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Wednesday 10 November 2010

Designer Jackboots?

Posted in: Comment
By Craig Young - 30th December 2009

In New Zealand, organised neofascism is politically impotent. However, the British National Party may threaten hard-won LGBT gains if it gains a UK House of Commons foothold at its forthcoming general election.
The BNP coalesced in 1982 after the fusion of two prior neofascist sects, the New National Front and British Movement. It has been involved in local white supremacist agitation and charges of organised racist violence and racist hate speech have perenially dogged its candidates. Fortunately, the BNP has never won a seat in the House of Commons to date, although the last decade saw over fifty two BNP candidates elected to English local councils, as well as successful candidates in the London Assembly and European Parliamentary elections.
BNP leader Nick Griffin himself has been a controversial figure. He has made past statements that have been construed as anti-Semitic Holocaust denial and has also tried to exploit Islamophobia after al Qaeda affiliates attacked London in 2005. Despite its local council seats and other minor victories though, the party has had other headaches, including factional strife, expulsion of head officials and membership list leakage. They have clashed with actress Joanna Lumley, a tireless campaigner for UK settlement rights for British Gurkhas who have served in the armed forces. The Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties have all slammed its racism and denounced it as neofascist.
Apart from its hostility to Muslims, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, the BNP also has a track record of vitriolic homophobia. They want to repeal the Civil Partnerships Act and favour a return to the days when homosexuality wasn't 'promoted' in high school sex education courses. Some BNP activists have compared out gay politicans to murderers, rapist and pedophiles, while former BNP Youth activist Mark Collet described us as "AIDS Monkeys," "bum bandits" and "faggots."

After Stephen Gateley's death, Griffin said he opposed gay public displays of affection. Moreover, jailed criminally insane neofascist terrorist David Copeland, bomber of London's Admiral Duncan Pub (1998) was a former BNP member. The BNP also has connections to Combat 18, a neofascist paramilitary group. BNP members are banned from the Police, Prison Service and Anglican Church.

Nigel Copsey: Contemporary British Fascism: The BNP and its Quest for Legitimacy: London: Palgrave Macmillan: 2004.

Craig Young - 30th December 2009

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