Former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, recently wrote an article for the Times on immigration and the rise of the BNP. Carey was immediately denounced by the BNP Legal Director as an ‘idiot’ working for ‘Zionists’, but the BNP’s official statement on the article has wisely avoided following Barnes’s line (as it usually does). The BNP website’s take on Carey’s article (‘Lord Carey predicts BNP victory in Dagenham’) puts a typically dishonest spin on what he actually said. From the BNP’s commentary, you’d think Carey was on the verge of joining the party and it appears that he has endorsed them.
Writing in The Times this morning Lord Carey warns:What Carey said:
“The fact is that a rise in the UK population by ten million in two decades will put our nation’s resources under considerable strain, stretching almost to breaking point the enormous reserves of tolerance and generosity of the British people. Failure to take that action could be seriously damaging to the future harmony of our society.”
He also acknowledges that the million people who voted for the British National Party at the European Elections had genuine concerns about both overpopulation and the ability of this nation to integrate new communities whose values are sometimes very different, even antithetical, to our own.
The fact is that a rise in the UK population by ten million in two decades will put our nation’s resources under considerable strain, stretching almost to breaking point the enormous reserves of tolerance and generosity of the British people.BNP website:
The declaration by no means spells out a halt to immigration. In fact we welcome the contribution of both economic migrants and asylum seekers to our lively cosmopolitan culture. But we urge a return to the levels of the early 1990s, about 40,000, compared with 163,000 in 2008. Failure to take that action could be seriously damaging to the future harmony of our society.
Last year nearly a million votes were cast for the British National Party. We cannot ignore the fact that such far-right groups exploit genuine concerns about both overpopulation and the ability of this nation to integrate new communities whose values are sometimes very different, even antithetical, to our own.
He then went even further, and predicted that the British National Party could win the parliamentary seat of Dagenham at the General Election.What Carey said:
He told the readers of Britain’s premier newspaper:
“In Dagenham, where I was brought up, the white working-class electorate, alienated by far-reaching social change and largely ignored by the mainstream parties, could vote for a BNP Member of Parliament.”
He said that people were supporting the BNP because it was the only political party echoing the sense of unfairness that many people felt about immigrants, economic migrants and bogus asylum seekers coming to Britain and availing themselves of our social services and our jobs.
In Dagenham, where I was brought up, there is a very real danger that a white working-class electorate, alienated by far-reaching social change and largely ignored by the mainstream parties, could vote for a BNP Member of Parliament. This would be a tragedy in our long history of parliamentary democracy. Yet we play into the hands of the far Right if we do not seriously address the concerns that have led to some otherwise decent people supporting modern-day fascism.For some reason, the BNP’s statement fails to offer a link to Carey’s article. I wonder why that is?
Lest there be any doubt about Carey’s view of the BNP, here’s what he told the News of the World in October 2009:
To hear the phrase “Christian Britain” coming from the mouth of Nick Griffin made me shudder. It was the most chilling moment of Question Time, perhaps better described as the Nick Griffin Show.Quite so.
And what a pity that none of the other panelists challenged Griffin’s deceitful attempt to align his despicable policies with Christianity. This squalid racist must not be allowed to hijack one of the world’s great religions.
All of us who believe in tolerance and decency must stand shoulder-to-shoulder in rejection of Griffin’s notion that “Christianity” has any place in his bigotry. I tend to agree that the BBC was mistaken to give the BNP such prominence. To use Margaret Thatcher’s phrase, it was the “oxygen of publicity” that propelled the insignificant and undeserving party into the Big Time. The BBC’s Director General errs in arguing that in a democracy all views should be heard. The views of the BNP are not simply false, they are dangerous, indeed irredeemably evil.
Nevertheless, ‘Any Questions’ DID expose Nick Griffin’s views to public scrutiny. What we saw on our screens was a 21st Century pipsqueak heir to Hitler and Mosley. If the public believed beforehand that support for the BNP was a protest vote against remote or out of touch politicians, they were proved wrong. The BNP leader was unveiled as a sly, shifty figure who would hide unpalatable truths, and cynically spin regardless of the truth, for the sake of votes and funds.