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Monday, 2 May 2011

French Lessons for British Nationalists

If only we had a nationalist politician as articulate as France’s Front National Leader Marine Le Pen! Why don’t we? Why don’t we have an organised nationalist political party as popular as the Front National? Le Pen is currently predicted to beat Sarkozy in the first round of the French presidential elections next year, and as can be seen in her confident handling of an interview with Russia Today in the video at the end of this article, the messages and policies that she proposes would apply equally well to the UK.

Why indeed, are we lagging behind virtually all other countries in Europe in spawning a popular nationalist party? Witness the recent electoral successes of the True Finns, the Sweden Democrats and the PVV. All have made groundbreaking advances in their respective countries, showing that they possess the potential of becoming the leading political forces in their nations.

Here in the UK, much of the problem lies with the widespread illusion that the Conservative Party is a nationalist party. It is not. It is instead a globalist multiculturalist party, concerned primarily with protecting the narrow material interests of the most privileged stratum within our fractured society. There is nothing else that this party wishes to conserve. The illusion of the Conservative Party as a nationalist party is fed by its ideological globalist multiculturalist bedfellows in the Labour and Liberal Democratic parties, and most importantly of all, by the Tory press such as the Daily Mail, Daily Express and the Telegraph.

The Conservative Party under Thatcher and Major waged a class war that destroyed the material security of vast sections of the British working class, decimating entire industries and communities in the process: coalmining, shipbuilding, steel and manufacturing in general. Once they had laid waste to the economic underpinnings of our nation and transformed us into a speculative debt-fuelled property-obsessed service economy, along came Labour and Brown to propel us further in this direction. Moreover, Blair and Brown opened two further fronts - ideological and demographic - in the war against our people, denying in fact that we even exist as a people, as a nation. Enter the ‘diversity’ dogma, millions of immigrants and special privileges for Islam in the form of legislation protecting religious minorities.

Labour’s kulturkampf continues under the Cameroons, and yet people are still gulled by Cameron’s empty rhetoric about ditching multiculturalism, controlling immigration and giving the UK a greater say over our relationship with the EU, whilst in fact the Condem Coalition continues to promote the first two, and Cameron reneged over his promise to allow the electorate a referendum over the Lisbon Treaty. Most parliamentary Conservatives today are either enthusiastic advocates of EU membership, or do nothing to promote our withdrawal.

The other reason for the failure of a nationalist party to take off in the UK is the fact that we have not hitherto possessed a credible vehicle for the nationalistically-inclined voter. For all the talk of smears directed against the BNP, it is an unfortunate truth that the party under Nick Griffin has been run into the ground by its leader with a startling dictatorial incompetence. According to Eddie Butler, who challenged Griffin for leadership of the BNP last year, the party’s membership has slumped from a high of 15,000 in May 2010 to around 8,500 by the end of last month. Regular purges and the promotion of sycophantic incompetents, unnecessary court cases, dubious accounting practices, chronic indebtedness, general amateurishness expressing itself in outlandish policy declarations including a manifesto commitment to the general ownership of automatic weaponry and the opening of a penal colony on South Georgia, as well as the intemperate behaviour of some of its members, have allowed the party to squander the groundswell of support that was building in its favour until 2009.

The efforts and hopes of dedicated nationalists who risked much professionally by joining the party have been very poorly rewarded. With a set-up such as this, the BNP hardly needed the combined opposition of the mass media, Searchlight, Hope Not Hate and UAF to end up in its current debacle. Granted, the negative impact of the propaganda constantly pumped out by these opposition groups was certainly a significant hindrance, but even if none of this had existed, the internal flaws that I have mentioned would still have crippled the prospects of the party and deprived it of credibility in the eyes of the electorate.

Many of the more talented senior members of the party left, some to set up the British Freedom Party, which unfortunately itself suffered an internal spat which left it in brief legal limbo until the splinter faction finally broke away to form the Freedom Democrats. From what I have seen, the British Freedom Party has struck the right note (although I have reservations about its commitment to the death penalty) through its realistic formulation of a policy of cultural nationalism that places it very much in line with the PVV in the Netherlands and Die Freiheit in Germany. If one takes its policy declarations to be its yardstick, the British Freedom Party deserves to succeed. On the other hand, if one considers the behaviour of some of its leading founding members, this assertion is cast into doubt. From what I have seen of the policy proposals put forward by the Freedom Democrats, they would be best off joining the disaffected Atlanticist Tories who comprise UKIP.

A new challenge is being made to Nick Griffin’s leadership of the BNP by Richard Edmonds backed by Eddie Butler. They hope to salvage the party, but Butler himself has encouraged many members to leave and join the English Democrats. Indeed, a number of former BNP members, such as Chris Beverley in Morley, will be standing for the English Democrats in the local elections this week. Even if the Edmonds challenge is successful, the BNP looks pretty much dead in the water, with a dreadful public image, not to mention massive debts and serious questions hanging over its accounting procedures. Shockingly, patriotically minded printers who produced the party’s election literature last year have yet to be paid.

The political landscape in the UK is of course highly fragmented owing to the devolutionary settlement imposed by the Labour Party, thus there are different political dynamics at play in the four constituent parts of the country, so in reality any British nationalist party will draw almost all of its support from within England, from the English. With the BNP (certainly for now) out of the frame, we are thus confronted with a shoal of contenders seeking to gobble up the nationalist (here loosely defined to encompass its ethnic, cultural, civic and racial variants) vote: British Freedom Party; English Democrats; Freedom Democrats; National Front; UKIP. All of these have benefited from the turmoil within the BNP, but their prospects are limited.

The Freedom Democrats are in my opinion stillborn and will be gone within a couple of months. Their handful of members will probably join what appears to be their natural home: UKIP. Alternatively, some of them may wish to throw in their lot with the English Democrats. The National Front will gain a few disaffected members from the BNP and will field a few more candidates than it has in recent years, but to no avail, as its ‘brand’ is more tarnished than that of the BNP. The interesting part of the nationalist dynamic lies with the relative fortunes of the British Freedom Party and the English Democrats. The former, as a completely new party, stands at a disadvantage in that it will possess almost zero public recognition, whereas the English Democrats enjoy the advantage of having been established for longer, as well as possessing regional party structures and a certain amount of low-level public visibility. The election of Peter Davies as English Democrat Mayor of Doncaster has certainly raised the party’s profile in Yorkshire. The English Democrats are rather like UKIP for the English, but a centrist civic nationalist rather than an Atlanticist Tory party, and thus possess the potential to appeal to a wider social constituency.

However, it is the British Freedom Party that for me possesses the most fully developed policy platform, as well as a more cohesive ideology than either the English Democrats or UKIP. That said, this fact is rather marred by the maladroit handling of 'dissent' within the party, which basically boiled down to a clash of personalities that precipitated the creation of the Freedom Democrats. Civility costs nothing, and yet two leading members of the BFP lacked the grace to display this towards Gary Marshall, Michael Simpkins and a number of their colleagues who were summarily expelled, thus also betraying what appears to be a negative dictatorial manner of acting à la Nick Griffin carried across from their former party - the BNP. This is a great shame, as I, and I am sure many others, had hoped that the BFP would take from the BNP that which was good by way of policy, and add a genuine democratic and participative element to the party. Clearly, this has not transpired. If disagreements had been handled with tact, this unnecessary split could have been avoided.

Still, I hope that where possible these small parties choose to coordinate their efforts and avoid standing against each other (although I do not think that UKIP will oblige) so as to maximise their electoral impact and thereby allow them to utilise their scarce resources to the best affect. Which do I support? Pragmatically speaking, that very much depends upon the choice presented to me at the ballot box, which may well be no choice at all. Prior to the split, my support would have been lent to the BFP with reasonable confidence, but now, I am veering in the direction of the English Democrats. Many nationalists may decry such a stance, claiming that the English Democrats are cod nationalists as they are not ethno-nationalists, but they possess many good policies which would help move the general frame of public political debate away from the anti-nationalist paradigm. Politics is the art of the possible, thus if the opportunity should afford itself this Thursday morning, I shall be voting for the English Democrats. Failing that, I shall cast my vote for any of the other broadly-defined nationalist parties listed above.


  1. The FN has the best thing going of all the concerned parties in Europe. Don't be discouraged about the situation in Britain. It could be worse - like the situation in Germany.

  2. At least Sarrazin has broken up the debate about Islam in Germany. In Britain, no one in mainstream politics even talks about it.

  3. AWK, I have to agree with you that the Front National looks to be the best placed of all nationalist parties in Europe. Given France's position as a lynchpin of the EU, a victory for the FN could have positive repercussions for all the other peoples of the EU.

    On the other hand, I must agree with Cheradenine that we have no-one in the UK on a par with Thilo Sarrazin in Germany. Any senior UK politician publishing a book with a title such as "Britain Abolishes Itself" in which it was outlined why Muslims were a particular problem would probably find themselves up on a charge of racial and religious hatred.

  4. The UK has one of the largest democratic deficits in the Western world, largely because it still has a party system which has changed little since the 1920s. However all the evidence points to the conclusion that we are at least as concerned as European countries about these issues but these views have not found "a political articulation" as one of the reports noted.

    - 48 per cent would vote for far-right party, if they got rid of 'fascist' (?) imagery

    - Brits 'most concerned' about immigration

    - British teenagers more concerned about immigration than people in their thirties

    For a more anecdotal snapshot, try this extract from a 2005 pamphlet by the thinktank compass called 'Dare More Democracy', described here in another journal:

    For the C1/C2 voters involved, all of whom had switched to Labour in 1997, but who now felt let down by the government, the focus group sessions ‘acted as a form of political/democratic therapy’. And, as in therapy, what emerged were thoughts and feelings that had been repressed. One issue that they were not asked about, but which was raised again and again, was their anger over immigration,
    asylum and ‘the threat to their sense of Englishness’. Blair, it was pronounced, was ‘anti-English’. He supports ‘any country and
    religion except the English’. Without shame, people repeated that ‘foreigners’ were making ‘unjustified claims’ on health, welfare
    and education resources. As Neal writes, ‘The issue of patriotism, nationality and the threat from outside animated the groups more
    than any other.

    Interesting stuff.

    As for the euro countries, they are just very lucky they have PR!

  5. There were some interesting points arising from the Searchlight Report Thomas. I think that the most telling thing about its findings were that the Left has basically successfully managed to foist the label of 'far right' onto normal, rational everyday thinking about nationalism, national identity and immigration. Such a party would only be 'far right' according to the utterly perverse and distorted definitions offered by the cultural politics inspired by the New Left i.e. all of 'mainstream' parliamentary politics in the UK today.

    Thanks for drawing attention to the 'Dare More Democracy' report. I hadn't heard about this. Do you have a link? There can be no shadow of a doubt that Labour and the Lib Dems, and the Tories to a very slightly lesser degree, are all vigorously anti-English as well as being more generally anti-white. I'm sure that this statement would have many non-parliamentary Conservatives accidentally spurting port out of their noses, but this anti-English and anti-white tendency is certainly characteristic of Cameron's parliamentary party.

  6. Here is the link:

    I've not read it all myself. I expect it's interesting in highlighting how ordinary people feel how Labour let them down after giving them a(hopefully, last) chance in 1997.

  7. France has an ongoing radical tradition and its population is generally more engaged with politics than is the case in Britain. I think this must be taken into consideration when comparing the fortunes of the FN to that of the BNP. In Britain what is often referred to (by itself!) as the 'progressive majority' largely comprises the middle classes(who dominate politics in the UK) and recent immigrant communities, with a residual bedrock of Labour voters who will vote for it even though they actually support very little of what it has done in recent decades. I suspect that the opinions of many of those in the UK who do not use their vote (white working class) are generally anti-immigration and nationalistic in sentiment but they are largely apathetic. I suspect that compulsory voting would lead to some radically different election results to the ones we are accustomed to, and for this reason I doubt the 'mainstream' parties will push for it.

    I doubt that internal circumstances within the BNP have had little impact upon the general voting public because they are, in the main,unaware of it. The BNP needs to do more to nullify the smears against it. Parties can and do come back. However, I think you need to also to take into consideration that British nationalist politics is riddled with agent provocateurs and I regard anyone who instigates splitting or relentless negative and demoralising 'talk' with great suspicion. Is the BNP the only party which has debts for instnce ? Not at all, but yet it is the only party where stories of party finances seem to be used as 'rasons' to split or want a change of leadership. Why? I have no respect for anyone who has left the BNP unless it is for fundamental ideological reasons.

    I think that Nick Griffin has made errors of judgment about certain individuals like Collett and his like probably because of their initial energetic displays of commitment and activism, but there needs to be more quality control on party officers and education of rank and file members. Collett and Butler were crude and a PR liability, the Eng Dems must be undergoing something of an ideological turn around if they can accommodate them. The BNP still has many intelligent and capable men and women. I'm pinning my hopes on ex-UKIP Andrew Moffat eventually taking over the leadership in a couple of years.

    British nationalist parties are, alas, relatively small ponds in which individual 'personalities' and egos have often competed for the surface. It is to our nation's detriment that many of these individuals have not behaved with more comradship and sense of collective duty, resposibilty to the cause, and respect for each other. But, again, I suspect that many who have not done so over the decades have had dubious motives from the onset.

  8. Anonymous, how is Butler 'crude' and a 'PR liability'? Many people would use those words to describe Griffin. Wouldn't a much larger error in judgement be appointing Ian Kitchen to a prominent post in the party? Just curious.


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