Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/426/4995
Fighting the far-right BNP
ANTI-FASCIST protesters chanted "You're going down" and "where's your Fuehrer gone " outside far-right British National Party's (BNP) leader Griffin's trial in Leeds. Unfortunately, the Fuehrer walked free as did his associate Mark Collet. Calling asylum seekers 'cockroaches' is neither racist nor incitement to racial hatred, according to an overwhelmingly white, middle-class jury.
The BNP used the trial as a publicity event. They mounted a constant picket of between 50-100 supporters, filmed it all and used a web blog as a propaganda tool.
Cambridge graduate and rural landlord Nick Griffin wanted to show the BNP as the voice for Britain's white working class but their travelling support was neither urban nor working class - it was posh, foxhunting Britain on the march.
He said that British workers had always fought against 'the gaffers'. Today, he claimed, this struggle is against the Muslims. In classic far-right fashion, Griffin takes the vocabulary of class struggle and turns it into its opposite.
When thousands of civil servants recently took strike action against job cuts, the strikers came from all backgrounds, including Muslims. The BNP has nothing to say about how to defend these workers' rights. When firefighters took strike action, the BNP opposed it. If the BNP were to come to power, there would be no right to strike.
Nick Griffin told Newsnight that Muslim protests on the Danish newspaper cartoons 'will swell the ranks of the BNP'. The BNP is a parasitic organisation that would support a conflict between Muslim and non-Muslim workers. Such conflict would not be in the working class' interests; the BNP is a right-wing anti-worker organisation.
In office on local councils, BNP councillors have failed abysmally to oppose cuts for example in Burnley. Workers cannot rely on these people to fight for their interests.
But it would also be foolish to rely on courts to get rid of the BNP. Ultimately, workers of all backgrounds and religions need their own party to fight not only against their reactionary, racist ideas but against cuts and privatisation and for genuine system change.
In The Socialist 9 February 2006: