A blog for the socially and politically conscious, written by a young, gay activist who strongly believes in equality and justice.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Don't let fascism be taught to our children

White extremists have been consulted over government policy on tackling racism in schools. A team reviewing race relations policy for Children's Secretary Ed Balls held a meeting in a hotel with a member of the National Front. It is understood an approach was also made to the British National Party, although the BNP denied it had been approached by the review team. The review was set up by Mr Balls to consider whether members of the National Front (NF) and BNP should be banned from becoming teachers to prevent the promotion of racism in schools. The revelation that these groups were invited to take part in the inquiry is certain to spark outrage. The NF disclosed on its website it held a meeting with Maurice Smith, the former chief inspector of schools who is leading the inquiry, and an official from the Department for Children, Schools and Families. NF press officer Tom Linden said the meeting had taken place in a hotel at 8.30am. 'Before the interview started I thanked Mr Smith for the giving the National Front the opportunity to promote its policies and for including the NF in his review,' he said. 'The interview was mainly about the National Front and its policies towards the education of our children'The interview was mainly about the National Front and its policies towards the education of our children.

'I pointed out that the National Front was not a racist party and that to want to promote and safeguard our own people and their culture and heritage was not racist. I felt it was also important to point out that a teacher who was a member of the National Front would be as "professional" as any other. Ed Balls: The team interviewed the NF member as part of a review for him 'I gave a comparison of the amount of Muslims working in the NHS and that there was never any suggestion from the government that Muslim doctors and nurses would treat sheiks and Christians any differently so why would NF members.' Describing the meeting, he added: 'The interview lasted some 50 minutes and was very relaxed it was almost like having a conversation; it was certainly not intimidating in the slightest.' But his remarks will infuriate campaigners for groups such as the NF and BNP to be barred from teaching. Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, has said that wherever they have a presence, they breed and promote 'intolerance, violence and community fragmentation'. 'No right-minded person wants children, young people and staff in schools exposed to their pernicious agenda of hatred and discrimination' she said.

The BNP denied it had been approached by Mr Smith's review team. A DCSF spokesman said: 'We are crystal clear that any form of hate-based prejudice or extremism being promoted to young people in schools is absolutely unacceptable. 'The far-right is not, and cannot be part of any solution to community problems – that’s what the vast majority of the British people believe. Maurice Smith is independent of Government and how he collects evidence for his review is totally up to him. But he understandably wants to talk to a wide range of organisations and individuals that have opinions on the issue. One of the areas he is looking at is whether teachers should be allowed to be members of nationalist organisations. Whatever people’s opinions on these organisations are, it would be impossible for him to produce a comprehensive report on the issue taking into account all the arguments and information available without talking to all parties concerned.
Any report that ignored certain views could be seen as unfair and biased. We look forward to receiving his recommendations shortly.'

Take a look at the National Front and see for yourself how they wish to make Britain a pure white Christian Aryan Britain, excluding immigrants, asylum seekers or British-born black people as they are "inferior" as well as a "threat" to these venomous ideologies. They even wish to recriminalise homosexuality, even persecuting millions for breaking this law? Why should their hideous, frankly perilous ideologies be celebrated in school? Why should these racist, homophobic white-supremacist fascist terrorists be allowed to spread their hatred, fear, intolerance and bigotry to our children in a propagated campaign to amplify the vision Adolf Hitler had in Nazi Germany? I actually feel sick when I'm writing this; not solely because I am friends with ethnic & religious minorities but because I am gay as well. And I abhor any of the prejudices they believe with great strength, including sexism and disablism. The party claims to fundamentally stand for the decentralization of power to local areas in the name of democracy, and the decentralization of the education system to support the rights of parents. Supporting freedom of speech, freedom of press, the right to fair trial, freedom from arbitrary arrest and the right to stand for public office with no financial limitation. The party claims to stand against "American imperialism", and would withdraw from NATO and the European Union. The party supports the use of capital punishment for crimes of murder, rape, paedophilia and terrorism and would reintroduce Section 28, as well as supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality. The party adopts a strongly pro-life stance, describing abortion as a "crime against humanity" and would repeal the 1967 Abortion Act.

The British National Front is a far-right and whites-only British political party whose major political activities were during the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1979 general election the party polled 191,719 votes, or 0.6% of the vote overall. It is widely considered a racist group, and the British prison service and police services forbid membership of the National Front (as well as the British National Party and Combat 18). The National Front has stated that it is not a neo-Nazi party, and that it is a democratic political movement. In their own words; "We believe in Social justice, National Freedom and the introduction of a Bill of Rights for everyone ." The NF claims to oppose all economic and cultural imperialism. "Nations should be free to determine their own political systems, their own economic systems and to develop their own culture." The party claims to stand for "white family values" and "fight for the Fourteen Words," a white nationalist slogan which states that, "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." The party works in open cooperation with the white supremacist and neo-Nazi Stormfront.

The NF is apparently no longer overtly anti-semitic, having stood Orthodox Jewish candidates Albert Elder and Gerry Viner in the Hendon South constituency during the 1970s. The party is critical of the historical accuracy of the Holocaust, and is inclined towards Holocaust denial. In recent years, the party has made anti-Zionism and criticism of the BNP's reformed and more moderate image and policy as a fundamental part of its campaigning and appeal. The party describes the mainstream media, mainstream political parties (in which it includes the BNP) and national governments as the anti-semitic epithet of the "Zionist Occupation Government". The NF's former National Chairman, Tom Holmes, condemned the BNP as no longer being white nationalists for having a Sikh columnist in their party newspaper. Newly-elected BNP Euro MPs Andrew Brons and Nick Griffin like to present themselves as plain-speaking politicians eager to put across the ordinary man and woman's point of view. But a chilling picture exposes them for what they truly are, vile prophets who preach a Nazi-style doctrine of racial hatred. It shows Brons and Griffins doing their utmost to incite prejudice at a National Front rally in 1981.

Brons, holding the microphone, and Griffin were prominent members of the NF, which was notorious for extreme racism and violence. Three years after this picture was taken in Fulham, Brons was convicted of behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace. He and another NF member were in Leeds shouting slogans such as "death to Jews", "white power" and "National Front". Brons, who as education officer hosted seminars claiming racism had a "scientific basis", resigned as NF chairman in 1984. He has been a BNP member for at least four years. Griffin, now 50, also later left the NF and joined the BNP, becoming its leader. Nowadays, their racism is far more subtle - but it is no less revolting. In the Euro elections Griffin picked up a seat in the North West and Brons got one in Yorkshire and Humber . But their party's share of the vote in those regions was actually down on the 2004 Euro elections. Griffin and Brons sneaked in only because Labour's vote collapsed disastrously in two of its traditional heartlands.In the wake of their election, more examples of their past emerged last year. Brons, 61, once said bombing British Jews would be "well intentioned" in a letter to a fellow extremist.

He said his only concern was the attacks might hurt their cause. After meeting another fascist, Brons wrote: "He mentioned bombing synagogues. Although he is well-intentioned I feel our public image may suffer." He sent the letter in 1965 to facist Francoise Dior. She was later convicted of arson attacks on Jewish buildings. One attack left a student dead and a second seriously injured. Brons also wrote he was sending cash for a black swastika badge and other Nazi material. He said he hoped to recruit by "exhibiting stickers, posters and slogans." Griffin yesterday tried to play down Brons' sick past as they gloated over their triumph. He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "He was a member of some crazy little far-right sect when he was a 17-year-old. He is now in his early 60s. That is an awful long time ago." Griffin added: "You can only talk about that if every time you talk to someone in the Labour Party you also talk about Peter Hain's record spreading tacks and broken glass on rugby pitches decades ago." He was referring to Hain's anti-apartheid campaigning in the 1970s. But Gerry Gable, of anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, which obtained his letter to Dior, said: "He has been a bad boy for a long time and I don't believe he has changed his spots."Griffin declared the BNP wins, coming on a night when Labour suffered it worst performance at the ballot box since 1910, meant a "huge change in British politics".

To allow the opportunity for fascist teachers to abuse their position of powerful trust and indoctrinate our children with these divisive extremist politics of hate would be disastorus for the society of the following generation - as well as a great step backwards for democracy. Fairness, equality, social justice and the basic civil rights of EVERY British citizen are at risk whenever they are allowed to prach their "politics" of racism, sexism, homophobia & disablism; it is undemocratic, not to mention completely unpatriotic. We didn't fight Hitler's Nazis to witness a rise in fascist politics decades down the line. We did not speak out angrily against the Holocaust to repeat it here - but this is the dangerous road we are approaching by allowing nthem to brainwash our children into believing the perilous myth of a "superior Aryan race" in which everyone else is inferior, a threat to the the "indigenous" population. We did not come this far or fight this hard four our liberties to allow fascists to indoctrinate the next generation into voting for a far-right alternative. To do so would be an insult to everything modern Britain stands for including our beautifully multicultural society. This is why we must fight harder than ever to drive these verminous cretins from the  positions of power and trust that they do not deserve.

1 comment:

Charles said...

No event in human history has been studied as thoroughly and carefully than the Holocaust. Thousands of thesis and dissertations papers have poured over mountains of data, from physical evidence and anecdotal testimony to captured German war documents. Virtually everyone with a PhD in History will stake their career on the fact that millions of Jews were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany. One can no more "revise" this fact than one can revise the existence of gravity. Wannsee Conference records prove that Nazis planned the extermination of Jews as, "The Final Solution." German concentration camp records prove that it was carried out.

Whenever we stand up to those who deny or minimize genocide we send a critical message to the world. As we continue to live in an age of genocide and ethnic cleansing, we must repel the broken ethics of our ancestors, or risk a dreadful repeat of past transgressions.

Holocaust deniers ply their mendacious poison everywhere, especially with young people on the Internet. Deniers seek to distort the truth in a way that promotes antagonism against the object of their hatred, or to deny the culpability of their ancestors and heroes.

Museums and mandatory public education are tools to dispel bigotry, especially racial and ethnic hatred. Books, plays, films and presentations can reinforce the veracity of past and present genocides. They help to tell the true story of the perpetrators of genocide; and they reveal the abject terror, humiliation and degradation resulting from prejudice. It is therefore essential that we disclose the factual brutality and horror of genocide, combating the deniers’ virulent, inaccurate historical revision. We must protect vulnerable future generations from making the same mistakes.

A world that continues to allow genocide requires ethical remediation. We must insist that religious, racial, ethnic, gender and orientation persecution is wrong; and that tolerance is our progeny's only hope. Only through such efforts can we reveal the true horror of genocide and promote the triumphant spirit of humankind.

Charles Weinblatt
Author, "Jacob's Courage"