BNP to hold membership rules ballot

Today, whilst antifascists gathered in protest nearby, the BNP held its annual conference in Wigan. There, senior party members “voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of allowing a party-wide ballot on membership rules,” according to the Daily Express.

In October, Nick Griffin put out a begging letter, urging people to give him cash “to ensure that we survive the next few months,” because “the British National Party doesn’t throw in towels!” However, it soon did exactly that, with the BBC reporting that Griffin “has agreed to ask his party to amend its constitution so it does not discriminate on grounds of race or religion.” For reasons that have still yet to become clear, the party insisted that doing this meant it “outflanked” the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR).

The CEHR brought the court case against Griffin over the party constitution, which appears to restrict membership to those within what the BNP regards as particular “ethnic groups” and those whose skin colour is white, in June. This exclusion is contrary to the Race Relations Act, with which the party is legally obliged to comply.

Now, in theory, BNP membership could be open to non-whites. How this will translate in practice remains to be seen. However, a multiracial British National Party, operating from exactly the same platform it does today, will not all of a sudden gain “legitimacy.” Nor will it escape the mandate of antifascism.

Genuine antifascists stand opposed to the BNP because they are fascists, not merely because they use racist policies and rhetoric in order to further their cause. Fascism is the use of nationalistic rhetoric and actions to divide and weaken the working class and, though it quickly emerged as a distinct movement, has long been used as a tool of the ruling class to break revolutionary and workers’ movements. That, all of a sudden, there may be non-white faces amongst those trying to destroy the working class does not change this fact, nor make it better.

As such, Liverpool Antifascists will continue to oppose the BNP on a policy of no platform. Fascists have no place on our streets, no matter the colour of their skin.

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