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BNP on the BBC = 21st century Section 31?

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Friday October 23, 2009 10:46author by ipsiphi - = iosaf mac address barcelona Report this post to the editors

featured image
Yes to Irish, Blacks, and Dogs. NO to the BNP

As this article is published the leader of the BNP, England's neo-fascist racist political party & one of the principle articulators of European neo-nazism in the English language has entered the BBC studios in London to take part in a BBC "question time" broadcast. The presence of Griffin has not gone without protest or reaction in Britain as much as in Ireland. This article collates much of the recent coverage of that reaction & puts this week's publishing on the internet on "Wikileaks" of the current BNP membership list in context.

But the point of this article is to examine from a leftist and Irish perspective the possible consequences of the BBC invitation to Griffin and the reaction in the liberal English chattering classes and at parliamentary level. Rather than moving to a revamping of the Race Relations Act the British it seems are considering a return to the censorship which was applied to the factions of the north of Ireland in general and Sinn Fein in particular.

The decision by Jack Straw to share a televised debating platform on the BBC flagship political program "Question Time" with Nick Griffin the leader of the BNP has sparked off reaction amongst the chattering classes, action on the street & may very likely result in moves to legislate a new form of censorship in the UK.

Jack Straw's actions have given oxygen to the BNP and allowed their leader to deftly play the multiple roles of "media martry", "alternative radical politician" & in the immediate wake of proper legal action against the party - move his spin to include "positive" mention of black Britons.

Today's opinion piece by the Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, who was responsible for not giving broadcast time to the Gaza appeal on political grounds hypocritically and scurrously offers the idea that it is not for the BBC to censor but for parliament .

There are only three precedents for censorship in the UK.

1) The most common is the least understood : the use of D notices by the Cobra Comittee of the joint intelligence and security services which working in co-operation with the British commercial and state media ensures reporting of events simply does not occur.

2) The recent case of the Carter Ruck "super-injunction"

3) The type of censorship used in the UK which mirrored the Irish state's section 31. During the troubles members of Sinn Fein could not appear on RTE. For less time they were also denied voice on the BBC and other British broadcasters. Ironically the picture of SF leaders were dubbed by English actors who repeated thier words verbatim though in a heavily and selectively edited form.

[for points 1 and 2 - D notice censorship and the Carter Ruck super injunction of early October please consult my back article on the case of Dilpazier Aslam of the Hizb ut-Tahrir group and his article in The Guardian during the bombings of 2005 & then for the "Super injunction" please read the comments to that article ]

For point 3 please refer to an older person who remembers how the conflict in the north of Ireland was reported on telly and radio or go to wikipedia :-

If the chattering classes do not stop their pointless debate & not unite with the genuine left in opposing the BNP as all fascism on the street and consistently denying it platform - then we are left with no other appalling vista but continued and more honed media savvy spin from the BNP.

If we do not bankrupt them before provoking their lawyers before they reach the stage that they do not care for "negative publicity - nor does British society properly address the issue through the Race Relations Act and use of its terrorism laws on the EDL -

then we are left with nothing more than a return to "section 31"

= ¿ are we now to imagine that we would see Griffin and all the little fascists on the BBC but not hear their dulcet tones instead being treated to voiceover dubbed versions perhaps with a suitably ironic Jamaican accent?


"On 20th October 2009 a list containing personal details of BNP members was leaked for the second time by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks. According to Wikileaks the latest data reflects the state of the party membership as of April 2009. An analysis of the data alludes to the successes and failures of the antifascist movement within the UK." Indymedia UK

The first leak as the second were first reported on Indymedia sites. The second membership list has however been archived on wikileaks where it's continued availability will be assured. The first list was fought by the BNP through their lawyers. we learn each time and do it better next . The BNP are of course paying their lawyers quite a bit at the moment.

I reported last week The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission (the statutory watchdog of the UK Race Relations Act) brought the BNP to court after its European election victory on the grounds that its party constitution which bans those who are not "indiginously caucasian" from membership.
The BNP's eastern regional Spokesperson Chris Roberts said in response that the enemies of the BNP are keen to bankrupt the party. Archiving on wikileaks will push up their injunction costs.

The membership lists of the BNP past and current (or last April at least) should be considered with the hack of the neo-nazi "Blood and Honour" website. That was reported on this website at this article :- and although subsequent analysis of the information did not offer evidence of much Irish involvement (interestingly most Irish users were confined to the western seaboard where we have noted neo-nazi connections to Shell projects and violent attacks), there was the beginning of a clear picture of contemporary European neo-nazism and organised fascism. This weekend scores of neo-nazis are expected to converge on Ireland's west in Kerry coming from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. The very states which figured high in the B&H crack list. (c/f call to action in Kerry for this saturday )

In Ireland mobilisation in support of anti-fascist action groups and trade unions who repudiate the presence (As I write) of Griffin and his party faithful on the BBC political flagship program may be read about here :-

Protest BBC House Belfast (right now)

In the lead up to today's protest in Belfast the story of widening trade union opposition to the BNP

One of the illustrations with this artilce is a cartoon by Steve Bell of The Guardian and British anti-War movement. It appears here under the accepted "fair non-commercial use" practise of copyleft publishing. His cartoon came in response to a TV appearance by Griffin in which he defended his wearing of a red poppy after prominent British generals and the British Legion (who issue the blood red poppies annually had taken exception at his expropriation of what they see as a national symbol) In a video on the website of the "Daily Telegraph" newspaper you can see how he claims that he his father cleaned spitfire aircraft to assist the British war effort against fascism and that Churchill was a racist and that both black & white lads who have served in Britian's latest wars are deprived of television whilst scum in prison enjoy it. Griffin claimed that British generals ought be hanged for warcrimes. I noted in a comment to Steve Bell's cartoon, that the poppy that Griffin is wearing is very wee. No doubt the fascist though better of wearing the usual British Legion version. We may also note he has not opted for the white poppy alternative which pacifists attempt quite unsuccesfully to promote each November.
That video & article :

Might I also in passing mention as I did in my comment to Steve's cartoon, that I really think we should promote the wearing of the purple opium poppy for peace in Afghanistan . OF course if we can't get that together, we could just cheapskate little smack wraps in tinfoil and wear them proudly on our lapels.

But I fear that the likelihood of us doing such a thing is much smaller and abysmally more remote than the idea that the BNP are going to continue to expand. From the netted window of intolerance to the corner of the drawing room telly tube to the 21st century flatscreen.

If you shite in a bag and stamp on it - don't be surprised if you can't get your floor or shoes clean.

The Guardian Steve Bell's cartoon - © steve bell (fair use)
The Guardian Steve Bell's cartoon - © steve bell (fair use)

author by ipsiphi .:. 23publication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 20:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The british parliamentary political editor of the SUN, (a very long job title for a man who fills very little space of that tabloid newspaper) David Wooding has been tweeting from the studio.

His are not the only tweets coming out. But as we all learnt long ago Tweets don't last through the night. We learnt that when the Iranian presidential election turned into the "green movement" and democratic Iranians were getting shot at and sprayed with chemicals on the streets of Tehran and all the embassies took them in with ahem the exception of the Irish embassy who wouldn't take in protesters c/f Why isn't the irish embassy in Iran accepting injured civil rights protesters? Although in fairness the Canadians didn't take in protesters either - but if you read that article you'll learn they had an excuse.

So here's a bit of c/p of his twit shite. It's interesting because although his long job title betrays his lack of work and influence, his newspaper the SUN is the most influential commercial title with the voters the BNP want to win over. We might also note in passing that the SUN has recently abandoned New Labour and in typical fashion announced it in big letters on its front page. More than worrying about who are the members of the BNP (although we should ensure the Race Relations Act is expanded to make sure their members are excluded from teaching, private security and the military and many other sectors as they are now from the police and prison service) are those who will readily fall for Griffin's spiel.

He has not become one the leading articulators of neo-nazism for nothing. He is quite a enemy. & his ability to turn around even the truth is astounding. He's not a fascist, he dad fought them. He's not a racist he wants black lads in his party is how the words come across. but the SUN's man's tweets :-

# Griffin hits back at Straw: "My dad was in the RAF during WW2 and Jack Straw's was in prison as a conscientious objector." More boos #bbcqt13 minutes ago from web
# Cheers for Straw as he tears into Nick Griffin: "We only won WW1 2 bcs we wr joined by millions of black and Asians fm around world" #bbcqt21 minutes ago from web
# Boos from #bbcqt audience as BNP leader Nick Griffin says Churchill was Islamophobic. One woman shouts: "Disgusting."30 minutes ago from web
# Jack Straw's view of BNP leader on #bbcqt - "Nick Griffin is the Dr Strangelove of politics."32 minutes ago from web
# Griffin booed by Question Time audience as he is introduced by Dimbleby and takes seat on the panel. #bbcqtabout 1 hour ago from TwitterBerry

News just in to my message box is that the recording is finished and the contents are now under embargo.

last link is to the twitter account 23 BBCQT bbc = bbc and qt = question time coz there's nothing qt about this. nobody really can explain what 23 is about. you just notice it popping up more than another prime number. Which is cool. We call it subculture or we call it chaos theory. We might even call it apophenia. But don't forget folks If we get headaches at the sight of a 23 then we call it paranoia.

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author by Marc Springpublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 23:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's interesting to compare the BBC's attitude towards the British National Party with their attitude to Shell to Sea. When Willie Corduff was being interviewed by the BBC in Derry, he was specifically warned that he must not mention the words 'Rossport Five'. Freedom of speech for the BNP, while the Shell to Sea guy is silenced. It's even more interesting to compare BBC's with RTE's attitude to Shell to Sea - almost total silence. At least the BBC did interview him.

Get used to this folks, you're going to be seeing a lot more of the BNP - and, in time, their Irish fellow travellers - on the mainstream media.

author by Hmmmmpublication date Fri Oct 23, 2009 00:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

None of this is without planning. This most recent rise in the facist tide is part of a system. An 'enemy within' is the best form of distraction from what is gioing on in the Middle East, keeps the focus on the 'homeland' and a local threat is more frightening than all the terror alerts they can muster.
If they wanted to end it they minutes. It serves a purpose. Saves them from organising distractions themselves....
Invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan is facism at its worst, we condone it with our inaction

author by ipsiphi - ( iosaf )publication date Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I thought after mentioning in a previous comment the tweets from the Sun's Whitehall political editor that the coverage by the SUN tabloid might be interesting. A point I'm trying to make is how the chattering classes see the presence of the BNP on the BBC rather differently to how potential BNP voters might watch Question Time. If indeed potential BNP voters do watch QT and see Mr Dimbleby and Jack Straw in quite the same light and shade as the chattering classes? Quite similarly considering to the chattering classes see the BNP, up close, canvassing and gathering votes as they spin on the streets of their heartlands in the poor and depressed north of England?

I rather suspect we are dealing with differences of perception which for once are not so easily understood or analysed in demographic terms but undoubtedly have socio-economic class considerations.

As we can see from the SUN's banner - & note in passing that not much reading comes into absorbing any message from that tabloid - Griffin is now (& has happily put himself) on the plinth of the "most hated" person in England. It's a plinth which has belonged to many in the past. Without waxing historically, the list has in its time included both the truly evil and depraved such as the Moors murderers, Ian Brady & Myra Hindley and the more exotic Alistair Crowley whose place on the plinth was declared by the Daily Mail at the beginning of the 20th century or even our own illustrious martry Oscar Wilde whose place was granted by the Times at the close of the 19th century.

We may also see that the poppy that Griffin is sporting is no longer the small lapel version that he wore in the earlier small time TV appearance which I mentioned in the article and which you can see by following the link to the article in the "Telegraph" on his comments that british generals ought be hanged.

So in the wake of the news that The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission (the statutory watchdog of the UK Race Relations Act) had "forced" the BNP to alter its constitution to offer membership to "non-white" people (as reported in the article) many people actively wondered what kind of "non-white" people would join. The most likely profile for window dressing would seem to be a "black-ish" (in Berlusconi's infamous sun-tanned Obama sense of "seeing" melanin) ex-serviceman or woman from the British armed forces.

If I look back quickly at those who have occupied the plinth of the "most hated" in British journalism and headlines, I note that none wore a poppy or waved the flag of british soldiers. Indeed one of the aforementioned (Crowley) wrote pro-german propaganda during the WW1.

Perhaps as another commentator has suggested, the British war effort in Afghanistan, Waziristan, Pakistan is a worse fascism when we stand back and see and watch from the vantage point where absolutes become clear. but the fascism of the BNP has given no hint that it opposes imperialism. Amongst the only jobs that people see in the north of England heartlands of the BNP are that of squaddie. Not many of them nurse ambitions to appear on QT.

last link to the SUN's coverage which also thoughtfully provides an online video of excerpts.

millions watched QT but did they all see the same show?
millions watched QT but did they all see the same show?

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author by ipsiphi .:. - iosafpublication date Fri Oct 23, 2009 23:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Between 7 and 8 milion people watched the BBC QT live.

Leaving aside the number question and quibbling about living room capacity and how many brains you can burn in one evening - that's about one to two million more people than died in the Holocaust.

You can watch the programme here on Youtube in three parts so you can consider how you see and how you watch the chattering clases of a redundant political establishment make the mistake of thinking clever talk and polemical staging complete with articulate guests will stop the fascists :-

OF course you can't watch David Irving on the RTE Late Late Show because that's how things go - some telly history counts more than other.

The BNP have claimed that over 3,000 people have registered to join their party because of how their leader was either "set up" or "performed".

That of course ought remind us of the commitment given to the Equality commission that no new members would be accepted till the constitution of the pary is altered if the motion to be tabled by Griffin at its party conference in November is carried.

The BBC received approx 350 complaints from viewers.

240 said the show had been biased against Griffin

110 said the show should not have been broadcast.

the BBC must have been kicking themselves that they couldn't sell advertising.


so what are we left with?

facts :

* nobody goes on telly without getting friends. it's a bit like facebook but a zillion times more efficient.

+ less people will vote in the next British elections because each election sees less people vote.

= more people will vote BNP and that more will count for more because less people vote.

.:. Churchill was a imperialist, racist and white supremacist.

that last point could only come from an Irish pen if we go all ironic, no? But put it this way :-
I was on site when reclaim the streets! occupied parliament square and blindfolded the statue of the father of apartheid and put a mohican of grass on the statue of Churchill and pro-kurdistani graffiti on his plinth. I was there when the cenotaph of bloody poppies was graffitied and to a one the British political establishment and chattering classes lined up to condemn the attack on Churchill, their war memorial to end all wars and even young Tony Blair uttered the words "horse whipped".

We were swept under the carpet & they shat in the bag and stamped on it.

Unless there is immediate legislation across Europe to end neonazi political organisations and resolute prosecution of their fellow travellers (such as the EDL or those neonazis who would have visited Kerry this very day) then the fascists are not only here to stay but on the long curve which will bring them into power.

Fascists are only interested in lasting power.

They don't do QT and they don't do liberal chattering class bollox.

author by imc ukpublication date Sat Oct 24, 2009 00:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

opinion & analysis from UK Indymedia :-

"What entertainment! What a fascinating and gruesome TV spectacle! Griffin the fool on the box! What a ratings boost for ‘Mentorn’ (the private company that runs question time, that’s been begging the BBC for years to have the Griffo freakshow). Yes it was great to see Nick Griffin look ridiculous on TV. He really is an unctuous buffoon. But it was still a bad idea to give him a platform on Question Time. The only mitigating factor was being able to see a huge, angry demonstration by anti-fascists outside the BBC TV centre to show how we all feel. (The woman seen being dragged along the floor still wagging her finger at a copper is my especial hero)."

ahem........ but wasn't he a supremacist!?!?    = are the BNP right & the UK establishment wrong!?!?
ahem........ but wasn't he a supremacist!?!? = are the BNP right & the UK establishment wrong!?!?

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author by IMCistapublication date Sat Oct 24, 2009 09:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thursday the 23rd October saw unprecedented protests outside BBC television centres across the country over the planned appearance of the fascist BNP party leader Nick Griffin on the current affairs programme Question Time. Numbers eclipsed even the protests sparked by the BBC's refusal to air a Gaza aid appeal last January. Crowds gathered to hear the usual speeches and chant the usual slogans, but after a car entered the television centre a large crowd surged forward towards the main gates to be met by police. Soon enough the cops were overpowered and pushed aside with officers climbing over the gates to escape. The gates were forced open, officers on the other side struggling to hold them shut. Seconds later the crowd stormed the gates and headed towards the BBC entrance with dozens of activists entering the building. Protestors were seen being dragged outside by security. As the evening wore on the scene became moody with reports of police using CS gas. Inside the television studio the scene was not much calmer.

I saw a rather succinct review of Question Time: "Griffin came across as a blithering idiot while the other three politicians acted like a bunch of kids fighting over a bag of sweets, Jack Straw seemed to drop most of his sweets on the floor when asked about immigration. Bonnie Greer was hilarious". This about sums up what happened, but here follows a more in depth analysis.........

continue reading the analysis on IMC UK at link

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author by Hmmmmpublication date Sat Oct 24, 2009 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

some people considered the appearence on the BBC to be a watershed for the BNP

I hope he's not right about that.

author by Jan Hammerpublication date Sat Oct 24, 2009 14:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Did anyone see Griffin make an eijit of himself on Friday, when he complained that the audience wasn't "100%" English?
When the interview replied London was a British city, he responsed:

"Its a mongrel city. 200,000 people a year move out from it due to other nationalities.
The audiece should have come from another city.."

London's always been a "mongrel" city. In Roman times there were a number of blacks and Asians living
there (slave or soldiers). There were Jews living there in the middle ages, Chinese,blacks and Indians
in Victorian times. Where did Griffin want the audience to come from? Some remote Yorkshire hamlet?

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Sat Oct 24, 2009 16:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If indeed the BBC told a member of the Rossport Five not to mention the name on an interview, it is an example of reprehensible censorship. With regard to the BNP - would they have secured even more self-righteous kudos if the Beeb had banned them from appearing ? In neither case should the BBC act as censors for the State.

But it is probably correct to say that, in the case of the Rossport Five interview, the Beeb received word from a higher authority. Oil companies especially have become small states unto themselves. So how much protest was there about the censoring of the Rossport Five interview?

author by Burning Manpublication date Sat Oct 24, 2009 20:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The difference is that the BNP operates in the jurisdiction of the BBC, while Rossport happens outside the UK.
THe BNP is the party everybody loves to hate. But enough people voted for them and elected BNP members into office. I believe the people have a right to listen to their elected representatives on BBC or other public service TV networks. Therefore I see nothing wrong with the BBC interviewing them . And if people would have elected members of the Communist Party, Anarchists or the Monster Raving Lunatic Party, then I would support the idea of giving them air space as well.

author by Shop stewardpublication date Mon Oct 26, 2009 00:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

With the greatest of respect, I suggest that iosaf and most subsequent posters (Fred J excepted) are missing the point. Yes, he and his party are fascist and racist. Yes, he was unimpressive, nervous, ill at ease and resorted to facile and ridiculous lines of argument. No, he did not present his party in a favourable light. Yes, he's a deceptive charlatan who has cleverly and tactically retreated from his previous positions of holocaust denial and skin colour based racism. Yes, he's a menace to society and needs to be stopped. So far, so good.

But us folk who read and post on indymedia are not his target audience. Lets consider who might be. Someone, probably male, financially insecure, unhappy with his situation in life and looking for a scapegoat. Probably disillusioned with the political establishment and thinks that bloke Griffin's a bit mad but he might have some good ideas. Perhaps such a man would have seen Griffin as outnumbered, ganged up upon, sneered and looked down at, booed, outcast. Perhaps a bit like himself?

The solution is not to further institutionalise the exclusion of the BNP. Censorship is not the answer. A section 32 type restriction would be manna from heaven for him. As always the answer to a bad argument is a better argument, not suppression of the bad argument. A proper class based anaysis of the reason for the disillusionment of Griffin's target audience is what's needed. "Indiginous" and immigrant workers need to unite and organise in trade unions to change society for the benefit of both.

Griffin will be on tv again. Accept it. He can be exposed by calm rational debate. He has shown himself more than capable of shooting himself in the foot. Both feet actually. Let him at it. No need to make a martyr out of him.

author by iosaf - ( ipsiphi )publication date Mon Oct 26, 2009 05:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

just to answer the last commentator "shop steward".

In my opening paragraph I thought I had made my point clear. I also put it in bold print in the main text body of the article & then in a subsequent comment I used italics to explain the difference between how people see & watch the BNP on any telly program but especially its flagship QT.

I suggest the idea of a new Race Relations Act as part of a move across Europe to common laws proscribing these parties and more importantly those groups that hide under their umbrellas.

It has now emerged that the BNP's lawyer (that busy man Lee Barnes whose work load I touched on in the article) has called on his blog for race riots. It seems Griffin's performance disappointed him. This is not an ordinary political party. Nor is it even an extraordinary party in the way we could argue SF was as it moved at the beginning of censorship from abstentionism and avowed support for armed struggle to participation in political institutions at all levels except the westminister parliament and complete adhesion and co-sponsorship of the peace process as a party to the conflict and thus logically its resolution.

Neither the BNP or its fellow travellers, the EDL, Combat 18 etc., in the UK or its pals across Europe are looking for conflict resolution or peace. They're looking for race riots, stoking hatred and have their sights on power be it local or at wider level to implement policies on no more grounds than scientifically & historically ridiculous notions of race.

author by lulupublication date Tue Oct 27, 2009 21:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

BNP successes are an index of the Brit Government's failure to implement any kind of social housing or socialist policy; clearly Blair & Brown's lot can't be trusted, & people lacking something to follow look to the BNP.
'Purifying' Britain would be as easy & about as constructive as removing the flour from a fruit cake......

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Wed Oct 28, 2009 18:07author address author phone 087.2178138Report this post to the editors

There has always been racism in Ireland, rampant and in-your-face, so taking pot-shots at the BNP is a tad ludicrous. Some of the most racist people on the face of the earth are the second-generation Irish Americans; I am old enough to remember Pakistani students in Dublin making calls to an advertised one-room cell of a flat, only to be turned away ('Sorry, luv, room's just been taken!'), and in fact I wrote and published a short story on the matter. This was thirty-five years back. At the same time, Gay friends of mine were losing their jobs because they were seen coming out of known Dublin Gay pubs. No court actions afterwards, either, just fear and unemployment. Was the racism due to a massive influx of European or African or Pakistani people to this country? Most certainly not. Dublin possessed few of any group save Dubs and country people. The reason was that we Irish have a barely-concealed racist streak and it doesn't take much to nudge it to the surface. Oh, it's not mentioned in 'polite society' and politicians don't dare. But walk in to any country pub and start the conversation going and see what the reaction is; the parish pump will start spewing out the usual bile, all of it starting with 'Now, I've nothing against these lads, but . . . .' The sort of conversation that, in the American South, ended up in a lynching. It frustrates me deeply to read or hear Irish people going for Griffin's throat - not because I appreciate his views, but because we have never properly studied racism in our own country and continue to refuse to do so. The words 'mote' and 'eye' come to mind.

author by ant-fascistpublication date Wed Oct 28, 2009 18:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But the BNP are more than racists, they are Nazis. They would exterminate all ethnic minorities just as Hitler did the Jews. They would kill trade unionists, socialists, liberals, artists, Moslems gays and lesbians. The BNP want Auschwitz, they want Treblinka.

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author by ipsiphi - (iosaf)publication date Wed Oct 28, 2009 19:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish dimension came into the BBC QT session which formed the immediate chronological backdrop of this article in which I called for an updating of the Race Relations Act of the UK and a European wide to proscribe racist political parties and illegalise those groups who hide under their umbrellas. Most people who have watched the documentary will have caught the one reference to Sinn Fein and the other reference to the IRA. Many would not have wondered at the longer selective mention of the legacy of Enoch Powell after his name was mentioned by one of the audience. The panel touched on his "rivers of blood speech" and then one (watch the video if you can't remember which one) thought to point out that Powell had ironically worked a few years before that speech to invite Asians to work in the medical sector in Britain.

Powell finished his political career in Ulster where after leaving the Conservative party of Britain he was welcomed by the Ulster Unionist party and upon its split continued to sit with the Official Unionist Party.

I'm may not be as old as Fred, but I'm sure the racism of Irish society has entered my creative fiction & that may be in part due to the fact that I am older than many readers. Perhaps I belong to the generation between Fred who presumedly would have had a hard time finding a B&B had he navvied in London and our youngest who most probably won't remember Powell, his moustache and pin stripe suit. I did though grow up in a relatively cosmopolitan environment in Irish terms & my friends enjoyed affectionate names like "jaffa" and "jew" and one chap I knew was such a hoot because despite having a thoroughly Irish surname and identifiable Dublin accent had properly black skin. He got on telly for it. More than a few howls of laughter from shows like Fr Ted to others at the bizarre idea that not only were there protestants (& more than CofI, presbytarians but also christian scientists, quakers, methodists & jews in our midst - but there were more exotic people who espoused humanism and wore bow ties and went on the Late Late show to rubbish all that made Eire different). Of course we had had muslims as long as the Royal College of Surgeons offered decent qualifications in medicine at a price to foreigners which lasted two years less than any other comparable outfit.

Oh how things have changed.

We now talk about racism all the time. We know there are nazis in our midst & we know that situation is not improving on either side of border & we know that the same factors which cause the BNP to gain votes or the political establishment to "steal its clothes" could happen here. For surely none are so young or so senile in dotage, that they do not remember Michael Mc Dowell.

back before there were any black gardaí like or any polish in the PSNI.

It is not enough to talk about racism. It is not enough to move proactively to end it most succesfully in the next generations. It wouldn't even be enough to make sure all the right bits of legislation on racism and the work options open to racists and nazis were passed through the Dail.

But as things stand, the Garda Siochana vetting procedures (which are not transparent or accountable) do not seem to have prevented known associates of transnational European nazi groups from entering private security firms. Nor do we have any mechanism to ensure they do not teach our kids at school, guard or prisoners, join the Gardaí.

Yep. that wouldn't be enough.

but it's another step on the way to stopping them.

you shall be vetted for the best jobs - how? & by whom? Does Irish racism legislation protect all of us?
you shall be vetted for the best jobs - how? & by whom? Does Irish racism legislation protect all of us?

author by lulupublication date Fri Oct 30, 2009 08:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I believe that the number killed in the Nazi Holocaust was 'in the region' of 20's assessed as c. 6 million Jewish people, unknown numbers of Gypsies, Slavs, mentally & physically disabled, Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, & anyone who dared oppose the name it.

author by iosafpublication date Fri Oct 30, 2009 13:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I appreciate the last comment which reminds us that 6,000,000 that rounded figure which gets quibbled so much by the neoNazi's is quite reasonably an underestimate of those who were killed by the Nazi Holocaust.

However, my starting point with the nazi Holocaust, the Shoah and fascist victimisation between 1933 and 1945 is slightly different.

Firstly I don't believe the war ended on one day. As I wrote in a back article " the end of WW2 was not a case of ice cream and bunting all round". There were millions of displaced persons in Europe and millions of soldiers who quite simply didn't want to be or had no reason to be where they were on the last day of WW2. France had no sooner celebrated victory in Europe day then their army massacred tens of thousands of Algerians.

Secondly the Holocaust is not a simple matter of its "final solution". It began with the implementation of laws which all found historical precedent in Europe. Many of these laws are those which the BNP and its fellow travellers today would like to see again.

Ordinary people were systematically stripped of their civil and human rights.

They were denied employment.
They were denied the opportunity to use their educational qualifications.
They were denied the right to marry who they wished.
They were denied the right to move and live where they wished.
They were denied the right to trade.
They were obliged to wear identifying marks.
They were systematically and routinely brutalised.

Then many millions were detained without due process and seperated from the families.

Many uncounted millions were kept on starvation rations and denied clothing.

Many uncounted millions were put to slave labour.

Many untold numbers were subject to experimentation.

& then we get the gas, the ovens the final solution numbers.

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