Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Mishandling the BNP

Ever since the Euro election results were announced on Sunday evening, there has been much hand wringing by the establishment that two of the 72 MEPs came from the BNP.

While this is not a party I support, there is no doubt that they were fairly elected. As has been pointed out by many, including Daniel Hannan, the BNP are incorrectly described as a "far right" party when in actual fact most of their economic policies place them firmly on the left. They do focus a lot on immigration as an issue but taking the whole package they are broadly a left wing party.

The BNP has come along way since the early 1990s when they won their first council seat in Tower Hamlets. Then it was often associated with skin heads and rather grubby East Enders who ferried supporters around in old Transit vans. Under Nick Griffin, who studied Law and History at Cambridge University, the BNP has become a more sophisticated operation.

The establishment seems totally inept at handling them with Labour politicians last week telling people to vote Labour to prevent the BNP getting in. The government seems so out of touch that it fails to realise that such appeals by unpopular MPs will actually boost the BNP vote.

There is also a patronising snobbish view of BNP voters as uneducated "white trash". Again such views if badly expressed may actually increase BNP support. The establishment fails to realise that a BNP vote is not really an aspirant choice but a form of rebellion. The more establishment politicians criticise this, the more attractive it becomes for a certain segment of society.

Today Nick Griffin was attacked with eggs outside parliament by protestors who chanted "nazis" and "fascists" failing to recognise the irony of their actions in physically assaulting a democratically elected politician. Despite being one of the most heavily policed areas in the country, no police intervened. Contrast this to the policing of the G20 protests in April when Met Police used their battons on anything that moved.

I do not suppot the BNP but I feel that scenes like those in the clip below will only lead to them being seen as martyrs and increase their support in future. Far better to let the BNP run their course, much as similar parties have in France and elsewhere. Ultimately such parties normally run out of steam. They are beaten not by egg throwers but by reasoned argument and by their own incompentency once they get into a form of office.

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