Our VoiceNews & Politics

Racist British National Party Wins Two Seats in European Parliament

Stephen Piggott • Jun 11, 2009

Scandals and resignations have rocked British politics over the past few weeks, leaving Prime Minster Gordon Brown clinging to his job. On Sunday evening, the news went from bad to worse when the results of the European Parliament Elections for Britain were announced. In news that came as no surprise to followers of British politics, the British Nationalist Party won 2 seats in the European Parliament in Brussels. The seats were won by Andrew Brons and the BNP leader, Nick Griffin.

The British National Party (BNP) was founded in 1982. For the last 25 years its members have promoted racism, anti-immigration, holocaust denial and anti-Islamic views. There are no non-white members allowed to join the party. Its constitution states that the party is “committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent the overwhelmingly white makeup of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948.” In recent years the BNP have stepped up their anti-Islamic campaign especially in northern England in cities like Bradford where there is a large Muslim minority.

The party’s leader Nick Griffin has a long track record of racism and bigotry. He joined the BNP in 1995 and risen through the ranks, emerging as the party’s leader in 1999. A year earlier in 1998, Griffin was prosecuted and convicted of “distributing material likely to incite racial violence” for distributing his magazine, The Rune. He received a 2 year suspended sentence. In his early BNP career, Griffin often spoke and wrote about his views of the Holocaust. In one edition of The Rune he wrote, ‘I am well aware that orthodox opinion is that 6m Jews were gassed and cremated or turned into soup and lampshades… I have reached the conclusion that the “extermination” tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter witch-hysteria.’

Griffin was again put on trial in 2005 on charges of inciting racial hatred stemming from a 2004 documentary produced by the BBC. In the documentary, Griffin is shown making a speech against Islam. Griffin was acquitted at a retrial a year later but that has not stopped his campaign against Muslims in Britain. This year, Griffin ran for the BNP in the European Parliament Elections and was elected on Monday with 8% of the vote in the North West region. At his victory speech, all of the other candidates walked out in protest, leaving only BNP supporters in the room. Griffin used his speech to discuss the “problem” of immigration in Britain. He spoke particularly about the north of England where he stated, “Take Bradford – it isn’t immigration that’s happening there, it’s colonialism.” Recently, Griffin was asked by a journalist about the BNP’s all white membership. When asked how he could tell who qualified as white and British, Griffin responded, “You just look and you just know.”

British politicians have lambasted Griffin and the BNP in the media this week. Arlene McCarthy, who lost the seat to Griffin, stated that the BNP were, “a party whose members include convicted rapists”. The highest polling candidate declared Griffin’s victory as a sad day in British politics and described theBNP as “an aberration.” Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on other members of parliament and political parties to expose the BNP’s “racist and bigoted” policies. On Tuesday, Griffin and other BNP members abandoned a press conference after a sea of protesters stormed Griffin as he was talking to reporters. Griffin was sent running to his car under a shower of eggs. Instead of having the speech in a very public area, Griffin and his cronies stayed behind the locked doors of a well-known nationalist pub.

There is something very wrong with British politics if there are not candidates who can defeat someone with Griffin’s background of racism and anti-Semitic/anti-Islamic views. Politicians in other parties deserve a fair share of the blame for this political tragedy. Their corruption and laziness have pushed voters into the arms of the BNP . I can only hope that Nick Griffin’s election serves as a wake up call to British politicians. Britain must not be represented by a party that openly promotes, racism, xenophobia, and white nationalism.

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