“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!
The socialist component of national socialism is often overlooked; national socialism differs in scope but not in kind from the international socialism of Stalin, and is not conservative in any meaningful sense. And socialist policies lead to ruin, as is well documented. If the BNP ran the economy, they would not need to ban immigration — the country would soon be bankrupt and nobody, black or white, would want to come and live here.
Given the failings of his party’s philosophy and his manifest personal shortcomings, why has Griffin gained such support? Frank Field, one of the more intelligent Labour politicians, and Nicholas Soames, Conservative, come close to getting the right answer. From the Telegraph:
That opportunity only arose because of the political cowardice and irresponsibility of the two main parties — but particularly of the Labour Party. Poll after poll shows BNP support coming from ex-Labour voters who believe their party has deserted them on immigration, and failed to represent their interests as underdogs in what until recently was a country characterized by unparalleled prosperity.
Close, but no cigar. Yes, immigration in general is a problem, but Muslim immigration in particular is a catastrophe. Other immigrants of whatever race — race is a red herring — have assimilated. Muslims, including white Muslims, have not; nor can they, unless Islam reforms.
Nick Griffin has jumped on the anti-Muslim bandwagon to further his racist agenda. If you doubt this, consider that two prominent opponents of Islamic jihad today are Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq. What would Griffin’s white supremacist party have to say about them and other apostates, most of whom are not white? Nevertheless, what the BNP says about Islam is largely true, so why aren’t the mainstream political parties saying it? Antonia Senior, writing in the Times, argues that it is because they are “squeamish about dealing in moral absolutes”:
So, paralyzed by our inherited relativism, fearful of seeming racist, and adrift in a Godless world, we fall silent just when we should be debating and talking. Into this silence strides Nick Griffin, Britain’s own fascist hobgoblin. If he is the only one talking about immigration, or the role of women in Islam or the sense of alienation and disenfranchisement felt, rightly or wrongly, by some white Britons, then his voice will be amplified. He is shouting while we whisper. If his voice is heard above ours, we have only ourselves to blame.
Indeed we do, and we should ask ourselves the question: why should the devil — and the Holocaust denier — have all the best tunes?