Sunday, 14 June 2009

The Not-So-British National Party

Earlier this week the results of the European elections were published and amid the utter collapse of the Labour vote countrywide the British National Party (BNP) managed to grab two seats in Yorkshire and the North East. The BNP are a political party which claims to represent the indigenous population of Britain and to that end wants no-one but these indigenous Britons to live here. This means that all ethnic minorities will have to go, no matter how long they have lived here and no immigrants will be allowed entry to the country. They claim that these non-Britons are stealing jobs which should go to British people and blame any unemployment on these foreigners.

Essentially the BNP appeals to the sense of a British National Identity in order to conceal what is little more than racism; they believe that certain people, based on their race, should have exclusive access to an island simply be virtue of the fact that people of the same race have lived their for centuries. Not only is this an absurd belief, it is also built on a complete misconception of the history of Britain. Britain is not and never has had one indigenous race of ‘Britons’. Even in prehistoric times when the country was populated by Celtic tribes, these tribes were not united politically or racial. There was no country of ‘Britain’; just a whole host of different tribes competing for dominance of small areas of the island. Under the Roman occupation Britain was just part of the greater empire which spanned Western Europe and most of the Mediterranean. Romans were integrating with the tribesmen whom they had conquered. After the Romans had left Britain, the island was occupied by again competing tribes of Germans which only united under Alfred the Great after the Viking invasion. This is seen as the founding of Britain as a nation, and even then it was a hodgepodge of Celts, Saxons, Romans, Angles and various other smaller yet still distinctive groups. The Norman invasion made the makeup of Britain Even more different given that it was now occupied by a foreign power. For a long time after the invasion the aristocracy of Britain all spoke French and indeed much of north east France was part of Britain, or rather Britain was part of north east France. Britain was not ‘united by a common language’ until long into its history. In fact it is hard to say when this happened given that it was more of a gradual integration than a cosmic shift. ‘Britons’ are a peculiar racial mix of Germans, Vikings, Romans, Celts and Normans. This ill defined boiling pot is wrongly perceived as ‘Britishness’; there is no such thing as a British Race.

Using this misconception of what it is to be ‘British’ leads the BNP to believe that this small group of islands belongs to this ‘British’ race. The entire history of the British Isles is one of invasion and integration; new peoples have invaded or settled and become part of the populace. They have become part of the ‘British’ race by virtue of the fact that they have lived here and integrated with the populace, sharing their culture and shaping our history. I see no difference between German tribesmen settling this island and Indian or Polish or African families moving here and settling. The BNP misconstrue the facts to help conceal their blatant racism. The reason they want to expel people who do not fit their ill defined conception of British is basic and irrational fear of foreigners. They alter their conception of history to justify this absurdity.

Not only is the pillar of their beliefs completely unfounded, their leader and many of its members are completely insane. Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP is quoted as calling a holocaust a ‘holohoax’, most of its members seem to think that Hitler was actually a pretty decent bloke and we could learn a lot from his policies. Some members even think that we would be better off living in Nazi Germany. This from a party which claims to fight for civil liberties. They don’t seem to have an issue with rape, but think that homosexuality is wrong. They believe in Corporal Punishment for petty criminals, they’re opposed to globalisation and believe in governmental control of large swaths of the economy. Is this starting to sounds at all like Iran to you? The BNP wants to reduce Britain to the level a fascist state which has one of the worst human rights records of any country on the planet. This goes contrary to the beliefs of almost all great British thinkers through time; like John Stuart Mill, John Locke and Adam Smith. So much for British values, but we’ve already established that the BNP ignored historical facts which do not sit with their racist bullshit.

Fortunately the BNP’s election success was not actually a result of many more people voting for the BNP; they only managed to gain 1.4% of the vote on the last European Election. However their success does mean that Nick Griffin and co will represent, at least in part, British interests in the European Parliament. Given that only 6.3% of us voted for them this is a disgrace. The BNP are a sorry part of British politics for whom only a small number of racist bigots vote. It is a sad reflection of the state of politics in this country that they are able to win seats to represent the people of Britain, whatever the colour. If you too think that the BNP are a disgrace to this country then I urge you in the strongest terms to sign this petition. It is to be delivered to the European parliament when Nick Griffin sits in his first parliament on 14th July. You can and should also join the facebook group 1,000,000 united against the BNP.

The BNP are a blight on the face of British politics. The best thing you can do to stop them from gaining any power is to vote at the next election (which will probably be next summer). Racist bigots will always be in the minority – less than 6.3% of the country actually agrees with Nick Griffin, but it was the fact that people did not vote that allowed them to enter the European Parliament. Do not let the loud mouthed minority of racists overpower the vast majority of reasonable, tolerant people. One vote every few years is all the say we get in our ‘democracy’ so use your vote wisely. While I have my own preferences, I do not mind of you vote for Labour, or the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats or any other party, but I strongly urge you, when Gordon Brown does call an election, to use your vote wisely and don’t allow the travesty of this weeks European Election repeat itself.

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