The BNP, lets stop them together

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2existis2resist
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Apr 23 2007 10:28
The BNP, lets stop them together

In Hereford there suddenly appears to be a BNP presence, although we are tracking them we need more help to combat their racial hatred and quasi-democratic tones. If anyone has any info as to other wards where they are standing or want to help then please contact me.
we can only stop them by being organised, although they are dragging people from other counties there is a sizable presence and they need defeating, not at the ballot but on the streets.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Apr 23 2007 20:43

you can get the full list of candidates from the bnp's website, which will also have vague details of meetings and events in youre area.

If you want to defeat the bnp on the streets youre going to have to get out in the communities that theyre organising in, start distributing class struggle based anti-fascist literature that doesnt just rant on about the "evil nazis" but disusses issues that affect the people in those areas and offer class based solutions to those problems, youve got to debunk the myth that immigrants and a lack discipline and coppers are the root of the problems we face on a daily basis and offer real solutions or ideas on how to achieve real solutions. Basically promoting class solidarity against the bnps divisive, race orientated propaganda.

Just out of interest how does your pacifism sit with defeating the fash on the streets?

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sum-one
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Jul 20 2009 16:56

There is currently some good work being done against the local rag-tag BNP outfit.

Working class community action & anti-fascist group who produce Hereford Heckler: www.herefordheckler.wordpress.com

Hereford Antifa can also be contacted here: antifahereford[at]safe-mail.net.

red n black star

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Joseph Kay
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May 3 2009 21:46

i'm going to be in hereford in a couple of weeks. if any libcommers there fancy a pint drop me a pm and we'll sort something out.

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sum-one
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May 4 2009 12:26

Think there is only one, wink . I am about to facebook you.

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buena_exposiva
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Jun 22 2009 21:03

I kinda live nearby that area and its clear to me BNP are on the rise, i heard neighbours discussing if they should vote them sad

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sum-one
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Jun 25 2009 10:55

Which area do you live near buena_exposiva? Hereford?

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buena_exposiva
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Jun 25 2009 13:43

Well I live in the region but not in Herefordshire.

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sum-one
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Jun 25 2009 17:53

Ok fair enough. They seem to have shown a rise in surrounding places, but not too much in the Shire itself to be honest. Due to a number of reasons wink .

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buena_exposiva
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Jun 25 2009 22:08

I was going to ask you to name the reasons as well wink Its obviously a national thing the BNP being on the rise but at the end of the day I think most people in this country know how scummy the BNP are.

slothjabber
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Jun 26 2009 12:55

I'm not sure about this. The figures I've seen (not seen the totals for the whole country) were suggesting that though the percentage was up, the actual numbers were down in a lot of places. So while lots of people were not voting, the BNP was marginally better at getting its voters to turn out than some other parties.

On the other hand, I tend to believe that there's more racism in Britain than people seem willing to admit. All the pundits who claim "well the British electorate isn't really racist" I think are... liars basically. Or extremely naive. There are a lot of people who don't like the idea of "them" (Poles, Albanians, Gypsies, Moslems, Jews, Blacks, Asians, Irish... take your pick) "coming over here and living of benefits" and all that shit.

An anecdote; I live in a city (Leicester, the first city in which "white British" will be a minority... roll on 2020, I say), but used to work in a sattelite town, and had to go through a small village every day to reach work. There were a lot of St George's crosses in people's windows there. Football? Maybe. There were also two kinds of people that got off the bus there. Well dressed old ladies in twinsets who read the Daily Mail, and young men with sheven heads and Harrington jackets. Which of those groups do you reckon is more racist and likely to vote BNP?

It's a trick question. They both vote BNP. We all know the Tories and UKIP are 'soft' on immigration, don't we? They even have Asians standing for election...

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Jun 26 2009 16:48
slothjabber wrote:
I'm not sure about this. The figures I've seen (not seen the totals for the whole country) were suggesting that though the percentage was up, the actual numbers were down in a lot of places. So while lots of people were not voting, the BNP was marginally better at getting its voters to turn out than some other parties.

On the other hand, I tend to believe that there's more racism in Britain than people seem willing to admit. All the pundits who claim "well the British electorate isn't really racist" I think are... liars basically. Or extremely naive. There are a lot of people who don't like the idea of "them" (Poles, Albanians, Gypsies, Moslems, Jews, Blacks, Asians, Irish... take your pick) "coming over here and living of benefits" and all that shit.

An anecdote; I live in a city (Leicester, the first city in which "white British" will be a minority... roll on 2020, I say), but used to work in a sattelite town, and had to go through a small village every day to reach work. There were a lot of St George's crosses in people's windows there. Football? Maybe. There were also two kinds of people that got off the bus there. Well dressed old ladies in twinsets who read the Daily Mail, and young men with sheven heads and Harrington jackets.

To be fair, that sounds like a fair description of a lot of AF, and probably SF as well. tongue

slothjabber
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Jun 26 2009 16:59

Anarcho skins are scruffier than fascist skins in my experience. And they wear glasses more often. And they don't have small union flags on the sleeves of their jackets... but I get the point. Not every skin is a nazi skin.

Just the ones who live in houses with St George's flags in the windows, with Daily Mail reading grannies who live in the village that the BNP's youth organiser was from...

Eastern Barbarian
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Jun 26 2009 17:35

I beg your pardon, I am not scruffy at all! smile

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oisleep
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Jun 26 2009 17:35
Quote:
The figures I've seen (not seen the totals for the whole country) were suggesting that though the percentage was up, the actual numbers were down in a lot of places

up 17% nationally, from 808,00 in 2004 euro elections to 944,00 in 2009

Quote:
It's a trick question. They both vote BNP. We all know the Tories and UKIP are 'soft' on immigration, don't we? They even have Asians standing for election...

this analysis seems to suggest that BNP are picking up their support from disaffected potential Tory & UKIP voters? a cursory look at most areas where the BNP have picked up support over the last few years shows most of it comes from previously strong labour areas, and the success of the filling the vacuum policy of the BNP (the dangers of which the IWCA flagged over 15 years ago) is now pretty much an accepted mainstream view, so if you think you're going to combat the rise of the BNP by focussing on the types of people you refer to then you're onto a loser from the get go

slothjabber
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Jun 28 2009 10:47

Apologies to Eastern Barbarian, I'm sure that there are some very well-dressed Anarchist skinheads, I didn't in any way mean to imply I have any reason to believe that your sartorial elegance is anything less than immaculate. I bet you're reading this wearing a tie, aren't you? wink

Oisleep, I'm really not explaining my points very well. Firstly, thanks for providing the figures. So there has been an increase in BNP votes; still, in some places the BNP vote has actually declined in terms of absolute numbers. Yes, they've made significant gains in Labour heartlands. But are these primarily Labour-BNP switches, or has everyone taken a step to the right?

Certainly, the likelihood is that there are a small number of people moving from Labour to the BNP, but what sort of cognitive dissonance would that take? We know Labour and the BNP aren't that far apart, but we wouldn't vote Labour anyway. If you believe that democracy is meaningful, then you probably also believe that different parties represent radically different policies and agendas. Otherwise, how would voting make any difference?

So it doesn't seem credible to me that there are large numbers of people who switch from Labour to the BNP. And therefore it seems more likely that in some places the BNP (eg the North West) are picking up votes that in other places (eg the South East) might go to UKIP - Little Englanders, basically. I don't really know who 'dissafected UKIP voters' are, I think of UKIP voters as being dissaffected Tory voters. I don't think UKIP is a real party. I could be wrong, but to me they're a Tory ginger/fringe/split group. Ultimately I think they'll be pulled apart between the Tories and BNP.

And I'm honestly I'm not saying that we should combat the BNP by focussing on fascist skins and Daily Mail-reading grannies. That really wasn't my point. Fascism, neo-fascism and all other sorts of nationalist and racist ideology can only be defeated through overthrowing capitalism. And you don't do that by focussing on the politics on grannies. My point was that even on the outskirts of a really multi-racial city, with spectacularly good race relations and little sign of the divided community mentality that seems to plague Lancashire and West Yorkshire (and which must I'm sure be something which fuels the BNP in those places), there are still 'extreme' English nationalists.

So I don't think the situation is as simple as saying "Labour voters have switched to the BNP". I think the situation is more complex than that. But I don't think the idea that voting for the BNP is generally a "protest vote by people who aren't really racist" holds much water either. I think there are a lot of racists out there. Not necessarily people who would themselves burn down the houses of their Asian neighbours, but people who wouldn't condemn others too harshly for doing so, who'd be prepared to go along with and justify it.

Nationalism is an ideological poison that is deep in our system. We have to recognise that most people do identify with "England" or "Britain" or even "Yorkshire" (or wherever) as some sort of meaningful entity. We may know it's all bollocks, but the idea that "we're from here (and by implication you're not)" is one that is instilled from an early age. I can't see it ending while capitalism remains, because capitalism thrives on and creates divisions between people.

So... in short: we fight fascism by fighting capitalism. One method we discussed on another thread was pointing out that the BNP's policies were in continuity with Labour's; this a) stops the BNP looking like a radical alternative for the disaffected; b) points out that Labour's policies are racist for those who support them as the humane face of capitalism.

Anyway; I feel the point ebbing away from me. Hope some of that makes more sense than it did before.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jun 30 2009 14:20
slothjabber wrote:

On the other hand, I tend to believe that there's more racism in Britain than people seem willing to admit. All the pundits who claim "well the British electorate isn't really racist" I think are... liars basically. Or extremely naive. There are a lot of people who don't like the idea of "them" (Poles, Albanians, Gypsies, Moslems, Jews, Blacks, Asians, Irish... take your pick) "coming over here and living of benefits" and all that shit.

I don't think people are convinced to vote bnp through racism per se, of course there are racists who vote bnp like there are fascists but most probably aren't racist. The more likely explanation is that they think the bnp will actually protect the interest of british workers, they believe the bnp's spina nd they like some of the left leaning rhetoric that the party laces some of it's policies with. Unfortunately we live in a country where there aren't the services to accomodate the population, there isn't the necessary supply of affordable housing, the health service is under great strain and jobs are being slashed along with real wages. In this environment the far-right will often prosper. It's very easy for the likes of the bnp to paint a picture of a scapegoat, in this case migrant workers, who have "come over here and stole our jobs". Of course this isn't the reality, but migrant workers have been used my employers to lower wages and pit workers against each other.

Like oisleep said there is a massive vacuum in politics that the bnp are starting to occupy. Labour have so long abandonned their traditional voters that even the most ardent of labour supporters are sceptical of the notion that labour represents the working class. Unless this gap is filled with working class organisations then it is free ground for the bnp to flourish. I think the IWCA put out a good article a couple of weeks ago which described the situation very well. I personally don't ascribe to the idea that we should be wasting our time banging our heads against the parliamentary brick wall, but nor do i believe that going around calling bnp voters nazi's and racists is going to improve the situation.

Sum-one, good to hear things have finally got off the ground in Hereford!

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sum-one
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Jul 4 2009 18:55

To add to the further derailment of the thread. As far as my evidence proves, anti-fascist or Anarcho skins are sooooo much smarter looking than boneheads. They have 0 fashion sense, bomber jackets lots of Blood and Honour badges and bleached jeans anyone? No thanks. All the anti-fascist skins I've come across have looked clean cut, and have been wearing some pretty stylish clobber.
I would post picture evidence, but on a public forum that would be stupid. groucho

slothjabber
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Jul 6 2009 21:37

The sartorial elegance of fash or anti-fash aside, I think the idea that the 'political void' that Labour have left among their 'traditional supporters' that will be filled by the BNP, is a red herring. Maybe a red-white-and-blue herring.

Seems to me there are two aspects to this:
1 - the BNP is being used to rally support for other parties: "vote for anyone, as long as it's not the BNP... we don't care, just vote!" - this is the cry of a bourgeoisie desperate to get people 're-connected' with politics (ie developing illusions in 'democracy'); and
2 - the idea that the BNP is a protest vote... "Labour has sold out and abandoned the (white) working class..." - see what I did there? I snuckerised the word "white" in there, and what to some might seem reasonable suddenly becomes an explicitly racist statement.

There is a two pronged attack on the consciousness of the working class as an international class, as a class-for-itself, and we must beware of being part of that attack.
1 - fascism is not worse than capitalism because fascism is capitalism. It is a tactic that the bourgeoisie will use if it can and if it needs to; but democracy and fascism are two sides of the same capitalist coin. We can only defeat one with the defeat of the other, and the whole systetm that underpins them;
2 - Labour abandoned the working class when they conscipted the working class for British capitalism against German capitalism 95 years ago (perhaps they actually abandoned them before that even, but I think 1914 is pretty definitive myself).

On the other hand, I don't think we should kid ourselves. There are a lot of people who think it's acceptable to be a racist. Some of them don't even seem to think about it. They're not all boot-boys, by any means. Are we going to batter them all? Hardly. We're only going to beat them by organising and confronting their ideologies. And that includes an attack on all forms of nationalism (ie bourgeois politiccs as a whole) not just the overtly racist ones.

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Jul 7 2009 15:55
slothjabber wrote:
The sartorial elegance of fash or anti-fash aside, I think the idea that the 'political void' that Labour have left among their 'traditional supporters' that will be filled by the BNP, is a red herring. Maybe a red-white-and-blue herring.

Seems to me there are two aspects to this:
1 - the BNP is being used to rally support for other parties: "vote for anyone, as long as it's not the BNP... we don't care, just vote!" - this is the cry of a bourgeoisie desperate to get people 're-connected' with politics (ie developing illusions in 'democracy'); and

This is true, but I don't think it's directly connected to the argument that the BNP's growth is a result of Labour's failure. In my experience, the kind of hacks who'll try and persuade you to vote Labour out of anti-fascism don't usually do it by saying "hey, we're so shit that we've managed to make the fash look acceptable by comparison, so that's why you should vote for us." If there was a plausible leftist recuperator party around, I could see them pitching that argument, but both Respect and No2EU are far too knackered and useless ot play that role.

Quote:
2 - the idea that the BNP is a protest vote... "Labour has sold out and abandoned the (white) working class..." - see what I did there? I snuckerised the word "white" in there, and what to some might seem reasonable suddenly becomes an explicitly racist statement.

See, other than the problems you note below about the word abandoned, I still think that it's a reasonable statement. Labour has (inevitably) failed the white working class. It's also true that Labour has failed the black and Asian working class, who are notably less likely to express their discontent by voting BNP, but that doesn't change the fact that white working-class people are discontented, and are right to be so.

Quote:
There is a two pronged attack on the consciousness of the working class as an international class, as a class-for-itself, and we must beware of being part of that attack.
1 - fascism is not worse than capitalism because fascism is capitalism. It is a tactic that the bourgeoisie will use if it can and if it needs to; but democracy and fascism are two sides of the same capitalist coin. We can only defeat one with the defeat of the other, and the whole systetm that underpins them;

See, I totally accept this argument at an abstract theoretical level, but on a concrete level I'm not convinced by it. Yes, fascism is one form of bourgeois rule, but under the "liberal" form of capitalism I can go to a publicly-advertised anarchist (or whatever) meeting relatively confident that it won't be broken up by the secret police coming in and kicking me in the balls and knocking my teeth out; with the fascist form of capitalism you don't get that. None of this means that liberal capitalism isn't shit, and doesn't need to be defeated, but I have to admit that I do really like having my teeth.

Quote:
2 - Labour abandoned the working class when they conscipted the working class for British capitalism against German capitalism 95 years ago (perhaps they actually abandoned them before that even, but I think 1914 is pretty definitive myself).

True. But I think it is possible to make a case that it's only recently that the gap between reality and what you might call the false consciousness ( wink or whatever other term you want to use for a really shit idea) of Labourism became so wide and apparent as to be unsustainable for a large section of former Labourites. Old Labour never represented the interests of the working class, but it pretended to do so, and apparently managed to convince a fair number of people by doing so; New Labour doesn't make that pretence.

slothjabber
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Jul 8 2009 10:24

I think agree that having teeth while being exploited is better than not having teeth while being exploited (but there is an element of 'lesser evil' in there), but I don't think that the bourgeoisie as a whole needs a 'plausible leftist recuperator party' (great phrase by the way). What the bourgeoisie wants is adherence to the idea of democracy. Once that's established, then the question becomes "who can I choose?", rather than "is this a real choice?. Scaring parts of the electorate with the threat of fascism (winning elections, an irony in itself) is enough to get some people rallying round any of the other parties. Job done for the bourgeoisie.

However: I really disagree that "Labour has abandoned the working class" and "Labour has abandoned the white working class" are even on the same planet of meaning.

"Labour has abandoned the working class" implies that Labour once stood for the interests of the working class, but now doesn't. I think the first part of that is debatable, but frankly I don't care overmuch. Whether one's view is that the foundation of the Labour Party was a positive thing, but Labour then betrayed the working class, or the foundation of the Labour Party was inevitably going to end in betrayal, I don't think ultimately it matters. We agree that Labour now (and probably for some considerable time, if ever) does not represent the working class.

"Labour has abandoned the white working class" implies 1 - that there is a 'white working class' that is somehow seperate to the 'black working class', the 'Chinese working class', the 'Asian working class', and any other ethnic or racial labels of working class you care to name - I don't think that's true; 2 - either that Labour favours the 'other' ethnic/racial categories of the working class above the 'white working class' - I don't think that's true; 3 - or that after it ceased to be (if it ever was) a party of the 'other' categories of the working class, Labour still supported the 'white working class' - I don't think that's true either.

So there is practically no interpretaion, or even part, of the sentence I agree with, if it has the word 'white' in it.

The notion that 'Old Labour' convinced people it represented working class interests, but, by implication, 'New Labour' hasn't, is also problematic. Who gave New Labour their (historic and unprecedented) 3 election victories, with in 1997 a massive landslide, if not working people with illusions in Labour? It wasn't the bourgeoisie in the voting booths (well, it was, but there aren't enough bourgeois in the country to cast that many votes). It was working people who thought that a vote for Labour was better than a vote for the Tories (lesser evil again). Labour votes under Blair were higher than in 1970 or any time since, in fact a quick check shows me that Blair's vote in 1997 was the highest Labour vote (13.5 million) since 1951 (13.9 million).

So if it's true that Old Labour convinced working people it represented them, and New Labour didn't, that means that the working class shed its illusions in Old Labour nearly 60 years ago (in which case, the age of those who'd be likely to fall for "Old Labour used to represent the working class..." would be likely to be 'over 78' - I don't believe it's true, but if it is I'd think the effect would be statistically negligible) and also, the Thatcher years actually did create whole new swathes of capitalists (millions of them) who are voting New Labour (I don't think that's true either).

So the whole argument that the BNP is appealing to Old Labourites because New Labour has gone too Thatcherite and abandoned its traditional supporters (and therefore, what it should do is go Old Labour and fill the role of a 'plausible leftist recuperator party', surely?) is both wrong-headed and dangerous, in my opinion.

Caiman del Barrio
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Jul 8 2009 17:03
slothjabber wrote:
There were a lot of St George's crosses in people's windows there. Football? Maybe. There were also two kinds of people that got off the bus there. Well dressed old ladies in twinsets who read the Daily Mail, and young men with sheven heads and Harrington jackets. Which of those groups do you reckon is more racist and likely to vote BNP?

It's a trick question. They both vote BNP. We all know the Tories and UKIP are 'soft' on immigration, don't we? They even have Asians standing for election...

What a bizarre post. Half of the student anarchists I know have shaved heads and 2/3-3/4 own Harringtons. Moreover, your point is confused and convoluted: the entire mainstream press (including the Mail) has attacked the BNP viciously (in a contradictory and haphazard fashion of course, which has aided Griffin somewhat by pointing this out). Plenty of old-fashioned racists (such as my grandparents, who haven't 'forgiven' Russians, Germans, Arabs or black people yet for history) would never vote BNP.

slothjabber
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Jul 8 2009 20:59

Really? What's bizarre about it?

What you seem to be saying is that because you know anarcho skins, then fascist skins aren't really fascist skins. Even if, and I made this clear in the post following the one that you quote, their Harringtons have Union Flags on them, their houses fly St George's Crosses, and one of them was the BNP's youth organiser (and stood for election for the BNP in 2002 I believe, possibly since then too).

And of course you also seem to be saying that people who read the Daily Mail wouldn't vote BNP. Well, there are enough other parties out there that blame everything on Albanian Gypsy dole-scrounging lesbian junkie single mothers, it's true that Daily Mail readers don't have to vote BNP. But you seem to be claiming they can't. Which isn't true, or even an understandable mistake. It's just... nonsense.

Also, you're saying that although there is a deep layer of racism in Britain (which I agree with), you think that these are not the people who are voting BNP, an explicitly racist party; a position which I'll throw back at you as bizarre, confused and convoluted. If the racists (that we both agree are out there) are not voting for the BNP, then who are all these people who are flocking to the BNP (given the figures that oisleep quoted and I see no reason to disagree with) - are these anti-racists voting BNP? I don't get your point, really.