Forget the BNP - let's get some real extremists into Parliament
Not the fascist BNP or far left radicals, argues Will Self, but men and women of probity
The British National Party are always whining about how the 'media pigs' distort their honest yeoman words into sinister neo-fascist claptrap, and demanding they be given serious consideration. The other night, listening to the midnight news on Radio 4, it seemed to me that they'd got what they ask for.
It was a dispassionate report about a meeting of BNP candidates for the European parliamentary elections. Nick Griffin, the party fuhrer, had said that he didn't mind picking up protest votes because of the expenses scandal - the British public had every right to protest.
Now, it won't be long before Labour MPs and ministers crawl out of the non-ideological woodwork where they spend most of their time hiding, and begin their own plainting. They'll be telling the electorate that we must vote Labour, however disillusioned we may be with the Government's record, if only to keep the BNP out.
By signalling the threat, Labour believes it re-establishes its own credentials
The PR system in operation means that with six or seven candidates fielded - Griffin wasn't sure which yet - there is, indeed, a very real chance that we'll see a far-right British Euro MP.
By the very act of signalling the threat, Labour believes it instantly re-establishes its credentials: we are the anti-fascist party, the men and women who won the battle of Cable Street/Britain/Stalingrad and our brave history in this regard is unimpeachable, so forget all that stuff we've been saying about clamping down on immigration, and promoting Britishness - we remain the party of worldwide inclusion.
This Labour ploy - and it is just a ploy - is pretty hard to stomach. Back in the good old days, when the Tories were a credible bogeyman, Labour would've clawed in swing votes from LibDems and still woollier folk, purely to defeat the Tories. It's this, the entrenched self-righteousness of the radical, which still permeates the miasma of Labour thought, even after over a decade lapping at the trough of power.
Besides, it's legitimate to ask,who is it, exactly, that Labour seeks to woo with such humbug? On the one hand, they doubtless hope to recapture centrist middle class voters who may have fled either to the LibDems or swerved further to the right.
On the other hand they want to reawaken the old tribal affiliations of the white chavistocracy, those bold geezers and geezeresses who really do believe in British jobs for British workers, British culture for British illiterates and all the rest of the goose-stepping mood-music that many mainstream politicians - including Brown - are only too happy to play when it suits them.
In a mature democracy, freedom of speech – within the law – is a given
I hold no brief for Griffin and his pea-brained saddos - he's a convicted Holocaust denier who's faced three trials for incitement to racial hatred in the past decade alone, but nor do I support those who exploit fear of him so crudely.
In a mature democracy, freedom of speech - within the law - is a given. The old rump of the left, whose war cry was always: 'No platform for racists and fascists!' need to ask themselves why, exactly, the BNP is gaining ground? It's not enough to cover their eyes and see no evil, because the solution to some of greatest problems lies in the answer to this simple question: why does a party which pledges stringent economic protectionism and a complete end to immigration now hold nearly a hundred council seats?
One of the first warnings that came from the political classes - Labour and Tory - when the banking crisis happened, was that a deep recession could see people driven to extremism. That hasn't happened - yet - since unemployment lags behind the other key indicators.
Meanwhile sitting MPs have managed to alienate the electorate all by themselves, by using taxpayers' money to clean their moat/change their light bulbs/boost their property portfolio. Frankly, I hope the lot of 'em do lose their jobs at the next election, we need some extremists in parliament, not fascists or communists - but men and women of extreme probity. ·
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