The Death Of The BNP

Far right movements have existed since the early days of democracy, with political and non-political groups alike, based on two overarching, and vaguely fascist, beliefs. These are, of course, that national identity and national pride were defining features of an advanced race.
With every perceived ‘growth’ in immigration and, all too often, each time society faces a particular adversity, there have been those that look to assign blame to groups without a voice. The man heading up this generations’ far right is in a crisis, and now Nick Griffin is struggling to control the listing ship that is the BNP.

The BNP’s deteriorating influence on the British public can be seen across the country, despite the increase in social deprivation and increased unemploymen,t it seems the majority of people in Britain have no time for a man quoted describing the holocaust “The Holohoax” and “a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter witch-hysteria.” Of course, infighting has played a part; He announced ”[the] time for division and disruption is over” after his narrow re-election in July of last year, but it did little to stop rumors of the party’s break up.

The rise in Islamophobia following the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks almost certainly contributed to the party’s rise in popularity in the last few years. But the growth of other far-right networks such as The English/Scottish Defense League and the significant media coverage they have received for their controversial marches has pushed traditional nationalists. The current dissatisfaction with major party leaders would usually point to a rise in nationalism and support for far-right parties, but with other extreme-right parties like the National Front actually gaining more support in what were previously BNP strongholds, it seems like the party’s time on the political circuit might be up. Word that the English Defense League may be entering into elections, along with BNP-offshoot the British Freedom Party, will only compound Nick Griffin’s problem.

The British National Party started in earnest with John Tyndall in 1982, who broke from the NF to form a more politically orientated party, with less affiliation to the neo-Nazism and violent clashes that had beset the NF since its formation in the late 1960′s. The British National Party gained momentum through the following decade, although violence and racial insensitivity was far from eradicated. The BNP advocates “firm but voluntary incentives for immigrants and their descendants to return home”, but more often than not this advocacy would manifest itself in the form of blatant racism and inflammatory remarks.

So why,with the double dip recession and the rate of employment decreasing steadily, is the BNP faltering in its course to re-instate British values? And why is the BNP failing as a political party?

Following their most popular time in British politics since the BNP’s conception, Nick Griffin and his party are now facing the fact that:

– Their policy of only admitting indigenous Britons was reversed following legal challenges in 2010.

– The two seats the BNP won in the European Parliament has done little to win over European colleagues, with both Nick Griffin and his party cohort Andrew Brons left sitting on their own.

– The growth in popularity of the English Defense League and other far-right wing groups is drastically altering support for the BNP.

– Election into parliament seems to have alienated some voters that felt the far-right party didn’t belong there, although it was likely that the media hype of the party’s alleged success is where hundreds of young men and women first discovered the BNP .

– Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time garnered the show eight million viewers. It also helped to dispel some of the ‘mysticism’ around Nick Griffin that had been built up through his near Disney-villain like treatment in the press. The Channel 4 documentary Young, Angry and White shows how Griffin’s appearance on Question Time enticed many young audience members into the BNP, while pushing many of the older generation away.

In March of this year the Europe Against Racism and Intolerance published a report warning that austerity measures and the recession in general was leading to “a consequent rise in intolerance”. So it’s clearly not that people are becoming more liberal in their views on minorities, but rather they are turning away from the traditional voice of far-right politics. The report stated that “Xenophobic rhetoric is now part of mainstream debate and extremists are increasingly using social media to channel their views,”. Unfortunately, the answer to the BNP’s increasing unpopularity has less to do with increased understanding and has far more to do with the growth in other branches of far-right parties, gaining popularity through flyers, marches, media exposure and of course internet sites.

So what can Nick Griffin do to pull the ailing party back from the brink of collapse? His aggressive media campaigns served him well in the early days of this century, but will he really keep to his promise of stepping down as BNP leader by 2013? These aren’t easy questions to answer, and only the party leader really knows what his own plans are. But with increasing pressure from debt collectors, angry voters and in fighting, it looks like Mr Griffin is going to have to figure out these answers soon, lest the sinking ship of intolerance that is the BNP should sink beneath the waves for good.

From Planet Ivy .

22.06.2012. Story by Ben Graham

Editorial. This article doesn’t say an awful lot that won’t be common knowledge to anti-fascists already. However, it is nice to recall the BNP’s meteoric decline from the days when they were virtually the only far right game in town. Strange. It seems like it all happened years ago.


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