Letter from the BNP
Alongside mislaying their entire membership list, the BNP has been busy sending correspondence to 200,000 people. These included councillors, so I had the misfortune to get a letter from Nick Griffin, enclosing a glossy report alleging that there are widespread "hate crimes against white people", and warning me that ""if you are not prepared to do your duty by the long-suffering Silent Majority who elect you and pay your salaries, don't be surprised when they look elsewhere for someone to voice their very real concerns". I can't say that despite this threat I'm personally expecting a BNP challenger next time I'm up for election, as with only six members in Hackney (or so people who have checked the leaked membership list tell me) they will have trouble finding a candidate for Chatham Ward, but I am concerned that they are mailshotting people in Hackney where there are very harmonious community relations, trying to stir up hatred and fear.
I feel particularly sorry for all the 18 year olds the BNP say they have sent this to - identified by their "date of majority" on the election register. I hope they handle data from the register with more regard to its security than they have the data on their own members.
The BNP certainly seems to have no shortage of cash if it can afford to send 200,000 letters (£54,000 in postage) and print that many full colour 12 A4 page leaflets.
My initial reaction was to ignore the letter and pamphlet so as not to give it additional publicity, but this leaflet is too sophisticated for it to be simply ignored or wished away. It is worth reading it to understand the fears that the BNP are fuelling and playing upon. That way those of us in democratic political parties can develop counter-narratives and arguments for use on the doorstep if canvassers are confronted by these attitudes, fears and prejudices.
The BNP clearly think they’ve been really clever by turning the race hatred motif upside down - in the same way they have, with straight faces, condemned the sacking of BNP members exposed this week as "fascism", but here’s some devil in the detail that I think betrays the continuing neo-Nazi attitudes of the BNP leadership. The sheer amount of text and (especially) the revealing ideologically rooted buzz phrases are not what you’d expect from a conventional rightwing populist party and show that the BNP leadership and its propaganda is still rooted in a far harsher ideology than what they’d have has us all believe.
Buzz phrases in the letter and report will be familiar to students of the propaganda materials of earlier generations of far right politicians here in the UK and abroad:
- “if you believe the propaganda of the mainstream media or the lies of the old politicians”
- “the old politicians failed multi-cultural experiment”
- “our quarrel is not with them but with the politicians…and with the media hacks who conspire to cover up the truth”
- “the Powers That Be”
- “undo years of brainwashing by the media and by a racist school system designed to deny our community a sense of pride”
- “institutionally hostile ruling class”
- “injustices inflicted upon the majority by the multi-cult” (sic)
- "ruling political elite”
- “brow-beating liberal-left propaganda and police bullying”
- “the demands of the race relations profiteers”