|Too Many Wrong Messages||Spearhead takes a critical look at the BNP Election Manifesto|
In view of numerous controversial policy stances adopted by the British National Party in recent years, many awaited with interest the launching of its Manifesto for last month's General Election.
The preparation of such a manifesto by the BNP serves a useful purpose far beyond the election, and in fact it is the most important one. It provides an up-to-date statement of where the party stands on the main national issues which can subsequently be read as an introduction to the party by prospective members. It is, in other words, an important recruitment weapon among the politically serious elements of the population; and its content and presentation should be prepared mainly with that object in mind.
The 2005 Election Manifesto is extremely long, but perhaps we are not best in a position to criticise it on those grounds because the same has been said of some articles in Spearhead. Much more important is that, throughout, the standard of English in the Manifesto falls some way short of what one would expect from a prestigious party document intended to impress readers of many levels of education. It does not seem to have been very carefully proof-read for spelling errors, while its grammar and punctuation are at times well below par. Commas and hyphens appear where they should not appear and are absent where they should be present. In single paragraphs, and sometimes even sentences, there are inconsistencies of tense and confusion between singular and plural. Also in one case noticed (there could be more) there is the irritating habit of using American spelling in a document written for British consumption.
Leftist-liberal buzz words
Also, in various asides there is frequent resort to silliness which one expects to find in liberal-establishment publications but not from the pens of mature nationalist writers. In one place there is emphasis on 'power to the people' a totally empty phrase beloved of the left and usually employed with complete dishonesty. The reality of politics is that no entity such as 'the people' ever exercises any kind of political power at all: that power always belongs to active minorities, and the virtue lies in producing policies compatible with the majority of people's desires and interests.
In other places the Manifesto rushes to shout with the herd in using references indiscriminately employed by liberals. In one place it refers to "horrors of totalitarianism on mainland Europe throughout the 20th century." Indeed there have been such horrors, particularly where Soviet rule has been imposed; but the blanket use of the word 'totalitarianism', without specification, is intellectually sloppy as well as being politically dishonest.
Elsewhere the Manifesto, in calling for citizens' referenda, contrasts such an idea with "the government-created plebiscite beloved of dictators from Hitler to John Prescott." Then Hitler again gets a mention when he is included among Continental rulers who sought to invade and conquer Britain. This is factually untrue; Hitler could easily have walked-in in 1940, but chose not to do so, because he never wanted conflict with this country.
There should be a golden rule in documents of this kind never to refer to Hitler or Nazi Germany in any shape or form. Those subjects are extremely complex ones an just do not permit simplistic use in such ways We do not need at all, in addressing a political appeal to the people of Britain in the 2lst century, to make any mention of events in Germany more than half a century before. Perhaps some smart Alec imagined that this would be a good way of demonstrating that the BNP is 'non-Nazi', but with the media this never cuts any ice whatever, whereas to Mr & Mrs. Voter in 2005 the issue is irrelevant. Practical politics require that we sometimes bypass controversial and inconvenient truths but this is something entirely different from subscribing (knowingly in this case) to down-right lies.
The preparation of such a Manifesto by the BNP serves a useful purpose far beyond the election, and in fact it is the most important one. It provides an up-to-date statement of where the party stands on the main national issues which can subsequently be read as an introduction to the party by prospective members. It is, in other words, an important recruitment weapon among the politically serious elements of the population; and its content and presentation should be prepared mainly with that object in mind.
The 2005 Election Manifesto is extremely long, but perhaps we are not best in a position to criticise it on those grounds because the same has been said of some articles in Spearhead. Much more important is that, throughout, the standard of English in the Manifesto falls some way short of what one would expect from a prestigious party document intended to impress readers of many levels of education. It does not seem to have been very carefully proof-read for spelling errors, while its grammar and punctuation are at times well below par. Commas and hyphens appear where they should not appear and are absent where they should be present. In single paragraphs, and sometimes even sentences, there is confusion between singular and plural and inconsistencies of tense. Also in one case noticed (there could be more) there is the irritating habit of using American spelling in a document written for British consumption.
There is also frequent resort to silliness of reference which one expects to find in liberal-establishment publications but not from the pens of mature nationalists whatever, whereas to Mr. & Mrs. Voter in 2005 the issue is irrelevant. Practical politics require that sometimes by-pass controversial truths, but this is something entirely different from subscribing (knowingly in this case) to downright lies.
One section of the Manifesto begins with the words: "The present régime' is engaged in a profound cultural war against the British people, motivated by the desire to create a new ethnic power base to replace the working class which they have abandoned in their pursuit of their enthusiasm for globalisation..." All dead correct! But then we come later in the same section to the following assertion:-
This, of course, is utter balderdash. This is not to suggest that a Manifesto addressed to the British electorate should attempt to delve into theories of conspiracies by the 'Elders of Zion', when all except a tiny number have never heard of the term and would not have the foggiest idea of what it meant. It is only to say that the reference should never have been brought in at all, whether in the way of endorsement or repudiation. Many will feel that there is indeed a conspiracy behind the drive to eliminate the British people as an ethnic group, and that certain Zionist elements have a hand in it. But why bring the matter up here? And why make a denial concerning it that is clearly contradicted by thousands of facts?
So much for matters of length, literacy and infantile references. But is where we begin to study actual content that this latest Manifesto sends out some worrying messages. Most of this content can be endorsed: it only states, with up-to-date facts and figures, what has been standard BNP policy for a long time. In a few parts, however, it makes some declarations which many perhaps most party supporters will find wholly unacceptable. Not entirely surprisingly, some of these are to be found in the section dealing with immigration and racial questions.
It becomes clear that Mr. Nick Griffin, who it must be presumed is the main author, is carrying on where he has left off in numerous statements on previous occasions, in party publications and to the media. Mr. Griffin believes that Britain can accommodate and carry a not insubstantial non-white population on a permanent basis. Why do we say this? Because he has told us so on numerous occasions. And here he is again. In one section it is stated:-
Who will be legitimate?
Just what is meant by legitimate presence in this country? Does it mean the presence of ethnic minority members who are awaiting repatriation to their ethnic homelands? If so, that is fair enough; but it is when we read these words in the context of the entire section on immigration, and with reference to other declarations in that section, that awkward questions start to form in our minds. Later it is stated that: "We recognise that a reversal of the tide of immigration can only be secured by negotiation and consent, and that it is probably now too late to anticipate a return to the status quo ante 1948."
Well, few are going to argue against the proposition that the reversal of the tide of immigration should begin with a process of negotiation and consent. This proposition was adopted by the BNP many years ago, but always implicit in it was that if it failed that is to say if significant numbers of immigrants and their descendants declined to consent to leave other procedures would become the only option if Britain was not to remain beset with racial problems and the social divisions that stemmed from them. But now Mr. Griffin (for it must be presumed that it is he) says that it is probably now too late to anticipate a return to the status quo ante 1948. In other words, those who came in since 1948, and the descendants who have followed them, cannot be removed if they don't want to be removed.
So what is Mr. Griffin's solution? A hint at this is provided in the very next two paragraphs:-
In other words, multi-culturalism rules OK! Mr. Griffin speaks of parallels in Persia and India but the most obvious model for the arrangement he is proposing is pre-1990 South Africa. Apartheid! So we are going to have separate communities of people Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi (Hindu and Muslim), African and Afro-Caribbean and heaven knows what else living side by side in Britain but in separate enclaves. In fact, multi-culturalism has proved such a disaster in this country thus far that even the CRE's Trevor Phillips has delivered a negative verdict on it. Yet our Nick seems to think it is the way of the future!
Elsewhere in the section dealing with immigration it is stated:-
This is pathetic! Present-day Britain has no obligations whatever under a convention signed in 1951 by politicians most of whom are now dead. The question of whether refugees are 'legitimate' or not, depending on claims to be 'persecuted', is wholly irrelevant. A nation has the right to decide who will and who will not be admitted to its territory and to citizenship on the basis of whether such people will constitute a plus or a minus to the quality of its population and according to whether they are racially akin enough to that population to be assimilated. In other words, the issue is a racial one, nothing else.
Splitting Britain up
Another disturbing feature of this Manifesto is the return of one of Mr. Griffin's familiar hobbyhorses: his tendency to split the British people into separate ethnic groups, consisting of English, Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish, and to speak of them as nations apart. Of course we can argue the semantics involved in the term 'nation', and it is not the place here to enter into disputes with English, Scots and others who prefer to define themselves in those terms let them do so if they wish. What we should most certainly be endeavouring to do, however, is to strengthen the idea of Britishness in our country and its population. In too many places in this Manifesto the impression is given that the preferred path is in the opposite direction.
This is most amply demonstrated in the section with deals with devolution and the future government of the United Kingdom. Speaking of this, the Manifesto says:-
From this, the Manifesto goes on to spotlight the anomaly whereby Scots and Welsh MPs at Westminster are able to vote on affairs affecting England, but English ones are prevented from voting on affairs affecting Scotland and Wales, and accordingly it is proposed that there be an English Parliament set up to remedy this.
The anomaly is indeed a real one but the question must be asked: is its remedy so immediate and so important as all that? Before we commit ourselves to the idea of an English Parliament we should ponder on the enormous public expense involved in maintaining such an institution and creating just another huge layer of power and another huge expansion of the political class.
We do not know how things are going to unfold in the next few years. The Manifesto acknowledges the resentment in Scotland and Wales at the soaring costs of devolved government. Is it not conceivable that such resentment could increase to the point at which there was a majority consensus of getting rid of it all. To try to force that would be a big mistake, but to work for it by negotiation is not something to dismissed out of hand. In the meantime, where the government of England is concerned should our concern not be with the calibre of the governors and the policies they impose on us rather than the parts of the Kingdom from which they come?
The whole devolution issue is a bed of thorns which would be better avoided where possible and left for a later time, with no hard and fast commitment to policies which may well become redundant by the time the BNP is in a position to do something about the matter.
It should suffice to say now that the British National Party should be a party which thinks, talks and acts consistently with its name, and promotes everything conducive to the greater unity of Britain rather than its greater division. And this should extend to the use of flags at party meetings and activities, with the Union Flag always enjoying precedence over the flags of the UK's constituent parts.
Barmy schemes for guns
Perhaps the barmiest-sounding piece in the whole Manifesto occurs where it deals with a citizen's right to protect his home. Of course, such a person's powers in this regard need to be substantially increased, and there should be no objection to a householder using considerable force, where necessary, against unwelcome intruders. But what Mr. Griffin proposes here is that people should be permitted nay even encouraged to keep assault rifles on their property, and not only to deal with burglars and the like. It is stated, by implication at least, that such weapons might be used against the nation's law-enforcement authorities should they be thought to be over-reaching their powers. Just who is to judge when this is happening is left unsaid, but it must be assumed that Mr. Griffin means the householder himself. The implications of this are mind-boggling. Every time police go to a home to arrest someone they will need to be prepared to have a shoot-out if the occupant declines to go quietly. Has five minutes' serious thought been given to this proposition?
In the section of the manifesto dealing with the British economy there is much that can be wholeheartedly supported. The familiar, yet ever valid, themes of opposition to globalisation, the need for national self-sufficiency and the imperative of the restoration of manufacturing industry are amply aired, with some useful statistical updates being provided. There should be little quarrel with what is advocated here until we get to the part where there is a reiterated call for 'workers' ownership'. This is encapsulated in a sub-section which says: 'Owners should work and workers should own.'
As to what is meant by the first part of this sentence there is nothing specific. No one explains why an industry which benefits from large amounts of capital invested by a person of great private wealth should function any better by reason of that person being required to work in that industry or indeed any other industry. The investor should most certainly be obliged to keep his capital in the United Kingdom (except in certain rare circumstances) and to use it for purposes beneficial to the national economy, but if apart from this he leads a life of idle leisure who the hell should care?
As for workers owning industry, this subject has been extensively explored in The Eleventh Hour, and the conclusion was that it is a mistake to lay down a blueprint for workers' ownership that applies right across the board. It should be left to the owners of industrial capital to decide whether they should grant ownership shares to their workforce, and if they are wise they will sort this out by negotiation with the workers in question. If the workers are granted a share in profits deriving from ownership, they should correspondingly risk a share of losses. Many of them would prefer not to do this but would opt for the safety of an assured wage.
Somehow the subject of pensions appears in the section of the manifesto devoted to industry, whereas one would expect to find it elsewhere. However, the document does state a truth when it speaks of the dependence of the pensioner on the overall health of the British economy and the necessity for this to include a powerful manufacturing sector. What is extraordinary is that this Manifesto completely omits any reference to a cause of the pension crisis that is at least equal in importance to industrial weakness. This is the dangerously low British birth-rate, which bequeaths to each successive generation a increasing proportion of elderly and retired and a dwindling proportion of young and active.
What about the social breakdown?
Also noticeable in the Manifesto is any reference at all to the soaring rates of illegitimacy, the breakdown of family life, the absent fathers, the single mothers who deliberately seek that status for their own advantage as distinct from having it forced upon them, and the appalling rate of abortion and its detrimental effect on the birth-rate, particularly among Whites. The British social fabric is simply falling apart but no one would suppose that the BNP has any ideas for reversing this process.
One part of the Manifesto which did receive some media mention was the proposal to abolish income tax. It is not difficult to see why. This policy could quite easily be interpreted by the public as a combination of nutty eccentricity and an offer of 'free beer for everyone'. In fact, by a serious root-and-branch reform of the financial system which outlawed the creation of money out of nothing by the banks and confined that prerogative to government, the tax burden on the public could be enormously reduced. However, no proposals for this are suggested anywhere. Tax on income, according to the Manifesto, would be replaced by tax on purchases. This brings us into a highly complex world of economics which is best left alone by people who, in all probability, have not even begun to think through the feasibility of what they propose. And it is never sound politics to incorporate into party manifestos schemes likely to appear to Mr. & Mrs. Voter, rightly or wrongly, as so outlandish that they lack credibility.
Near to the end of the Manifesto there is a chapter headed 'Britain and the World Good Fences, Good Neighbour'. With the principal theme of this chapter that Britain's foreign relations should be dictated, not by politics, but solely by her own national interests one has no argument. However, there are two glaring features of the chapter which demand comment: one of commission, the other of omission. Extraordinarily, it is stated that:
One had to read this statement two or three times over to ensure that one had not suffered some mental blackout but was actually reading a BNP declaration of policy. Just what planet is the writer living on? To begin with, what European super-state? Is he speaking of the re-emergence of some national super-power on the European Continent? In that case it sounds very much like fighting World Wars I and II all over again. Or is he speaking of the European Union? In the latter case, is he not aware that the European Union has had the backing of the United States since Day One. The idea that the Americans would intervene to stop the EU imposing its will on this country belongs to cloud-cuckooland.
And as for permitting American bases in this country, is the writer not aware that these bases have been set up throughout the globe as the military arm of the New World Order? They are present in Germany in order to put down a nationalist resurgence in that country should it emerge. They are in Britain for precisely the same reason just as the Bush Government and its predecessors have been setting them up in the border states of the former Soviet Union to exert mounting pressure on the Russians not to embrace any kind of nationalist, or non-Zionist policy.
With regard to the proviso that we should allow the Americans to keep their bases here "so long as they refrain from interfering with our nationalist political agenda," the presence of those bases in this country is the very thing that would facilitate their interference in such an agenda. Where on earth is Chairman Nick coming from?
Our kin to be abandoned?
The prominent omission in this discourse is that it completely fails to mention Britain's historical relationship with the White Commonwealth, the countries we were once used to calling the 'Dominions'. That relationship is now much more fragile than it was 60 years ago must be acknowledged, but that is very different from saying that we should not make any effort to renew it. Such a renewal is in fact vital to Britain's national survival. The writer states in this chapter that the United Kingdom is now 'a medium-sized nation.' We could be something considerably more than that if we cared to negotiate strong trading, defensive and cultural alliances with our old White Commonwealth partners which, it goes without saying, would have to be entered into voluntarily and would not involve any erosion of sovereignty on the part of any country.
Such an attempt to rebuild this partnership might fail, but that does not mean that it should not be attempted, and that it should not be a central article of faith of a patriotic movement in Britain. Indeed, such a project has a great deal better chance of succeeding than the attempts over the past half-century to create a united Europe.
With most of the BNP's 2005 Election Manifesto nationalists can agree. Those parts that have been criticised here form only a small percentage of the whole; but they are vitally important parts, and by their unsoundness they greatly reduce the effectiveness, credibility and appeal of the document. The party has the right to expect something a great deal better.
* The Eleventh Hour by John Tyndall is available from our publishers, Albion Press.
* The Eleventh Hour by John Tyndall is available from our publishers, Albion Press.