St George’s Day saw the launch of the BNP manifesto, of course it did, because only the most English of parties would wait until the feast of the Middle Eastern born patron saint to declare an “end to immigration from Muslim nations“. Maybe they should have started with the man dressed as the dragon slaying Saint.
The BBC manifesto summary (link given above) gives a rather charming and reasoned sound to their policies, rather than the rabid, just-wiped-the-foam-from-the-mouth feel that is found on their website. The lack of costing is painfully clear from the commitment to withdraw from the EU (cherry picking the ‘policies’) with thousands of people depending on the European market for trade purposes, so to beat a hasty retreat would commend the economy to the doldrums. The commitment to a ‘greener’ Britain (calling the actual Green Party”a front for the far left of the Labour regime”) whilst simultaneously calling the research behind climate change an “unproved science” smacks of duplicity.
In their moment in the spotlight, the BNP were clamouring to state that their policies are not just on immigration yet immigration forms the backdrop of all their policies: “we’ll improve the economy – just get rid of the foreigners; we’ll stop terrorism – just get rid of the immigrants; want the perfect lasagna – kick out those who have come over here and nicked all the bechamel sauce”. It’s shallow, scaremongering and racist to make such claims, but we know that; they know that.
The BNP speak for those who feel disenfranchised, and this is a claim that cannot be ignored. With Labour moving away from their working class roots, they lost the right to lead, the right to set the direction, instead all they gained was a nice comfy position in the back pocket of Big Business. This left the BNP to encroach on to old Labour ground, to whisper sweet nothings (in this case ‘nothings’ is quite apt) into the ears of the workers and unfortunately some took the bait.
The BNP only lead through lies and misinformation, not trust and confidence, which is why the battle to regain their supporters is one that is not futile. Organisations such as HOPE Not Hate form the necessary vanguard against this new cleverer brand of racist bigotry, tackling the BNP head-on wherever they decide to stand. The success of HnH shows the message of positivity can triumph over that of hate, that the tables can be turned, that Britain is not how the BNP see it. And it is that last point which fills my heart with joy. The sheer number of people who are willing to give up their free time and volunteer for anti-fascist organisations is phenomenal, and the results that are achieved are tangible.
But that does not mean the race has been won, not by any stretch of the imagination. This election could possibly see the first BNP Members of Parliament, or the first BNP run local Council, so work needs to be done. This is my appeal to you, if you have any free time please see if there is any way you can help HnH pull the rug from under the feet of the racists, if not please vote and tell your friends, family, neighbour, other secret family that no one knows about, to vote as this time every vote truly matters.