30 May 2009

The Rise of the BNP

Fraser Nelson has an article in the current Spectator on the rise of the BNP.

The story he tells is that "Britain has never been racist", but that voters are being deceived by the BNP's "devious ploy: distracting public attention from the racist reality of the BNP by representing itself as 'the helpful party'"

Nelson's estimate of the stupidity of the ordinary Briton is impressive, but I suspect it is he that is being deceived. My own impression (not, I confess, based on any very deep connection to the man in the street) is that at the very least a large minority of the British white working class is quite racist, but knows perfectly well that it is not allowed to say so. Previous far-right political movements have failed, not because voters have disagreed with their racism, but because they have perceived accurately that the movements will be crushed by the establishment by any means necessary. The public likes a strong horse.

The BNP's current softer facade is succeeding, not because voters are fooled by it, but because they see that it makes the BNP harder to exclude (and because the weakened establishment has itself lost authority). They can look an elite political journalist in the eye and tell him that they will vote BNP, but they're not racist, oh no, that would be wrong, and they can suppress a smirk, and think to themselves, "yes, this time we might actually be going to get away with it".

Maybe I'm the only one to think of this possibility, but I don't think so, because it is the only thing that explains the establishment's terror at what is, by the numbers, still very much a fringe movement. I really don't know how many people in Britain are racist, and nobody else does either, because those who are are afraid to say so. If the political momentum ever goes to the BNP, then its secret followers will feel free to stand up and say what they believe. I would not rule out the possibility that they are already a majority, but don't know it. The anti-racist consensus might be blown away like Ceaucescu if they speak up and find that they are strong. That would make the determination of the establishment to clamp down on every racist squeak a necessity rather than an overreaction.

Ah, the dilemma of the left-winger, who believes that the working class is entitled to rule, and yet unfit to do so. I would laugh aloud at their discomfiture, if the stakes were not so high.

Update: BNP Failure


A Nonny Mouse said...

This comment is largely meaningless to me because there are so many words in it which are undefined, and in some cases undefineable, and being used in more than one sense: working class, left-wing, right-wing, racist, none of which refer to anything real or tangible.

Let us start with the word ‘working class’. There are several possible definitions of this:-

1) It could mean everyone who, for lack of capital, has the misfortune to have to work (a definition which would include much of the royal family);

2) It could mean the uneducated and unskilled section of the working population, like coal-miners and the like;

3) But the full Marxian definition is that it refers to that population which is doomed to remain forever in the state of toilers, without any hope of improving their position. “Class consciousness” is the realisation that you are trapped, that you will never get out of the proletarian misery that you find yourself in.

So in the first case, almost everyone in England is working class; in the third no-one in England is working class, true proletarian status having been exported to the third world.

Now, as to left wing. Obviously a reference to the seating arrangements in the French revolutionary Assembly has no meaning at all in our society.

In my life-time the significance of left wing has changed completely.

When I was young, the preoccupation of “Left-wingers” was advancing the interests of (2). Organised labour was still in evidence: colliery bands played at student unions in order to finance the miners’ stike. This was the early 70s. However, during that decade, everything changed.

Landmarks that I can think of were No-fault divorce [1975], the Fall of Saigon [ditto], Rock against racism [1976] and the rise of the feminist movement, as exemplified in the film Hustruer [1976] (though the Female Eunuch was as early as 1970). The legalisation of homosexuality was even earlier, in 1967. So by the end of the decade, and in the succeeding years, “left wing” politics had completely changed its designation, and applied to an alliance of wimmin, immigrants and gays and possibly others who hoped to profit from the non-(hetero)-sexist, non-racist, non-sizeist, non-everything-elseist paradigm, and it is these who took over and continue to rule Brent Council.

The old left-wing, the male English working class, were in this brave new world about to be cast as the enemy. Generally, the new left-wing are what Americans refer to as “Liberal” and the old left-wing could approriately be termed “Labour”, because labouring was what characterised them..

Another factor must be the rise and rise of computers, with the result that yesterday’s miners are today’s programmers.

If the BNP get anywhere in the election, it will be the first time the old working class has raised its voice in decades.

A Nonny Mouse said...

In my home town of Koepenick (in East Germany) one does not see many non-European looking people among the established population, except for a few slightly oriental looking young people. The reason for this is as follows. The DDR extended fraternal aid to the Vietnamese people, allowing many to attend University, train and even work in the DDR. However, when their contract was up, the Fatherland made sure they went home. In certain cases the gastarbeiter/student actually married a local woman, and when that happened it became possible for them to live either in Germany or Vietnam. The slightly oriental people that one occasionally sees on the streets of Koepenick are the offspring of such unions.

In England, in the town of Southall, which also for a few months was my hometown, a rubber factory found no-one would work for it because conditions were so horrible. The proprietors imported workers from India, who hung around for a few years until they got permanent leave to remain, then buggered off to set up restaurants, whereupon it finally had to close. Things continued in this manner, more often with the employers winning. You import immigrants to do the cheap jobs, and as soon as they wise up to the possibilities of making more money elsewhere, you fire them (or they move on voluntarily) and import more immigrants.

Opposing this process- basically the selling of British Nationality in return for a few years of underpaid labour- constitutes the new public sin of racism.

The word is of course infinitely redefineable to suit the particular needs of the person using it for the purpose of self-betterment. An overweight black woman in a wheel-chair can characterise as racial prejudice the idea that Hamlet should be played by a white male with sword fighting skills.

Now question is, does the current anti-“racist” paradigm constitute a left-wing or a right-wing ideology? It seems to me, neither particularly, which is why it has been able to become a paradigm. Our current day left wing hold that you have to be nice to immigrants for moral reasons (always of course with an eye to their votes) and our current day right wing think you should put up with immigration for financial reasons (always with an eye to their contributions).

I think instead of a two directional division you need a four directional one. Shall we say, East represents the poor and West the rich, North the natives and South the immigrants.