October 27, 2010
Posted by AndyMinion
An Internet, earlier today.
At the moment, I'm having a bit of a Dark Night Of The Soul about the point of all this internet malarky. Well, maybe not a “Dark Night”; more of an “Overcast Brunch”, but I was pondering a simple question: With all the evidence that's out there already of Griffin and Dowson's cheap, barely-disguised criminality, and with all of the new revelations that surface on an almost daily basis, Why Does Anyone Still Support Them?
Socially insulated by having little contact with people who, if they aren't already active Anti-Fascists, would certainly help out if we're ever short-handed, it's easy to fall into the trap of assuming that there must be Amazonian Tribes, as yet untroubled by Missionaries, who've heard of the endless Griffin begging letters and who fall around laughing at the mere mention of “Truth Truck”.
Some of the continued Supporters can easily be put in the “wilfully delusional” camp. The likes of Paul “Green Arrow” Morris and his shrinking band of “Kinsmen” have, by now, invested so much self respect (a curious concept where he's concerned, I know – but hear me out) and fervour in their shrill support of the BNP and its Leadership that they might suffer total mental collapse, and the noose beckon were they to ever finally accept the evidence of their own eyes (indeed, he was suspiciously quiet on the matter of the Dowson Creditor's Letter...).
Then there are the “Rank & File” of the BNP's support. Those people (often elderly, it must be said), who, incensed by a shocking expose they've read in the Daily Mail, outraged by something they heard at Lunch Club That-Happened-To-My-Friend-Enid's-Daughter-Or-Was-It-Her-Milkman-Well-Never-Mind-It-Happened-To-Someone-And-It's-All-True-And-It's-A-Bloody-Liberty-It-Really-Is, or impressed by seeing That Nice Young Man With The Wonky Eye on an Election Broadcast, fire off their fifteen quid to Belfast, (or Nuneaton, or Welshpool, or wherever else it is this week) and (having calmed down, had a nice cup of tea and had some sense talked into them by the Grandkids) let their membership lapse after a year.
As do almost 60% of Memberships.
According to a 2008 survey conducted by Researchers at Edinburgh University, BNP Voters have the lowest I.Q of all political parties, at an average of 98.4. This, in itself, may account for something.
But then it dawned on me (my own I.Q reaches 98.6 on a good day) just where the evidence of the corruption within the BNP appears. Blogs like this one. Any number of Right-Wing talkboards and chat rooms. Everywhere, in fact, except where Griffin's mercilessly fleeced Supporters are likely to actually look.
A few years ago, I set out on an ill-judged crusade to turn my late mother into a Silver Surfer. Safe in the knowledge that my 86-year-old Uncle was merrily tapping away and chatting with old Wartime Buddies the World over, I thought it couldn't be too difficult, could it?
Picture, if you will, the Taliban trying to launch a Space Shuttle.
After several hours, many exasperated coffee breaks, enough cigarettes to resurface the M1 and giving careful consideration to taking up Crack-smoking as a way of calming down, I had shown her the basics and she had constructed a basic list of Bookmarks.
The Guardian Online. BBC Food & Drink. Wikipedia. Derby Evening Telegraph. Derbyshire County Cricket Club. Royal Horticultural Society.
All was right with the world.
A few months later, I checked her list of Bookmarks. The Guardian Online. BBC Food & Drink. Wikipedia. Derby Evening Telegraph. Derbyshire County Cricket Club. Royal Horticultural Society. Nothing else.
At this point I gave up. I now have a nervous tic and a £200 a day Crack habit.
The thing is that, had she been a typical online BNP Supporter, her sole knowledge of the Party would extend only to their Official Website, where all is Sunny, Griffin is working tirelessly to save the Nation with His Team of Experts by his side, and Exciting New Initiatives and Political Breakthroughs are always just around the corner.
At this year's LMHR Festival in Barnsley, a handful of bedraggled BNP braved the Yorkshire weather and gleeful derision of just about everyone to set up their paste table in a shopping precinct under the watchful eye of the local Constabulary.
An enjoyable hour spent politely chatting with the (largely elderly) shoppers approaching the Stall was all it took to turn many potential supporters away, simply by telling them the truth and where they could find out more.
What my Colleagues here at LU (I'm tempted to call them “My Kinsmen” just for the wind-up value) do is invaluable: An authoritative, exhaustive, searchable online record of the goings-on of the Far Right going back more than five years. It's hardly any wonder that a substantial proportion of our Readership consists of the Enemy wanting to get the lowdown on what's going on with their own Party.
It's also true that the tiniest sidebar in a National Newspaper is going to be read and talked about by more people than the likes of us can even dream of.
Today's snippet in the Guardian (which has, predictably, sent Morris and his Idiot Disciples into a frothing tumult of astonishing (and entirely libellous) naked racism), a forthcoming piece to look out for in the next edition of a Popular Satirical Magazine and other mainstream reports currently on the horizon, will reach a huge number of people who've never given the BNP a second glance; probably even falling into the trap of thinking of them as "Just Another Political Party", if "a bit of a cranky one" (the sort of people who might think of Ebola as "Just Another Virus",if "a bit worse than a dicky tummy").
Given that the Facts are only just beginning to receive wider, mainstream coverage now that things are in the final death-spiral it can't hurt to start getting the truth out to more mainstream media outlets - they're generally always on the lookout for a good story.
And with a saga like The Last Days Of The BNP, with its embarrassment of twists, turns, outrageous revelations and mad characters that make Dickens at his most hyperactive read like Proust on Mogadon, this is certainly a cracker.
Can't hurt, can it?