Sunday, 28 February 2010
The campaign is really under way
The campaign centre is fantastic. Virtually built from scratch, it has desk space for 15 people, a telephone canvassing suite, a print room, kitchen and even a chill out area.
After months of preparation, fundraising and building, we are now really moving. Finally, it does seem the campaign is under way.
Unions sign up for HOPE
HOPE not hate held productive meeting with the PCS trade union and together we agreed a number of joint initiatives for the forthcoming election campaign. There will be a PCS version of our tabloid newspaper, support for our 17 April National Day of Action and the sponsorship of a booklet for young people.
The PCS also agreed to support our Union Day, when union activists talk to other union members, which this year will be on Monday 26 April. Unison has already committed its support to the day and it is hoped that several other unions will soon follow suit.
I am particularly pleased to be working with PCS. They have a really active membership, with branch meetings regularly attended by hundreds of people, and in their Make Your Vote Campaign they have an excellent electoral operation.
An Evening of HOPE
introduced our campaign to a new audience at the RSA (see previous post).
Off to a flyer in Stoke-on-Trent
At least 45 people took to the streets of Stoke-on-Trent yesterday in what was our first major activity of the year in the city. Almost 8,000 copies of a HOPE not hate newspaper were delivered in the two key wards of Bentilee and Townsend and Weston & Meir North, which between them have five BNP councillors.
The event, which was supported by the local anti-BNP group NorSCARF, was our largest in the city for two years. What was most encouraging was that virtually all the people out were from Stoke-on-Trent itself, including over 20 who had never done any campaigning with us before. I'm told that the atmosphere was really good and everyone promised to come out again.
Stoke-on-Trent is a major battleground in the forthcoming elections, with the BNP threatening to become the largest single party on the council and Simon Darby, the party’s deputy leader, with a chance of taking the Stoke Central parliamentary seat.
By Nick Lowles
Friday, 26 February 2010
On Wednesday night over 50 people attended aHOPE not hate campaign reception at the RSA. Hosted by Lord David Shutt, Chairman of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, it was an opportunity to introduce our campaign to a new audience. David and I both gave very short speeches and there was a six-minute video but, to me anyway, the highlight of the evening was Sandra Vincent. A local HnH activist from Barking, she told the crowd how the BNP was spreading its poison amongst children and made an impassioned appeal for the audience to help HOPE not hate to help her to help the children of the borough.
Among those in the crowd was Floella Benjamin, a veteran TV star and educationalist but best known as a presenter of Play School and Play Away.
Speaking to the Romford and Havering Post to defend the violent ejection of a Times reporter from a BNP meeting on 14 February, Bailey said:
A lot of people that work for The Times are very ugly and nasty.
Bailey, who is also the BNP's London organiser and has a drink driving conviction, is known for shouting abuse at a woman journalist through a loud hailer outside the offices of the Ilford Recorder.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
EXPOSE Launch Public Meeting
Tuesday February 23, 7pm
Amnesty International Human Rights Centre
From the National Union of Journalists:
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has launched a new website, in a bid to inform reporters about the political tactics of the British National Party (BNP) in the run-up to the general election.
The new NUJ website highlights the important role journalists and the union can play in opposing the rise of fascism and the BNP in the remaining weeks before the UK general election.
Reporting the BNP gives information on what the BNP actually stands for, with detailed facts and arguments to counter the far-right organisations’ unfounded claims.
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said:
Challenging the fascist politics of hate is a job for every fair-minded person in our society, not just a task for committed activists. NUJ members are proud to play our part in exposing the myths on which modern Nazis seek to gain power.
Those journalists who may still believe that the rise of the BNP doesn’t affect them should consider the experience of Dominic Kennedy, investigations editor of The Times. He was brutally manhandled by BNP ‘security guards’ who expelled him from a press conference for the unspeakable crime of saying things their leaders didn’t like.
Strange behaviour from an organisation which claims it wants to ‘remove legal curbs on freedom of speech’. BNP leader Nick Griffin even praised his stormtroopers by saying of their thuggery: ‘That’s not the actions of a snivelling PC party, but of an organisation that has had enough of being lied about.’
That’s the true face of the BNP’s ‘freedom of expression’ policy.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Nothing British, in partnership with the Centre for Social Cohesion, have published a report by Edmund Standing and Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens that highlights the potential threat from white supremacists committed to an agenda of violence against racial minorities.
Read the Blood_&_Honour report here.
The report is covered in today’s News of the World, here with Patrick Mercer MP calling for greater vigilance.
Denis MacShane MP writes in the forward to the report,
Like their jihadist counterparts, neo-Nazis are filled with hate, are conspiratorial and are prepared (and determined) to use extreme violence to achieve their political aims. If we want to reduce the threat we face from far-right extremism, it is imperative that new systems be put in place, allowing pre-emptive strikes against this budding threat.The report lists three incidents of recent neo-Nazi-related threats:-
● In July, Yorkshire police raided a neo-Nazi terror cell with international links. They seized the largest suspected terrorist arsenal since the IRA bombings of the early 1990s. Twenty properties were raided and over 300 weapons and 80 bombs were discovered by counter-terrorism detectives. The hardware included rocket launchers, grenades, pipe bombs and dozens of firearms. Several people were charged, and over 30 were questioned over the incident.
● In September, Neil Lewington, a follower of B&H, was jailed indefinitely for attempting to launch a bombing campaign against non-white Britons. In his flat, police discovered a bomb-making factory and neo-Nazi literature. Court reports said that Lewington wanted to emulate his ‘heroes’ – David Copeland, the Soho bomber, and Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber.
● In May, Terence Gavan, a card-carrying member of the BNP, was arrested after police raided his home. In January 2010, he was convicted on terrorism charges and sentenced to 11 years in prison, after a stockpile of nail and ball-bearing bombs, shotguns, improvised explosive devices and pistols was found at his house.
It is important not to overstate these neo-Nazi anecdotes. Britain is not about to turn into the Fourth Reich. Al-Queada remains the bigger threat.
However, it is important that we remain vigilant towards people with an ideological commitment to creating violence between people of different races. In 2001 security services tracked young Islamist radicals at outward bound camps that seemed harmless at the time. Four years later, some of those men had become terrorists who sought to kill innocent civilians on July 7 and 21, 2005.
We must not make the same mistake again.
Thursday, 18 February 2010
The BNP and other parties that encourage racial and other divisions within our communities should be held responsible for the effect they have on our boys and girls. Children are not born racist. It is something they learn from adults.
Just as this young person was brought before the King's Lynn Youth Court for "inciting racial hatred", then so should the sly adults working behind the scenes who have incited this boy (directly or indirectly) into such actions be hauled before the courts.
From the BBC:
A boy from Norfolk who posted "highly disturbing" white supremacist videos online has been given a two-year conditional discharge.
The boy, 17, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted two charges of inciting racial hatred on or before 22 April 2008 at King's Lynn Youth Court.
The boy was 15 when he was arrested for posting videos on YouTube. The Crown Prosecution Service believes he is the youngest person in England and Wales prosecuted for the offence.
The boy also put material on a website he had set up himself, the court heard.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyer Viv Goddard said:
This is thought to be the first time the CPS has prosecuted someone as young as this defendant for incitement to racial hatred after posting racially-inflammatory material on a social networking site.
Young people need to realise that it is not a joke to post hate-filled material on video-sharing websites or sites they set up themselves.
The material in this case was not just offensive but highly disturbing in its violence and imagery.
Mrs Goddard said it was difficult for the youth to deny responsibility as he had either filmed himself expressing racist opinions or had supplied his own comments as a voice over.
He had insisted that those who wanted to view his site had to agree to statements before they were allowed access, the lawyer said. These statements included "I do swear and verify that I am of the white race" and "I am not or have never been a follower of the Jewish religion".
The boy also stipulated that viewers "believe in the segregation of the races" and "have never engaged in an inter-racial relationship".
Defence lawyers told the court the youngster had special needs and had been seeking attention.
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Nick Griffin had the cheek to say, following the change to the BNP constitution which will now allow non-white people to join the party, that no-one could now call the BNP racist.
Well, I for one am.
I've always been slightly uneasy with the media's slightly unhealthy fascination with the BNP membership rules, often to the exclusion of their other policies and rules. I was always afraid that the media would really believe something had fundamentally changed when they altered the party rulebook. Nothing has changed and it is vital for everyone to realise that. Quite apart from the thuggery which saw a Times journalist assaulted because he had written something unfavourable to the BNP, the rules were changed only because a court had demanded it.
The Times, in its editorial, summed it up perfectly:
The BNP is racist. Racism is an attitude, not a legalistic nicety. Mr Griffin made clear that the vote was merely an acknowledgement of “legal reality”. The party does not throw off a history of ideological conviction by acquiescing in what the law demands.While the BNP will want everyone to focus on its rulebook change as proof of its new non-racist view, I would like people to concentrate on another part of the BNP constitution - which remains unchanged.
The British National Party stands for the preservation of the national and ethnic character of the British people and is wholly opposed to any form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples. It is therefore committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent, the overwhelmingly white makeup of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948.Now, tell me that the BNP is not racist.
By Nick Lowles
Sunday, 14 February 2010
Here are two articles which show the BNP for what it is – a party of racist thugs.
So, the BNP has apparently voted – at the point of a gun – to ’scrap’ its ‘whites only’ membership rule. I wonder if the new rule will maintain the stuff about ‘Norse-Scots-Irish-Celtic Folk Communities’. We will see.
But what’s this? James Bethell has the story:
His spin-doctors will say it was passed virtually unanimously on the day, but only 100 of the BNP’s 14,000 members could be bothered to attend the hastily-organised EGM in a remote East End pub (far from the party’s heartland in Yorkshire and the NE). Comment on the BNP’s network of blogs has remained hostile, despite a blizzard of begging emails and YouTube presentations from the Leader.The country is looking quite hostile too:
The party is flat-lining in the polls – the Guardian suggested down from 4.8% in June 2009 to 1%.The meeting was not without event: Meanwhile, BNP security guards assaulted and expelled Dominic Kennedy, the Times journalist who was reporting the party’s meeting.
Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, declared after the meeting:
We will carry on throwing The Times out until they report the truth. That’s all we ask.
The Times reports:
The Times meets that request with journalistic scrupulousness and no little incredulity. If Mr Griffin wants the truth to be told about the BNP, we can recount it from direct observation. The BNP purports to be a legitimate party; yet its behaviour reveals it at every turn to be exploitative, cynical, xenophobic and thuggish.…
Political parties by definition have a point of view. A newspaper’s responsibility is to report their actions and statements fairly but with critical detachment. When Mr Kennedy entered the BNP’s press conference, Richard Barnbrook, a BNP member of the London Assembly, demanded that he leave. Mr Barnbrook had taken exception to a profile of him published in Saturday’s edition of The Times. That was enough.
Mr Kennedy was not attending the meeting covertly. He had expressly been invited to report on it by Simon Darby, the party’s national press officer. On pointing this out, Mr Kennedy was physically ejected. His nose was grabbed, twisted and bloodied. A punch was thrown. He was pushed into a parked car outside the building.…
The BNP now likes to pose as a normal British political party. In fact, they are no such thing. In this country, it is not normal for political parties to rough up journalists. In this country, it is not normal for people to disown racism for reasons of convenience, rather than conviction. In this country, it is not normal to hijack the birthday celebrations of a wounded soldier for electoral gain. The BNP like to boast their Britishness but seem to have forgotten the most essential British values: free speech and fairness, compassion and respect. Yesterday, the BNP showed they are many things, but not British.
Read the whole remarkable account. It is an eye opener.By Alan A, February 14th 2010, 10:52 pm
Saturday, 13 February 2010
David Fleming has been nominated to contest the North West Norfolk parliamentary constituency for the British National Party, it has been announced. He has been with the BNP for just three years.
Mr Fleming has already sought support in his campaign. He appealed:
I would like to appeal for all supporters in the area to rally to our cause in preparation for what is likely to be a hate-filled smear campaign from our opponents.Isn't this pre-emptive accusation in itself an early and combative "hate-filled smear" against his opponents before the campaign has even begun?
Opponents may hate the dangerous and divisive policies of the BNP, but they do not necessarily hate individuals within the BNP. Opponents do not have to be hate-filled to understand how obnoxious and unworkable BNP policies really are.
No opponent, as far as I know, has called for BNP members to be deported or even to go to the back of the queue for social services. No opponent of the BNP has called for their boats to be sunk. Rather it is the BNP that regularly issues such hate-filled statements.
Opponents of the BNP may well feel surprise and concern that Dave Fleming has been nominated by local BNP members, rather than anything like "hate". Is this nomination really in his best interests as an individual?
On Monday 20 July 2009 Simon Darby wrote in his blog:
Before I sign off I'm sure you will all join me in sending our best regards to Norfolk-based Dave Fleming. Dave has been working so hard in the Norwich North by-election he was taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack over the weekend. I spoke to him today and whilst he seemed OK, he has been instructed to put his feet up.This blog noted at the time that Dave Fleming has been following a punishing regime for the BNP. In May 2009 he was with a British National Party delegation which descended on a Sunday morning service in a Norfolk village church and then launched a scathing attack on the Church.
In June Dave Fleming continued his gruelling canvassing and publicity-seeking, but he was an unsuccessful BNP Euro candidate and also unsuccessful in the county council election candidate for the King’s Lynn North and Central ward. There he came third out of four, below Labour in the voting. This must have been very stressful.
For much of July Dave Fleming was directing the doomed BNP campaign for Norwich North, which was not a happy experience. First of all the BNP candidate, the disgraced Robert West, did not arrive in Norwich until well into the campaign. Then his sparse and seedy reception committee at the car park of a derelict pub was exposed by three determined and well-informed Hope not hate campaigners who, despite being menaced and attacked, were able to photograph those present.
Thanks to those photographs, West's reception committee was later found to include Steve Ames, a dodgy car-dealer with a record for assault, and Martin Roberts, who peddles offensive racist items on his website, a website connected to known terrorist and BNP activist Lambertus Nieuwhof.
When the BNP was excluded from the question and answer hustings at Norwich City Hall they threatened to hold a press conference outside the City Hall, but in the event, none of the apparently dispirited BNP turned up. Dave Fleming had already lost his grip on the campaign.
The challenge to Robert West from the clergymen of Norfolk was the final devastating blow to BNP ambitions in Norwich North and to the work of Dave Fleming as campaign manager. In July 2009 Dave Fleming was ordered by his doctors to rest and recuperate after his suspected heart attack.
Does the BNP really have the best interests of Dave Fleming at heart when he is once again nominated for a frenetic pace of work on a new campaign?
Work for the BNP that comes at so much personal cost that even opponents of the BNP might express some concern rather than any "hate-filled smears".
Especially after learning that the "Reverend" Robert West will be assisting in the campaign.
It is just so regrettable that they are being anything less than transparent.
One of the number one rules in the British forces is that you don’t exploits our boys and girls in the forces.
I was with a British Asian Paratroop Regiment mate of mine who has served in Afghanistan and has won loads of medals for this country. A few weeks ago he met some supporters from the BNP in a pub and asked them what have they ever done for this country. They couldn’t answer him. To me that says it all.Liam Fox MP, Conservative Shadow Defence, told NB:
This is a shameless and disgraceful exploitation of our injured service personnel to promote what is a hateful political organisation.Veterans Scotland, an organisation that represents all the veterans charities in Scotland, told us they were sending out our memo to all veterans charities in Scotland. COBSEO, the umbrella organisation for UK veterans charities, have also been informed.
The British National Party’s financial accounts are under investigation by the Electoral Commission over an alleged breach of the law.
The commission said yesterday there were a “number of concerns” and that the far-right party’s latest accounts were “under review”. The investigation concerns a suspected breach of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, which requires all party treasurers to file full and accurate accounts each year.
The revelations come as Margaret Hodge, the Labour incumbent in Barking, East London, has threatened the party with legal action over campaign material. And the moves cast doubt on the credibility of the BNP at a time when Nick Griffin, its leader, is trying to persuade voters that he is a serious alternative to mainstream politicians at the general election.
The BNP has already been fined over its failure to produce its accounts on time and was recently exposed for exaggerating its spending during last year’s European elections.
It is also facing court action by the Equality and Human Rights Commission over its policy of excluding ethnic minorities from membership. Its membership meets tomorrow to discuss changes to its constitution.
The commission’s investigation relates to accounts for 2008, which the BNP filed six months late. The party was asked to provide more information last month but it is understood that the extra information was unsatisfactory and the party has still failed to meet the requirements of the Act.
Penalties for giving inaccurate or incomplete informationinclude prosecution, with a maximum penalty of a £5,000 or one year imprisonment.
John Walker, a BNP spokesman, said: “We’re not the only party to have problems with finances.”
Turning a blind eye on the BNP campaign trail
BNP to give up whites-only membership
Equality body's case against BNP is adjourned
In a separate but connected wickedly irreverent story from Lancaster Unity:
BNP Appoints David Hannam as National Treasurer
I almost choked on my cup of tea when I read that on the BNP website. Then I thought maybe I hadn't noticed the time passing and we'd hit April 1st already. But no, it's the truth. Squeaky Dave Hannam, serial-shagger, schoolie-fancier (along with naziboy Collett) and all-round incompetent twat, has been made National Treasurer, presumably because he was the only person moronic enough to take the job.
Although the only people to report this world-shattering news so far, the BNP always likes to give the impression that it is constantly being approached by the media for any tidbits it cares to throw for them. It isn't, but they do like to pretend. Thus, the report says:
Approached for comment, Mr Hannam said he wanted to “see central office accounts run as smoothly as the Regional Accounting Unit.”
Let's be clear about this. The Regional Accounting Unit is an unmitigated disaster. So much money has been stolen from the regions that they have now begun to conceal them from HQ in the hope that funds will be there to be used for whatever the regions want, rather than to support the Griffin/Dowson families in their never-ending striving to join the Sunday Times Rich List.
On behalf of all anti-fascists everywhere, I'd like to say how much we're going to be looking forward to the BNP's next financial disaster which, I have absolutely no doubt at all, will be caused entirely by Hannam. Even if it isn't, he'll get the blame.By Antifascist, Lancaster Unity
Thursday, 11 February 2010
The real BNP introduction
The politics of the BNP
The BNP as racists
The BNP as a Nazi party
The BNP as Holocaust deniers
The BNP party structure
The BNP Unmasked
The BNP in their own words
Former BNP members speak out
The international nazi links
The terrorist links
BNP a party of convictions
The BNP councillors
Profile of Nick Griffin
Profile of Andrew Brons
The Big Lie
Us and them
A-Z of the BNP
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Nothing British are currently running an excellent Policy Focus series looking at the real implications of BNP policies. It is well worth clicking on any title that interests you below to see how Nothing British has framed specfic objections to specific BNP policies.
As Nothing British states: The BNP are not just wrong on race.
Policy Focus #1: Why the BNP’s tariffs could cost £1,300 per person
Policy Focus # 2: Why the BNP’s manufacturing plan would lose 8 million jobs
Policy Focus #3: Why closing the City could cost you £1000
Policy Focus #4: Why foreign companies are good for British workers
Policy Focus # 5: How the BNP would return us to an era of rationing
Policy Focus #6: Tax breaks for the rich, tax hikes for the poor
Policy Focus #7: How the BNP would double your shopping bill
Policy Focus #8: The BNP’s five policies to make food more expensive
Policy Focus #9: How the BNP would increase fuel poverty
Policy Focus #10: How the BNP’s policies would hit ordinary British families
Policy Focus #11: How the BNP’s immigration policy would destroy Britain’s economy
Policy Focus #12: How the BNP’s immigration policies would turn Britain into a dystopian state
Defence: How the BNP would make Britain less safe (PDF)
Mr Griffin goes to Copenhagen: Analysis of the BNP’s environmental policies (PDF)
Any political party that unites the right, the left and all the others in condemnation must have something seriously wrong with it.
Campaigning journalists and media workers are to launch EXPOSE, a campaign aimed at "revealing the undemocratic and racist nature" of the British National Party
The new campaign will tackle the BNP's "attempts to construct a respectable public image" and support media workers who refuse to work on uncritical programmes or material, the group announced today.
EXPOSE aims to brief reporters and news editors to help them challenge the BNP's statements and spokespersons in the run-up to the UK election, the campaigners said.
A launch rally at the Amnesty UK headquarters in London on 23 February will feature Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, columnist and broadcaster; Mehdi Hasan, political senior editor for the New Statesman; Sunny Hundal, editor of the Liberal Conspiracy blog; and Peter Hain, secretary of state for Wales.
The political and media consensus appears to be that the way to tackle the BNP is to meet it halfway, by talking up tough anti-immigration measures (...) this conventional wisdom must urgently be challenged,said one its founding supporters, James Macintyre, political correspondent for the New Statesman.
The BNP is not an 'ordinary' political party (...) So why does the media, including the BBC, give them so much time, space and opportunity to spread their bile?"added his New Statesman colleague Mehdi Hasan.
The campaign is also backed by the unions, with speakers at the launch event including Michelle Stanistreet, deputy general secretary of the National Union of Journalists; Pat Styles, national official for BECTU, the media and entertainment union, and Weyman Bennett joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism.
Journalists have a duty to hold up to the closest scrutiny the claims and activities of those who would foment racial tension and violence. The BNP's inflammatory rhetoric about immigration cannot be taken at face value,said Stanistreet.
Saturday, 6 February 2010
A member of a secret task force which helped to capture Nazi scientists for interrogation during and after the Second World War says he is glad the unit has finally been given the recognition it deserves with the publication of a new book.
5 Kings / 2 T Force, an army unit set up in the later stages of the war in 1945 to search for German military researchers and scientists, was responsible for bringing hundreds of Nazi scientists to the UK for interrogation, including nuclear scientists and the designers of hydrogen peroxide engines used in high speed submarines, jet fighters and the V2 missile. James Bond author Ian Fleming helped to set up the unit and even used it as inspiration for his novel, Moonraker.
One of those who served in T Force is 84-year-old Kenneth Moore, who now lives in Church Road, Bacton, and is chairman of the 5 Kings / 2 T Force OCA (Old Comrades Association).
He says the associations' 30 members are overjoyed with the publication of a new book, T-Force: The Race for Nazi War Secrets by Sean Longden, which details all about the secret task force and the work they did.
The members have also each received a certificate of commendation for their work in T Force, signed by Sir David Richards, the army's chief of the general staff. Mr Moore had originally worked as a gunner in the Royal Artillery and was sent to Normandy during the war.
After the D-Day landings, the gunner regiments were broken up and he was sent to work as a gunner with the 5 Kings/ T Force. He said:
We were tasked with searching, finding and evacuating anything of scientific nature, which included u-boats, radars, poison, anything which would have the slightest hint of having been a help to the Germans.He says one of the most memorable things from his time with T Force was when they smuggled scientists out of Germany to be interrogated.
We would have a van which we packed inside with food and tins around the sides, and in the middle would be people. It would then be inspected at the port and checked over before we were allowed to continue.During his time with T Force he went across the world, to places including Russia and Denmark. T Force oversaw the liberation of Denmark in 1945, after being under Nazi occupation for five years.
After the war Mr Moore remained in the army and later worked for NATO. In 1978, after leaving the army, he went on to work with the Danish Tourist Board as a liaison officer, before moving to Norfolk to retire in 1994.
This year the association is travelling to Germany and Kiel in Denmark in May, to mark the 20th anniversary since setting up the 5 Kings/ 2 T Force OCA and 65 years since they liberated Denmark. Mr Moore said:
It is so strange that some 60 odd years after the force was set up, what we did is only just coming to light. The members of the association are very, very happy. It is more than we expected to be recognised for what we did and to have that recorded in a book.T-Force: The Race for Nazi War Secrets by Sean Longden, has been by Constable and Robinson and can be found at www.amazon.co.uk
Another tasteless attempt by the BNP to exploit the warm feelings the British public has towards our Armed Forces arrived in my in-box.
This innocent-looking email purports to be a disinterested appeal for support for a wounded British soldier. But, beware.
It claims to be a personal plea but it is not signed.
It claims to be non-political, but the web-version of the email is on the BNP website and the return address is the BNP HQ.
It claims to be on behalf of Fusilier Tom James, but he is not quoted, nor is anyone related to him.
It smacks of the BNP. Their clumsy attempts to associate themselves with the heroism of Britain’s armed forces are deeply resented by our soldiers who fight for the British values Nick Griffin seeks to destroy: fairness, tolerance and looking out for the little guy.
Give it a rest, Nick.
Monday, 1 February 2010
The Church of England has advised its clergy not to give the British National Party a platform in church buildings, or even meet with representatives of the racist Party.
The advice comes in new updated guidance from the Archbishops’ Council Mission and Public Affairs Division issued today (1st February).
The Church has previously stopped short of recommending that the far right party's candidates not be invited to meetings in the run up to the general election, at which local people can grill their election candidates. Other churches, such as the Methodist Church, have however been more unequivocal.
However, the new guidance acknowledges that:
The recent discourse of the far-right has developed in a direction where intolerance is often cloaked in the language of culture and faith, both of which can be used to fuel racism and religious hatred.The guidance suggests:
Lately the British National Party has sought to promote itself as a guardian of ‘British Christian heritage’ against an increasing ‘islamification’ of British society and the leadership of the mainstream churches
BNP supporters and candidates claim to have established a ‘Christian Council of Britain’ which erroneously stresses the 'godly importance of race and nation'.
Often those elected from such parties will seek to make civic capital through contact with church leaders to increase their local standing.
Church leaders need to have thought through how they will react. Local churches may now be faced with deciding how to distance themselves from groups and councillors - whose racist policies and attitudes they opposed during the elections, while maintaining pastoral engagement with those who voted for them and council officials who continue their work as public servants.
It is not advisable to meet groups promoting racist policies as this gives them credibility and publicity. It is advisable not to give them a platform in churches or church buildings, as this can be used to suggest support for their policies (even by implication). This is a decision that will need to be taken by groups organising activities around local campaigns and pre-election hustings.The guidance also recommends that statements by local church leaders re-emphasising the Church’s abhorrence of racism and prejudice "should be prepared early and a decision taken about the appropriate time to make such an intervention".
The Church cannot accommodate those who would discriminate on grounds of ethnicity. There is a need for consistency and integrity when confronting racism. Racism is indivisible – we cannot attack it in one area and collude with it in other areas of life.
The 2010 General Election will be fought on different issues and through a different system to the 2009 European and local elections.
Christians need to be alert to the language and policies evident in electioneering by extremists and more general anti-immigrant rhetoric. The BNP will almost certainly have election broadcasts.
Churches are under no legal obligation to include the BNP in election hustings meetings, the guidance points out, or give space to such parties for public meetings, if they consider this ‘association’ could have a detrimental effect on their reputation and activities.