May 22, 2009

We have nothing to fear from these British National Party jokers

He takes a call on his mobile about his invitation to a Buckingham Palace garden party, admires his smooth visage in a car window and strolls up a crunchy drive to charm a housewife into voting for his party. He could be any politician, but this is Richard Barnbrook of the British National Party.

The extreme right used to be confined to the dank, disappointed back alleys of British politics, but television commentators are petrified that the BNP is receiving a polite reception up smarter garden paths, and not merely from the Queen. The housewife who offers support has a gleaming Mercedes, window boxes and comfy slippers. If she jumps into the odorous arms of Nick Griffin's party, how many might follow?

Talking heads such as the BBC's Nick Robinson and guests on the usually exemplary This Week describe the mood as "febrile". MPs predict "meltdown". Stoking it all is the endlessly repeated orthodoxy that the BNP will benefit from disgust at the MPs' expenses scandal in the forthcoming Euro and local elections.

But what if all this is hot air? When we turned against the main parties in 1989, we voted Green, so might we not back similarly benign fringe parties this time, or stay at home? Or could we even – and this is heretical – be grown up and realise it is not in our interests to vote out often dedicated councillors from the three larger parties who can't be blamed for the misdeeds of their Westminster betters?

The danger is that pundits so demonise a party we hitherto ignored that warnings become self-fulfilling. Did The Andrew Marr Show really contact the BNP, as the party claims, requesting a long interview with Griffin should he win a Euro seat? Do normally responsible figures enjoy the frisson of talking up the threat from the party?

We British have a far cleverer weapon than outrage to deploy against the BNP, the smart bomb all demagogues fear: laughter. It is why PG Wodehouse depicted Spode, his Oswald Mosley caricature, as a closet lingerie salesman. And actually, there is nothing like spending a day with the BNP in their key target county of Essex to see them not as terrifying heavies but as light entertainment. March on Rome? I'm not sure they could march on Romford.

A BNP organiser tells us that canvassers will be in a Brentwood car park from 10am, under a party billboard: "British Jobs For British Workers". It's a powerful slogan, with a new study showing foreign workers retaining jobs more successfully in the downturn than natives. But someone has removed the poster overnight and the BNP is 45 minutes late.

My first reaction when I see its corps lumbering forth with England football flags is, "Oh, here's Dad's Army". Their Capt Mainwaring is Len Heather, an old boy with a bowls club pin to control his faux regimental BNP tie. It takes him several minutes to notice his poster is missing, followed by much tutting about declining standards.

He hands me leaflets harking back obsessively to our "finest hour": the BNP's adopted symbol is the Spitfire, based on, um, a Polish squadron. Eventually, members of Griffin Youth, one with West Ham tattoos, erect a rickety table and drape it with a tattered Union flag. When he remembers, Heather barks into a megaphone at a deserted car park. In two hours – before police arrive to move the BNP for campaigning on council property – the gang of six have talked to precisely one member of the public, who is Italian.

As the BNP hasn't twigged that campaigning tends to involve talking to voters, I try to stop folk hurrying past. Margaret Bush says: "I got their leaflet. It was just preying on fears." James Nolan, retired builder, says: "When I came here from Ireland in the Fifties, there were signs saying: 'No blacks, Irish or dogs'. I'm proud to live in a country that's so different."

But the BNP has long been home to the disappointed and the disgusted, and there are plenty of those about, with fears of foreign labour. I explain to a pretty waitress on her fag break that the BNP would send "foreigners" "home". "Oh yeah," she shrugs, "I agree with that."

BNP support seems to rise in inverse relationship to understanding. Indeed, the three BNP stalwarts I talk to in Brentwood spout absurd "facts", such as "the only foreigners allowed to work in Japan are prostitutes". Curiously, all three have strong foreign connections. Una Rice, with her "Islam is b------s" key ring, blithely explains her family left "Rhodesia" for a better life here; Jay Slaven admits to being of "northern European" origin; and Heather lauds his Dutch step-mother.

I ask Heather if I can follow his Brentwood division as they canvass. "Ooh, I don't think we'll be doing any of that," he says, contemplating the vile prospect of work. "Who's ready for the pub?" And so the BNP repairs to a beer cellar.

They had boasted of a crack BNP division swarming over Hornchurch. There, I find one council candidate climbing out of a cab driven by a party member, and two others. Michael Joyce wears a dark suit and dark glasses; not quite The Godfather, but The Godfather's shark pool attendant. His leaflet announces he "works in the building industry" but he tells me he can't work due to his eyesight.

Troop leader is Barnbrook, a London Assembly member who has forgone the BNP's traditional Dr Martens for a top hat. There is no mention of the "r" word, racism; he talks of getting the RSPCA office painted and funding a boxing club. It is stealing the Liberal Democrat pavement politics, for darker ends.

Barnbrook, who made a homo-erotic film before engagement to the so-called "BNP ballerina" Simone Clarke, is really in love with himself. His acolytes so lap up his ramblings they forget to canvass. But hey, they can't agree on whether they've already knocked up this road – the BNP doesn't seem to do canvass returns – and they manage four households in an hour.

That said, Barnbrook convinces three of the four. He, at least, has a brain and is the more sinister for it. He tells me the BNP would allow "foreigners" who refuse repatriation to "remain". Pause: "But many wouldn't stay for long under the BNP because of fear and hysteria." And who, I ask, would have created that? He looks at me coldly: "Have you looked in the mirror lately?"

He admits to having trouble spelling but uses as many long words as he can, which go over the head of Eileen Fairs, puffing away in a pink shell suit. But she doesn't mind. "Last time I voted NF," she smiles.

BNP types are often life's victims, deserving pity more than scorn. But Barnbrook and his proposed Buck House date Griffin lack that excuse. I saw the superficiality of Griffin's BNP makeover when I interviewed him not long ago. He admitted Sikhs are actually more law-abiding than "us". But the BNP has simply grown more discriminating about its discrimination; Griffin lauds older immigrants in order to knock young Muslims.

Opposite me were the two faces of the party: Griffin, mastering the argot of the Islington social worker, claiming to approve of "diversity"; and his hired skin-headed muscle. This veritable 300lb whopper took up most of the sofa's Lebensraum, but Griffin did the talking.

What would he do with those he couldn't send "home" because we don't know their nationality? It's the kind of thorny problem real politicians wrestle with, but Griffin looked like his head would explode. Eventually he spluttered: "Drop them out of a plane somewhere over Africa. I don't really care." I realised dialogue was futile.

Despite protests, Griffin may yet munch the Queen's cucumber sarnies, while MPs eat more humble pie. But the BNP are simply too stupid ever to kiss hands and take up the seals of office. It's hard to laugh, but they are just a joke.

Jasper Gerard writing in The Daily Telegraph


Anonymous said...

You stalking Barnbrook? lol

Fookin sicko rofl

gbh said...

If Gri££in fails to get into europe he will be booted out of the bnp by the rest of the members along with the sick perverted kiddy fiddlers collett and hannam.

pied piper said...

The fear is that ignorant people disillusioned with politics will vote forn these Hitler loving, Holocaust-denying, KKK befriending scumbags, but actually, the votes are likely to go to UKIP.

We mustn't stop keeping up the pressure on Cyclops though, as the bnp encourage racism, homophobia, peadophilia and criminality by means of a protest vote.

Regular political parties suck but these fascist losers are far more criminalistic than anyone in westminster could ever be.

Italy, France, Holland and Germany have disglorious fascist pasts thus were always susceptible to nazi revivals, but since Mosley, we have always resisted the national socialism of mainland europe, and provided we don't all become complacent, the scumbags will return to the sewers with failure, tails between their granled slimy legs after the elections.

ABC said...

I've just been over for a look at Lee Barnes' blog. In his latest post, he says

"I have been run over in the past."

That explains a lot.

Anonymous said...

"That explains a lot."

Only if it was his head that was run over.

Anonymous said...

"What would he do with those he couldn't send "home" because we don't know their nationality? It's the kind of thorny problem real politicians wrestle with, but Griffin looked like his head would explode. Eventually he spluttered: "Drop them out of a plane somewhere over Africa. I don't really care.""

Says it all really.

Anonymous said...

"That explains a lot."

Only if it was his head that was run over.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Nick Griffin admits that he would drop people from Areoplanes like Pinochet, murdering people for their background and skin-colour.

So much for the BNP not being a nazi party. There must be no let-up indeed until Nick Griffin packs in politics for good.

a woman said...

I'm a middle-aged mother of two from the Midlands, not a B.N.P. voter and this is about someone who used to go to school with my son who started attending weekend camps with people who I believe were the British Nationalist Party.

This lad is now an adult and doesn't speak to no-one and has become withdrawn from society and become a hermit who won't walk down pavements when anybody else is about thanks to the B.N.P. Saw him out leafletting the other day and he ran away after I called his name, looking disturbed and angry, like I was a stranger.

I know for certain he has no friends other than the so called friends he got to know at these outward bound youth nationalist camps.

Mum, dad and nan are hardcore B.N.P voters, and refuse to accept it is the B.N.P. training camps that he attended that have made him drop out of school and become a paranoid loathful antisocial wreck he has become now thanks to the youth organisers of the British Nationalist Party.

His parents won't speak to me and have spread rumours about me on several occasions.

When I challenged them, they told me their son is an adult and could do as he pleased but he was much younger when he started getting involved with these weird cultists into hate politics.

Even though his parents are confirmed racialists, I'm sure they do not believe in half of the rubbish that their son believes in. They said it was all just harmless fantasy stuff but I'm not so sure.

Last time I saw him was three and a half months ago when he told me he was into divine nordic on a mission to cleanse society or something.

Made me so sad to see him like this because he used to be such a nice gentle lad. Now he's gone all strange and he's a danger to himself.

Used to be into Batman, Warcraft, sci-fi comics and suchlike, but what he's into now is weird spirit and ancient god stuff not Christianty, sinister things I don't understand and don't wish to know about.

Once spoke to me outside the post office about Thor and Odin, devotion to ancestors suchlike, and such mumbo jumbo.

Talks lots about gods wreaking havoc on society. It's sinister and incredibly strange and scary and I'm glad it's not my son thank goodness.

From the distant look in his eyes, when he speaks to you, he seems fixated with something not normal. He isn't normal thanks to the youth group he got involved in.

Once he ranted on about channelling ancient shadows to help the gods get rid of the immigrants or something even though oblivious to the fact there was an Asian woman from the shop stood nearby. Sure it's what the B.N.P. camps that's messed with his mind.

Used to be quiet but friendly and though a dreamer not a bad person, never in trouble with the law , left school without any GCSEs thanks to getting involved with these people and their occultist brainwashing that goes on at their gatherings.

Speaks repeatedly about a sick society needing cleansing but he's the one who is ill in the head.

I do not wish to speak to anyone publically about what has happened. It's nothing to do with me personally. It's not my son, just someone who lives in my area and has changed so much it makes me want to cry.

Just want this to be a warning to people with kids not to allow them to get involved with the B.N.P.s outward bound activities at any cost. It's far far worse than your loved ones getting involved with drugs as it messes with their poor young impressionable minds.

johnny said...

It's the bnp's loony laywer who indoctinates young people with this Odin bullshit. He must carry the can for this sick and evil child abuse!

conservative voter said...

Even if his BNP-loving parents didn't know what was going on, that's no excuse for their neglect.

The same goes for anybody else who believes that the sun shines out of cult leader Nick Griffin's backside, and turns a blind eye to the indoctrination of children, is as bad as Griffin himself.

This Odin Youth Camp story isn't just sad. It sickens me to the pit of my stomach, as it would do to any other decent person.

How the f*ck could the BNP destroy the minds of kids with its race hate packaged as folklore, and get away with it?

Something needs to be done about this!

jenny said...

The Daily telegraph are wrong.

With stories like these theres plenty to fear about the bnp.

dot said...

There's this sick and evil odin publication called The Strider that the BNP use to infiltrate young people's minds.

Don't know who writes this mythological filth, whether it's Lee Barnes or not!

Anonymous said...

There should be hell to pay for this evil brainwashing of young people with norse gods and white supremacism!

diddy said...

Every potential BNP voter should discover the truth about the BNP recreating the Hitler Youth. The fact they mix so-called religion with race hate politics is most frightening.

secret handshakes said...

The BBC would never investigate the BNP's vote-losing Odinism as the corporation favours the BNP for some unknown reason.

Answers on a postcard.

jayson said...

If nobody from officialdom could be arsed investigating the Blackpool hotel BNP paedos, they're not going to ever investigate a story of religious brainwashing of children.

Unless of course it involves radical Muslims, in this media world of double-standards.

Anonymous said...

Its interesting that Una Rice was mentioned in the article. In B & D she is well known and has the title of the BNP Bike or Mattress.

Now my strict convent upbringing shielded me from these kind of titles so Ive no clue at all what the title means. But I do know she waddles around with a permanent smile on her face.