BNP ANNIHILATED IN CRUSHING DEFEAT AT EURO POLL – BUT THE FIGHT AGAINST FASCISM CONTINUES
Pardon us if, after last Sunday’s wipe-out of the BNP at the Euro-Election count, Liveraf activists enjoy a few minutes of exultation. No, the BNP isn’t going to go away, not for a while at any rate, neither are any of the other insects of the far right. And we have to face the grim reality that UKIP is now a force to be reckoned with. More of these anon.
In the meantime, when we think of the hundreds of hours which individual Liveraf members have spent at meetings, demonstrations and rallies, to say nothing of leafletting exercises, the feeling that we have helped to knock out the biggest beast in the British far right is nothing short of wonderful. It is as though we had been crawling interminably down a long dark stinking tunnel, lifted the entrance, and stepped out into warm and glorious sunshine.
And what a wipe-out it was! The combined ticket of Nick Griffin, Dawn Charlton, Clive Jefferson, Eddy O’Sullivan, Simon Darby, Kay Pollitt, Derek Adams and David O’Loughlin, failed to land them any more than just 32,826 votes. That is 1.9% of the total number cast, and a drop of 6.1% from their share of the 2009 vote.
But what does it mean in practical terms?
Let’s start with a personal note. Nick Griffin, by whatever flaw of the EU system of proportional representation, was one of the MEPs for the constituency of North West England, and that constituency includes Liverpool. Never again will we Scousers have to live with the ignominy of being represented by a racist, fascist, holocaust-denying enemy of the working class, and of every single member of the human race who has the misfortune of being born with the wrong colour skin, or into the wrong religion, or with the wrong sexual orientation.
More than that, the word on the street is that the BNP is very close to bankruptcy. Their membership is now down to about 1,500 – a mere tenth of what it was just a few years ago. So all those lovely members’ fees, to say nothing of those lovely donations, have shrunk to a measly trickle. And their drive to get people to leave their legacies to the BNP will be likewise crippled. But, and here’s the best bit, it cost the British taxpayer 1.6 million quid in salary and expenses to keep Griffin in office over the last five years. That’s £1.6 million which the BNP will no longer have to squander on islamophobic election videos, or on racist street literature, or on the massive lie machine that passes for truth wherever the BNP is concerned.
Come to think of it, all the deposits which they’ve just lost will be yet another financial millstone round their necks.
But there’s a third reason for celebration. Nick Griffin is a thoroughgoing Euro-fascist. That is, unlike some earlier racists, he does not see the campaign for a white Britain primarily in terms of British nationalism. Rather, and almost as though he has read and imbibed parts of Leon Trotsky’s Theory of Permanent Revolution, he sees that struggle as part of an ongoing Pan-European fascism. (That, presumably, is give or take a few Polish plumbers, Slovakian agricultural workers etc). Indeed, he has already said that he will relinquish control of the BNP in 2015, to go and work with the fascists in Europe. As he himself put it “A victory for them is a victory for us”. I shall leave you to judge who is to be included in the terms “them” and “us”.
He is not alone in expressing such opinions of course. Indeed, the mass murderer Anders Breivik expressed very similar opinions in that crazed and colossal compendium of his, 2083 A European Declaration of Independence.
The point is though that Griffin, in being deprived of his seat, now has no parliamentary platform with which to hobnob with the likes of Jobbik or Golden Dawn or France’s Front National. At a time when far right anti-EU feeling is scything through Europe like a locust plague, that must be galling in the extreme.
Which brings me to the anon bit. We can rapture, we can eulogise and we can exult, but that will not make fascism disappear. Only a world which values people as people, rather than as cannon fodder, or instruments of exploitation, and which does not discriminate on the basis of race or gender or any other characteristics, can achieve that.
That world will arrive one day. In the meantime, you can bet tomorrow’s breakfast that every fascist in the land will be wondering where they go from here.
Unfortunately, Marmite’s crystal ball subscription has expired, so I can’t make any definite predictions. However, à la, Oswald Mosley and Colin Jordan, it could be that what’s left of the BNP leadership will live out its collective dotage, dreaming of the day when the tide will turn, and the great British public will call on them to slay the dragon of foreign invasion.
Alternatively, and perhaps more likely, they may try and patch up their differences with some of the other factions on the far right; the National Front maybe, or the English Democrats or those new uglies on the block, Britain First.
Then again, and remembering the chameleon-like tendency of the far right to reinvent itself, a new form of fascism could arise; something we have not seen before. Indeed, many people argue that the new fascism has already arrived, and that its name is UKIP.
The problem with such reasoning is that UKIP is not a fascist organisation in the classical sense of the word. They are more like free marketeers than fascists and they have about them little of the stench of centralised corporate totalitarianism, which characterised Hitler or Mussolini. But, like I said, fascism keeps reinventing itself. And if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it will very likely shit like a duck.
If UKIP is the new fascism then we have plenty to fear. They have, in Nigel Farage, a leader whom many people find they can identify with, and someone who is much more intelligent, and much more of a political animal, than anything which the far right has produced since the days of Oswald Mosley. What’s more, if he is a better tactician than Nicholas Griffin in particular, he is also a far better speaker than him; and skilful oratory is another characteristic, which Farage shares with Mosley.
If I’m no crystal ball gazer, then I’m no psephologist either. For those who are, trying to project Sunday’s results into the outcome of the next general election must be fraught with difficulty. One would have to factor in the low turn out, the protest vote, the possibility of fewer candidates, and the fact that Britain has a first past the post system, instead of the EU’s proportional representation.
Yet, even taking these into account, one can foresee the next general election resulting in a hung parliament, with Labour and the Tories about equal, and with not enough Lib-Dems to form a coalition.
If that happens, who will hold the balance of power?
It is highly unlikely that the Conservatives would form a coalition with UKIP, even if – perish the thought – the latter could muster enough MPs to make a go of it.
However, Nigel Farage is on record as saying that UKIP will target a fairly small number of constituencies; those which electoral returns from District Councils, County Councils and the EU show they have a good chance of winning. Their objective will be not just to get as many UKIP MPs into parliament as possible, but to act as power brokers with the government of the day. If that government turns out to be the Conservatives, look out! UKIP will use its influence, not just to force the Conservatives to hold a referendum over Europe, but to push them even farther to the right than they already are.
You could of course be forgiven for thinking that a government, which has hit its electorate with the spectrum of austerity measures, that this one has conjured up, couldn’t get any worse. You would be wrong. There are many in the Tory party who feel that the cuts haven’t been deep enough, or that Cameron’s leadership hasn’t been sufficiently resolute, or that the Lib-Dems have been too much of a restraining influence, or that the Tories should just cut the crap and get back to the worst excesses of Thatcherism.
That itch to return to the good old days of Thatcher would be intensified by the need to cow-tow to a racist, anti-working class UKIP rump. And that in turn would manifest itself in the farrago of things which UKIP wants to happen, but doesn’t mention, such as abolition of the old age pension, the introduction of a flat rate income tax, the decimation of public sector spending even further than it’s been decimated already, and the destruction of what few legal rights the workers have left.
So, whatever your tipple, break it out and join us in celebrating the downfall of Nick Griffin and the BNP. But remember to keep your powder dry, and remember we’ve got just twelve months to expose UKIP for what it is; a nasty, insidious bunch of little Britain zenophobes, who like nothing better than to revel in the glorious memory of Margaret Thatcher and Enoch Powell and all the other enemies which we members of the working class have fought against down through the years.
Article by Marmite. 28.05.14