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Introducing the British Patriotic Party

Introducing the British Patriotic Party

In case you’re not British — or British but not interested in politics — you may not be fully aware of the current state of affairs in the UK.

For the past few weeks, one of the big newspapers has been reporting on the way British politicians have been using some very creative methods to use taxpayers’ money to supplement their income. Although the sums of money involved are mercifully small (thousands rather than millions of pounds), the principle of the thing has upset a lot of voters.

The governing party, Labour, has lost most support over this, probably more by virtue of being the ruling party during a recession and after many years in government, but all the main parties have been affected, which has led to a lot of panic over the thought that extremist parties might gain from this.

Most of the attention has been focussed on the spectre of the British National Party, a party with what it likes to portray as a robust response to immigration, but is really just thinly-veiled racism. With European elections coming up this weekend (Britain votes tomorrow), people are, perhaps understandably, worried at the prospect that the BNP might actually get four or five seats.

My response to that is not to panic. It sounds awful, but then again, the European Parliament has almost 800 seats in total, so the BNP aren’t going to get anywhere. And the record shows that when the BNP get seats on local councils, they flounder helplessly: at least one BNP councillor only ever spoke twice in session, and one of those was to ask what “abstain” means.

Unnoticed, the UK Independence Party, which is only slightly more successful at hiding its racist instincts, looks set to get twice the number of votes the BNP will get. UKIP already has nine MEPs in Strasbourg, but is as useless as the BNP. Elected on a strong eurosceptic platform, UKIP voted to allow Spanish fishermen into British waters. Even UKIP isn’t a credible threat.

To my mind, this constant talking up of the BNP as a threat is playing into their hands at a time when voters may be in the mood to threaten the main parties: it’s certainly giving them a lot of publicity they don’t deserve, and in any case, the last time British voters wanted to register a protest, they went for the Greens. The evidence is they may do so this time round as well.

That seems logical to me: casual racism is no longer socially acceptable in most circles, and “going green” is currently at least a little fashionable, so much so that Conservative politicians like David Cameron and Boris Johnson are rather over-keen to be photographed sitting on bicycles (although at least Johnson, the Mayor of London, doesn’t have a car with his documents on the back seat following him at a discreet distance, as Cameron, Leader of the Opposition, is accused of doing).

But people refuse to ignore the BNP, so we might as well join in on the attack. Not that there’s much to contribute to the sum of human knowledge: apart from a few unthinking supporters who’d vote for anyone waving a Union Flag, everyone knows the BNP is, basically, racist. When the BNP says they’re for “voluntary” repatriation but will offer “incentives” for people to leave, we all know that these “incentives” are the sort that might have been inspired by watching The Godfather and The Untouchables. And anyone who bothers to read the BNP’s manifesto knows that they actually have no policies at all, beyond a sort of vague wish to return to the kind of mythical golden age that exists only in Famous Five books.

The BNP, like all modern west European fringe movements I’m aware of, is a transparent joke. (Some of their members are, admittedly, thugs with criminal records, but as parties they really are quite amusing.) This is really the message I’m trying to get across here:

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