Nick Griffin's manifesto reveals a party keen to turn voters into supporters of a racially 'pure' Britain, 'bound together by blood'
What does the BNP manifesto tell us about the party?
Nick Griffin's manifesto feigns engagement with widespread popular concerns over the economy, public sector cuts and war, while ignoring others, like climate change – which is presented as a myth. Above all, it seeks to profit from the current high profile of the immigration debate.
The party wants to make immigrants, and in particular Muslims, the scapegoats for everything – falling living and educational standards, rising crime, terrorist activities, even traffic congestion. This allows the BNP to address real issues such as poverty and social decay, without identifying any of their causes, like disparities of wealth and income. Its targets are not those who make huge profits from social inequality, but those who suffer from it most.
The party has won a degree of legitimacy thanks to the acceptance by mainstream politicians that there is indeed an immigration "problem". But this is not enough for the BNP. It is not like UKIP – happy to whip up xenophobia for electoral purposes. The BNP seeks more than an electorate, it wants to turn voters into supporters – committed, hardline, racist authoritarians. This involves winning "soft" racists to a more ideological identification with the party's core beliefs, centred on notions of racial purity.
The BNP manifesto therefore claims being British "is to belong to a special chain of unique people who have the natural law right to remain a majority in their ancestral homeland". It presents "white British" people as a community of destiny, "bound together by blood", whose "ability to create and sustain social and political structures … is an expression of innate genetic nature". Sound familiar?
The extent of social engineering that would be required to realise this biological fantasy is downplayed in the manifesto. Opposition to mixed-race relationships, for example, is implicit but not stated, presumably for legal reasons. Instead the party vows simply to abolish multiculturalism.
Having identified the primary "cause" of society's problems, the BNP proposes "straightforward" solutions: a halt to immigration and asylum, the introduction of a voluntary repatriation scheme, the deportation of all illegal immigrants. Discrimination against ethnic minorities would be enshrined in housing, immigration and education policies. Like Pétain's Vichy regime, a BNP government would introduce retrospective legislation to review all citizenship granted over the past 13 years.
BNP authoritarianism is social – the reintroduction of capital punishment for murder and drug dealing, the establishment of a penal colony in South Georgia for repeat offenders – but it is also political – the criminalisation of journalists who "knowingly" publish "falsehoods", the sacking of "politically correct" senior police officers, prison sentences for political "intimidation".
This manifesto asserts the supremacy of one "dominant ethnic, cultural and political group". The BNP is attempting to create deep social divisions by scapegoating those who do not belong to this group. The party's economic outlook, meanwhile, champions small businesses and the nation state against "international profit" and "a rootless, amorphous globalist philosophy". Once in power, the party would use repression against opponents.
These are features of a political current that has existed before. It has a name. The BNP has simply adapted its legacy to contemporary conditions. Its name is fascism. Those who dispute this should take a closer look at the BNP manifesto.
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