As you may know, there’s an election on and I’ve just received a massive pack of election communications through my door. Unfortunately amongst these was one for the BNP (oddly hidden inside one of the other leaflets, indicating that this was their one free Election Commission mailout.) I felt dirty just touching the thing.
The fact is of course that they have no chance of getting anywhere in Scotland, but they try: commendably the parents of Kriss Donald told Griffin and co. exactly where they could stick their anti-Asian propaganda when they tried to hijack their tragedy, and hardly anyone up here has ever voted for them.
But what of the leaflet? Well, it’s typical BNP propaganda. Home printer quality, twenty years outdated styling, crap about how they’re Scotland’s “fastest growing political party” (maybe from two members to four), grammar errors, almost all in bold fonts, randomly changing font sizes, self-aggrandisation (“likely to be elected to Holyrood” my arse) and much reference to the BNP national 0870 number (whilst printing their Scottish phone number in very small print elsewhere).
Interestingly, the amateurishness of the design of the one-sheet is in itself an indication of why the BNP will probably never have any serious power – it’s aimed at the true believers rather than Mr and Mrs. Nimby, which would be the most dangerous demographic for a group of fascists to get hold of. Le Pen and many others of the like are experts at dog-whistling, the art of saying something that sounds innocuous and “safe” to the ears of someone not attuned to the code whilst being a call to arms to anyone clued in – a good example is the phrase “international bankers” in the context of world domination (meaning of course “Jews”). The thing is, most British die-hard fascists are of the sort that the dog-whistle codes basically have to be spelled out in very big letters, which makes their true nature obvious to all those except the exceedingly dense.
And what of the policy? The usual bullshit: a combination of racism, philistinism and populism. There’s the usual bashing of the “flood” of “immigrants from the EU” (it’s only 32,000 in a 5m population, excluding the self-employed, mostly in the service sector) who apparently in their tiny minds “squeeze” jobs out of locals and “push down” wages. The Poles and so on come here and generally end up getting pushed into menial jobs that no Scots actually want to do; are usually paid minimum wage; work entirely legally so contributing to our economy in NI, income tax, rent, food purchase and so on just like anyone else; plus unlike a lot of young Scots they actually want to be here. For one, I welcome them.
(What’s funny about Pole-bashing is that not only are Poles white, which should normally make them very amenable, Poland has a number of political groups which would be the BNP’s best mates if they ever got any European power – Wiki “League of Polish Families” and “All-Polish Youth” sometime. By the way, Googling for “Polish immigration Scotland statistics” gets you a neo-Nazi news aggregator as the top hit right now and a sane Times blog article with the real story at #7. Ugh. Hint hint.)
And then there’s their other policies. Motoring and police policy ripped straight from the populist “stop persecuting motorists” and “filling in paperwork” handbook. “Discipline” and “traditional teaching methods” (read corporal punishment and rote-learning) in education over “trendy PC nonsense” like actual learning. Bollocks about protecting companies (“and employees”, ooh sinister) from foreign imports. Some trad-socialist policies dressed up in fascist clothing: council housing in particular. No mention of course of some of the BNP’s more dodgy policies – oddly even their usual Muslim-baiting is absent from this one, obviously they think the Poles are a more acceptable target up here – plus no references to Nick Griffin or even the Scottish leader. Can’t imagine why.
What do I think of it? Well, put it this way, I’ve already ripped it up and stuck it in the recycler along with the rest of my political junk mail, a place where it can at least go on to hopefully do something useful. You can’t be too careful, but I think the evil has been pretty much vanquished for now.
If you’re interested, please do do read Unity’s very detailed deconstruction of a different, English piece of election slime. More is definitely better here.