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Sunday, 17 October 2010

Reflections on British Nationalism and the Foundation of the British Freedom Party: Part 1

Following months of rancour within the BNP, a group of reformists has announced the creation of the British Freedom Party (BFP). Its founding has been precipitated by their failure to effectively challenge Nick Griffin’s hold on the leadership of the party and to introduce mechanisms for the democratic formulation of party policy and the appointment of key personnel. Furthermore, there were questions connected to a lack of transparency relating to party accounts and allegations of an absence of financial probity at the top of the party.

Thus, the imperative for the emergence of the new party was not ideological, but procedural. The BFP is therefore presumably what its founders would have liked the BNP to have become had the Nick Griffin/Jim Dowson clique either stepped down or been dislodged. That said, one of the leading voices amongst the BFP is Lee Barnes, the BNP’s former ‘legal eagle’, who fell out with Griffin then swiftly fell in with the reformist camp led by Eddy Butler who sought to challenge Griffin for the party leadership. Being a prolific blogger and commentator on nationalist forums, Barnes has to date been the main source of information about the BFP and its ideological stance. For Barnes, the BFP is not a party founded upon racial nationalism, ethno-nationalism or civic nationalism, but upon cultural nationalism. In effect, this is a beefed-up civic nationalism with a greater emphasis upon the cultural assimilation of the immigrant population.

The objectives of the BFP published on the Advanced Ape blog are certainly ones to which I subscribe:
The objects of the Party shall exist to defend and restore the freedoms, traditions, unity, identity, democracy and independence of the British people, to establish full sovereignty over all our national affairs by restoring the supremacy of the British Parliament, to withdraw from the European Union, to promote democratic British nationalist principles, to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural interests of the British people and to preserve and promote the ancestral rights and liberties of the British people as enshrined in the British Constitution.
The BFP now enters a crowded field of parties touting for the nationalist vote, for besides the BNP there are also UKIP, the English Democrats, the National Front (NF) and the England First Party (EFP). There are probably other miniscule groupings that I have not mentioned, but if I’ve not heard of them, you can guarantee that they certainly will not make a breakthrough. Besides these, we have the anti-Islamisation street movement of the English Defence League (EDL). None, in my opinion, possess the right mix of policies, objectives and organisation to be able to make a mainstream breakthrough at the current time. All lack credibility. What is equally clear is that there has never been a greater need for a moderate nationalist party to break through into the mainstream. Before proceeding to outline why, it will first be necessary to clarify my terms.

Why Nationalism? What is Nationalism?
I recognise that my reasons for favouring nationalism will not be shared by many others who describe themselves as nationalists, and this of course grows out of the fact that what is meant by the term ‘nationalism’ is hotly disputed and possesses a wide variety of definitions. So, before venturing further I shall provide a definition of what I consider to be a ‘nation’ (as those of you familiar with theoretical writings on this subject will note, my position shares a great deal with that of A.D. Smith), but given the limited scope of this piece I shall at this stage neither go into great depth nor provide bibliographic citations in line with standard academic practice as used in the Harvard System.

An ethnie is a group defined by a combination of common biological descent, common culture and common history. These are the preconditions upon which a collective ethnic sentiment is forged and rests; without these, there can be no distinct ‘we’. A nation is a politically mobilised ethnie that is either in possession of a state, is actively seeking statehood, or has lost statehood and is seeking its restoration. Mobilisation thus proceeds upon the basis of securing the interests (however they may be defined) of the nation as a whole. Nationalism therefore represents the purest form of democratic politics, for the nation and the demos and their interests are identified as one. Without seeking to further the interests of the nation, politicians of whatever stated hue are acting against the well-being of the demos, and are thus by definition anti-democrats. Politicians and journalists who act against the interests of the nation use pejorative terms such as ‘populism’ and ‘demagoguery’ to stigmatise the genuine articulation of the people’s interests and opinions by anti-oligarchic rivals.

Nationalism therefore, is nothing more than the political pursuit of the well-being of the members of a given nation. It is the purest expression of democratic principles and thus stands opposed to oligarchy and globalism. Thus, unlike what its leftist detractors claim, nationalism is not an ideology of ‘hate’; nationalism is not ‘xenophobic’; nationalism is not synonymous with imperialism (in fact, genuine nationalists deplore imperialism for they recognise the rights of other nations to self-determination and free political expression) and nationalism is not ‘racist’. Nationalism defines itself in a positive fashion by pursuing what is best for the people collectively, not through seeking conflict with other nations.

Nationalism seeks to liberate the potential of all members of the nation, not of any one class or special interest group. This is why those on the Left detest nationalism, for they are wedded to the belief that international class identities trump all others, and that nations should be ‘smashed’ to usher in their Socialist or Communist Millennium. Nationalism stands for pluralism and true diversity, whereas the visions of leftists and capitalist globalists seek a totalitarian uniformity.

I therefore define myself as a nationalist because I wish to see the best for the members my nation collectively; the nation provides the best context in which individuals can flourish and reach their full potential. I wish to see other peoples also concern themselves with building better lives and futures for their own nations. Nationalism represents the best path for the whole of humanity, and does not in and of itself lead to conflict.

Nationalism is not imperialism. Nationalism is not fascism. Nationalism is not Nazism. Nationalism does not entail ethnic cleansing. Nationalism is democracy in action. Nationalism promotes the conservation of resources and the environment. Nationalism is diversity.

Globalism generates hate. Globalism generates conflict. Globalism facilitates economic imperialism. Globalism is oligarchy in action. Globalism promotes the degradation of resources and the environment. Globalism is uniformity.

Which Nation is Mine?
For all of the above reasons I am a nationalist, but of what type? I am English. In those three words there is much significance, for although I also see myself as British, as European and more widely (moving into the realm of ideological belonging) a Westerner and a rationalist, the ‘English’ element denotes what I consider to be my nationality. Strangely though, although the English are arguably one of the oldest nations, they do not currently possess a statehood of their own, being instead cemented into the UK and the EU. Within the UK the Scots, the Welsh and the Unionist and Republican populations of Ulster all possess their own distinct forms of in-group ethnic sentiment as well as political expression in their own assemblies and, in the Scottish case, Parliament. The English on the other hand, have to make do with Westminster which of course represents the whole of the UK. In this respect therefore, the English can technically be said to lack a political existence as a nation.

Devolution has created a situation in which distinct political dynamics have been established in Scotland and to a lesser extent Wales (the situation in Ulster has always been different), which mean that they increasingly see themselves as separate from England. They also have their own ostensible nationalist parties in the form of the SNP and Plaid Cymru, which are in reality defined exclusively through opposition to England and the English because otherwise they embrace multiculturalism and do not therefore behave in the manner of true nationalist parties. The launch of a British rather than an English Freedom Party thus seems to me to be a tactical mistake. England has borne the brunt of mass immigration, multiculturalism and Islamisation, and it is in England that there exists the greatest pent up demand for a true national democratic party. An English Freedom Party could still be a unionist party, but, any continuation of the United Kingdom needs to be one that is ratified by its composite nations and, irrespective of its outcome, England needs a parliament of its own.


  1. If you're interested, Duro, I can provide you with a copy of British Freedom's constitution. Drop me a line via the contact form on my site.

  2. Interesting piece, very well written. Briefly, although I wish the new party all the best and I hope to be proved wrong I have concerns. First of all, Lee Barnes can be incredibly abrasive in his responses to anyone who disagrees with him, even slightly. Calling people who ask for clarification 'muppets' and 'idiots' is quite simply very bad politics. A new nationalist party isn't a boys club, its completely irrelevent whether or not the top brass like 'us' or not. Surely the most important thing is that we like and believe in them? Its hardly very complicated. From what I have read so far Lee Barnes should not be the mouthpiece he seems to be becoming. Also, isn't the philosophy of cultural nationalism almost identical to the ideology espoused by the EDL? Is it coincidence that shortly before leaving the BNP Barnes was vocal in his support of the EDL? Will the BFP end up as the political arm of the EDL or are they simply attempting to tap into what they see as current and viable? I have other concerns but i shall hold off until you post your further thoughts on the matter. Cygnus.

  3. Thanks Ape. I'll drop over and leave some details later.

    Thanks Cygnus. I agree entirely with what you say about the attitude and behaviour of the BFP's current 'leading light'. Civility costs nothing, and if the BFP does not adopt a more civil mode of conduct, it will deservedly be on a hiding to nothing with the electorate. Matters are difficult enough without having people carelessly shooting themselves in the foot. Furthermore, who in their right mind would join a party where they could expose themselves to the most gratuitous excoriating insults for simply holding a differing opinion with someone over a particular issue? Successful party politics is about building cohesive platforms, internal alliances and trust; it’s not about grandstanding and mudslinging. Surely the future of the country is above such petty personal squabbles?

    I’ll be posting part 2 either tonight (if I have time) or tomorrow evening, and I suspect that many of your other concerns will be articulated in this. Watch this space.

  4. Also, on a more flippant note, is it me or does LJB look like a holiday camp stage hypnotist? Not a great look for someone wanting to be taken seriously in politics. Cygnus.

  5. Now Cygnus, that really is a most astute observation :-). Beware the wrath of the camp hypnotist when his Mayan apocalypse doesn't take place in December 2012.

  6. 3,2,1... and you're back in the room. Cygnus.

  7. British Activism wrote about this group today, and I replied thus:

    'I totally agree with you with respect to civic-nationalism, it is not the answer or the way forward. It is my belief that a people create a culture, and not the other way around. Race accounts for much more than our contemporary society will admit - J. Phillipe Rushton, Richard Lynn, and many other scientists acknowledge this. If you replace the people, you will alter the society. For example it didn't take long for Rhodesia the 'bread basket of Africa. to become Zimbabwe, a basket case, once they got rid of Ian Smith, did it? Besides this, the UK already has a civic nationalist party - UKIP.'

    It maybe the modern day heresy, but I believe in ethno-nationalism.

  8. Hi UBN. Further elucidation of my position will be forthcoming.


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