It Happened There (3): Court Cripples British National Party For Being Too, Well, British
[Peter Brimelow writes: The Orwellian news that a British political party is being forced in the name of “equality” to admit members who oppose its principles got me thinking about another recent victim of what Roland Huntford called “The New Totalitarians”: American Renaissance and its disrupted attempts to hold its biannual conference. So I called AR Editor Jared Taylor and asked what was happening. Answer: nothing—no police inquiries into the left’s death threats, no outrage or even news reports in the Main Stream Media or Establishment “conservative” and libertarian (!) outlets. (We hope to publish an update from Jared soon.) Diversity may be strength, but clearly it is not equal protection of the law.]
By Sean Gabb
On the most charitable view, Britain has, in recent years, become the world’s largest open air lunatic asylum. You only need open a newspaper to see the evidence—someone arrested for defending his life or home against attack; anti-terror laws used to stop the carrying of hairdryers in public; employers told not to advertise for “reliable” workers, so as not to discriminate against the unreliable.
And so it goes on. The stories almost jump off the page. Some of these may be touched up for a market that is greedy for them. Others may not bear much scrutiny. But enough are true to let people realize that this country has, over the past generation, become a very strange and perhaps a frightening place.
This strange and frightening quality, though, is not the product of insanity. The belief that our leaders have gone even barking mad, if worrying, is preferable to the truth—which is that, regardless of their party affiliations, they have, since at least 1960, been working for the total destruction of Britain as a country and the enslavement of its people.
As evidence for this, look at the way in which the British National Party has been treated.
For those unfamiliar with British politics, the BNP is this country’s most important white nationalist party. It denounces mass immigration and multi-culturalism, and the Politically Correct censorship and persecution that have been used to smother opposition. In the past few years, it has won elections to local representative bodies, and has two seats in the Parliament of the European Union. It may also, in the next few months, win a seat in the British Parliament.
The response of the British ruling class has been wholly rational. Given that these people want a police state and a population too Balkanized along racial and religious lines to offer any concerted resistance, they cannot tolerate a party like the BNP. Before 1999, when Nick Griffin became its leader, the BNP was broadly a national socialist organization. In those days, it had limited electoral appeal, and could safely be ignored, or sometimes held up for ridicule or execration. Now that Mr. Griffin has changed its core ideology, the party is an increasingly credible threat. Therefore, it must be destroyed.
During the past few years, it has been made illegal for members of the BNP to be policemen or prison workers. It is proposed that they should be prevented from working with children. Membership lists have been stolen. Many of those on the lists have come under pressure. Mr. Griffin himself was put on trial under our new hate crime laws for calling Islam—in a private meeting infiltrated by a media spy— “a wicked, vicious faith”. If convicted, he would have faced seven years in prison: after two trials, he was acquitted.
The main effort now is to destroy the BNP from within. Not surprisingly, its rules always confined membership to indigenous Caucasians. But a U.K. Government body called the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) decided in 2009 that this rule broke the Race Relations Act 1976 (as amended), and took the party to court.
Needless to say, the EHRC had done nothing about, for example, the various black police organizations, which confined membership to black people. Indeed, the EHRC has never responded to one complaint of discrimination by these associations against white people. Then again, starting with its head, West Indian-descended Trevor Phillips, the EHRC is filled with supporters and nominees of the ruling Labour Party. Its whole function is to hound enemies of the “New Labour” ruling class through the courts.
Quite obviously, the prosecution of the BNP was not intended to promote “racial equality” as this might reasonably be defined. Its purpose was to destroy. According to the Blog of Operation Black Vote,
“Nic Careem, [Email him] a former Labour activist from Camden in north London, who is now with the Conservatives, said he originally argued that black and Asian people should join the BNP en mass [sic] to cause chaos and expose the extent of racism inside the party of Nick Griffin.”
In other words, the BNP is to be flooded with non-whites, who will then use further legal action—assuming the internal structures of the party are insufficient—to destroy it.
The courts forced Mr. Griffin to drop the restriction on membership. The BNP’s first non-white member was an elderly Sikh opponent of Islamic fundamentalism.
However, Mr. Griffin did impose two conditions on new members to block flooding attempts. First, he ruled that prospective members should be visited in their homes by BNP officials, to see if they were suitable for membership. Second, all members were required to declare support for “continued creation, fostering, maintenance and existence” of an indigenous British race, and action towards “stemming and reversing” immigration.
This second rule seems to have been used to stop a rich Pakistani called Mo Chaudry from joining. He had said he would join the party to “fight them from the inside”. [Asian businessman fights to join BNP, Channel 4 News, March 12 2010]
This did not suit the EHRC. It took the BNP to court again, arguing that the requirement amounted to indirect racial discrimination.
Last Friday, 12th March 2010, Paul Collins, the most senior County Court Judge in London, agreed with the EHRC. He outlawed the requirement for home visits, saying that this might lead to intimidation—though admitting that there was no evidence it ever had. He also outlawed the requirement to declare support for party principle and policy. The Judge said:
“I hold that the BNP are likely to commit unlawful acts of discrimination within section 1b Race Relations Act 1976 in the terms on which they are prepared to admit persons to membership under the 12th addition of their constitution”. [New BNP membership rules judged to be biased, Manchester Evening News, March 12, 2010]
The basis for this reasoning, the Judge claimed, is that, while no BNP policy breaks the law, no non-white person could support these policies without compromising their “personal sense of self-worth and dignity as a member of their racial group”.
And so the BNP is now required to accept members regardless of whether they agree with BNP policy.
Nick Griffin was forced on the spot to change his party’s membership criteria, or face jail for himself and forfeiture of party assets.
Of course, this is a bizarre ruling. In the first place, the claim that non-whites cannot support the policies of the BNP is untrue in fact. Some do. It is also patronizing for any outsider to tell people how they should view their “personal sense of self-worth and dignity as a member of their racial group”. That is properly a matter for every individual to decide for himself.
In the second place, the principle stated by Judge Collins leads to absurdity. If I am a white supremacist, I will be deterred from joining Unite Against Fascism, because I shall be expected to support policies contrary to my own sense of my “self-worth” and “dignity”. If I am a devout Christian, I will be deterred from becoming a Moslem, because I shall be required to say that Mohammed is the Prophet of God. If I am a devout Moslem, I will be deterred from becoming a Christian, because I shall be required to believe that Christ was the Son of God. If the principle enunciated by Judge Collins is to be consistently applied, all these groups must be compelled to accept their opponents.
But the principle will not be consistently applied. As in Zimbabwe, the British courts are increasingly creatures of the ruling party. The Judge had no choice but to rule as he did.
Britain is no longer a free country. It is a police state, in which freedom of speech is being narrowed to allow nothing more than polite disagreement with the authorities over things not regarded as central to the 1997 New Labour Revolution—and in which freedom of association means nothing at all.
Within the next few years, it is likely that the BNP will be banned. This may be an honest ban, in the sense that the party is directly outlawed by Act of Parliament. But, more likely, all candidates will be forced to take an oath of loyalty to the established order before they can stand for election. Any candidate who does falsely swear support for the creation and fostering of “diversity”, and who is elected, will then face being unseated and prosecuted the moment he opens his mouth.
For the moment, however, the BNP can be flooded by its political opponents. This may be enough to finish the party as a threat. It will not happen in time to prevent the party from fighting its campaign in the general election that must be held within the next few months. But Mr. Griffin was presented the other day with a legal bill variously estimated at between £60,000 and £100,000—is it any coincidence that this money must be handed over just weeks before a general election, and by a party that is already short of money?
Of course, all of this scandalous.
What I also find scandalous is that so few people other than supporters of the BNP are prepared to speak out against it. I am a libertarian, not a white nationalist. I have never voted for the BNP or any similar party. And I seem to be the only person of my kind, and with any degree of prominence in my country, who is willing to complain.
What is being done to the BNP is unfair in itself, and sets a frightening precedent. We have now reached a point in Britain where no one can truly claim to believe in freedom of speech or freedom of association unless he is willing to stand up in public for the right of Nick Griffin and the British National Party to speak their minds and to organize in support of what they believe.
Dr. Sean Gabb [Email him] is a writer, academic, broadcaster and Director of the Libertarian Alliance in England. His monograph Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back is downloadable here. For his account of the Property and Freedom Society’s 2008 conference in Bodrum, Turkey, click here. For his address to the 2009 PFS conference, “What is the Ruling Class?”, click here; for videos of the other presentations, click here.