BNP’s Hate-Fest

August 13th, 2009 § 6 comments

The BNP’s Red White and Blue Festival takes place this weekend, with several thousand expected to both attend and protest at it. The planned protest, called by UAF, has received a degree of hostility from the press and police to date. The police are getting in some pre-emptive strikes, with echoes of the G20 operation,  preparing the country for a brave defence of the Red White and Blue festival against those violent anti-fascist thugs. Not them again, the collective country asks, they are always up to no good – there’s bound to be some trouble if they are involved. Alongside them, the BNP are on the charm offensive, trying to convince us all that this is effectively a village fete, and all they want is to be left alone to enjoy themselves. After all, aren’t they a legitimate political party?

The general arguments that are made against the UAF protests can be broadly grouped into the following themes.

Firstly, we have the argument about free speech. The BNP are a) entitled to free speech, and b) aren’t the anti fascists being fascist for denying this free speech? Following on from this, the UAF are then shown to be ‘just as bad as the BNP’.

Secondly, there is the presentation of the festival as some sort of casual, lawful celebration, with attendees going for no other reason than to have fun, which they should be lawfully allowed to do without harassment. The quote from Simon Darby, deputy leader of the BNP, on the Guardian web site says it all: ‘”It’s not in our interests to cause trouble. We’re up there with our wives, girlfriends and children. We just want to have a good time, but these protesters want to latch trouble on to us.” Clearly, we are led to believe that this is just a family event, with fun and games in the sun. The police are treating this at face value, with the local spokesperson saying of their operation “The people attending Red, White and Blue have a right to do so in peace and safety but we also realise that people have the right to protest in a lawful and peaceful way.”.

Thirdly, we have the view that the protesters are also violent, and that this amounts to some sort of contradiction – you can’t resort to violence and call yourselves anti-fascist. The methods of the UAF are questioned and compared to the BNP’s thugs. There are other ways of trying to stop the BNP, which must be done without confrontation.

Lastly, some argue that we should all just ignore it. The election results clearly show that the BNP’s vote has not increased in absolute terms, but that the rest of the country has become disillusioned with politics, and with no alternatives to the 3 mainstream parties simply didn’t vote. The BNP will never get in, as the vast majority of the country do not support them. By making a fuss of their festival, we are giving them publicity and national coverage.

This is not an exhaustive list, but a brief survey of the ideas emanating from the mainstream media. What is striking is that in almost all the coverage, the fundamental issue of the racist and fascist roots of the BNP is never discussed. We have somehow moved on from this argument – the terms of debate have changed. Whether this is a sign of the gaining legitimacy of the BNP, or merely lazy sensationalist reporting, the fact of the matter is that  UAF finds itself in the unusual position of having to defend themselves for organising a protest against a party that the majority of people would probably accept are racist, and in general oppose.

So how do we address the 4 themes outlined above?  Extremist parties such as the BNP have often used the free speech argument to gain a platform for their ideas, though free speech is the last thing that would be on their minds if they ever got into power. Did Hitler stand up for the principles of free speech when he was in power? Are we to make the mistakes of the past and allow the racists to use free speech and democracy with the aim of destroying it?

We also have to ask ourselves what we even think free speech is. Is it being able to say whatever we want? How do the people that are the victims of the racial hatred that is spread by the BNP feel about free speech?  As with many things that we label as ‘free’ we generally consider within the framework of not causing harm to anyone else. Freedom to do whatever you want does not include things like attacking or murdering other people, and in the same vein, freedom to say what you want has limits too, such as inciting violence against people based on the colour of their skin or ethnicity. If this is too fascist for you, then clearly you have lost faith in the ability of society to set some basic rules for itself.  I would be interested to see if anyone was prepared to defend a festival celebrating pedophilia on the grounds of ‘free speech’, so why do we consider it in a racist context?

The BNP’s characterisation of this event as a peaceful festival has been given an astronomical amount of spin. As noted in previous posts, there is mountains of evidence, including their own manifesto, that the BNP is a racist party, with it’s philosophy based on white supremacist theories,  links to many violent far right groups, participation of many of it’s leading members in earlier racist organisations and struggles, and the previous convictions that some members, such as their leader, have had for racial crimes. Amongst the tombola stalls and coconut shys will be speeches and talks pushing the white is right message, and the aims of hounding out of the country of all those who are non white.  This festival is not about peace and tolerance, it is about hatred and violence. The police know all this too, which makes it even more astounding that they are preparing to defend it.

How do we deal with the violence question? There is undoubtedly a violent element within the UAF, but this is limited to a minority. Without dismissing this, the contrast is with the BNP, whose entire immigration policy is based on violence, something that the vast majority of the BNP membership buys into, and is one of the central unifying themes within the party itself. Arguing that the UAF are as fascist as the BNP is comparing a coalition who are trying to stop the BNP spreading their doctrine of hate with a party whose logical conclusion is the holocaust! This is not just misguided, it is wrong.

The argument as to whether to use violence or not is a fair enough question. Most people there will not use violence.  Force, maybe, but violence, no. We are not going there to beat them up, we are just going there to stop the festival happening. The press will of course get their usual shock pictures, but as with the G20 protest, there will be one day of tutting at the protesters, before the truth seeps out over the following weeks. Those that claim that using violence against the BNP is wrong of course reserve the right to support violence elsewhere – the general populations of Iraq and Afghanistan are far more deserving of our violence than the BNP! I don’t have an unequivocal view on the violence question, but the threat posed by the BNP, the vile messages that they are trying to spread means that the possibility of violence from a minority is no reason to stop the protest.

So should we just ignore it all? Not at all. The recent election victory has lead to an increase in racial attacks and racist demonstrations, as the BNP and it’s thugs gain confidence. We  have the historical example of the rise of Hitler, and the deaths of millions. ‘It will never happen here’, they say. Well, I bet they never thought anything like that would happen in Germany either. But it did, and it was not a sudden event, it was a process that took place over a number of years, with Hitler building a party and using the democratic machinery of the state to spread his doctrine. We need to learn from the past, and instead of sitting back and ignoring it, make sure that history does not repeat itself.

We need to fight the BNP every step of the way. Nothing is set in stone, we make our own history, and we need to collectively make sure that our history is one that is not dominated by the the racist, fascist BNP.

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§ 6 Responses to BNP’s Hate-Fest"

  • Sim-O says:

    Good post, mate.

    As you know we disagree on the ‘no platform’ issue but this festival of theirs isn’t about spreading their message. It is about re-inforcing it in their existing members and sharing arguements and ideas to make themselves stronger when challenged. The issue of ‘no platform’ doesn’t arise.

    With regard to the violence that some members of UAF feel neccersary. There will always be some element within a group that feels strongly about an issue such as this that feel it neccersary to act in that way. It doesn’t make the violence right, but it should not be construed as an inherant part of the UAF that it cannot do without.

    The BNP on the other hand need the violence, or at least the threat of violence.

    The BNP are committed to ethnic cleansing the UK by legal changes*, negotiation and consent. Until they gain enough power to dispose of people they dislike legally, what else have they got? They could talk to Mr Patel and suggest that he might prefer Indias’ climate to Britians’ constant grey skies, but with out (at least the threat of) violence Mr Patel is going to stick two fingers up at him.
    The violence creates the state of mind that makes people decide to leave.

    *legal changes is different to legal means. It means changing the law to suit what they are doing.

  • […] thing is, whatever you do you have to think about how it looks otherwise you end up in the position the UAF are in now… [the] UAF finds itself in the unusual position of having to defend themselves for organising […]

  • Peter Dent says:

    BNP racist?

    Racism is defined in the Concise Oxford Dictionary as the belief that one race is superior to another, or hatred or discrimination based on the latter belief. Now why on earth does the desire by Tibetans to keep out Chinese lowlanders or the desire by BNP members to keep out immigrants prove anything about a belief that one race is superior to another? You might as well argue that there is a man on the moon because carrots are coloured orange.

    Moreover, what is wrong with the belief that one race is superior to another? If I point out that Negros win all the sprint events at the Olympics, presumably I get locked up for pointing to an obvious truth. I also believe that Australian Aboriginees have achieved next to nothing: another obvious truth.

    • kevolution says:

      Mr Dent, it appears that you are selectively quoting the definition of racism as it appears in the dictionary. Along with the definition you present, there is a second definition quoted in most dictionaries, for example the Compact Oxford English Dictionary:


      • noun 1 the belief that there are characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to each race.
      2 discrimination against or antagonism towards other races.

      I certainly see no argument for denying that the BNP discriminate against other races, or antagonistic towards them.

      The BNP are also racist in the sense you quote. Although outwardly they are trying to soften their appearance to attract those disillusioned with mainstream parties, the core of the party has not. Unless you take this rebranding at face value, which I suggest is naive at best.

  • Sim-O says:

    So, the desire to get rid of all the people that do not have fair coloured skin from this country even though most of them were born here and know nothing else, is not racist?

    You could point out that black people win all the Olympic sprint events, it might even be true, that isn’t racist, but the reasons you give for it probably are.

    And as for Australian aboriginees achieving next to nothing, they’ve achieved more than you could in the outback. You wouldn’t achieve a week out there.

  • Peter Dent is and I could be wrong, a racist tit.
    .-= Daniel Hoffmann-Gill´s last blog ..Le Donk =-.

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