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Saturday 3 March 2012

British Freedom’s 20 Point Plan: a cohesive blueprint, or a misguided muddle?

Following the British Freedom Party’s relaunch under the chairmanship of Paul Weston last November, the party’s website declared that a review of policy was being undertaken, and members of the public were solicited to volunteer their opinions as to what those policies should be. However, at the same time, something new appeared on the BFP’s website: a ‘20 Point Plan’. The speed with which it was posted suggests that responsibility for the formulation of the 20 points lay with Weston himself. Clearly, he wished to stamp his mark upon the party and indicate that the BFP was making a fresh start under his leadership, but the ‘Plan’ that appeared sat uneasily with the party’s general policy platform, and continues to do so. Moreover, a number of its individual elements to a certain extent contradict each other, and as a whole, it resembles more a melange of specific policy pledges and general vague moral statements, than a cohesive thought through political programme. Woodrow Wilson forwarded only 14 points for the reordering of the entire international order in post-WWI Europe, whereas the BFP have chosen to provide us with 20. This is too high a figure.

The criticisms that follow are necessary, for it pains the author to see people joining a party that is potentially setting off on a very unsound footing, which could thereby lead to disappointment for all. If not addressed, the BFP is likely to have its electoral chances hamstrung by misjudged strategic decisions taken during its initial stages of development; it will continue to increase in size, for a time, but its membership will in all likelihood plateau at a relatively low level. Another party will then be required to address the issue which the BFP makes its primary focus – Islamisation – as part of a broader and more balanced policy mix, for the BFP will not be able to do so because of electoral failure.

Turning to the '20 Point Plan' itself, which is dealt with point by point below, it contains pledges of widely varying degrees of significance and scope, with the minor and highly specific – ‘19. Allow pubs the choice of operating as smoking or non-smoking establishments’ – sitting alongside the major and general – ‘12. Diminish the public sector and government interference in the private sector’ –  and the general and vague – ‘20. Live by Christianity’s Golden Rule: “Do unto others as thou wouldst be done by.”’ What is immediately striking about this is its total lack of focus and undergirding ideological foundation; it reads like a random wish list, with no indication as to the party’s ultimate purpose and the relative importance of each of its constituent points.

Point 1: ‘Introduce a US style First Amendment guaranteeing Free Speech’.
This is good, but earlier in its incarnation the plan included a pledge to increase censorship that thankfully has been dropped. It begs the question however: does the spirit of censorship still lurk within the BFP?

Point 2: ‘Leave the profoundly undemocratic European Union’.
As with point 1, this position is to be commended, although perhaps the statement could be trimmed back to ‘Leave the European Union’ which makes it sound rather less like an indignant Peter Hitchens.

Point 3: ‘Abolish the Human Rights Act, which benefits only foreign criminals/terrorists’.
The Human Rights Act as it exists does need to be abolished, but it is incorrect to state that it ‘benefits only foreign criminals/terrorists’, for this is manifestly not true. A pledge to simply ‘Abolish the Human Rights Act and replace it with legislation not open to abuse as is the case with the current act’ would be more appropriate.

Point 4: ‘Halt any further immigration for a period of five years.’
It is true that we are overpopulated and growing increasingly so by the day, and that a strict immigration policy needs to be put in place. However, why is the pledge only for five years? The rationale for halting immigration needs to be made explicit. Does this include, hypothetically speaking, a respectful Japanese Honda executive and his family taking up temporary residence to oversee a new project creating jobs in a productive sphere of our manufacturing economy? Would it apply to expats who had emigrated to Australia, Canada or New Zealand who wished to return to Britain? This statement needs to be clarified and rewritten.

Point 5: ‘Deport foreign criminals, seditious dual nationality Islamists and illegal immigrants.’

Point 6: ‘Abolish all multicultural and equality quangos.’
Agreed. However, as with point 3 consideration needs to be given to the legitimate welfare of some people – specifically those with disabilities – who could be adversely affected by such a blanket statement. Safeguards should be put in place to ensure that where practicable those suffering from disabilities who wish to work and are capable of working, are able to do so.

Point 7: ‘Halt and turn back all aspects of the Islamisation of Britain, including Sharia finance.’
Agreed. It would be strengthened if it were to include a pledge to abolish inhumane religious slaughter.

Point 8: ‘Drastically reduce crime – criminals should fear the consequences of their behaviour.’
This has the ring of ‘Tough on crime. Tough on the causes of crime.’ It is just about as credible, and is not a policy statement. Does it really mean anything? There is a certain unappealing tub-thumping windiness about it, which almost makes the reader ponder: does the BFP wish to introduce Shariah?

Point 9: ‘Repair the damage wreaked by the progressive educational establishment.’
Define the ‘damage’ and ‘progressive educational establishment’, as well as make clear what it is that you intend to do. This statement, as with a number of others, highlights the uncertainty as to what the 20 Point Plan actually is. Is it, a) a statement of moral principles; b) a statement of general political intent; c) a list of specific policy commitments.

Point 10: ‘Promote British values and assimilation, rather than multiculturalism and division.’
Insert the word ‘cultural’ before ‘assimilation’.

Point 11: ‘Rebuild Britain’s Armed Forces to 1980 levels.’
Why? Our security environment is now completely different to that which existed during the era of the high Cold War. We need a proper strategic review of our armed forces, and for them to be reprofiled to create a defensive force that is capable of meeting the needs of defending our homeland and specific interests at a further remove.

Point 12: ‘Diminish the public sector and government interference in the private sector.’
This statement can be used to conceal all manner of ills, and provide cover for potentially axing services required by, for example, the elderly. Given that the plan makes no mention of foreign capital or economic policy other than this, it suggests that services such as the NHS could be threatened by profit-making US transnational corporations. This should be a cause of some disquiet, and presents the most glaring mismatch between the BFP’s position pre-Weston, and its position today. The BFP’s economic direction of travel is now a matter of serious concern, and represents a major flaw in its approach. Weston recently announced that only ‘Capitalism’ was compatible with ‘Western Civilisation’, thereby revealing a doctrinaire adherence to a failed model of economics that has led us to the current globalised mess in which we find ourselves.

Point 13: ‘Withdraw troops from all areas where we are not directly threatened.’

Point 14: ‘Cancel foreign aid to countries which do not deserve or need it.’
Agreed, although this could benefit from being rephrased.

Point 15: ‘End welfare payments to immigrants; they must pay for their housing and children.’
This statement is somewhat vague. How are ‘immigrants’ defined? This requires clarification. Moreover, should this not be considered a subsidiary, although important element of, immigration policy?

Point 16: ‘Ensure no elderly person lives in fear, and can afford both heat and food in the winter.’
The sentiment is fine, but what does it mean practically? It sounds like something taken from a rewritten version of the New Testament. Given the party’s proposed attack on the public sector, how are the large numbers of pensioners on low incomes going to be provided with lives not bedevilled by poverty? An explicit statement regarding pensions, minimum incomes and home care is required, otherwise this is meaningless.

Point 17: ‘Ensure that a no class-A drugs policy is enforced.’
The author is of the opinion that such drugs, along with alcohol abuse, unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity, are all potential causes of early death and psychological problems. Whilst not advocating the use of class-A drugs, the author subscribes to a non-prohibitionist stance and supports decriminalisation for individual users. The current drugs problem should be viewed from within the wider context of public health and education and should be approached accordingly. A punitive approach needs to be directed towards the criminal gangs that often target young girls, get them hooked on heroin and then pimp them out, not at the users themselves. 

Point 18: ‘Promote morality, marriage, the family, the community and the nation state.’
How? This is not really a policy, and these matters should simply be embedded within specific policies. The first two words smack of potential cant.

Point 19: ‘Allow pubs the choice of operating as smoking or non-smoking establishments.’
A fair suggestion, but why does this point rank alongside leaving the EU and halting immigration for five years as a policy priority? Although perfectly fine as a policy, it is not a first rank concern.

Point 20: ‘Live by Christianity’s Golden Rule: “Do unto others as thou wouldst be done by.”’
Once again, fine sentiments, but leave religion out of the equation: this is Britain, not the US Bible Belt. Is it a statement of policy? No. So, how would this imply the BFP should treat young people who find themselves in the miserable position of having become addicted to heroin or crack? Would the party punish them for this ‘sin’ by criminalising them, or would it treat them with compassion by helping them to overcome their addiction through treatment and rehabilitation?

The BFP needs to decide what it is for and to develop a clear and cohesive plan with a handful of core objectives rather than the above list which is disjointed and chaotic. It needs to define its ideology, and to include those elements of its '20 Points' that it wishes to retain in its manifesto. Has it failed to do so because there exists a significant split between its founding principles and those of its new leadership? Currently, its '20 Point Plan' appears to be a Neocon graft onto a nationalist body, speaking with the voice of Peter Hitchens. As such, its tone at times drifts into cant, which grates on the nerves of many people.

It seems odd that nowhere amongst these points is there any criticism of globalism and globalisation. How many nationalists who have recently joined feel at ease with this omission, as well as the lack of focus on industrial and economic policy? Might they not find their views better accommodated within a new, democratically accountable and forward-looking nationalist party? If, as someone with a degree of sympathy towards the BFP, the author has managed to find so many flaws with its '20 Point Plan', how many will its opponents find? How would the general public perceive it? Overall, it needs a serious rethink. It would benefit from addressing the questions and concerns raised here.


  1. I'm not sure you understand the difference between a detailed policy document and a brief statement of intent designed to capture public imagination and support - as the 20 Point Plan does.

    It's the difference between a product specification and an advert; a scientific paper and an abstract; a journalistic analysis and a news headline. One derives from the other, but they have different scope and functions.

    But thanks for your input - you do raise one or two issues that could benefit from clearer presentation.

    Dr George Whale
    British Freedom Party.

    1. Come now Dr, a little less of the condescension if you please. To put it bluntly, this '20 Point Plan' is too cluttered, too diffuse and thus not something capable of capturing the public imagination. If indeed it is intended to be a 'product specification' or 'advert', it is not a product to which I would care to lend my endorsement.

    2. Can i ask why BFP is using the Pepsi brand as its logo. Are they sponsoring you? Do your members have to wear Pepsi baseball caps? Have you taken out a loan from them. Do members get a free bottle for every hundred leaflets delivered? Can't you design an original of your own Dr Whale?

  2. Well Duro, I can tell you that response to the 20 Point Plan has been overwhelmingly positive. It has stimulated wide public interest in the party, which is precisely what it was designed to do:

    1. The plan has very narrow appeal. If that’s the level of intellect within BF then I suggest you are wasting the efforts and money of your supporters. It’s a plan for electoral failure. It’s a blind alley. You need to take a tablet and start again or pack your bags and stop deceiving everyone.

  3. see what's going on this week at the U.C. berkeley campus for Israel "apartheid" week. feel free to leave a disparaging comment for the pro-pali students:

  4. Almost every article that mentions us refers positively to our 20 point plan, so what George says is very true and spot on. You must understand the difference between a manifesto and a as George put it 'brief statement of intent'.

  5. What !

    No reference to the 'Global Warming Scam' and no mention of any policy for the future generation of electricity in this country. We are very close to 'Lights Out' in this country and it is only a combination of a mild winter and reduced economic activity because of the recession that has avoided actual power cuts. Both generating capacity and the National Grid have next to no spare capacity available.

    In Germany the govt was forced to accept premature closure of the nuclear program caused by public fears about safety after Fukishima. Now they have drastically cut the subsidies to 'alternative energy' programs and are refocusing on more conventional power plants either coal or gas fired. In the case of gas fired power plants the Germans are thinking of using both gas from Russia (yes, they know Russian gas comes with strings attached) and methane from the massive shale seams that are being developed under Poland.

    Want to know more, read, EUReferendum.blogspot.

    Ivan Winters
    Democratic Nationalists

    1. Oh come on Ivan, surely you realise that national energy supply and security is but a trifling matter compared to the issue of smoking in pubs?

    2. Don't forget overfilled rubbish bins!

    3. will the BFP resote lost liberties?
      if not then why bother?

    4. Alas Gary, you will be gutted to learn that I have failed to factor bin collections into my next article.

    5. Bilbo, there is a commitment in the BFP manifesto to abolish restrictions on freedom of speech, so without seeming too flippant, their position vis-à-vis personal freedoms does extend rather further than the right of people to smoke in designated pubs.

    6. restore.....of course :(

    7. Ah, we can all make the odd typo now and again!

  6. A party manifesto would be best represented as a mind map ( where a single central theme is surrounded by several main sub-themes, which are themselves each expanded into more detailed offshoots.

    Rather than a list, the mind map emphasizes the unity of vision while also providing as much detail on any given subject as one wants by following a branch. But it keeps coming back to, and expanding on, the central motivation.

    1. That's a good point Brett: a mind map could be a useful means for a party presenting its manifesto on a website. Naturally, such computer wizardry is beyond me on this blog, but such a format could prove a useful supplementary means of displaying manifesto content alongside a more traditional standard textural approach.

  7. Very good review Durotrigan.

    Why the obsession with race and immigration. BNP have failed because of it. I don’t see any difference here. Its just so 1990’s. What’s happened to the concept of the new modern party. The general public will see it as irrelevant to life in the 21st century. The 20 point plan looks as if it was done in the early hours by a loner with a colouring book and marker pen.

    1. Thanks MFB. Of course, the BFP's 20 Point Plan is not of my doing, and I will be outlining my thoughts on a contemporary, relevant party shortly. It's just taking a little longer than I would like owing to the demands of work. It will be posted soon though, and your feedback would be appreciated.

  8. I had been quite impressed with a speech by Paul Weston and had begun taking an interest if BFP until the publication of this 20 Point Plan and the statement about wanting 'assimilation'. Why this obsession with race and immigration says the poster A Man From Brum on here. Well, actually it's our 'race' which defines the British people - it is who we are. If we assimilate millions of people who are not of our own racial heritage then we cease to be. How can anyone who purports to be a British nationalist want oblivion for their own people , for this is what 'assimilation' amounts to. It would be a hollow victory, indeed it would be a defeat in disguise.

    Salford Nationalist

    1. Yes i understand the importance of retaining and campaigning for our own cultural idenditity. But i was of the view that BF was going to be a modern nationalist party. That to me means recognising the social and political and economic changes that have taken place in UK in recent years.It means ditching the right for whites mentality and reaching out to all UK citizens. If BF wants success at the polls then it has to show that its a million miles away from descredited toxic BNP.If it wants to be a sect for beer drinking middle aged men then stick to the 20 point plan.

    2. The 'integrationist' approach is one of complete capitulation to the globalists ( of left and right). I, too, am a pragmatist, however, I am pragmatic about achieving a political goal; that of securing the ethnic itegrity ( the survival!) of the British people. 'Asssimilation' is the goal of the globalists and One Worlders. I do not advocate striving for an 'all white' society but I do believe that upholding the heritage of all ethnic groups who are now in the UK is the best way of securing native British identity in the long term, rather than subsuming native British ethnicity in the 'melting pot' - as espoused by the Tory press and the Tory party.

      It is the dominant globalist socio-cultural establishment who currently wield power to 'discredit' and 'toxify' those who fundamentally challenge it (ethno- nationalists). There will have to be a cultural shift within what Marxists call the 'super-structure' of society for there to be an effective nationalist challenge and victory. Why would the average nationalistically inclined voter choose BF when they have UKIP, I cannot imagine. Ethno-nationalism suffers because it presently has no influence within the opinion shaping structures and stratas of society who determine the opinions of 'the masses'. The BNP , like all ethno-nationalists in the UK, currently founders mainly because of this; it has no friends, only enemies, in high, or relatively high, places.

      Salford Nationalist

    3. Salford Nationalist, I must admit that it is a very good reply. Multiculturism I have come to accept as a way forward as a policy for a successful popular nationalist party to succeed. Could it be that being a working class ex-labour supporter I am to desperate for someone to acknowledge that I am still here, longing for a voice and recognition.

  9. Only British nationalism will give the British people both a voice and recognition. All other political idelogies ( including 'patriotic' shams such as UKIP, English Democrats) act either to refute native British identity ( "there's no such thing as British blah, blah" etc )and, also, to denigrate our British heritage by promoting the idea that recent mass immigration has been, and continues to be, inherently 'enriching'. Only those who do not value or respect our native British identity would want to change it or, in reality, erradicate it by way of 'diversity' ( read; disssolution!). That is why we as British nationalists ( and we have hitherto failed to do this) by means of our politicking need urgently to expose the other parties and the globalism which unites them in the minds of the British people for being exactly what they are; anti-British.

    Salford Nationalist


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