A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

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”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BNP is engaged is deploying exactly the same propoganda techniques as the Labour Party.

I'll take one. The Iraq war. There were no weapons of mass destruction. The dossier was a completely fraudulent construction. The real reason for intervention was to secure Western oil supplies.

As you know the death toll among Iraquis is now about 750,000. There are God knows how many mutilated and that society has been torn apart. This is a war made by the Labour Party and many of your members signalled when they deserted you on the issue.

How on earth could you have the gall to challenge the NF?

The Labour Party's moral position is in the sewer. There is an old legal dictum: in order to seek equity you must come to it with clean hands.

2:51 pm, November 20, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Liberation of Iraq ? Yes, this active Labour Party member is very happy that it was done in his name !

Nice to see Anonymous is supporting the BNP line, as well as that of Sadam Hussain.

Luke, if someone was so Wiki'd as to have leak the list to you it might be worth comparing E-Mail addresses etc with some of the more obnoxious contributers here.



3:49 pm, November 20, 2008

Blogger MR said...

To the first anonymous:

France stayed out of the Iraq war to remain on friendly terms with Saddam and to secure their oil supplies, the Allies were in to liberate the Iraqi people from decades more of the sadistic Hussein family.

If the anti-war campaigners, perhaps such as yourself, really believed that it was about oil, then all they had to do was pledge to never use a car or fly again. If the governments were after oil then it would only be to satisfy the demands of their own citizens. If those citizens no longer needed the oil, then the governments really would not have bothered with all the hassle.

5:00 pm, November 20, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

The BNP do have plenty of money and so do most political parties.

There was no moral position on the war in Iraq. Especially when you consider how many Iraqi people have died. According to Respect over a million civilians have been killed.....I'm not sure how correct this figure is but it clearly shows the human impact of this war.

Sadam was a dictator and he needed to be removed. However, you can't justify the killing of so many civilians just for that purpose. Which seems to be the argument at the moment for justifying the whole conflict.

The initial push into Iraq was relatively simply. Iraq was totally out gunned, but as soon as we occupied cities the job got a lot tougher. It was made worse by the Americans literally shelling populated towns to kill militants that had long left.

I'm not convinced that a conservative or Lib Dem government would have been able to refuse the call from America to go to war. America pretty much calls the shots when it comes to global security.

I'm not convinced this conflict was totally about oil...too simplistic. However, oil was obviously very important factor. If you look at the geography of this area then Iraq is also of military importance. If you are going to invade Iran then you need access to Iraq.

9:18 pm, November 20, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To MR.

Explain this (It crushes your arguement).

Throughout the 1980s the US and UK were quite happy to do business with Saddam.

Human rights issues were never a concern.

2:13 am, November 21, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reference: the latter listed of bulleted items in inverted commas.

Most of this language is used, sometimes in a modified form, by the Labour Party.

Does anyone need reminding about the repeated and almost centrally scripted use of "social exclusion", "social justice" and the "respect agenda".

Just that last one. Straight out of Ali G, courtesy of Tony Blair; dressed up by a fat apparatchik called Louise Casey as some sort of social policy; demonstrably completely useless; dropped as a used johnny by Brown the moment he got the top job.

Keep your fingers crossed, Luke, that the residents of Chatham ward are as poor, dependent, dumb and just plain mad as you obviously think they are. It's the Labour Party's best if not only hope.

8:19 am, November 21, 2008

Blogger MR said...

Britain and the US were friends with Saddam, but these countries have enjoyed far more moral governments since then.

I will never get over John Major getting a knighthood when he allowed so many Iraqis to perish as they begged for our help to get Saddam out after the first Gulf war.

Thanks heavens for GWB and Tony Blair.

Civilians were dying anyway. It broke my heart hearing about Saddam's regime. At least there will be less of the sadistic oppression in the long term.

And as for the numbers of those who died in the second Gulf war, I think the figures came from a Lancet report which was proven to be a fabrication by a number of broadsheet newspapers.

1:00 pm, November 21, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

MR, you could say the same thing about Zimbabwe or China. Gone are the days when the British Army could walk into a country and makes demands. We are no longer superpower and we don't have enough fighting troops or the will to carry as we did when we owned half the world.

Tony Blair was too eager to back Bush and we should have waited for Europe. These things take time and Tony proved to be impatient. You can't rush into war and if you do don't expect the resolution you want.

Americas "Shock and Awe Technique" or terror as I like to call it did us no favours.

You can dispute the figures all you want but the reality is that this war has killed far too many civilians. How many of us really understand the realities of war. Having your home shelled and destroyed, love ones killed is hardly what I would call justifiable to remove one man.

This is the whole problem about fighting wars like this. Your enemy isn't fighting an open war and they use civilians as armour. I'm not sure you can use "Shock and Awe" in these situations, but the yanks did. Can you imagine if we started shelling parts of Belfast during the IRA conflict.

If we had waited for Europe then I'm sure it would not have been an American led invasion. We would have had more backing and greater mandate to carry out the job. In the face of a Europe led invasion then the chances of terrorism would have been greatly reduced.....

6:33 pm, November 21, 2008

Blogger Old Holborn said...

I notice that Labour MP's are desperate that their names and addresses remain a secret when expenses are FINALLY published next year.

7:04 pm, November 22, 2008

Blogger MR said...

If only Europe had been willing to help in Iraq. If only Europe would help countries such as Zimbabwe.

I remember stars such as Hugh Grant heading a campaign for governments to help in Darfur. I just thought that the governments can't intervene in the affairs of other countries because then their electorates take to the streets and protest about it.

12:58 pm, November 25, 2008


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