March 12, 2010

THis week, there was a ruling that teachers who were members of the BNP won’t be penalised for their membership of a ‘political’ party.

A judge at central London County Court, has ruled that the BNP’s membership rules are still racist. Iain Dales interview with Nick Griffin, has led to calls to boycott an awards ceremony for political bloggers, and bloggers involved in those awards, have had to justify not  doing so.

This is another one of those issues, which everyone believes is really complicated. It really isn’t.

The BNP manifesto, is not right wing. It is not libertarian politics. It is not a political ideaology, it is a manifesto of racism.

There is legislation, however ineffective it is sometimes, that enshrines the principle that my gender, or my race, cannot be a basis for me experiencing discrimination. Not in employment, not from the public services I use.  Yet I can find myself  represented by a party, who believe that my skin colour  means I am not british, and don’t have the right to live here.’ That party can be my voice in parliament?

I don’t see why it is so complicated to legislate to protect me from that.

There are so many red herrings thrown around in this debate, that make it appear more complicated than it is.

The fact that you can vote for the BNP gives them legitimacy, not the fact that they are heard in the media.

No self respecting news organisation can refuse to give a recognised political party,  representation of their ‘views’ in the run up to an election.

We talk about apathy leading people to vote BNP.  People don’t get off their arses, and vote BNP  because they are apathetic. They do so, because they agree with Nick Griffin. He doesn’t hide what he stands for that well. We see this every time the shaven owl appears in the media. The people who vote for him, are not going to be shocked when it is ‘revealed’ he is racist. They already know.

It is not the membership rules or the BNP which are racist, it is the manifesto.

Some people are racist. We legislate against racism, so its effects are limited on the rest of us. We don’t debate whether racism is right, that’ debate’ ended long ago.

The idea that there is a ‘political’ party who represent these ‘views’, and can obtain power on that basis, outrageous.

That doesn’t mean I want to live in a society where my membership of a political party means that I can lose my job. I don’t want a media that only reports on the politics they agree with.   I just don’t want to live in a society where  Nick Griffins hatred, ignorance, and bigotry, are a valid part of political process.

Within that validity, the problem lies, and how to tackle it  doesn’t appear very complicated from where I sit.

I still think we should have a big gay kissathon, outside his house. #gogayforgriffin



  1. Couldn’t agree with you more. I very much subscribe to the theory that freedom of speech means sometimes having to listen to things that make you uncomfortable.

    I may be being an idealist, but is part of the problem with the BNP the media so vocally not giving them a platform part of the cause of some of their support giving them a whole martyrdom angle “look, we only want to protect you from those nasty immigrants who are going to eat your children, and look what the media are doing to us”. Griffin made an arse of himself on Question Time, and the policy page on their website is contradictory bollocks, so would letting them speak more only serve to make them less attractive as they’re shown up? I really hope most of the people (although admittedly not those who’d become members) who think it’s a great idea to vote for them really don’t know what they stand for, and if they were better informed would shy away from them. Although, like I say, maybe I’m being an idealist.

    Every time I see some form of equality legislation working its way through parliament it saddens me to think that you have to legislate to make people treat each other with basic human fairness.

    • As soon as you say No Platform, to a recognised political party- you place yourself in the position of removing someones democratic rights. Which when you are tackling a party because they really want to remove peoples rights, is not logical.
      We don’t have to debate the BNP platform, and its merits- there isn’t a debate, and british people are supposed to be able to expect not to be discriminated against because of race- so I really don’t see how it is that complicated to say that a political party with a manifesto of race discrimination is not on, and I actually don’t see how it is complicated to say a party cannot have a platform that is entirely based on race.
      I like living in a country, with free speech(as you can tell!)- and when say fire someone for being part of the BNP= you are saying that someone can be sacked for a political affiliation- you are on very sticky ground. It may be a designed to tackle the BNP= but once that door is open- it is open.

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