Griffin Must Go!

Since 2009, North West England has been blessed to have the leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin, representing it in the European Parliament. 7 million people have had a man who supports a racist agenda, arguing on their behalf in Brussels. Currently MEPs are elected using a proportional representation model, so some argue it is this that got Griffin into power, as you can get elected with a small proportion of the vote. Just 8% of voters actually chose the BNP, albeit more people than voted for the Greens and they now have an MP. This is a sad comment on the mindset of the people in North West England, almost 10% of whom voted for a xenophobic, racially motivated party.

Fortunately, since his election as an MEP, Griffin and his party of small-minded little Englanders have imploded. In January of last year, Griffin suggested his supporters should collect scrap metal, sell goods on eBay and eat road kill so they can pour the money raised into the party’s coffers. Well, pour is overly emphatic; trickle is a more apt, yet still generous description of the state of the BNP’s finances. Sensible people across the North West hope this will translate into an evisceration for the BNP in this year European elections, as the BNP will struggle to finance an election campaign.

One must give credit, however to the BNP, who have started to use a novel way of campaigning that avoids many of the traditional costs of campaigning. They are taking food and household goods (such as washing powder) as donations from their membership and knocking on doors and offering the food to needy members of the community. Kindness right? No. These tactics echo those used by Golden Dawn, the Greek fascist party, who gave away food at the height of the crisis in the Greek economy, or the Nazi soup kitchens, which brought Hitler swathes of support during the depression in interwar Germany. If giving away food wouldn’t win votes, the BNP wouldn’t do it. Simple. It’s just a tactic borrowed from their ideological relatives to cynically whip up support for their vitriol.

Now, it wouldn’t be the BNP if there weren’t nasty strings attached to their thinly veiled cynicism. Griffin recently tweeted that these mobile food banks are only for “indigenous Britons” and that “minorities all have their own (taxpayer-funded) charities.” I actually had to re-read this tweet a few times, just to process what Griffin was saying. Sickeningly, it is a racist as it sounds. By arguing minorities are ineligible for the food banks, Griffin is claiming only whites are “indigenous Britons.” Ignoring the fact that Britain is a nation of immigrants whether it be the Saxons 1,500 years ago or Eastern Europeans 15 months ago, and we are all immigrants at some point in our family lineage, let’s look at the implications of Griffin’s racism. BME Britons who were born and raised on these shores are not equal with white Britons in Griffin’s mind. This is the view of a leader of a fair sized political party in the 21st Century, a race based hatred that is straight out of the 1950s.

People in the North West must unite against, must fight against and must reject the hatred of the BNP at the ballot box. Such is the state of the BNP in 2014, any odds on Griffin retaining his seat in Brussels must be as long as those backing Nick Clegg for PM post 2015. But we must still fight hatred until it is destroyed, as it has no place in modern Britain.

Most of the 130,000 who voted BNP last time will vote UKIP. That is a fact. Although less driven by pure prejudice, UKIP play on the same fears in the British people; xenophobia and fear of immigrants. Though describing UKIP as a BNP-lite is wrong, they differ widely on many policy ideas, the core tenet of little-Englishness drives both parties and much of their vote, a concept we must move beyond if we wish to become a modern, dynamic, progressive country.

That said, the electoral destruction of the BNP is a happy day for any tolerant society. I’m sure they’ll carry on trying to buy votes with free soup and washing powder, and let’s be honest the latter really fits in with their aim of keeping whites white. Let me close by addressing the electorate in North West England directly. We must make sure the racist Nick Griffin does not represent us in Europe after May 22nd (and the xenophobes of UKIP are little better), vote sensibly, vote centre-left.

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