Thursday, October 22, 2009

From the frontline

White City, which is just down the road from me, seems to have become the frontline in the struggle between national and international socialism. When I went past TV Centre just after midday on my way to the post office (to collect a copy of “The Best Seat in the House – the Wit and Parliamentary Chronicles of Frank Johnson”) bleary-eyed members of the Socialist Workers’ Party, representatives of international socialism whose electoral support wavers between nil and ten per constituency, were setting up their stalls and rather half-heartedly trying to buttonhole people and get them to sign a petition. They were not very successful – in Shepherds Bush and White City we get very agile in avoiding bores who try to hand us something, get us to sign something or harangue us about something.

All the same, I wish they had stopped me. I was longing to ask them why they disliked the BNP’s collectivist agenda. Ah well, maybe when I go out again to head towards the BBC Russian Service where we shall be discussing … yes, you’ve guessed it …. the BNP.

So there were about two dozen all together, manning and womanning stalls and demonstrating with placards, easily outnumbered by media photographers and cameramen. The local police was gathering in numbers and the helicopters are flying as I write. Any excuse will do to play with nice toys. One can but hope that no gang killings are scheduled for this afternoon or evening.

At present, international socialism may think it is winning the propaganda battle but it is national socialism that has representatives in one or two elected assemblies and whose leader is on Question Time.

I am not convinced even about the propaganda battle. Peter Hain’s announcement that the BBC was acting illegally by inviting Nick Griffin was not only swatted aside by lawyers but was greeted with derision by the few people who were paying attention. Presumably, he was fulfilling his usual role of the pit canary. It is always our Peter who makes some outlandish pronouncement while the Labour leadership watches. If there is an outcry, he is disowned as it happened this time.

It is sad to see Conservatives getting involved in this fight and giving the BNP extra amounts of publicity in the process. Nothing British, a slightly odd organization, that is dedicated to proving that there is nothing British about the BNP even organized a breakfast this morning (a terrible idea, in my opinion) to proclaim this fact. When the invitation arrived yesterday I thought it was going to be a breakfast at which no British food was going to be served and was about to direct them towards some excellent British bacon. Sadly, these people do not care about food.

Nor am I terribly impressed by all this whining about the reputation of the British military being under attack. If generals kept out of party politics, as their constitutional duty requires, there would be no attacks and no besmirching. Blame Generals Dannatt, Jackson and Guthrie for the unhappy state of affairs.

Meanwhile, the Evening Standard is covering the story in an interesting fashion and great detail. Its front page news article is entitled “BBC attacked from all sides in BNP storm”. Paul Waugh, the Deputy Political Editor then quotes the former Mayor, Ken Livingstone, at length. Another article refers to the opinions of Diane Abbott, a few other London MPs (unnamed but presumably Labour), the obligatory pop singers and Kawsar Zaman of the Muslim Council of Britain, that well known standard bearer of freedom and tolerance. Ahem, all sides?

On page 14 the Editorial strikes a somewhat different tone. “BNP on Question Time” – the say, - “is not the real problem.” The problem, in their opinion, is the mess that all political parties, particularly the one in government, have made over the issue of immigration (though, curiously, they do not mention the EU and its role). Let us also add, that the refusal to discuss all the ramifications of the subject help the BNP quite considerably.

Towards the back of the newspaper (opposite the page where the various crosswords and suchlike delights are) there is the usual online poll. Yesterday’s question was “Should the BBC Trust block Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time?” 17 per cent said Yes and 83 per cent said No.

I am not convinced that international socialism is really winning that battle of propaganda.


  1. "pit canary" ... LOL


  2. Nobody can be more discredited than a former anti-apartheid activist. Some might think Peter Hain is a nice man, with deeply held and noble political ideals. But they are wrong. He is, in reality, a profoundly nasty and evil man.

    Our political establishment may truly be described as decadent and depraved.

  3. Was it Maggie that started it all with the IRA, is there an earlier precedent? It was wrong and misguided then, it is wrong and misguided now.

  4. The parallel is inexact, Ham. The IRA is not a political party but a bunch of terrorists. Sinn Fein, of course, is now welcomed into the House of Commons. There may be some justification for silencing terrorists but none for silencing political parties. As it happens I think Thatcher's decision was tactically wrong.

  5. The socialist workers hate for their brother national socialists might be my fault! back in the late 1960s the other side of Shepheards Bush to the BBC, in the then large and flourishing factories of Lucas and CAV the SWP were getting themselves together, some school lunchtimes I went to the workers cafe my best friend's family owned next to CAVs offices. Ther one day was this "worker" spouting off over his egg and chips, about the oppressed workers and "his' nep socialist party who were going to show Labour how to screw the bosses properly, or something. Problem was they wanted a catchy name, realising he was an idiot I suggested 'the national socialist party" he thought it was knockout and got up at the next meeting and proposed it. My friends dad (I was about 14 then) stopped him killing me and threw him out. So might me down to me, sorry my bad!!

  6. The similarity is the attempt to curtail the freedom of speech, which is radically different from the Jan Moir issue which in my view is an abuse of responsibility. And again, there are those who would claim the IRA as freedom fighters, they too had substantial local support, and there was always Sinn Fein which was included in the blanket ban.

  7. Chris - excellent tale. Very funny. Great comedy material. LOL

  8. Whilst the mainstream media and excitable young people are opining that the dawn of National Socialism is nigh, our authoritarian state apparatus is being built quietly behind the scenes. The government has outsourced parts of the contract relating to the mass surveillance project blandly named the Intercept Modernisation Programme (IMP) to Hewlett Packard (HP) formerly known as EDS. The last time I looked at the BNP website they were against ID cards and the database state. So they've got that right, it's a start!

    I've just spoken to someone who last night travelled from London to the Midlands at about the time the Question Time programme was on air. Some roads were as deserted as you might find during the World Cup. So obviously the BBC are proud on themselves and this coup. But imagine, a political party with just 2 MEPs causes all this fuss. If the BNP had 20 MPs perhaps, but they don't, it's the world gone mad. And we can thank the thickos of 'rentamob for this.

  9. John, it was not that funny when the idiot went for me, other than that-all true!
    As for the BNP I hope they do well, a hung parliament with them holding the ballance would be fun.

  10. Chris, there is a long way between acquiring some support and getting one or more seats in the House of Commons. Your scenario is unlikely to the point of impossibility.

    Ham, Sinn Fein got caught up in that row because, astonishingly enough its leaders all seem to be from the IRA's Military Council. Sheer coincidence, of course. Mostly, the IRA targeted civilians, the overwhelming proportion of whom were their own people. That is usually what distinguishes terrorist groups from others, particulrarly ordinary political parties however unpleasant some of their ideas might be. Thatcher should have allowed Gerry Adams to dig his own grave on TV.

  11. Helen, true the BNP need some seats but given the free publicity and the fact that the week after defeating the german socialists the english voted in a socialist government, the electorate has seen through its political elite, as you boss said the others are worse than the BNP, im hoping for a suprise. As for my"scenario" your comment is unsettlingly ignorant, you normally do better than that, thats why i read you! however you view it it happened and should you be intrested I am still in contact with my pal, sadly his father is gone, as is the cafe, it is now flats (junction of Warple way and Valetta road)

  12. Chris, I do not see what my comment about the political scenario you outlined, which I still think highly unlikely (the 1945 election notwithstanding as it did not bring in an unknown and unregarded small party) with the story you told. I believe the story; how could I not? The future political scenario is something else.

    On the other hand, I would not wish to unsettle you. There is no need for you to read such ignorant matters.