Sunday, 14 June 2009

Is the BNP racist?

Is the BNP racist..? Well, probably, but to answer properly I'd need to actually research their policies and pronouncements, and I care too little about the BNP to do so. Are there racists within the BNP? Almost certainly I'd say. Does the BNP not allow non-whites to join? Apparently so. Does this in itself make the party racist? And there's the difficult question, many commentators would just say "yes", as if it was self evident, but actually it isn't.

And this is where we get into serious trouble, because this is something Nick Griffin knows as well. And this is why the BNP cannot be written off entirely, you see Nick Griffin is actually quite bright (for a politician, there is a different intelligence scale for politicians, so one has to keep perspective here). Considering the shower that is New Labour, Nick Griffin is up there amongst the brightest of them (with a 2:2 no less!), and when it comes to saying things you believe despite what others think, Nick Griffin can teach an awful lot of politicians a thing or too.

So why do I eulogise him so? Well partly to emphasise how dumb most of our politicians are, but partly because of a point he made to Jon Humphries in a Today programme interview. When challenged about the whites-only policy of the BNP, he replied that this would not be a challenge put to the Black Police Officers' Association, who don't allow white policemen to join (as I understand it, and a point largely ignored by Humphries). And indeed he is right, and this exposes the weakness surrounding most thinking on race in current political life.

Why is the BPOA not racist but the BNP is? The common answer to this is that it is OK to be discriminatory if you are the minority (which is the central assumption that I challenge). Because the BPOA has "black" in the title, we know they are of the minority and therefore it's OK. Conversely the fictitious White Police Officers Association is racist. What nonsense!

Lets do an experiment, take the "clue is in the name" aspect out of it, and create two police officers' associations: the "Tetraphone" Police Officers' Association (TPOA) and the "Quadrulike" Police Officers' Association (QPOA - I hope it's clear I've made those names up). Each association bars policemen of a certain race from joining, or restricts its membership to those of a certain race. Which I ask you is the racist association? Thing is, either both are, or neither are.

New Labour

This is a point made by others, and probably better made too, but what better emblem of New Labour is there than their ineffectual plotting against Gordon Brown? If ever we doubted their incompetence, now we know for sure. As one cartoonist expressed it, James Purnell headed out the door shouting "follow me", only to hear the door slam behind him as various ministers looked to self interest rather than country or even party.

And then there were earlier manoeuvrings, notably of course Hazel Blears. Having made a point of opposing GB, with a one newspaper interview in particular, then actually resigning (which, to be fair, puts her ahead of various others), she now has recanted the whole thing. This isn't like some long regretted act of violence, like the repentant murderer released after spending the majority of his adult life in prison. This contrition has come in un-seeming haste, prompted by her local party who are blaming her for the electoral success of the British National Party and threatening to de-select her as a consequence.

So which way is it for Ms Blears? Was she wrong then, when she spoke out against GB, or wrong now? Is she a malcontent and incompetent plotter, or more than normally self-interested? Either option isn't much in the way of a compliment, but the more worrying aspect is that this behaviour is pretty much par for the New Labour course, and even more worrying, these people were, and still are, running the country!