Refusing to be defeated by the BNP

Tuesday, 9th June 2009 at 8:00 UTC 7 comments

I need not attempt to put into words my current feelings about the European Election results. Anyone who doesn’t feel this way needs to question their ability to make a truly human, emotional response to the elections. But sadly, there will be little time for licking of wounds and collective mourning. This is the beginning of the final phase of politics before a general election in which there are real dangers of BNP gains. Now is the time not to mourn, but to organise!

First, lets deal with the need for protests. Protests rooted in the results of a democratic election can seem a bit counter-intuitive. But at no point should we allow this to become a protest against democracy. The BNP won fair and square. Anti-fascism in the UK has been shown to be a disgrace, and the Far Right threat has been made visible in only the most devastating way.

Instead, we should be protesting against the claim to legitimacy that the BNP are making and beginning a new wave of organising to keep York Council and the nearby parliamentary constituencies Nazi free. Indeed, we should be organising to make Britain Nazi-free. Elected, yes, but still only the views of a tiny minority, and one we will work to diminish.

1 in 32 people in Yorkshire and the Humber voted for the BNP. This is phenomenally small, and could have been turned into utter abysmal failure for them had the turnout been much higher. Evenly distributing gains across all parties, actual numbers of votes could have been raised by only a couple of hundred thousand, and they would not have been elected. Now the BNP are allowed, along with the 4 other successful parties, to claim to represent myself and several million others in the European Parliament. They don’t. They won’t. And yes, I reserve my right to tell people this.

Bronns and his Fuhrer can be left represent the small number of arse-wipes who actually support him, whereas those who voted for him as a protest vote need to admit what they’ve done and get ready to put things right. We must take stock of what has happened, and turn it into a great awakening, rather than the beginning of Britain’s march towards the deepest authoritarianism.

But we must look onwards. York is becoming multiracial. We must celebrate this. Our city simply wouldn’t function without the dedication of the Polish and other minorities living here, and now that they are under threat, we must act to defend them from every policy, every racist slur and every physical attack. When they fall under attack, when a window is broken, dog crap is put through a letter box or when someone is abused in whatever way in the street, we must act with speed. To do this, we must first be organised.

First, we must recognise that the BNP’s words are resonating with people who do not share their underlying beliefs, but that the simple statement that these people are fascists is not enough, indeed barely useful, in dissuading people from voting BNP. “Fascist” is a label. Labels can be our friends, but they can also be useless baggage. We must dump the baggage and get on with challenging them where they’re at: claiming to have policies ready to meet the needs of a people deprived of representation by government.

This needs to happen on several levels. We need first of all to understand what it was that appealed to voters about the BNP, what it was that made the most reluctant of their voters choose to mark the box in favour of them. And activists must find a solution immediately and get organising on those very issues. If necessary, we need to go door to door finding out what people think and making sure we get the right response back out to them.

When there is a case to be answered of failing government, we must support people in getting what they want and need fairly and without attacking minorities along the way. Preferably, we must unite people with the ethnic minorities suffering the exact same thing. But above all, we mustn’t shy away from helping provide a unifying direct action solution that is confrontational to those who deserve to be confronted. This may be new to some people, but look at the Rainbow coalition and other ground breaking initiatives in America’s past.

Labour needs to explain its position on the housing crises. If it hasn’t got one, it needs to go get one now. The same for the Liberal Democrats and the Greens. And for the Tories, though we suspect there’s will be less than useless.

And we need to begin working on a campaign to keep the British Parliament BNP free at the next general election. This must be a nuanced campaign, one which meets people where they’re at, doesn’t resort to rhetoric when the BNP themselves are talking up real practicalities, and in which real issues are confronted. When there is a real threat, all parties must decide on which amongst them is best placed to win, and all the others must withdraw.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Where there’s half-apathetic decisions to just do something vague, screw ups like this are much more likely. Lets get this right next time!

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Entry filed under: Elections, Europe, News, Party Politics, Politics, Racism.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. paul  |  Tuesday, 9th June 2009 at 10:08 UTC

    . York is becoming multiracial. We must celebrate this. Our city simply wouldn’t function without the dedication of the Polish and other minorities living here, and now that they are under threat, we must act to defend

    You prat. We functioned fine pre 1950 before all the immigrants came in. You can’t stop the people chosing BNP.

    Reply
    • 2. Neil T.  |  Tuesday, 9th June 2009 at 11:27 UTC

      Yes, and surprisingly enough the world has changed in the half a century since. If you rounded up all of the “non-indigenous” people and stuck them on a boat to somewhere, the country would grind to a halt. Like it or not, these people are here, they’re working and they’re paying tax and national insurance (or at least the majority are). Their contributions to the British economy are vital.

      In any case, in the 1950s we invited people from our overseas colonies to help the country rebuild after the war, simply because there weren’t enough employable ‘natives’ at the time. So your statement that we ‘functioned fine’ back then is wrong.

      Reply
  • 3. Chris  |  Tuesday, 9th June 2009 at 11:15 UTC

    @Paul – I’d say we’re in a slightly different economic situation to the pre-1950s.

    Reply
  • 4. paul  |  Wednesday, 10th June 2009 at 11:29 UTC

    That we invited people here after the war because we couldn’t function is one view. Another is the socialist government brought in none whites so a nationalist government couldn’t rise again, such as in Italy, Spain and Germany.

    As for immigrants paying tax. Most black people are either unemployed, in jail or in mental health units which costs a absolute fortune. As for the asians, most curry houses have illigal immigrants working in them and the fraud via secound, third marriges and bent immigration solicitors is massive. Not to mention us being sued for so called racial discrimination, look at the police. Credit card fraudsters, heroin dealers and secound rate doctors are overwhelmingly asian. I don’t mind the Chinese because by and large they are courteous, respectful and don’t hate us. As for the aformentioned groups Britain would be much better off without them.

    Reply
    • 5. Alex  |  Saturday, 13th June 2009 at 2:43 UTC

      “Most black people are either unemployed, in jail or in mental health units which costs a absolute fortune. As for the asians…”

      Figures? Surveys? Research? Proof? No? Thought not.

      Reply
  • 6. John  |  Thursday, 11th June 2009 at 5:05 UTC

    Who is this Paul guy? Whats with the ‘you prat’? Good to see you are ‘courteous and respectful’ like the Chinese you mention. It’s nice to see you entering into a healthy dialogue with Graham in such a mature manner, backing up your generalised statements with clear proof and citations. How does your analysis of different ethnic groups look when applied to the white working classes?

    I think one thing is clear (you will notice I am, like you, not courteous and respectful, but you did loose any respect that you were due with your opening statement) to most who are British and read what you have written; Britain would be much better off without miserable, closed minded, arrogant f***kers like yourself. I’m sorry for you the world evolved since the 1940s and all but a few, such as your-good-funloving-self, got left behind. I hear pre-1950s were great, I hear everyone lived in perfect harmony in big houses provided by the government, it was an egalitarian utopia in which love and tolerance reigned and in which the noble white British person was able to refuge from the barbaric world he had tamed and conquered.

    Reply
  • 7. Graham Martin  |  Saturday, 13th June 2009 at 21:21 UTC

    Reposted from a friend’s email…

    “Has Andii worked out the solution to this nasty little BNP problem? Get as many minority people as possible to apply for jobs and when they aren’t employed sue the pants off them!
    Cunning!

    http://nouslife.blogspot.com/2009/06/could-this-be-what-breaks-bnp.html

    Reply

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