June 12, 2009

The BNP may have been elected to Europe but on football they founder

The BNP does not accept black members even if they are wearing
an England shirt like Ashley Cole, right, seen here with David Beckham

Although it is too late to drive the British National Party out of politics, or to turn the clock back to a time when a pair of posturing fascists had not been elected to the European Parliament, we may, however, kick some sense into the debate using football.

Your starter for ten: what do Glenn Johnson, Joleon Lescott, Ashley Cole, Theo Walcott, Jermain Defoe and Ashley Young have in common? Correct, they were all part of the England team who beat Andorra 6-0 on Wednesday night; but what else? Give up? None of them can be members of the British National Party. Nor could Rio Ferdinand, David James and Emile Heskey, who all would have played had they not been injured, or Shaun Wright-Phillips and Carlton Cole, who were in the squad but not selected.

Indeed, it could work out that when the England squad depart for the World Cup in South Africa next summer, half the plane will be filled with Englishmen who would not be welcome within the ranks of a political party that claims to speak for us all.

The BNP does not accept black members, even if they were born in England, even if they are wearing an England shirt and scoring the winning goal in a World Cup final.

Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, is enraged by the presence of a black Friar Tuck in the BBC TV series Robin Hood, because he claims this is not historically accurate. Yet what could be more quintessentially English than a black international footballer, of which there have been 58, or a black Olympian, or black Englishmen in the cricket team? Without them, there would be no Ravi Bopara, Dimitri Mascarenhas or Adil Rashid in our cricket team, nor Christine Ohuruogu winning Olympic gold.

These people can play for England, run for Britain, bring distinction and glory to our country; but cannot gain entry into the BNP. The same goes for Shirley Bassey and most of Diversity, the dance troupe that won Britain's Got Talent.

I'm not saying that any of these people would want BNP membership; more that there are better and more civilised ways to dismantle the logic of these preposterous racists than hurling eggs and turning Griffin's jacket into an omelette preparation each time he stands to speak.

One of the most patriotic sportsmen I have met is Ian Wright (whose adopted son is Shaun Wright-Phillips), who scored nine goals in 33 games for England. In retirement, as a television analyst, he was worthless because he could not separate his professional persona from his fan-like desire to see England win. If the team played badly, while others in the studio would dispassionately rip the performance to shreds on tactical and technical issues, Wright would sit there with the raving hump, sulking his way through the broadcast like a miffed supporter resenting the price of his ticket.

And the BNP would wish to play patriot games with this guy? Or with a young man like Walcott, who is risking the wrath of his club employers at Arsenal because he is determined to represent his country at senior level and at an Under-21 competition this summer, rather than taking time off?

The squad members from England's World Cup victory in 1966 received belated medals on the pitch at Wembley on Wednesday night, and there was not a black face among them. Yet there were seven black players in the squad Sven Goran Eriksson took to the World Cup in 2006. Are they somehow less English?

All that needs to be known about the values of the BNP is that they do not permit blacks, but raise money through their website with the sale of gollywog souvenirs. It is a warped view of England and Englishness that permeates their culture and finds no room for the way the country has evolved.

If you intend putting a flag out for the football team next year, or are keeping your fingers crossed for an Ashes win this summer, or a British and Irish Lions victory in South Africa, you are casting a vote for a country more inclusive than Griffin's little band of inbreeds.

Daily Mail


deelite said...

Well said Daily Mail!!!

Anonymous said...

You can add David Beckham to that list too - his grandfather is/was Jewish.

Kev Scott loves the Jam said...

Ironically, didn't Barry Bennett (prospective MEP wannabe) say something like "David Beckham is not white, he's a black man"?

Chortle, even though it is the daily mail, not usually know for its tolerant views, I have to agree.... Gri££in et al will get egg all over themselves given time.

irishtony said...

Here ya go

the BBC wales documentary on Kemp


Anonymous said...

I agree with deelite, I don't praise the Mail often, for being a breeding ground for BNP-lite ideas, but when it does something right I should show some respect. ;)

Anonymous said...

All this outrage about a black friar tuck. Where was the outrage about actors used in Biblical films and dramas? Or should we accept kemps "white history" that they were all blonde hair blue eyed Nordic master race living in the holy land at that time?

AndyW said...

All credit to the Daily Mail for this article, and I never thought I'd say that. Another tabloid for Nick to ban from his press conferences, if he hasn't done so already.

Going even further back in history, the first black professional footballer in England was Arthur Wharton who joined PNE in 1886 and then Rotherham United in 1889. So, black players have been involved almost since the start of professional football in England, and before some of the current Premiership teams existed under their current names.

All of which is more proof that the version of Englishness/ Britishness promoted by the BNP is a complete fabrication.

Anonymous said...

Going to get your collars felt,is it funny now. Eggcellent news ha ha ha

Jenny Walks-Riise said...

Just about the only Daily Mail article I've read and agreed with - many thanks for that!

The way to defeat the BNP is through positive - rather than negative campaigning. We need to ensure that there is a real alternative to vote for, to attract those disenfranchised with the major three parties.

eric the fish said...

There's something not quite right about seeing such a thoughtful article in a paper that espouses hatred of anything different on a daily basis. It is the national most often quoted by the BNP and its acolytes are now trolling the comments sections about any BNP-linked story.
Littlejohn is a prime example of the symbiotic relationship the BNP and mail has. It slags them off while publishing distorted figures on immigartion and Muslims-ban-Xmas stories.
You couldn't amke it up.

Echelon_g26 said...

What else do they have in common....overpaid wasters who know nothing about life in the sink estates or on the dole?

Why the left use millionaires as a symbol of the kind of Britain they want to see is beyond me!

Anonymous said...

Obviously Enchelon_g26 "What else do they have in common....overpaid wasters who know nothing about life in the sink estates or on the dole?"

Enchalon has neither the ability nor the ambition to rise above that and wishes to drag everybody down to that level.

Old Sailor !