The former Tory MP told the BBC
that there were “a lot of decent people” who had previously voted for the BNP, because they felt their concerns about immigration were not being heard. “They feel their communities are being swamped by immigrants from outside, whether they are from Eastern Europe or from other parts of the world.
Deputy chairman of Ukip Neil Hamilton has suggested his is the party for ‘decent’ BNP supporters
“Now those people, the decent supporters of the BNP, from the last election, who weren’t true BNP supporters at all, I am sure that quite a few of them are voting for a respectable alternative, which is Ukip.” The party unveiled the slogan “Love Britain. Vote Ukip” at its Spring conference, which commentators were quick to note the similarity to the BNP’s former tagline “Love Britain. Vote BNP.” Leader Nigel Farage said it was “our slogan now”.
Nick Griffin, the BNP leader which is expecting a dismal showing at next month’s European elections, said Ukip are stealing the slogans of his party. “They [Ukip] are using all of our rhetoric, they are using our slogans, they are recycling our posters and people like it,” he told the BBC’s Pienaar’s Politics. “The only difference is that Ukip won’t deliver.” The BNP’s policy was to “shut the door – we don’t want anyone, black brown, green or white” not merely reduce immigration, Griffin said.
Farage has previously said he is “quite proud” that he has successfully persuaded BNP voters
to switch their support to Ukip. “What we did, starting with the Oldham by-election in the north of England, is for the first time try and deal with the BNP question by going out and saying to BNP voters; ‘if you’re voting BNP because you’re frustrated, upset, with the changes in your community but you’re doing it holding your nose because you don’t agree with their racist agenda, come and vote for us,'” he said. “I would think we have probably taken a third of the BNP vote directly from them, I don’t think anyone has done more, apart from Nick Griffin on Question Time, to damage the BNP than Ukip and I am quite proud of that.”
Liveraf Comment. Ye Gods! A Monty Python sketchwriter couldn’t have made that up. First of all, the BNP is a nasty little far right party which is thankfully on the point of collapse. That collapse is not due to anything which UKIP has done. It is simply that the general public, enlightened in no small measure by the endeavours of organisations like Liverpool Anti-fascists, has rumbled them – just like it will eventually rumble the nasty little far right UKIP.
Then there’s the question of Neil Hamilton himself. Younger readers may not remember Hamilton’s part in the Cash For Questions Affair, but Liveraf certainly does. Neither have we forgotten Hamilton’s opposition to trade unions, immigration, child benefits and unleaded petrol, or his support for privatisation and capital punishment. And if we hadn’t, we would certainly have remembered a BBC tv programme called Maggie’s Militant Tendency, in which Hamilton was alleged to have goose stepped and flashed a Hitler salute while in Berlin.
As if we hadn’t got enough to remember already, this is the self same Neil Hamilton who in 1973, and as a representative of the Federation of Conservative Students, addressed a conference of the Movimento Sociale Italiano–Destra Nazionale. That, in case you don’t already know, translates as The Italian Social Movement – a fascist organisation which was started in 1946 by supporters the late Benito Mussolini.
By eck, Nigel, you sure can pick your team players.