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The Union is dead

The Union is dead,” says the workman next to me at the Commons cashpoint, Essex-accented, to his mate. “It’s okay to have a Scottish National Party, that’s all right, but as soon as there’s a British National Party, then oh God, they’re all Nazis.”

“Well, they are,” grins the other workman.

“No they’re not, John,” says the first one, serious and slightly hurt. “No they’re not.”

This tiny exchange illustrates a classic false belief on the part of disaffected Brits who see the BNP as in any way legitimate: that the party gets labelled “Nazis” by lefty liberals in Parliament and the media, rather than the awkward fact that many BNP members are real actual Nazis. And of course many of those in the party who aren’t actual Nazis are investigative journalists infiltrating it.

It also illustrates another truism: if MPs just hope the BNP will shut up and go away, it will feed off the way it is treated and use its ostracism to illustrate how it—and its intended audience—is shunned by Westminster. To engage with it and show its members for the hopeless racist idiots they are is not to dignify it with legitimacy; its lies should be countered at every opportunity and its bar-room demagoguery revealed for exactly what it is. Because at the moment it is slowly and insidiously gaining ground among people like the man at the cashpoint, who is probably not himself a racist idiot, but whose fears and insecurities are prey to those who are.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC)
Do you really think they are gaining ground? They've never had an MP have they? Do they have more councillors than the Greens?
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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