Sunday, 14 February 2010

On the result of the BNP's membership rules ballot

At a so-called "Extraordinary General Meeting," the British National Party's membership has voted to scrap it's whites-only membership rules and allow black and Asian people to join. According to party chairman Nick Griffin, the vote shows that the party "recognise legal reality" and "now, for one thing, they can't call us racist any more."

I have already discussed in some depth the reasons why, even as an avowed antifascist, I was opposed to the threat of legal action in this case by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). I have to concur with Griffin when he says that "this is a government funded, taxpayer-funded quango telling people who they can and can't associate with, [which] is a fundamental outrage."

However, with judicial approval in March now being the only obstacle to the new, multiracial BNP, we need to be quite clear on one thing. Unless with the constitutional change there comes a massive policy shift, the BNP will remain a racist party. At present, the only element of their constitution set to change is their membership criteria, and so Section 1, Article 2(b) is not under legal threat;
The British National Party stands for the preservation of the national and ethnic character of the British people and is wholly opposed to any form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples. It is therefore committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent, the overwhelmingly white makeup of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948.
That, amongst their number, their might now be non-white people acting against their own interest does not change the fact that the fundamental goal of the BNP is an all-white Britain. They remain a racist party.

More importantly, the BNP will remain a fascist party. In the words of my comrades in Liverpool Antifascists;
Genuine antifascists stand opposed to the BNP because they are fascists, not merely because they use racist policies and rhetoric in order to further their cause. Fascism is the use of nationalistic rhetoric and actions to divide and weaken the working class and, though it quickly emerged as a distinct movement, has long been used as a tool of the ruling class to break revolutionary and workers’ movements. That, all of a sudden, there may be non-white faces amongst those trying to destroy the working class does not change this fact, nor make it better.
As such, it is fair to say that this constitutional change not only does not alter the ultimate goals of the party, it certainly does not remove them from the radar of antifascists. As Liverpool Antifascists put it, they "have no place on our streets, no matter the colour of their skin."