United Kingdom: BNP, paper bulldogs
9 June 2009
The election of Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, to the European parliament has raised questions as to whether 30’s style fascism is rearing its head in the UK. Sunny Hundal in the Guardian argues, however, that the time for such “aghast, uncritical scaremongering” is over.
“Britain has finally voted in a fascist leader,” writes Hundal. While warning against complacency, he hopes this changes the way we approach the BNP. Firstly, he points out, its vote has fallen since 2004, and that its success in the European elections is due more to the collapse in support for a Labour party that has too long ignored its working-class origins. Politicians who tell people to "vote anyone but the BNP", only reinforce its anti-establishment credentials “ensuring that people who want to vote "none of the above" vote for them.” Also, Labour MPs who sound tough on immigration “in the absurd hope that it will shore up their vote,” lack “an inspirational message that says, as Obama did, ‘your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams’.” He also attacks a section of the national media that blames Britain’s aging infrastructure on asylum seekers, rather than on lack of investment, while other sections in their elitist contempt for the BNP “only play into anti-establishment anger.” Most people, Hundal argues, have enough contact with someone of an ethnic minority to know how stupid racism is. This “will always override what the BNP says.” “Over-the-top scaremongering,” however, “plays into its hands.”