“I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that six million Jews were gassed and cremated or turned into lampshades. Orthodox opinion also once held that the Earth is flat. … I have reached the conclusion that the ‘extermination’ tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter-day witch-hysteria.”
These are the words of Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party. Those who imagine that the BNP will save Britain from destruction should take note of them, and of this video of Griffin sharing a platform with former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. His protest on BBC’s Question Time that he had “never been convicted of Holocaust denial” and that his Klan cronies were “almost entirely” non-violent hardly rehabilitates him. As the London Times put it: “‘But I was acquitted on all charges’ is not the finest political campaign slogan. … He is out of his depth even as a member of the European Parliament.”
As a democratically elected member of the European Parliament, however, Griffin has every right to be heard, and he was not given a fair hearing. The BBC’s impartiality has long been a joke — you can hear the wince in the voice of reporters whenever they mention Israel — and this edition of Question Time was no exception. As Andrew Ian Dodge reported, the audience and panel were almost entirely hostile, and in violation of his duty of neutrality, Chairman David Dimbleby bombarded Griffin with “have you stopped beating your wife?” questions on race and immigration. This was unfair in principle, but in practice played into Griffin’s hands, for race and immigration are his specialist subjects. His real weakness, and that of the BNP, would have been revealed by asking about the party’s other policies.
The label “far right” gets attached all too readily to the BNP, but it is as misleading as it is lazy. The BNP is a party of the left. Left-wing journal the New Statesman observes:
A brief skim through BNP manifesto literature brings to light proposals for the following: large increases in state pensions; more money for the NHS; improved worker protection; state ownership of key industries. Under Griffin, the modern-day far right has positioned itself to the left of Labour.
We are socialists, enemies, mortal enemies of the present capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, with its injustice in wages, with its immoral evaluation of individuals according to wealth and money instead of responsibility and achievement, and we are determined under all circumstances to abolish this system!