October 02, 2009

How British nationalists got their claws into my crayfish

George Monbiot's invasive crayfish story was caught by the BNP
Crude analogy between invasive US crayfish and immigrants treads fine line between lawfulness and racial incitement

What demons we unleash in our sleep! On Wednesday I posted up a photo guide to catching the red signal crayfish, an introduced species from the US which is trashing the aquatic ecosystem and killing our indigenous crayfish. By catching as many as you can, you can help to control this invasive species, while getting a great meal for nothing.

Innocent enough you might think. Well it was until it got picked up by the British National party.

I think you can probably guess how this story pans out, but here's the BNP's legal officer, Lee John Barnes, in his own words:
The North American Crayfish is the Mike Tyson of crayfish. It is a diseased, psychotic, evil, illegal immigrant colonist who displaces the indigenous crayfish, colonises their territory and then reproduces until it totally devastates the indigenous environment and indigenous crayfish. I am saying nothing governor.

But theres a phrase of his [George Monbiot] that I believe should be the motto of the Eco-Xenophobes everywhere. I intend to use it more and when I do I will accredit it to George Monbiot; DEATH TO THE USURPERS !
Subtle, isn't it? Without necessarily contravening the laws on incitement to racial hatred (and we can expect the BNP's legal officer to know just where the line is drawn), Mr Barnes appears to be comparing the American red signal crayfish to human immigrants, whom he apparently wishes to put to death. "I'm saying nothing governor" means: you know exactly what I'm saying, but if you do your worst I can't be held responsible.

Barnes is not the first person to make an analogy between invasive species and immigrants, though these days it is seldom spelt out in such stark terms. The analogy suggests that people from other parts of the world belong to a different, non-human species. Perhaps he's been watching District 9, where the alien asylum seekers do look a bit like crayfish.

Unlike Mr Barnes, I don't know exactly where the line is drawn, but is it possible that he has not been quite as clever as he thinks he is? Is there a legal-minded person out there who can offer some advice?

George Monbiot in the Guardian

[Sorry, no labels/tags at the moment. Some glitch at Google's end]


Anonymous said...

Barnes is a nutter!

Smiffy said...

Perhaps Barnes has had a nasy case of crabs and that's what's caused his irrational fear of all things crustacean, particularly foreign ones.

AndyMinion (BatsMan) said...

You can call Barnes a nutter if you want. But just you wait until the day comes - and it'll be sooner than you think, mind - that a FORRIN CRAYFISH moves in next door to you, and takes YOUR job, and starts going out with YOUR daughter.

Bloody Crayfish.

Honestly, the naivety of you people makes me sick...

Anonymous said...

Do crabs walk straight ahead when they,re drunk?

dotdash said...

No wander your average thick-as-two-planks neo-Nazi bootboy is waving the BNP behind to join the violent EDL Casuals street army, when the stupid BNP waste their time writing stupid pieces about crustaceans.

The National Front never wrote articles about wildlife!

Jamie The Antifascist said...

I would really and I mean REALLY like to see what Tyson would do to Barnes if he repeated what he just stated to his face.