We have written about the BNP in the past primarily in the context of the attempt, extraordinary in a democratic society, to imprison its leader, Nick Griffin, for political comments (critical of Islam!) made in private - and the U.S. MSM blackout on the subject.
BNP votes are a cry of white working-class anguish, by Johann Hari, The Independent, May 5 2008.
The trial of Nick Griffin for hate-speech wasn`t just immoral â€“ he has a right to free speech, no matter how foul â€“ but also dumb politics. The way to discredit the BNP is for people to hear what they say. No more no platforms: take them on....
But we also need to address the worries of BNP voters. Most are anxious about immigration not because they don`t want different-looking people walking the streets, but because they feel it damages them in several specific ways...
Hari instances the shortage of public housing, and goes on:
How about wages? It`s true that immigrants boost the economy overall, and pay back Â?6bn more than they take from the Exchequer. But it`s also true that British people don`t benefit equally from it. It`s simply a fact that if you significantly increase the supply of cheap labour, the hourly rate for it comes down: that`s why wages for builders and waitresses and cleaners have barely budged for 10 years now. For people on the lowest wages, immigration does depress their wages, and it is wrong to deny this, or wave it away as unimportant.
But instead of offering these solutions, we have turned the white working class into a national punch-line. We dismiss them as "chavs", "pikeys" and racists, and jeer at their clothes and voices and names. So we don`t really have the right to act surprised when they vote in a way designed to tell the entire democratic system â€“ as the woman [previously quoted] standing in her damp flat, carrying bags of economy-brand food from Iceland, told me â€“ to "f— off".
[Quote bowdlerized because of puritanical US webfilters].
Needless to say, there is no chance that the left will actually listen, because of what its motives actually are. But Hari deserves to be congratulated.