse they are scared and not sure were not the monsters the media say we are.Having marches and fighting and calling for eveyone to be sent back,is not going to convince them we are right.

In fact,you will see a black Britain before that.

– Comment on far right forum ‘Stormfront’

One of the great things about our country is that we’re the only nation in Europe without a successful fascist party. On the continent neo-Nazi organisations have the support of entire provinces and take part in coalition governments. A few years ago a fascist came second in the French election. Here it’s a different story: the British National Party has spent most of its existence in the political wasteland. Under its leader John Tyndall the party achieved a single council seat in almost two decades. With this pathetic record it was no surprise when Tyndall was kicked off his throne in favour of the educated, media-savvy Nick Griffin.

The problem was that, while much of Europe had experienced fascist government, British identity was and is defined by anti-fascism. Winning the war against Hitler really was our finest hour and so a party of self-proclaimed Neo-Nazis was never going to do well. Photos of Tyndall mincing around in Nazi uniforms didn’t help at all. Although a racist and fascist party, the BNP had to lose its racist and fascist image if it was ever to break into the mainstream. How?

The answer was migration. As we’re continually reminded by politicians, journalists and pub bores, it’s not racist to want limits on immigration. Immigrants were the perfect target. They had no representation and couldn’t talk back. They were the ultimate Enemy Within: plague-carrying, terrorist-sympathising hordes flooding into our country, destroying our identity and jumping our housing queues. If immigrants found jobs they were undercutting the job market for British workers: if they didn’t work they were sucking millions in benefits from the sweat of the British taxpayer.

Mainstream politics imitated the discourse of the far right. David Blunkett claimed that children of asylum seekers were ‘swamping’ Britain’s schools; Tory leader William Hague said that Britain was turning into a ‘foreign land’; Gordon Brown delivered a rallying cry of ‘British jobs for British workers’. Tabloids went nuts and the Big Lie that immigrants were turning Britain into a multicultural pressure cooker was repeated by vast numbers of people from slum dwellers to educated liberals. As Nigel Copsey reports: ‘One poll found that Britons believed that their country was host to some 23 per cent of the world’s asylum seekers when the true figure was put at a mere 1.98 per cent.’ Nick Griffin was jubilant: ‘This asylum seeker issue legitimises us.’

After his takeover Griffin set about repositioning the BNP as a centre-right party focused on immigration and community cohesion. Protocols of the Elders of Zion were out: devolution and reducing council tax were in. BNP leaflets were slick, professional and adopted the soothing language of the post-democratic world. Campaigns were tailored to the issues of a particular area. The BNP denied any accusations of racism: rather, they were simply raising concerns about migration in a country where anyone who questioned political correctness was denounced as a Neo-Nazi. In an article on the BNP’s website, titled ‘Is the BNP Racist?’ we get this:

The British National Party believes in telling the truth, even if it is sometimes uncomfortable to hear or offensive to those who would rather bury their heads in the sand than face real problems in our society. But while we often pass quite critical comment on the impact of immigration, multi-culturalism and alien religions on the indigenous people of our lands, we have no animosity towards immigrants, their descendants or the followers of non-native religions. Nor do we intend to encourage others to feel such animosity, or believe that anything we have to say is likely to ‘stir up hatred’ against anyone.

This new, modernising approach worked to some extent. Although the party hasn’t emulated the success of the European far right, BNP candidates have picked up numerous council seats since 2000. There is even a fascist politician, Richard Barnbrook, serving in the London Assembly. The question posed by Nigel Copsey in Contemporary British Fascism is: has the BNP truly changed or is it still the party of thugs, criminals and totalitarian fantasists?

The investigative blogger Unity at the Ministry of Truth exposed BNP councillor Simon Smith as the Stormfront forum user ‘Steve Freedom’. He put together a long post of Smith’s comments on the far right website with the introduction:

This is Simon writing in what he thinks is a safe zone, amongst people who share his prurient views and appalling values and under an alias that precludes him being easily identified.

What follows is a torrent of racism, misogyny, anti-semitism, holocaust denial, 9/11 denial, contempt for democracy, disdain for the working class and bizarre white nationalist mythology. It’s probably one of the best pieces of investigative blogging around – the best of the medium. It should be read by anyone considering voting for the party.

For the BNP are still the racist scum they always were. Of course, racist parties appeal to racist voters in a democracy people get the parties they deserve. But Griffin’s strategy has been to exploit the backlash against the Big Lie of ‘political correctness’; to turn the language of discrimination against anti-racists and anti-fascists; to make racism respectable. In his words:

Of course, we must teach the truth to the hardcore…when it comes to influencing the public, forget about racial differences, genetics, Zionism, historical revisionism and so on… we must at all times present [the electorate] with an image of moderate reasonableness.

Nigel Copsey and Unity have shown that this image is just that, and nothing more.

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2 Responses to “Contemporary British Fascism”

  1. Sarah Franco Says:

    Excellent post!

    but, Max, there is just this detail:

    “One of the great things about our country is that we’re the only nation in Europe without a successful fascist party. ”

    well, in Portugal there is a small party. It doesn’t even get close to 1% votes (which would grant them public subventions). At a certain moment they managed to get wide media attention, but the society reacted against it.

    3 weeks ago, the leaders of the neo-nazi movement hammerskin, illegal but closely connected to the party, were condemned to prison sentences of 5 and 6 years for illegal posession of weapons, racial discrimination and threats to anti-fascists. This despite some liberal idiots defending them in the name of freedom of speech.

    The neo-fascist party has failed in all aspects, especially in what regards introducing certain themes in the mainstream, such as the idea that immigrants are stealing ‘our’ jobs. Nobody else in the political spectrum took over such idea.

  2. maxdunbar Says:

    Sorry – that was a big generalisation! Glad to hear the fascists are getting creamed in Portugal.

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