Tuesday, July 12, 2005

London bombs: Blame the BNP

Following this post, it now seems very likely that the London bomber WERE British - although there has, as yet, been no indisputable confirmation. Four men from West Yorkshire have been identified on CCTV from King's Cross, where they are believed to have arrived by train at around 8:30 on Thursday morning. Their houses are being searched for evidence.

The blame, obviously and ultimately, rests with the murderers themselves, and anyone who aided and abetted them.

Some people have additionally laid blame for provoking the attack with Bush and Blair who, the basic argument runs, stirred up shit in the Middle East, providing terrorist recruiters with an unending stream of images of western soldiers charging all over the shop. I can understand the argument - and even sympathise with it, to an extent. After all, if you deny that the occupation of Iraq has spawned more terrorists, how do you explain the difference in the number of terrorist attacks in that country before and after the occupation? But at the same time, ridding Afghanistan of the Taleban and Iraq of Saddam are both undoubtedly good things. Some inhabitants of those lands must surely be grateful, even if the liberation process hasn't been anywhere near as smooth as could be wished.

Others, including people in the comments to my liveblog of the attack, blame Islam itself. This argument is also - to a very slight extent - understandable. After all, there is a very prominent minority within modern Islam who are vocal in their hatred of the west and everything it stands for, and who have called for jihad against us and our values. The Qu'ran can, to an extent, be selectively quoted to back up their perverted interpretation of their faith. But then so, were one so inclined, could the Bible. Christianity has also gone through its stages of calling for the death of unbelievers. Christianity too has tortured and massacred in God's name. Because Christians have now (mostly - cf. the KKK) got beyond that stage, does that give the western Judeo-Christian states the right to get all uppity? Not all western states gave women the vote at the same time; Britain abolished slavery years before America. These things take time, and over time, moderation usually wins out - it's nicer for everyone.

But for homegrown terrorists, surely they need more provocation than that? Events in distant lands may arouse anger. Religious invective may fuel feelings of self-righteousness. But most terrorists normally have some more personal reasons for their actions. There is usually some rationality behind their irrationality. They can usually, in their perverse way, justify their actions to themselves. It takes more than the promise of a few virgins and eternal life in Heaven to provoke someone to kill themselves and others - if not, everyone would be blowing themselves up all the time.

These terrorists could not have been bred in London. Accusations of our capital, which has shown its multicultural unity better than ever in the last few days, being "Londonistan" are blatantly silly, though have - as always - some truth to them. As the cliche goes, there's no smoke without fire. There ARE a lot of radical Muslims in London. The city has played host to some deeply unpleasant preachers, the likes of Abu Hamza and his ilk, who spew hate from their pulpits, stirring up radical anger.

But it is this very tolerance which makes London-born terrorists unlikely. They can give vent to their anger and hatred freely. The very civil liberties which the government is trying to stifle in the name of protecting us - the right to free association and free speech - give an outlet to the rage of a disaffected Muslim youth. They can chant, they can shout, they can rave - and they can get publicity for their cause at the same time. But deep down they know that if they push it too much - as Abu Hamza did - they will find their voices stifled. They have no desire to stir up more hatred of Islam, or they will no longer be allowed access to an audience.

West Yorkshire, on the other hand, has been the site of even more stirring of hatred between communities. Hatred stirred by one of the least British groups in the entire country - the BNP.

It was in West Yorkshire that BNP leader Nick Griffin stood for election just two months ago. His high-profile campaign, played just the right side of the race-hate laws, played much on fears of Muslims. When I commented on Griffin's campaign back in January, this blog attracted a small but determined group of BNP supporters, determined to demonstrate that immigration and Islam are to blame for all this country's ills.

It was in the same region that race riots occurred a couple of years ago, something the BNP were keen to capitalise on as an indication of the volatility and danger inherent in Muslim youth, even while knowing that they had done much to fire them up.

If you were a young Muslim, British born, being told by a party that professes to be the party of Britain, of the nation, that you were not and never could be British, how would you feel? Would you feel included in society? Would you feel any love for your fellow countrymen? Would you even consider them your fellow countrymen?

For most people born in Britain, it is not hard to love this country. We may moan at times, we may get pissed off, but at heart we know it is up there as one of the best in the world - for its stoicism, much lauded in recent days, for its history of toleration and inclusiveness, for its continued ability to punch above its weight on the world stage - even if we sometimes disagree where those punches are landed.

It would take an extended campaign of lies and distortions to convince me that Britain is anything other than Great, even while I can see its flaws. This is precisely what the Muslim population of West Yorkshire have been subjected to by the BNP for the last decade.

It is in the BNP's interest for Britain's Muslim youth to rise up and cause trouble - it would, in their view, prove their twisted take on this country to be right. And so the BNP have been doing their best to provoke, to raise hatred, to cause the people they have long claimed to be dangerous into actually acting in the ways that Griffin and his kind have always professed that they would.

Already, the BNP's policy has begun to work. After "retaliatory" attacks on Mosques in London and Liverpool over the last few days, the anti-Muslim violence has now spread, with more attacks reported in London, Birkenhead, Bristol and elsewhere today. They have already started to use images of the destroyed bus on their political campaign material, in one of the most callous propaganda actions I can remember.

The BNP are as happy about these attacks as those who support the terrorists are. The BNP have benefited more from the attacks than anyone. If the bombers were from West Yorkshire, the BNP helped provoke these attacks as much as anyone.

So, if you're looking to apportion blame beyond the terrorists who carried out the attacks, blame the BNP.


Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

"After all, if you deny that the occupation of Iraq has spawned more terrorists, how do you explain the difference in the number of terrorist attacks in that country before and after the occupation?"

I explain in one word: Iran.

I could be wrong, of course.

7/12/2005 07:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, if you're looking to apportion blame beyond the terrorists who carried out the attacks, blame the BNP.

How about blaming Islam? You know, the foul "religion" that produced these terrorists in the first place.

7/12/2005 07:42:00 pm  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/12/2005 07:42:00 pm  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

Good post, although I am not sure that I accept your thesis, although I can understand that the BNP stance may be a contributory factor. See here as well.

However, when you say "blame the BNP", to what extent should we blame those people who voted for them? And what do you see as the reason for the significant increase in BNP votes and seats, especially at local level; and, of course, especially in places like Burnley? And are the fears of the people who voted for the BNP justified in any way? And what do those votes say about the true state of tolerance in this country: are we becoming increasingly intolerant? To what extent is the media to blame for whipping up hatred and distrust of foreigners?

And, given your theory, do you advoctae the banning of the BNP?

7/12/2005 07:46:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Anonymous - I believe I covered that.

DK - no, I don't advocate banning the BNP, or indeed any political or religious group. Freedom of speech is vital, even if that speech is hateful.

And yes, the fears of the people who voted BNP are understandable - as the bombings to an extent demonstrate. But I believe that these fears have been played up and fostered by the BNP far beyond any justification - people who vote BNP have bought BNP propaganda as much as the disaffected Muslim youth in that area have been. I also believe that their votes would be put to far better use elsewhere.

And the media (cf. The Sun's editorial the other day calling for internment camps, or The Daily Mail every bloody day of the week) certainly has its part to play as well, no doubt about it.

7/12/2005 07:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your article is absolute rubbish - no further comment needed

7/12/2005 08:24:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Brilliant deconstruction there anonymous. Cheers for that.

7/12/2005 08:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, I remember around election time having a conversation with someone about why the BNP was not contradicted by mainstream politicians every time they did something stupid (so, every time they opened their mouths) and I remember being told that it was in an attempt to avoid according them politicial legitimacy.

I think at the time I said something alone the lines of: if the only message voters are getting about the BNP is their own vision of themselves, with no contradictions, you're actually increasing their political legitimacy.

Anyway, no need to ban the BNP, give them their say, let them hang themselves, let's just start condemning them publicly and properly.

7/12/2005 09:07:00 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Great post.

Seems like the British BNP has a lot in common with the Flemish "Vlaams Belang" (now the biggest party in Flanders). I'll be interested to see how Britain deals with the far-right.

One little thing we learned here though: Ignoring them, insulting them, trying to ban them: doesn't work. On the contrary, actually...

7/12/2005 10:47:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

D - cheers. I think you're almost certainly right about the necessary response. These people need to be challenged to justify their beliefs in open debate - and challenged by people who really know their stuff so they don't get caught out. They can't be underestimated - especially with Griffin as leader, as he's a very canny chap - and they can't be allowed to spew their nonsense without being picked up on their distortions.

This post does have its flaws, though - largely thanks to being dashed off in half an hour off the top of my head (hence the relative lack of links).

I await the inevitable BNP response over the next day or so - not something I'm particularly looking forward to. Doubtless they'll point out that my claims about Londoners not turning to terrorism ignore Richard "shoe bomber" Reid. But I think the basic thrust of the argument stands - at least as much as any other blame-throwing exercise I've seen so far.

7/12/2005 11:03:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thoughtful post Nosemonkey. Ironically, I just had a conversation about his very topic with a British friend of mine. Although I personally consider myself a "conservative" in the U.S. sense, I argued that immigration will always make a country stronger, and we need to continue with our open-door policy in this sense. On the other hand, I believe a critical problem is the inability (or unwillingness) of some immigrants to fully integrate with the public of their adopted country. As an on-the-fly example: the immigrant family that absolutely refuses to allow the marriage of their child outside of racial/religious boundaries.

I don't know much about the BNP, so I'll make an effort to learn a little bit about their motives in the context of your post. Do they argue for limiting immigration, expelling non-native Brits, or some combination in between?

7/13/2005 12:13:00 am  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Zuke - these days they have to tread a very fine line to avoid the race hate laws (silly legislation in my view, but that's beside the point). Behind the scenes they argue for deportation of anyone they decide to be foreign (normally based on skin tone, but they aren't fans of eastern Europeans much either). In public they call for either strict limits or a complete halt to immigration, depending on what day of the week it is and who they're talking to.

As for immigrant integration - naturally this should be encouraged. When in Rome, etc. But I can fully understand the self-ghettoisation mentality when you've got the likes of the BNP running around, and papers like the Daily Mail spouting off all the time.

If you've come to a new country and perceive some people to be hostile to you because you're different (something which, as an American in the UK, you may have encountered over the last few years), it's easy to extrapolate from that and see ALL people as being hostile (cf. recent accusations made towards me on this blog of being anti-American thanks to the odd critical comment of specific US policies).

You're then likely to seek out your own for safety in numbers, and a cycle begins: the people who were hostile to you in the first place point out that you're not integrating and get more hostile; in the face of more hostility it becomes harder to integrate. Catch-22. But in this particular one, it's the hostile natives who have the advantage over the passive immigrants, who can seemingly do nothing right unless they assimilate entirely - something which is very, very hard to do.

7/13/2005 12:27:00 am  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

It was not the lack of links that I found slightly distressing: it was the lack of any kind of balance.

I'm afraid that, to a certain extent, I agreed with the first Anonymous post. It takes a special kind of person to decide that the way to feel less alienated is to blow up themselves and innocent bystanders. As The Religion of Peace site highlights, almost every single day innocent people are killed by Muslim extremists in some country around the world.

Sure, every religion has extremists. Every single society has people who feel alienated from that society. But so many? Read those entries on that site. Is every single one a lunatic? Or alienated by the BNP? Or can you show that more than 25% of those entries is either hopelessly biased, or a simple lie? Of the major world religions, only Islam makes a virtue of killing yourself and others. Only Islam could justify it and, indeed, even make a virtue of it.

Many people are arguing that the Bible has similar exhortations: yes, the Old Testament does; but the Bible was revised–in the New Testament–in a way that the Koran was not. How could it have been? Mohammed wrote the Koran, and he was the Last Prophet.

Your post essentially suggests that the BNP should be blamed for these bombings (the title rather gives it away). Not only were you writing with little information on the bombers (and we have little enough concrete evidence now; an accusation which, I admit, could be applied to my post) but you seem to have lost your perspective as far as the BNP are concerned. I am not in any way an apologist for Griffin and his crew, but you have to accept that for a Christian–or an atheist, such as myself–the response to feeling alienated would not to be, so overwhelmingly and in such numbers (just because I know that you could bring up Hamilton; but even in his case, the full story of the active persecution that he underwent was little-reported at the time), to kill the innocent.

Personally, I am disappointed in you. Whilst I deplore the BNP, to nail your colours so firmly to this post, and with so little condemnation of other factors that must be taken into account (assuming that they were Muslims, as both you and I do) shows a certain irresponsibility and lack of judgement.

7/13/2005 12:28:00 am  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

DK - I've already acknowledged the possibility of Islam itself being a factor, as I have the actions of Britain in support of the US in the Middle East. This post was merely intended as an alternative/addition to the other bits of blame being chucked around. It would obviously be stupid to lay all the blame at the BNP's door, but I do feel they should accept at least some of it - along with Blair, Bush, the radical Muslim preachers who spread perverse interpretations of the Qu'ran and so on.

As for the religions of the bombers - well, beyond the fact that I believe that anyone who does such a thing is unworthy of being called "religious" in any way - three of the four have been identified of Pakistani descent, and it is likely that the fourth is of Iranian descent. It's therefore a fairly safe assumption to make that they are from Islamic backgrounds.

7/13/2005 12:40:00 am  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/13/2005 01:02:00 am  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

Fair enough, sir. (Although I'm interested to note (given my massive essay-like post today) the one of Iranian descent.)

I think that the point that I was trying to make was that, without the Ismamist factor, the BNP factor would not have been such a problem. Not, at least, to London commuters. However, I acknowledge your point.

As they say, keep up the good work...

7/13/2005 01:14:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blame the BNP? Then why did these Islamic fanatics kill innocent people and not the BNP members?

7/13/2005 02:46:00 am  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

And, of course, the statistics of those killed by Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Che Guavara, to show what happens when Lefty loonies get in charge. For balance, obviously.

Totalitarian leaders of whatever orientation (or religion) are bad, and ultimately stand for the same thing: the survival of their regime. In most cases, this can only be perpetrated by the repression of those who would, or who they imagine would, strip them of their power. Unfortunately, the saying that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" is entirely true.

I think that the real tragedy of this situation is that anyone should think that the BNP represent the views of anyone in this country. What is even sadder is that they do represent people in this country.

7/13/2005 03:46:00 am  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

My point was that it's all the same thing. That's if you subscribe to the politics as torus theory, of course.

The evidence seems to bear it out...

7/13/2005 04:37:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That radical Muslims have freedom of speech, in no way, precludes them from using bombings as well. Note, I'm not advocating unfree speech. I just think it's naive to assume that bombings occur only becuase of stifling. Hitler rose to power in Weimar Germany remember and won a little bit of elections even. (In parralel, I find it silly when some silly NYT reporter says that Iraqi insurgents will stop their campaign of bombings when they realize that it is hurting their own people...you don't know the power politics of terror, if you think that way.)

7/13/2005 05:00:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Guardian has an article about the neighbourhood where the bombers grew up:

This sounds a lot like the articles you read after some teenage kid decides to get hold of a shotgun and shoot up his school (e.g.Columbine in the US or Erfurt in Germany). At first sight, completely normal parents and such friendly young men. If there is a similarity, a lot of the event is due to very personal circumstances and ideology is a superficial issue.

7/13/2005 06:17:00 am  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

But four of them? Acting in concert? And are you sating that ideology is not a personal thing? I would say that it is one of the most personal things about one, wouldn't you?

Some interpret the Koran as a book of peace, others as a book instructing them to make war on the infidel: I would therefore say that someone's personal interpretation–and, thus, personal ideology–was of crucial importance here.

7/13/2005 06:55:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So can we blame David Copeland's nail bombings on multiculturalists?

And why aren't other 'alienated' minorities carrying out suicide bombings? I don't recall blacks and Indians blowing themselves up after Enoch Powell's speech.

How about blaming the likes of extreme-left Ken Livingstone with his open support for Islamic extremists like Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, or his call for 'leniency' with British born Muslims who train to be terrorists under the Taleban in Afghanistan?

A ridiculous, cowardly conclusion that blames a powerless organisation instead of decades of mismanagement by 'mainstream' governments.



7/13/2005 07:45:00 am  
Blogger Oleksa said...

DK - I've already acknowledged the possibility of Islam itself being a factor, as I have the actions of Britain in support of the US in the Middle East. This post was merely intended as an alternative/addition to the other bits of blame being chucked around. It would obviously be stupid to lay all the blame at the BNP's door, but I do feel they should accept at least some of it - along with Blair, Bush, the radical Muslim preachers who spread perverse interpretations of the Qu'ran and so on.

That's why 'laying the blame' is such a futile exercise after all. For it obscures the main question: what shall we do about it.
Your post, despite the obligatory nods to 'other factors', clearly suggests that somehow if not for the BNP those attacks would not have been possible and therefore if something is done in regards to the BNP, future attacks will be less likely to occur. I think this is absurd, and I see no evidence in your post to convince me otherwise.

7/13/2005 08:16:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@devil's kitchen

There have been cases where 2 or 3 youths ran amok at the same time.

I did not mean that ideology is not a personal thing. But, that it is not simply the ideology that led to this, i.e.Islam, even militant preaching alone are not enough to trigger such acts. Nor is it specifically Islam that can lead to them. White supremacism, vulgar marxism, Aum Shinrikyo (Buddhist, IIRC), UFO beliefs can equally be used by nuts to justify their actions.

What I wanted to say is that the personal character of those people (genetic disposition, family history, education, neighbourhood, personal frustrations etc.) are equally important. A militant ideology needs fertile ground to become dangerous.

7/13/2005 09:37:00 am  
Blogger Alex said...

Anonymous, in your heroic anonymity you clearly missed al-Qaradawi's comments on the attacks: "savage, barbaric and uncivilised". Try to keep up, there's a good chap.

7/13/2005 09:58:00 am  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Anonymous at 7:45 - first, could you at least put in SOME kind of name, just to make replying easier? Ta.

Second - the point is that there are a multitude of factors which could have influence this. I'm simply highlighting the BNP's hateful rhetoric as another possible one.

The BNP, like some extremist Muslims, have been known to encourage violence. The BNP have likewise been very active in spreading their hatred in the area from which the bombers appear to have come - more so than radical Muslim preachers, in fact. I'd be amazed if they haven't managed to provoke a reaction amongst ethnic minority communities.

I'm not saying the BNP were the sole factor - I'd have thought that was obvious from my acknowledgement of the Bush/Blair/radical Islam factor, although perhaps I should have discussed those more. I'm merely pointing out that they were A factor.

7/13/2005 09:59:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simply because it never gets enough airing when talking about the BNP and the best way to combat them: they and other scum like them, are encouraged by the inadequacies of our antiquated votign system and the way it shapes political engagement across the country.

More info here (in under construction site), here and here.

Gist: No one takes the time to properly show the BNP up for the racist retards they are, because they're never going to garner enough support to gain representation in parliament. They are therefore fairly unopposed, bar the odd person calling them racists, thus building up a much larger following than they would were the whole thing not quite so clandestine.

7/13/2005 11:20:00 am  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

were the whole thing not quite so clandestine

I wonder if they have a funny handshake, or a special way of tying that lynch-knot... ;-)

7/13/2005 11:52:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know I just stumbled on this sight and enjoyed reading your post. However looking over the BNPs election pamplet some of the things they say do ring true about how we have fostered terrorism in the UK by being so lienient.
I also will say that although I vote labour I have absolutly no time for their defense of Islam and Muslims in general in the UK who for years have been allowed to get way with spouting race hate while calling anyone who critisies them racists. These people see the UK as a soft touch and who can blame them.

7/13/2005 04:17:00 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

The BNP's economic policy is right-wing? How do we know has the BNP ever said its polciies?

7/13/2005 04:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, if we don't know anything about the BNP's economic policies, they could even be socialists ?

But that would make them the BN Socialist Party wouldn't it ?

Not totally unlikely, BTW. Right-wing populist parties often use anti-capitalist rhetoric.

7/13/2005 04:55:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

No idea about the BNP's current economics, but as they are the ideological grandchildren of Oswald Moseley's BUF, it may be worth pointing out that before he went off to set up his own lot, Ozzy was fairly high up in the Labour party and a very good economist indeed - could have been on a par with Keynes had he not decided to become a fascist. As both the BUF and BNP were/are largely working-class movements, left-wing economics makes a certain amount of sense.

Still, it's entirely possible to be economically left-wing while being socially right-wing. Personally, though, I generally judge people more on their social views.

7/13/2005 05:10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"These terrorists could not have been bred in London."

Nosemonkey, you are a brave man to make such a statement. I hope that you don't have to eat your words someday.

Take a look at some of the people who came out during the Bethnal Green election.

7/13/2005 05:10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comments about West Yorkshire and the BNP are more relevant to Bradford than Leeds.

Leeds, where the bombers are said to be from, is a relatively cosmopolitan city with a number of different ethnic groups represented. Bradford and Keighley, where the BNP has been most active, is almost a "bi-cultural" rather than a multi-cultural town. Most people are either of white English or Pakistani descent.

If the bombers had been from Bradford, your argument that it could happen there but not in London might just have stood up. Leeds shares more of the cosmopolitan features that you attributed to London.

A bit of Southern prjudice going on here, I think

7/13/2005 06:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys make the effort and go to the BNP website at www.bnp.org.uk and take a look at their policies there. To be honest some of it is very well written and they do have some ploicies the left wing would like. To be honest I was quite impressed and they don't sound like the lunitics everyone makes them out to be.

7/13/2005 06:31:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Anonymous at 6:31 - You don't seriously think anyone's going to buy that comment as being genuine, do you?

7/13/2005 06:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*Glazed eyes*
Anonymous, as Homer Simpson would say, your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
No really. Honestly.

7/13/2005 07:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I am anonymous 6.31 and actually was being sincere. I am an expat living in the US and literally just stumbled on this site. My comment is genuine if you don't know what their policies are then take a look. I did just as I would if it was a Muslim website?
I not some BNP underling if thats your inference.

7/13/2005 08:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, on the surface they seem quite 'normal' and mainstream. They take great pains to appear that way on their website. I highly recommend reading more about the BNC than what they choose to tell you, though.

For example, the "Church" of Scientology looks normal if you visit their site. Google for Scientology, though, and you'll find that the #2 entry is www.xenu.net, which shows that they're basically a bunch of nutters (if I may borrow a Brit term). Alien hydrogen bombs, bad naval uniforms, unreadable pulp sci fi, they have it all! None of that makes it onto their home page, though. ;)

The BNC might not be quite that far gone, but I'd definitely not take their website at face value...

7/13/2005 08:49:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric I take your point and agree with looking under the surface.
Having said all that they do not seem to be any worse that the "Rush Limbaugh" talk radio types over here in the US who don't seem to be considered extremist. I guess what I am saying is that it seems the BNP get judged differently in the UK compaired to other crazy left wing parties and over here what they say wouldn't be a big deal. Seems like the UK has gone overboard in political correctness. You know like a black comedian can make fun all day long at whites but it would be not allowed the other way around. Big double standard going on in the UK.

7/13/2005 10:37:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not really an expert on the BNP, but I think a lot of the distrust of them stems from their origins. One of their founders, John Tyndall, has openly embraced Nazi ideals. He makes Rush Limbaugh look like Al Franken, heh heh.

He's been kicked out of the BNP (multiple times, if i remember correctly), but the party has gotten into plenty of trouble without him. They've tried very hard to 'go legit' in the last couple of years, but they're (rightly, methinks) treated with quite a bit of suspicion.

I do agree, however, that it *seems* like the UK has been much more willing to crack down on incitement from groups like the BNP, while many Muslim extremists are free to engage in hate-mongering (with some notable exceptions). It's a difficult issue, though. If you stifle speech too much, no one has an outlet for their bottled-up anger and it's easy to feel 'victimized'. If you let fascists like Tyndall (in his case, the label really does seem to apply) and medievalist bastards like Bin Laden freely peddle their lies, though, anger can crystallize into *action*, and bombs start going off in King's Cross, rocks get thrown through mosque windows, and distrust reigns supreme.

No easy solution, I fear.

7/14/2005 12:50:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you've come to a new country and perceive some people to be hostile to you

then ... why not leave?

What kind of person lets his enemies {real or imagined} define him?

7/14/2005 03:44:00 am  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

It has to be said that the BNP site pushes all the right populist buttons: personally I think that it's not a political party, just a Daily Mail spoof...

Some of the stuff that they say, e.g. withdrawal from the EU, more local democracy, etc., is actually quite sensible.

However, throughout all of this runs the rather nasty undercurrent of racism which is their signature motif. Oh, and by my calculations, last year our nett contribution to the EU was roughly £6.5 million per day, not £45 million. (Still, I wouldn't mind keeping that £2.8 billion in this country rather than lobbing it at French farmers, that's for sure. BTW, that's roughly £40 for every man, woman and child in the country: as a contrast, the Royal Family costs each of us 65p per year.)

If we could cut the "send 'em all back" and play down some of the more radical–and short sighted–isolationist rubbish, the Tories could actually take quite a bit from that manifesto and make it into something decent.

Only, they are not going to do so because that would mean them a) actually declaring for something, and b) actually being conservative, rather than trying–unsuccessfully–to steal NuLabour's dreadful capitalist Socialism wank.

7/15/2005 01:49:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the bnp also to blame for muslim suicide bombers in Israel, or the Beslan massacre in Russia? or all the trouble the muslim extremists cause in other countries?

8/02/2005 10:59:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Yes, anonymous, that's obviously EXACTLY what I was arguing. You've seen the fundamental flaw of my entire approach. Brilliant.

You may like to consider the difference between "contributing factor" and "sole cause".

8/02/2005 11:20:00 pm  

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