From leader Nick Griffin’s Holocaust denial through to Tony Lecomber’s proposed eugenics plan for a purer white race, the British National Party has expounded outrageous and downright dangerous views. Recently Mark Collett, leader of the young BNP was shown by channel 4’s Despatches to be an out and out Nazi sympathiser: “National Socialism was the best solution for the German people in the 1930s”, he told the cameras. “I honestly cant understand how a man who’s seen the inner city hell of Britain today cant look back on that era [Hitler’s Germany] with a certain nostalgia”. Despite the BNP’s public denunciation of Collett, he remains a full-time party worker and Yorkshire Regional Organiser. Formed in 1982 by John Tyndall, one of Britain’s foremost post-war nazis, the BNP spent much of the 1980s in the shadow of the larger National Front. The NF was to split quite dramatically, and, torn by internal conflict, left a space on the far right for the BNP to fill. In 1985, one of its main activists, Tony Lecomber, was sent to prison for trying to blow up the offices of a rival organisation. He was also caught with hand-grenades. Despite his attempted terrorism, he remains number two in today’s BNP. During the early 1990s much of its activities were focused on East London, where, in 1993, it secured a council by-election victory in the Tower Hamlets ward of Millwall. The price to pay was a massive rise in racial attacks. In the three months after the election, racial incidents rose by 300%. At about the same time the BNP spawned the violent Combat 18 as its security force. . C18 later emerged as a nazi terror group, responsible for a letter bomb campaign and a series of murders. C18 thugs, made up of football hooligans and nazi skinheads, protected BNP meetings and minded BNP leaders during party marches.
In 1993 the BNP became increasingly embarrassed by Combat 18 violence. After its victory in Millwall it decided it no longer needed the street thugs and banned dual membership. However most BNP members ignored this plea. In September 1995 four of the five London BNP branch organisers attended a C18 meeting. The Millwall seat was lost eight months later. The BNP lost momentum, with younger members going over to C18. Tyndall reversed the slide by adopting a more hardline strategy, which included bringing veteran US nazi leader, William Pierce, to London. Pierce penned the evil tract, The Turner Diaries, which inspired the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and the London nailbomber David Copeland. Copeland learnt his politics in the BNP. After Nick Griffin became leader in 1999, the BNP began to adopt a more respectable image. It campaigned on rural issues and, publicly at least, watered down some of its more racist policies. However most of the key BNP personnel have remained the same. And it was only one year before Griffin became leader that he received a suspended prison sentence for inciting racial hatred. In 2002 the BNP won three council seats in Burnley and averaged 28% of the town-wide vote. In Oldham, the party came second in four of the five wards it contested and took an average 27%. Across the country the BNP averaged 16% in the council wards it contested, easily its best election results in its history. It is important remember that it challenged less than 1% of all seats up for election. But since then, they have added two more council seats and this looks set to grow in May.
Racism is at the very heart of the British National Party. It is racism that separates it from any other political party. And it is racism that attracts many of its members. Of course the BNP denies this. It knows how hateful its views appear, and has tried to make its language less crude. But the song remains the same. BNP publications are still filled with racist articles, lies about immigration and asylum, and distorted figures in an attempt to portray black people as criminals and dole scroungers. Today, the BNP has dropped its policy of compulsory repatriation and replaced it with a voluntary scheme. Make no mistake about it, this move is designed to win over supporters. The party recognise that the vast majority of people found its previous policy abhorrent. But the small print of BNP policy makes clear its true aims. The BNP claims that a BNP led government would consider forcible repatriation if not enough “non-whites” took up its offer. If the BNP does not publicly support compulsory repatriation, it makes no attempt to hide its backing for an apartheid state in Britain. Current party literature proposes to “protect and preserve the racial and cultural integrity of the British people – and of others too, the party believes in separation”. According to the BNP 2001 general election manifesto, “native Britons”, who they claim can only be white, would be given priority in the job market. “Non-whites” would instantly become second class citizens in Britain. Any black person who commits a crime would also be thrown out of the country, even those who were born here. Mixed race relationships would be outlawed.
Privately, the BNP leaders have continued to air their real political views. “All black people will be repatriated, even if they were born here”, BNP leader Nick Griffin told Wales on Sunday in 1996. “We must preserve the white race, because it has been responsible for all the good things in civilisation” - according to Tony Lecomber, the preservation of the white race can be done through a racial eugenic programme. On other occasions, the BNP has glorified racist attacks. In 1991, the BNP newspaper gloated after several BNP supporters stabbed an African immigrant at London Bridge station. The victim had his “kidney surgically removed”, the paper boasted. In the same year, the BNP leadership whipped up a racist riot in Bermondsey, London, and led an attack on an anti-racist meeting that was protesting against the BNP headquaters in Welling. Thirteen people needed hospital treatment. BNP supporter Stuart Kerr was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for firebombing an Asian shop in Chichester, Sussex. Tell me this - is this really the sort of political party you would vote for?
Muslims are now the main victims of BNP racism. Since September 11th was revealed to be the work of Islamic terrorists, Muslims in this country have taken the brunt of abuse by those wanting to exploit tragedy. All ethnic groups exist as a target for the BNP, but their choice of victim is cynical: “We reject both pro-Zionist internationalism… and the Islamification of our homelands. Which enemy is it in our political interest to be seen to be opposing more vigorously at the moment? To a party aiming to win seats in London, the West Midlands and the former mill-towns of Northern England, the answer should be pretty obvious”. It is clear then, that the BNP see racism against Muslims as a vote winner. Muslims are an easy target for fascists. This is why the BNP cowardly singles them out for abuse. Under British law, Muslims do not exist as an ethnic group, and so technically cannot be the victims of discrimination. In other words, the BNP can goad Muslims and get away with it. This is why the BNP was campaigning against Muslims long before the New York attacks. By getting support from Muslim haters in other ethnic groups, the BNP are fostering more division and race hate. These Sikh and Hindu BNP supporters represent only a handful of fanatics. They speak for no one but themselves. As far back as 1996, the BNP were attacking Muslims as being separate from other ethnic groups. Then members were active in campaigns against the opening of mosques in east and south London. They wrote at the time, “The BNP has no objection to Muslims having their own places of worship – providing they are in Muslim countries and not in Britain”. The BNP has recently claimed that Al-Qia’da is the true form of Islam and that moderate Muslims who want to live peacefully with other religions are non-believers. This is clear incitement and distortion. Most of all, Griffin’s anti-Muslim stance is hypocrisy. In the mid-1980s when he was a leading officer in the National Front he openly cavorted with Islamic extremists. He supported the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fundamentalist regime in Iran, and sought backing from Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi .
Hatred of Jews has always been the backbone of nazi ideas. The BNP is no different. But antisemitism is not a vote winner. It reminds people of Hitler and the Holocaust. The BNP wishes to distance itself from the images of swastikas and concentration camps. Despite this, they still believesthat there is a Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world. In Nick Griffin’s pamphlet "Who are the Mindbenders?" Jewish names are listed as proof that they control the media. Mindbenders claims that, “The mass media in Britain today have managed to implant into many people’s minds the idea that it is ‘anti-Semitic’ even to acknowledge that members of the Jewish community play a large part in controlling our news”'; Jews are accused of “providing us with an endless diet of pro-multiracial, pro-homosexual, anti-British trash”. In Spearhead in 1996, Griffin spoke of “the controllers of Hollywood, almost entirely Jewish”, and has written that: “Some ‘anti-Semitism’ may be provoked by the actions of certain Jews themselves and thereby have a rational basis”. Now he is trying to distance himself from the label of antisemitism, and has toned down his views in public. Where he once spoke of “Jewish influence”, he now speaks of “Zionist influence”, showing that it is his language not his beliefs that have changed. Griffin has never withdrawn his views on the Holocaust that landed him with a suspended prison sentence in 1998. His publication The Rune, which denied that the Holocaust ever took place, resulted in a conviction for inciting racial hatred under the Public Order Act. So extreme were Griffin’s beliefs that he attacked David Irving, the leading British Holocaust denier, for daring to admit that some people might have died in the Holocaust, Griffin wrote: “True revisionists will not be fooled by this new twist to the sorry tale of the Hoax of the Twentieth Century”. Defaming the memory of British forces who fought the Nazis, he added, “Back in the 1960s the Jews quietly shifted the alleged sites of the mass gassings from the no longer believable German camps such as Dachau and Belsen to the sites in Communist Poland such as Auschwitz and Treblinka. Now that the very idea of Zyklon-B extermination has been exposed as unscientific nonsense, they are once and again re-writing bogus history, playing down gas chambers and talking instead of ‘hundreds of hitherto unknown sites in the East where more than a million Jews were exterminated by shooting”. Griffin sees the Holocaust as a lie invented by Jews to make money: “As your Hollywood friend is fond of remarking, (provided he is safely in select company) ‘there’s no business like Shoah business”. When the former MP Alex Carlisle reported Griffin for inciting racial hatred and Holocaust denial, Griffin fumed: “This bloody Jew, our local MP who organised the raid whose only claim to fame is that two of his parents died in the Holocaust”. Star witness as Harrow Crown Court on Griffin’s behalf was Robert Faurisson, the famous French Holocaust denier; in he 1990s the BNP hosted a number of revisionism seminars that were addressed by some of the world’s most infamous Holocaust deniers. They included David Irving.
The BNP are all things to all people. They are populists whose politics change like the wind. If the public is concerned with asylum, the BNP will exploit the issue. When Islamic fundamentalists commit terrorist attacks, suddenly all Muslims are to blame for the world’s ills. No matter what problems exist in this country, someone else is always to blame. Now the BNP wants to take power in council elections. But they know their nazi image has to go. Britons fought for our freedom against Hitler’s Nazi Germany. No decent British citizens want homegrown extremists destroying the memory of those brave men and women who lost their lives to secure our future; this is why the BNP lie about who they are and what they stand for. The BNP are cynics. They pretend that they are not racists. But make no mistake about it, all minority groups would be under threat if faced with a BNP victory. The BNP promise the world but can deliver nothing. They say that they love this country, but they wish to destroy its harmony and diversity; they say that they stand for the ordinary worker, but the BNP would scrap Trade Unions given the chance. Extremism quite obviously still runs through the dark, sinister beating heart of the BNP.
A blog for the socially and politically conscious, written by a young, gay activist who strongly believes in equality and justice.