The BNP, as a party, is what it has always been, a bunch of thugs who attempt to rationalise their well-founded sense of inferiority by finding reasons to hate other people. A couple of them have learnt to wear suits and speak coherently (but not with polish, as one or two places are saying) and to pretend that they are not racists when speaking in public. A bit silly, since if they are not racists there is no point to them at all, they have nothing else to offer.
It annoys me when they are called a far right party. Their economic and social policy is straight from the hard left, without passing through a brain on the way. On the other hand, they only have an economic and social policy at all so that they can pretend to be a political organization and not a bunch of hate-filled thugs, so it's not unreasonable to define them by their racism. But there are plenty of left-wing racists, and much of the press calls them right-wing deliberately in order to associate the real right wing with that lot. (Or how many skinheads with Anti-Paki League tattooed on their arms do they imagine vote Conservative).
It also annoys me when they are called fascists. It is again a reflex by people who don't think or who deliberately wish to mislead, but in fact fascism has nothing to do with racism; it was an extra added on by the Nazis. Neither Mussulini nor the Falange had any theories of racial purity (the Communists did, of course, but that tends to be forgotten, along with much else).
It matters because too many people get their impression of the BNP third hand, and this is not good. Too many people 'know' the BNP are 'fascists', have 'objectionable' views, are on the 'extreme right' etc, because the government and the press have said so. But it is not good to let other people tell us what we are and are not allowed to listen to. Listen yourself, and work out whether you agree with what is said about them.
Freedom of speech, freedom in general, means such people are also entirely free to enter the market for belief and opinion. And intelligent analysis suggests it is far better to argue with them, to let them speak and to compete for the minds of others than to let someone else decide. What are the censors afraid of? That Griffin and co. might be right?
Apart from wearing suits, another thing these two have learnt to do is turn themselves into victims. Today, a group of young thugs of the extreme left obligingly allowed the BNP to look civilized by screaming abuse like crazed loons and throwing eggs like, well like violent thugs. I expect they enjoyed it and feel terribly good about themselves, but they have only done a favour to the BNP. To be attacked by a group of ignorant, illiberal yobs with no idea of the value of freedom is to look as though you have something worth fighting for.
The BNP are not a danger, although I imagine they make life uncomfortable for immigrants in certain areas, which is not something to be taken lightly (I don't like not being able to go comfortably about my business and I don't imagine anyone else does, either.) But they are not a threat to the fabric of society. The mob that attacked them are, because they have a sense of their own righteousness (whereas the BNP know they are wrong), and they have the support of the media and our political leaders.
Perhaps we could shut them in a cave together with no food. They would eat each other and save us a lot of trouble.
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