I’ve just spent some time looking at the web site of the British National Party (BNP). It’s quite frightening what these people believe in but even more frightening is how they are trying to dress it all up in an effort to appear superficially respectable.
The party claims, on the front page of its site, to speak for the Silent Majority of British people. I would love to know how they know this. A Silent Majority is, by definition, silent and in consequence its views are unknown. A claim to speak for this Silent Majority is usually made by those who simply cannot countenance the idea that anyone, other than nutters and loonies, can possibly think differently than themselves.
The BNP is led by the convicted racist1 Nick Griffin, a strange man with repugnant views who lives in a house on the side of a Welsh mountain. Griffin would appear to have pretensions to being a bit of an intellectual and the BNP’s site is full of articles written by him which present peculiar arguments full of non-sequeteurs and assumptions about other people’s opinions and motivations.
In one of his articles Griffin even admits that the aims of the BNP will appear indigestible to a great many people and that, therefore, the party must persuade people to vote for them by misrepresenting those aims. Indeed, there was a woman elected to a council in the north of England (Burnley if I recall correctly) who recently left the party saying that she was persuaded to stand for election by just such misrepresentations.
These people are thoroughly vile. They are putting up a larger number of candidates than ever before in the forthcoming local elections and the elections for the European Parliament. Let us just hope that the British people are not fooled into voting for them. Make no mistake, the BNP are a threat to all of us.
Now might be an apt time to recall the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller:
When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned.
One final thought. One of the BNP’s policies is to make the trains run on time. The last politician to offer to do that came to a rather sticky end hanging upside down from a garage in Milan, Italy in April 1945.
Posted 3 May 2004, 01:20 BST