The BNP and membership


I have seriously mixed feelings about this story, about the Equality and Human Rights Commission stepping in to ask the BNP to amend their membership policy, amongst other things, in order that members of ethnic minorities are not excluded.

Of course, the Commission is acting under a particular set of constraints. It is bound to uphold the law, and the law is quite clearly being broken if the BNP’s rules restrict membership to certain ethnic groups, and if they only employ whites.

They must also be responsive to complaints made by members of the public, and it would appear that around 50 people have made complaints about this issue.

Finally, as a public body, the Commission can’t be seen to co-ordinate the action it takes with campaigners aiming for a political defeat of the BNP – they must restrict themselves to doing what is within their legal remit.

In short – if this is a mistake, which I think it is, it isn’t the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s mistake.

But I’d ask those who made the complaints, and all of those who consider this to be a blow struck for justice against the BNP – what good will it do?

The obvious candidates for benefit would be the ethnic minorities who wish to join the BNP, but are currently prevented from doing so. How many of these can there be? And how sane can they possibly be?

Beyond that, it’s foolish to think that this is a blow struck against the BNP. It smacks of “rules gimping”, as we used to say in student union says – trying to get your way not through winning people over, but by artful manipulation of the rules.

The BNP may accept the change to their membership policy – in fact, they may have to. But they will complain bitterly about “politically correct thought police forcing multiculturalism down out throats”, or some such, and we may find that a worryingly large portion of their potential electorate are sympathetic.

As such, we shouldn’t be surprised if this becomes something of an own goal for the anti-Fascist movement. Fundamentally, there is only one way to defeat the BNP, and that is politically – seat by seat, street by street, door by door. Equality legistlation is many good things, but it isn’t a way to win the hearts and minds of the people who voted BNP this month, at least in this instance.


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4 Responses to “The BNP and membership”

  1. What if Ken was onto something? « Frank Owen’s Paintbrush Says:

    […] (Please read my good friend and comrade VoteRedGoGreen’s much more sensible post on this subject.) […]

  2. On BNP membership (redux) « Frank Owen’s Paintbrush Says:

    […] action against the BNP’s whites-only membership and employment policy – but further to my post the other day, and to Captain Jako’s yesterday, it seems that Joseph Harker at the Guardian agrees with us […]

  3. Our housing policy must be coherent and fair – this is neither « Frank Owen’s Paintbrush Says:

    […] being the case – and I’ve said it before – the best way to combat the BNP is not to try to legislate them or their issues away. In […]

  4. Racist party forced not to be racist? « Frank Owen’s Paintbrush Says:

    […] a fellow Paintbrusher has argued previously, the best way for anti-fascists to defeat the BNP is politically –  through political activism […]

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