L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

20 November 2008 Blog Home : November 2008 : Permalink

The BNP, its leak and so on

The leak of the BNP's membership list is one of those events where you get to see the dangerous darkside of computers and the Internet. Now it has to be said that I find the panicked reactions of BNPers to the news that they may be unveiled to be distinctly amusing - reminding me of how vermin react to being disturbed raiding the kitchen. But I'm trying to restrain myself because the principle here is serious.

If people are to lose their jobs (and some may well do so) thanks to being unmasked then for these people it is no laughing matter. Now you may argue that they should have been smarter, shouldn't have jobs where people care etc. but there is a dangerous line here. In the US the Proposition 8 donor list reactions (and the reaction to some gay people to learning that other gays are republicans) shows that some people get very very intolerant of people who hold different political views and much the same could well happen in the UK. Indeed with the BNP list it very likely will.

This is a bad thing. It was a bad thing when we were searching for reds under the bed and it doesn't get any nicer when its the reds doing the searching either. Perhaps worse consider the allegation by Nick Griffin that some of the names on the published list are not actually valid. In this instance one suspects Mr Griffin may be providing a fig leaf for members who have been unexpectedly outed and need cover. However consider what might happen in the future if, to pick a non-political topic, a list of people purported to be paedophiles were to be released like this. If I wanted to get an enemy of mine in deep doodoo with his friends, workmates, family etc. I can think of little better than to accidentally leak a list of suspected paedophiles which contained his name. He might not get mugged, but I wouldn't bet against it, and I'm pretty sure he'd be placed severely out of pocket hiring security to protect his property and lawyers to clear his name.

Now to go back to the BNP itself. Thanks to the excellent author Liz Williams I learn some interesting BNP factoids. Firstly if you to their manifesto page you see that they like the idea of buying British:

Globalisation, with its export of jobs to the Third World, is bringing ruin and unemployment to British industries and the communities that depend on them. Accordingly, the BNP calls for the selective exclusion of foreign-made goods from British markets and the reduction of foreign imports. We will ensure that our manufactured goods are, wherever possible, produced in British factories, employing British workers. When this is done, unemployment in this country will be brought to an end, and secure, well-paid employment will flourish, at last getting our people back to work and ending the waste and injustice of having more than 4 million people in a hidden army of the unemployed concealed by Labour’s statistical fiddles. We further believe that British industry, commerce, land and other economic and natural assets belong in the final analysis to the British nation and people. To that end we will restore our economy and land to British ownership. We also call for preference in the job market to be given to native Britons. We will take active steps to break up the socially, economically and politically damaging monopolies now being established by the supermarket giants. Finally we will seek to give British workers a stake in the success and prosperity of the enterprises whose profits their labour creates by encouraging worker shareholder and co-operative schemes

Then if you click on the Excalibur advertisement site you learn that some of the product descirptions say things like:

Handcrafted in England from pewter

But critically only some of them and this appears to be because some of them are not handcrafted in England or even in Britain but have been outsourced to somewhere else. The website doesn't say where, but Liz Williams knows because:

And lo! A lot of the stuff they sell, especially the Celtic things, is not just like the stuff we sell - it *is* the stuff we sell.

It's made in China.

My sympathy for the BNP would be greater if they actually stuck to their principles....