Think back to school chemistry lessons (bear with me). One experiment was to light a splint and push into into a test-tube of pure oxygen. It burned brightly but burned out – there was only so much fuel. There is no mass appetite for racism in Britain, just disaffection with our present policy-makers. We need to show that the BNP would be no better, they are shallow and opportunistic, they are hopelessly simple.
See, I would say a racist in someone who believes that race exists, a wholly constructed term that arose from the need to justify subjugation. Please, do read Barbara Field’s paper Slavery, Race and Ideology in the United States of America¹. It changed my life and outlook on the world and will do the same for you. Allowing the BNP to give their stock answers on pseudo-scientific cobblers (it is their raison d’être) doesn’t prove anything. Questioning them on the issues people care about does.
The BNP aren’t challenged, not really. ‘Hard-hitting’ interviews with Nick Griffin always seem to miss the mark². This was true on Newsnight and just as the BBC Daily Politics’ Andrew Neil started to tear Griffin apart, a foolishly imposed time limit meant the interview was cut short.
I just listened to Iain Dale³ interview Simon Darby (the BNP’s Martin Bormann): it was a good effort. More than this, it was the right thing to do. His co-host, blogger Hopi Sen refused to take part because he thought the BNP would lie. If they are scrutinised more, surely this would be more easily exposed? Dale should be applauded for conducting a strong interview – I still await my opportunity to do the same (let’s just say the BNP press office don’t have a Goebbels as yet).
I would have been tougher – Darby is very good at distracting Dale (and the bizarrely technical Donal Blaney) – and lets him get away a few times. Dale is wonderfully opinionated but the magnitude of attacking the BNP leads him to constantly put his own views forward as a counterbalance. Let the listener shout at the radio instead!
Regardless, one interview cannot do much on its own. An interview cannot expose the technical ignorance of the BNP (Darby appears to put British prosperity solely down to North Sea Oil) and their racist aggression. Many interviews would.
One interview can be ignored, many cannot. As Hannah Arendt notes in The Origins of Totalitarianism, those attracted to movements like the BNP are often people without an interest in partisan politics or policy. They are disaffected people who society ignores and the economy fails to provide for. In short, they do not watch Newsnight and desire the identity granted by pseudo-scientific definitions of race.
It is up to our press, who have been so good in breaking down the issue of MP’s expenses so the public can understand the magnitude of some politician’s mendacity, to cover the BNP not snipe from the sidelines.
Did you know:
- The BNP want to close all foreign (US) bases on UK soil – jeopardising Britain’s relationship with her closest ally, presumably because President Obama has darker skin than Nick Griffin?
- The BNP are opposed to people from other countries saving British lives in the health service?
- The BNP want to start a trade war with Europe? Tariffs are widely said to have turned the Wall Street Crash into the Great Depression.
This needs to be exposed. I don’t consider the BNP a threat, they’re not popular and never will be. BNP MEPs won’t be able to affect a change, fair play is ingrained the national psyche. Nonetheless, it is the job of the media to report on issues, however galling. I hope they’ll step up their coverage of the BNP as the present policy hasn’t worked. What do you think?
p.s. do have a look at Tim Montgomerie’s anti-BNP campaign. Far less shouty than many (not all) anti-BNP campaigns.
¹ I’ve posted it up on box.net but will happily take it down if I’m doing something wrong.
² If you hear one that’ll change my mind, let me know.
³ Full disclosure: Mr Dale linked an interview of mine a while back. I’m exceptionally proud it happened and consequently consider his blog the zenith of the technological revolution!