‘You’ll be found dead on the streets.’ That was the message I received a few weeks ago from an identifiable BNP supporter. Why? Because I was taking a stand against Nick Griffin. When someone writes this to you because you’re fighting as a Lib Dem in a parliamentary campaign against Griffin and the BNP, it makes you think very hard about your political opponent and the campaign they intend to fight. It also makes you think about how you should respond.
I reported the threat immediately to the police. They came to my house and have since referred the matter to SO15 – Counter Terrorism Command. I also urged Nick Griffin to intervene and condemn the culprit. I wrote: “This is London in 2010, not Berlin in 1933.” The response: silence.
The Guardian reported the matter. And that of another death threat – a video put on the web in the name of Wandsworth BNP, featuring Equality and Human Rights Commission chief Trevor Phillips. It suggested he be “dealt with”.
On March 21st, a BNP activist was arrested for threatening to kill Labour peer, Baroness Uddin. His Facebook message read: ‘were (sic) going to hang you one day. Regards the BNP.”
This weekend comes the news that senior BNP official and parliamentary candidate, Mark Collett has been arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill Nick Griffin. Collett was arrested after Griffin made a statement to the police. A Humberside Police spokesman said: “A 29-year-old man has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of threats to kill. We can’t comment further.”
Griffin becomes the fourth person in four weeks to have received a death threat from a BNP member. As BNP chairman, he should not be surprised. His party membership list is full of criminals with convictions for violence. This is the true face of the BNP showing itself in public: a party of violence, committed to violence, using the language of violence.
And Griffin himself uses the language of violence frequently. He once called for a defence of white rights with “well directed boots and fists.” He told me in interview that people “have the right to hurt people to maim and blow things up when they are not allowed any other any way of expressing a legitimate grievance.”
When he had Dominic Kennedy of the Times roughed up and ejected from a BNP meeting in February, Griffin said it proved his party was “not going soft.”
When I asked Nick Griffin who was his political hero, it was not Adolf Hitler or Oswald Mosley. The man he chose was Gerry Adams. Griffin would perhaps do well to remember: ‘Hate begets hate; violence begets violence.’ If he has received death threats from within his own party, then it is perhaps a true reflection of the culture of violence he encourages and supports.
Liberal Democrat Voice