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May 18, 2009 9:57 AM   Subscribe

"The BNP represents Britain's workers? They don't even represent basic British craftsmanship" - a response to the recent political broadcast by the UKs far right extremists the BNP, who are currently trying to exploit expenses scandals hiting the larger parties. Weirdly despite demanding British jobs for British workers their advertising uses American models.
posted by Artw (83 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sure, they use American models, but they're white, aren't they? That's good enough for the BNP. Unless they're east European.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:14 AM on May 18, 2009


Models / British Models / Good-looking British Models / Good-Looking Neo-Nazi British Models

I don't imagine the talent pool is all that deep.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:15 AM on May 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Loathsome and dumb as bricks as they are, they have benefited from the timing here a great deal.

Notice the "Data Protection Secure!" logo they stuck on their application form? They managed to lose their membership list last year. Ironically, as slyrabbit points out, the lock image they chose is an open lock.
posted by davemee at 10:18 AM on May 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I dunno, Mosley was quite a dapper chap.
posted by Artw at 10:18 AM on May 18, 2009


Religious leaders for their part have urged their flocks to turn out in large numbers to vote in the local and European elections on 4 June – and to cast their votes against the BNP.

Damn, how'd you guys get your mystics to be *against* the brain-dead nutjob party?
posted by DU at 10:20 AM on May 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


I got this through my letter box the other day. What with the picture of the Spitfire and the long list of battles - " the Somme - Dunkirk - D-Day - the Falklands" - it looked a bit like the front of an Airfix kit or some other war-related memorabilia. Brooker's comment about it resembling a takeaway pizza flyer is also spot on.

It quickly went in the bin.
posted by greycap at 10:22 AM on May 18, 2009


They're not Americans. They're, uh, on package holiday. To Oregon.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:22 AM on May 18, 2009


It's because they have a national church.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:22 AM on May 18, 2009


Nationalism strikes back! "Hey there, hep cats! I'm, like, a sort of beatnik Elvis wannabe cockend, or something: Charlie Brooker - Rockabilly Dickhead" via @charltonbrooker on twitter
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:23 AM on May 18, 2009


But seriously, after the Ghurkas victory, does the BNP really have that strong of a chance? Why would Labour voters go across to them and not, say, to the Lib Dems?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:25 AM on May 18, 2009


That is just weird.
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM on May 18, 2009


...anyone who's good at graphic design is likely to be a thoughtful, inquisitive sort by nature. And thoughtful, inquisitive sorts tend to think fascism is a bit shit, to be honest.

Well, I don't know. I mean--say what you will about the Nazis (and please, by all means, do), but they were nothing if not obsessively design-oriented. But then, they weren't *technically* fascists, so I guess they don't count.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:36 AM on May 18, 2009


Fascists use a white background, it's more professional.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:38 AM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why so surprised about the American influence? The Confederate Hammerskins have a chapter in England. It may have been years since high school history class, but I don't remember the Confederacy stretching into England.
posted by jonp72 at 10:39 AM on May 18, 2009


I'm not impressed by calls like those from the clerics to get out and vote to keep the BNP out merely because they're beyond the pale as racists, rather than advocating positive political alternatives. Smacks of the very bankruptcy of the political class that the BNP feed off, and worse, eventually leads to a fair few people who are soft racists at worst shrugging their shoulders and voting for them anyway, as only the BNP appears to be addressing the issues that matter to them.
The core leadership and many senior activists are indeed a rag-bag of crackers actual Nazis and similar (like mad bomber Tony Lecomber), but as the leaked membership list and the rise in local votes show, they are managing to move closer to the mainstream - this looks almost certain to be the election where they get their first Euro MP (which as someone else joked, actually makes us more European as all the serious big nations on the continent have loony nationalist Euro MPs). I do think a large part of their appeal is not so much widespread latent racism as a further narrowing of the ground between the two main parties so they really are just competing administrators of neo-liberalism, and the collapse of the left after the defeats of the Thatcher years. Crying wolf and hoping they'll go away is not just a poor substitute for a genuine alternative, it can serve to buoy up the anti-establishment image that forms part of their appeal to people who feel disenfranchised.
posted by Abiezer at 10:41 AM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]



Damn, how'd you guys get your mystics to be *against* the brain-dead nutjob party?


As you've demonstrated, it's possible to pretend to support empirical thinking while behaving like a bigoted jackass.
posted by mobunited at 10:43 AM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


BNP supporters are so fucking stupid they turn up at Al Murray's "Pub Landlord" comedy tour and think it's part of their Party Conference.
posted by longbaugh at 10:46 AM on May 18, 2009


Oh my christ, don't whatever you do read the comments on the Independent article. Well, except this one:

Are you seriously suggesting that when the Mayflower left Portsmouth in 1620 full of British pilgrims and other closely-related Europeans on a 66 day voyage to America that as soon as the passengers set foot on that soil they, (our ancestry) became 'foreigners'? Do they look like foreigners to you? No. That's because they're still British / European on a genetic level. Talk about clutching at straws to undermine the BNP in the run up to the EU elections. It's pathetic.


Is he seriously suggesting that when the Romans/Angles/Saxons/Jutes/Normans/Vikings/proto-Ethiopians left Rome/Angeln/Saxony/Jutland/Normandy/Scandinavia/proto-Ethiopia in whatever year they left on a voyage to the proto-British Isles that as soon as they set foot on that soil they became 'British'? No. That's because they're still Roman/Angles/Saxons/Jutes/Normans/Scandinavians/proto-Ethiopians. Talk about defining an arbitrary cut-off point before which everyone who came to Britain becomes British but after which everyone who came to Britain is a dirty foreigner. It's pathetic.
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady at 10:58 AM on May 18, 2009 [12 favorites]


But seriously, after the Ghurkas victory, does the BNP really have that strong of a chance? Why would Labour voters go across to them and not, say, to the Lib Dems?

The latest polls show Labour and the Tories down slightly, Labour already being on a historic low, Lib Dems up by a percentage and the other parties going up 3% - "The share going to minor parties is up three points to 14% overall, split mainly between UKIP and the BNP on 4% each, the Greens on 2%, and nationalist parties on 3%."

I'd like to think that part of that is people just not knowing what they are opting for, which might work as an excuse for UKIP voters, but come on, the BNP?
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on May 18, 2009


Elsewhere, they managed to use an Italian couple as models for their alleged British pensioners in another leaflet.
posted by Abiezer at 11:03 AM on May 18, 2009


...anyone who's good at graphic design is likely to be a thoughtful, inquisitive sort by nature. And thoughtful, inquisitive sorts tend to think fascism is a bit shit, to be honest.

Apparently a couple of the art directors I've worked with never got the memo.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:04 AM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I often hope I'll wake up one morning and the BNP will have been a bad dream.
posted by litleozy at 11:09 AM on May 18, 2009


I'd like to think that part of that is people just not knowing what they are opting for, which might work as an excuse for UKIP voters, but come on, the BNP?

If it's any reassurance, I tend to notice this same trend of people gravitating towards far-right racist parties when everyone else is in trouble. Looking at the .pdf graphic that comes with the Times article, it doesn't surprise me to see the BNP targetting what I recall being mostly working-class areas.

Even so, the polls you point to show what translate into what, one or two seats in parliament for the BNP if those numbers hold? That could be a blessing in disguise - parties can be more popular before people have a voting record to look at. If a flunkie or two from the BNP gets a seat and does what you'd expect - floundering and blustering and not really getting much done - that could remove the veneer of newness and mystery altogether.

Ideally you wouldn't want them to win any seats, and to be honest, that's what I'm expecting. The BNP is, to use the proper politically scientific term, fucking ridiculous. Plus there are other parties who could eat into their base (such as Ukip, or even the Tories) without seeming as utterly cartoonish as the BNP. I find parliamentary politics fascinating and it's interesting to see how voter moods shift, but I think BNP is probably just going to be one of those national corrals for the country's lunatic fringe. Or maybe I'm just an optimist.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:20 AM on May 18, 2009


I don't understand your distinction between plagiarism and copyright infringement. Can you tease that out for me a little?

Yeah, just look at Albert Speer and Leni Riefenstahl.
posted by delmoi at 11:22 AM on May 18, 2009


...anyone who's good at graphic design is likely to be a thoughtful, inquisitive sort by nature. And thoughtful, inquisitive sorts tend to think fascism is a bit shit, to be honest.

Hmm, let's take a time machine back to the 1920s or 1930s and find out how many Thoughtful, Inquisitive Sorts thought that fascism was peachy-keeno super-duper cutting-edge. I think that the number might likely startle Mr. Brooker.
posted by blucevalo at 11:28 AM on May 18, 2009


But...my dad DID invent the beard.
posted by Hildegarde at 11:29 AM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


...anyone who's good at graphic design is likely to be a thoughtful, inquisitive sort by nature. And thoughtful, inquisitive sorts tend to think fascism is a bit shit, to be honest.
"People I think are like me must be just as good as I think I am."
posted by verb at 11:40 AM on May 18, 2009


I'm pretty sure any zingy modernist appeal fascism had in the 30s is long since expired, except possibly for people who do the covers for awful Military SF novels. And despite having a neat logo the Nazis were not exactly keen to embrace the avant garde.
posted by Artw at 11:48 AM on May 18, 2009


So I switched the tv on last week a few minutes before the latest episode of The Wire was due to start... and just before the show starts up pops the BNP's hideous Party Political. Oh the irony!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:58 AM on May 18, 2009


Wait, let me get this straight:

Hate immigrants? Sure, that's fine and dandy, hate on immigrants, they take your benefits and jobs.
EU source of all our troubles? Most definitely, blame them for your problems, the evil foreigners they are.
Fear Muslims? Without a doubt, they're probably all terrorists coming to blow us up and take away our freedom.
Vote BNP? Noooooo, don't do that, their policies are kerrrazy!

I don't want the BNP to get any seats, but we've had years of scapegoating 'foreigners' from the media and government, setting a platform for this kind of party. You cannot use racist and xenophobic arguments in political discourse for your own benefit, and then cry foul when actual racists capitalize on that. The BNP has simply never had the power to talk to hundreds of thousands of people about their policies and their worldview. But Sky, The Daily Mail, the Home Secretary, and others, have spent years creating and nurturing the images of Sangatte refugees jumping onto trucks, EU directives destroying British business, Muslims jihadis killing innocents, and so on, that the BNP has access to a political vocabulary widely spread and comprehensible to many British citizens.

They've spent the last decade broadcasting the seeds of the BNP, and we've spent the last decade growing them inside of us. This is our harvest.
posted by Sova at 12:01 PM on May 18, 2009 [11 favorites]


Apparently this one was rejected... see it's just bingo nights for the old folks (though nice Mrs Patel seems not have turned up) and fixing war memorials in the modern BNP!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:04 PM on May 18, 2009


Wait, let me get this straight:

One thing they played up in the previous elections was the hanging and flogging of criminals especially terrorists and pedophiles. Because everyone wants that, right!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:07 PM on May 18, 2009


Also elsewhere, they created a Battle of Britain anti-immigration poster complete with Spitfire. The Spitfire in question belonged to a Polish squadron.
posted by pinkbuttonanus at 12:08 PM on May 18, 2009 [11 favorites]


Oh and Brooker linked to this the other week:

Russell Brand - Naziboy 1, 2, 3.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:09 PM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


So British Craftsmanship is a dog whistle for the English Smile?
posted by srboisvert at 12:11 PM on May 18, 2009


Also elsewhere, they created a Battle of Britain anti-immigration poster complete with Spitfire. The Spitfire in question belonged to a Polish squadron.

Now that is flat out awesome.
posted by Artw at 12:11 PM on May 18, 2009


My wife and I got the BNP leaflet in the mail today. The irony of it is that we're American, and apparently Part of the Problem. You'd think they'd check the local voter rolls or something first.

It's like "Dear filthy horrible immigrants: Please vote BNP (even though you can't vote) so that we can kick all of you Johnny Foreigners out of the country. P.S. If you're a white native English speaker, we hate you just a tiny bit less. Love, the BNP."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:13 PM on May 18, 2009


You cannot use racist and xenophobic arguments in political discourse for your own benefit, and then cry foul when actual racists capitalize on that.

But you're missing one crucial element here: when the BNP spouts racist tripe, they're crazy. When the media spouts racist tripe, they're showing all sides of the story. See the difference?

Seriously, though, I'm starting to wonder if the ridicule heaped upon the BNP is due more to their general facepalm-inducing clumsiness than the racism.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:15 PM on May 18, 2009


One thing they played up in the previous elections was the hanging and flogging of criminals especially terrorists and pedophiles. Because everyone wants that, right!

In the last general election the BNP almost quadrupled their share of the vote, so it must have resonated with a large number of people. And why should we think otherwise? The main parties compete as to who is 'toughest' on crime, and the BNP simply outbid them all.
posted by Sova at 12:18 PM on May 18, 2009


I dunno, Mosley was quite a dapper chap.

"He could have been a great dictator, given half a chance, but they treated him like a traitor, so he went to live in France"
posted by rongorongo at 1:03 PM on May 18, 2009


Mr. Bad Example, you're not the only one.

I have half of a mind to put up a sign on my door saying "An immigrant lives here. She has stolen your jobs. Yes, all of them. You do not need to leave your BNP flyers here."
posted by Katemonkey at 1:07 PM on May 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


British readers can rest assured that I am over here, stealing the jobs of Katemonkey and Mr. Bad Example, and thus maintaining some kind of balance.
posted by Artw at 1:12 PM on May 18, 2009


That last link reminds me of when there was outrage in New Zealand because a government funded ad campaign about families, showing an idealized NZ family, was actually filmed with an Australian family. Slightly hilarious debates ensued.
posted by atmosphere at 2:00 PM on May 18, 2009


Calling Mr. Oswald with the swastika tattoo
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:14 PM on May 18, 2009


I teach high school over here, and I grew angry at the sight of so many saplings with BNP fliers this morning.

However, I realized, as an immigrant myself, and apparently stealing a job while noticing these fliers, I became sagelike and gaseous.

Keep calm and carry on
posted by Hickeystudio at 2:17 PM on May 18, 2009


I've got an RSS subscription to Digg.com's "upcoming" sections, and have noticed that the political side has become increasingly dominated by BNP articles. It seems like they're making a big push online to get word out about the party -- it's almost Paul-esque, just not as successful (if you can call Paul's web campaign "successful").

But one thing I've noticed skimming the articles, besides the overt xenophobia, is the odd writing style. It's hard to imitate, and I'd hardly like to search the site for examples, but it's a lot like propaganda from the turn of the century. Not necessarily in the message, but in the tone and choice of words.

Alright, here are some examples:
The utterly bizarre nature of the European Union has been revealed yet again as Polish people have been begged to vote in Britain by the Labour Party. News of the astonishing plea was broadcast in Poland by Polish Radio yesterday.

The vile nest of traitors, snakes and crooks which has turned the Houses of Parliament into a pigsty of greed, corruption and treason, is rapidly unravelling for the world to see.

In the latest developments, two disgusting Members of Parliament from the twin-headed-but-one-body Tory and Labour Party have quit after being exposed as out and out cheats in the latest expenses scandal development.
They're very, um, exuberant. Like angry exuberant. It's a showy, exaggerated, repetitive (and oddly folksy) tone that reminds me, ironically enough, of ESL prose. Or Baghdad Bob. Or the snippets of war news overheard in 1984.

Is it a fascist thing? Maybe it's genetic. I hear the BNP is a fan of genetics.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:25 PM on May 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


They're very, um, exuberant. Like angry exuberant.

It sort of reminds me of Maoist propoganda. "Once again the imperialist running dog lackeys of the military-industrial machine has tried to trample under their jackboots the glorious rising tide of the people seeking to throw off the shackles of economic feudalism and smash the house of cards of the bourgeious elite" and such. It's uncanny.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:28 PM on May 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


All you Fascists....
posted by Jimbob at 3:15 PM on May 18, 2009


I hate the BNP but respect that they are at least out-and-out racists. They have no qualms about airing their horrible opinions and most intelligent people can safely ignore them.

It's UKIP that pisses me off. They're the "We're not racist, but..." party.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:44 PM on May 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I got a leaflet for UKIP, too. I was a little disconcerted because I originally read it as "VOTE MUDKIP".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:11 PM on May 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


This BNP 'language discipline' style guide is either a faultless parody, or horribly real.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:38 PM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


After reading that BNP language guide, I'm convinced - Britain for the Britons! Everybody but the Welsh get out! The English are just the descendants of foreign guest workers who were suposed to defend our shores against the other perfidious Germans. It's disgusting that after 1500 years they think they have a right to live there.
posted by jb at 6:49 PM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I was in the UK on a working holiday visa last year one of my flatmates had a big rant at me about foreigners coming over and taking jobs of hard working British people. I don't think it occurred to him that I was a foreigner... looking for a job.

Anyway, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he was a BNP voter.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 8:23 PM on May 18, 2009


From Happy Dave's BNP 'language discipline'
Rule #10: The BNP is not ‘anti-Europe.’ We are ‘anti-EU’ or ‘anti-European Union’ or ‘anti-Brussels.’ Europe, being a geographical fact, is not something anything can be done about. Furthermore, Britain is a part of European civilisation and the European peoples are our cultural cousins. It is the EU superstate, which is an engine of the destruction of Europe, that we oppose.
I can just picture them "Oh but if only we could do something about that damn continent"
posted by delmoi at 11:45 PM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I was in the UK on a working holiday visa last year one of my flatmates had a big rant at me about foreigners coming over and taking jobs of hard working British people. I don't think it occurred to him that I was a foreigner... looking for a job.

I get this from my workmates a bit. Otherwise sane and reasonable people will basically tell me that I'm one of the good sort of immigrants, it's the other lot who are no good. Which I suppose shows *slightly* more awareness than your flatmate.

Have to agree with the comments upthread about mainstream anti-immigrant beliefs. Whether the main parties create this, or just reflect what's out in society, I don't know. I do know that I'm astounded by government-funded television ads that boast about how the government is making it harder for skilled workers to come to the UK; at a time when most countries are fighting for them. I do know that it's crazy that the government requires my employer to photocopy my passport at least once a year - even though they already have a copy of the page showing I can work here for another year, they have to take another copy, and keep doing this. It's a stupidly bureaucratic attempt to appear tough on immigration that does nothing except waste my employer's, and my, time.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:45 AM on May 19, 2009


"When I was in the UK on a working holiday visa last year one of my flatmates had a big rant at me about foreigners coming over and taking jobs of hard working British people. I don't think it occurred to him that I was a foreigner... looking for a job."

I once experienced a similar thing - sat in the same room as my young white coworker ranted on about kicking all the immigrants out of the country. Sat directly opposite her was another coworker. He's Jamaican. Tall, black guy with an accent, so kind of hard to miss in a tiny office. All you can do is laugh at the idiots who spout this rubbish - they're not giving a second thought about what they're saying, they're just regurgitating the crap they've been filled with. I just hope their stupidity extends to never getting around to voting.
posted by saturnine at 12:53 AM on May 19, 2009


Infinite Jest, saturnine, the weird thing is *neither* of them would vote BNP, I'd imagine. The 'other' that they're programmed to hate (by the Daily Mail et al) are the bad foreigners, not the good foreigners - namely, ones they know first-hand. Tax-paying, hard-working foreigners (unspokenly, doing the jobs they don't want).
posted by davemee at 1:05 AM on May 19, 2009


I've also heard the "you're one of the good immigrants" routine before, too. Here's a fun activity - follow the news stories and water cooler talk as it corresponds to new waves of immigrants and watch for the repeating templates.

"Did you know that organized crime from ______ is starting to take root in this country?"

"I have no problem with most foreigners, but ______s have no respect for our culture and way of life."

"Man, this country's turning into a vassal state of ______."

"Yeah, you're alright, but don't expect _______s to learn the language. They all just live in the same neighborhoods and have no incentive to assimilate."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:56 AM on May 19, 2009


I got this through my letter box the other day. What with the picture of the Spitfire and the long list of battles - " the Somme - Dunkirk - D-Day - the Falklands" - it looked a bit like the front of an Airfix kit or some other war-related memorabilia.

Was it this spitfire?

The BNP have been hitting the ol' WW2 imagery hard ahead of the Euro elections, but that poster (it shows a spitfire in all its "Finest Hour" glory) had the war-nerd in me giggling when I saw it.

There's nothing too surprising about it on the surface, but you see those letters on the Spitfire's tailfin - the letters "RF"?

That's the "Squadron code." One of the main reasons that they used to put them on there was obviously to make it easy to identify which squadron the fighter belonged to. Of course we've pretty much got records of all those codes, and which squadrons they correspond to, so in this case, I can tell you that that Spitfire belonged to 303 Squadron.

Now all the pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain were, frankly, bloody heroes as far as I'm concerned, but 303 squadron were quite simply some of the bravest of the brave. You've probably heard of them.

No?

Well, they fought throughout the Battle of Britain. To begin with they flew outdated Hurricanes against the far greater numbers of superior german fighter-escorts accompanying the bomber fleets. On occasion they were fighting against odds of 10 or 15 to 1 - but they still went up there, knowing they were ounumbered, outgunned and (more often than not) bloody tired and bloody scared.

By the time they were finally equipped with Spitfires (such as the one in the poster) there were only 3 squadrons with a better battle record in the country - and all of those had been flying Spitfires since the beginning of the war. Now equipped with up-to-date fighters 303 swiftly became the best of the RAF without question.

By the end of the Battle of Britain, 303 Squadron was singlehandedly responsible for an incredible 5% of all enemy aircraft shot down.

Still not ringing any bells?

Well, there are plently of tales of individual heroism about them. One guy found his guns jammed whilst skimming just above the tree tops tailing a bomber, for example. Rather than giving up, he lifted his fighter up and flew over the german plane, risking insta-death at the hands of the bomber's gunners, flying so close and so fast that the unlucky German pilot instinctively dived - straight into the ground.

No? Nothing?

Ah wait - I know what it is. You probably know them by the Squadron's full name rather than just its number:

Squadron 303 "Kościuszko" Polish Fighter Squadron

Yeah, that's right - that image, which shows a guy doing something that the BNP feels sums up Britain and Britishness in its entirety, that demonstrates the nobility, bravery and sheer goddamn balls they feel this nation needs if it is to survive and prosper in these dark and uncertain times.



Yeah, that guy is Polish.
posted by garius at 2:06 AM on May 19, 2009 [24 favorites]


I wonder how far back the BNP intends to go with its 'transcendent of foreign workers' I think I'm only 3 generations from 'racial foreigners' myself... but even though they were probably Jewish they were pretty white so I might just get away with it, but I think I had better start learning Russian just to be on the safe side.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:07 AM on May 19, 2009


Australian had a party similar to the BNP, called One Nation. One year they did okay at the polls (for small, radical fringe party) because people wanted to 'send a message' (don't forget Australia has compulsory voting, so most people end up voting for somebody, rather than not bothering to vote at all).
Well, once One Nation had a few jackasses in parliament they were shown up for what they were - jackasses. They soon disintergrated, as people realised that 'sending a message' could actually result in these clowns getting into parliament ('we didn't want them to win or anything, we just wanted to send a message to the main political parties') and once there they were totally useless. Hopefully something similar will happen with the BNP.

My husband and I are immigrants to the UK. Of course, my husband is white and is in a job where he can potentially be killed on behalf of the UK, so we get counted as 'good immigrants'. Not long ago I had to endure sitting at a dinner next to someone saying I was lucky to come from a country that 'treats refugees right' referring to an incident where refugees had died at sea off the Australian coast. That is what passes for intelligent political discussion amongst many people in the UK (not all, but this person was an educated, middle-class individual, supposedly). What cracks me up even more are all the Brits who move to/claim they are moving to Australia, Spain etc. because Britain has been 'ruined by all the immigrants'. Yes, immigrants are so awful you are becoming one yourself ...
posted by Megami at 2:11 AM on May 19, 2009


or what pinkbuttonanus said. sorry mate - missed your post on first reading.
posted by garius at 2:23 AM on May 19, 2009


It may have been years since high school history class, but I don't remember the Confederacy stretching into England.

Not England, but close. Culturally, its roots are in the Scottish Borders and Northern Ireland, with their Calvinist values and "culture of honour". (See also: Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers and Joe Bageant, Deer Hunting with Jesus.)
posted by acb at 2:58 AM on May 19, 2009


Well, once One Nation had a few jackasses in parliament they were shown up for what they were - jackasses. They soon disintergrated, as people realised that 'sending a message' could actually result in these clowns getting into parliament ('we didn't want them to win or anything, we just wanted to send a message to the main political parties') and once there they were totally useless.

Except for the fact that once they started making a noise, the right-wing government of the day stole some of their policies (harsh treatment of asylum seekers, the conservative culture-war agenda, beating up on inner-city latte-sipping liberals) and made hay with them for about a decade. One Nation may have imploded (or exploded into three or so incoherently shrill splinter parties), but their memes spread.

I can see the Tories (whose centre of gravity is a lot to the right of Cameron, and likely to remain that way because of the Conservative Party's traditionally decentralised decision-making) doing something similar. Though this is complicated by the fact that UKIP (who are a right-wing populist party, sort of like the BNP without the obvious racism) may well end up surviving. I can imagine the Tories beating the reactionary populist culture-war drum hard in an attempt to compete with the UKIP, if not the BNP. (Why not? New Labour have been doing that a bit.)
posted by acb at 3:07 AM on May 19, 2009


This BNP 'language discipline' style guide is either a faultless parody, or horribly real.
Rule #1: The BNP is not a ‘racist’ or ‘racial’ or ‘racialist’ or ‘race-conscious’ or ‘white’ or ‘whitepeople’s’
party. It should never be referred to as such by BNP activists, and anyone else who does so must be
politely but firmly corrected. The precisely correct description of what we are, in the standard terminology
of international comparative politics, is an ‘ethno-nationalist’ party. That is, we espouse, like many political
parties all over the world, the interests of the particular ethnic groups to which we belong. There is nothing
fascistic or unusual about this, and we don’t have to apologise for it. If we must describe our attitude
towards race, it is ‘racial realism,’ as no-one can admit being against realism.
Rule #15. BNP activists and writers should never refer to ‘black Britons’ or ‘Asian Britons’ etc, for the
simple reason that such persons do not exist. These people are ‘black residents’ of the UK etc, and are no
more British than an Englishman living in Hong Kong is Chinese. Collectively, foreign residents of other
races should be referred to as ‘racial foreigners’, a non-pejorative term that makes clear the distinction
needing to be drawn.
Rule #17. Britain does not have ‘immigrants,’ a term proper for use in settler societies like Canada,
Argentina, and the USA. It has ‘guest workers,’ ‘foreign workers,’ or ‘descendants of foreign workers.’
They are, depending on who they are, ‘racial foreigners,’ ‘religious foreigners’ or ‘persons of foreign
religion,’ or ‘ethnic foreigners.’ The last term is meant to apply to persons racially similar to Britons, but
ethnically dissimilar, like Dutchmen.
Umm, yeah...
posted by acb at 3:20 AM on May 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


You've earned the right - Trafalgar...The Falklands

WTF? What does that actually mean?

I am certain that my relatives who fought (and died in some cases) for the British did not do so in order that fascism could have a resurgence in Britain.

As well as the media willfully fanning the flames of anti-immigrant fervor, the government have actually stopped many research projects into the effects of immigration on British society because the preliminary results were not what they wanted. SCIENCE! says immigration has an overwhelmingly positive effect.

The result of this is that there are few reports on the subject for anyone to cite during arguments over policy and the politicians are therefore more easily bullied by the press/play to the lowest common denominator. It is a disgrace.
posted by asok at 4:02 AM on May 19, 2009


I get this from my workmates a bit. Otherwise sane and reasonable people will basically tell me that I'm one of the good sort of immigrants, it's the other lot who are no good.

I got this at my summer job (I'm over here on a student visa--I'm grad school's bitch) last year. It was along the lines of "Oh, of course we don't mind if people like you want to come over here...it's those others we're concerned about."

I can only hope that works in my favor come visa extension time. (I like to think I'm a pretty ethical guy, but I'm not above taking advantage of something unfair if it means I don't have to come up with thousands of dollars of moving expenses on short notice.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:25 AM on May 19, 2009


Oh and Brooker linked to this the other week - Russell Brand

See, I can't stand Russell Brand, and then once in a while he drops his character and goes and says/does something truly reasonable, and I think 'well, yes, perfect.'

How about these people all be forced to watch This is England before the election, so they can just peek a little view into the world of the BNP.

It just all makes me want to explode with rage, while at the same time curl up into a little ball of depression and hatred at the state of the world. The corruption of politics makes me angry enough, but the fact it bolsters this kind of total cuntishness... Just makes it all the more frustrating. But those potential BNP voters, they're not racist, no of course not... Fucking idiots. Lots of Germans voted for Hitler for economic reasons, and then were shocked by what he did. What the hell do these people expect to happen? That the famously bigoted party is just going to change it's tune overnight for their sake? Hah!

My friend directed an educational film, or documentary, exploring how a class of... troublesome kids from Blyth in the north east thought of immigrants. Starting out all these kids clearly had had no education about most anything. They had no idea of economic immigration, and how it differs from the number of immigrants who wre abused, tortured, sent to war as kids... They were toally oblivious, but spouting the bullshit they heard their parents come out with.

She then took a couple of immigrants, one of whom had fought as a kid, and escaped to move over here, to go talk to this class. They seemed to pick up on what the reality of immigration was, gradually. When asked to go back to do a subsequent set of interviews, most of the kids pulled out, and were too embarrassed by how they had behaved to go along and correct their points of view, but a few turned up and talked about how they understood now what it was like, but then came out with shit like 'I'm not racist... But I still don't want them over here, taking our jobs'. Or worst, the kid who happily sat there and said 'yea, I'm still a racist.'

I mean, most of these kids had the likelihood of becoming toilet cleaners, and yet they're demanding no one come and take their jobs... I just hear the people of South Park - 'They're takin' our' jobs...'

The teachers of this class wound up doing her best to pull the film from being shown beyond it's first showing, and certainly not to be used in class, because it made her teaching look pretty fucking shoddy, and 'made the kids look bad'. Damn right it made them look bad, the hateful little idiots...

What she really managed to show was that we aren't doing shit to educate our young people, no matter how troubled/troublesome they are, into the realities of immigration, or even humanity apparently. And yet it basically got squashed because it showed up that that was the case. I was never taught anything to do with these subjects, and while I can't see myself having grown up thinking differently, there are more than enough kisd out there with parents who teach them nothing but bullshit about this stuff, if they even interact with their children at all.
posted by opsin at 5:45 AM on May 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


We have the English Democrats too. They took over an anti-Boris Facebook group trying to get people to vote for Garry Bushell (who isn't hugely fond of The Gays and The Blacks) and tried to convince everyone they were non-racist. Until the 'Who is best - UKIP, BNP or English Democrats?' group showed up in the sidebar, in which ED members argued with the BNP that the Queen was German and that Nigel Farage was Welsh so they couldn't vote for him.

Nobody touches on the attitudes the BNP have toward women/reproductive rights and homosexuality, mind. They had a manifesto up on their site during the last election, now gone, which made me quite angry. And quite pleased that I'm perpetuating the liberal media - in our office we have an Aussie, a Belgian, two Irish people, several gay people and several people of colour. And I thoroughly enjoy indulging in miscegenation with my Scottish boyfriend.
posted by mippy at 6:20 AM on May 19, 2009


Nobody touches on the attitudes the BNP have toward women/reproductive rights and homosexuality, mind.

People of that stripe generally aren't fond of women having rights.
posted by acb at 6:32 AM on May 19, 2009


“Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal… [It] is like suggesting forcefeeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence.”
Then BNP London organiser and GLA candidate, Nick Eriksen

"AIDS is “a friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it.”
Mark Collett, leader of the Young BNP on Channel 4 in 2004
posted by mippy at 6:58 AM on May 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Heh. Over in the US I hear quite often about how as a "proper immigrant" I should be really upset about all the Mexicans.
posted by Artw at 7:33 AM on May 19, 2009


BNP leader Nick Griffin to attend Queen's summer garden party

Perhaps he can send her back to Germany while he's there.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:00 PM on May 20, 2009


Maybe they can groove out together to the contents of the presidential iPod.
posted by Artw at 12:55 PM on May 20, 2009


Boris is on the case!

God, I forget about Boris. That must be a matter of constant shame for all Londoners.
posted by Artw at 12:31 PM on May 21, 2009


On the expenses scandals: I am sick of my country and this hysteria over MPs
posted by Artw at 12:59 PM on May 26, 2009


Musicians demand BNP stop selling their songs
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:02 PM on May 28, 2009


Anti-gay, climate change deniers: meet David Cameron's new friends
posted by Artw at 4:28 PM on June 2, 2009


UKIP voters too stupid to unfold bits of paper
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on June 4, 2009


UKIP voters too stupid to unfold bits of paper

Not the first time paper has confounded the UKIP.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:58 AM on June 4, 2009


UKIP - the party of cheap laughs
posted by Artw at 12:20 PM on June 4, 2009


BNP wins its first seat on an English county council

.

Padiham and Burnley West, obviously, being some kind of inbred shithole beyond measure.
posted by Artw at 10:32 AM on June 5, 2009


More Brooker: This week Charlie decided throwing eggs at Nick Griffin is counterproductive. To really confound him, the protesters should arrive in an open-top bus filled with 200 incredibly pretty FHM "high-street honey" type glamour girls who simply point at him and laugh derisively at the end of every sentence. Can someone please make this happen?

posted by chuckdarwin at 1:46 AM on June 15, 2009


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