Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Elsewhere elsewhere 2: the resistable rise of Euro-fascism

This post continues the theme of yesterday's and of the discussion thread there.

I want to completely endorse two excellent round-ups of links related to the European elections and other things: Kellie's here and Modernity's here. I am cutting and pasting some of it, with added editorial. The analysis put forward by liberal anti-racists and the mainstream liberal press is very poor (although there are some exceptions, e.g. Sunny [although over-optimistic], Jon Cruddas and Nick Lowles [although a bit self-congratulatory about Hope Not Hate] and Denis MacShane [although a little superficial]). Liberalism, as Jogo put it in a recent e-mail to me, needs a little humility about this defeat: it was our failure that allowed the BNP (and the right in general) to do so well. I also strongly recommend Duncan's post, which puts some sanity into the debate.

So, from Kellie:
Comment from Oliver Kamm: The price of failure. From Marko Attila Hoare: We must defend our Britain and our immigrants from the fascist menace. ModernityBlog: Fascists, ferrets, and how to stop the far right. Bob from Brockley: Post-election depression. Fat man on a Keyboard: Doomed I tell ye. Your Friend in the North tells how he cast his vote.
I really liked Marko's piece, although I think he is far, far too soft on New Labour, who have, in my view, not "pursued a liberal immigration regime", but rather have been at least as draconian as any other party, and certainly tried to present themselves as such. (The only time this has slipped, in my view, was Mandelson's pathetic attempts to counter the British jobs for British workers line with a half-baked neo-liberalism).

Kellie's post also has good news from the Lebanese election, a link to Martin's excellent peice on Tom Paine, and something from the great Joe Sacco.

And, from Modernity:
[...] Opponents of the BNP should endeavour to build up trade unions and focus on a grass-roots anti-BNP campaign, not one run by the officials or the damaged goods with a long history of high-jacking organisations, instead it needs to be genuine and representative of a positive anti-fascist sentiment. That’s the way to beat them.[...]
The Guardian has an article up which rightly complains that the BBC gave the BNP too much airtime and the platform for their views.
A very sensible argument, however it would have been much stronger of the Guardian themselves had not provided the platform for racists within its own Comment Is Free section. On any particular day it is fairly easy to find a number of anti-Jewish comments within the threads of Comment is Free, and despite sloppy moderation by Guardian staff it is a hotbed of anti-Jewish racism.[...]
Duncan suggests Filling the Vacuum, November 2001 which refers back to an AFA decremented published in 1995. I can’t find an on-line copy, but this is a useful page. [...]*
The slackbastard’s coverage is very good.[...]
*Added link: Here is Filling the Vacuum. Darren also reproduces it, with a short timely intro.


kellie said...

Thanks Bob. Here's more from Abu Muqawama criticising the Washington-centric coverage of Lebanon's election.

Ken Brown said...

The UK-wide party that actually did best was the Greens. Only they (& the SNP) significantly increased their vote. But the press are claiming they did badly. Tories, BNP & UKIP remained about steady or fell slightly - yet the press say they did well! Labour & Liberal votes fell (as did PC in Wales)

The election was under a party-list system (that makes FPTP look good) . So the correct thing (tactically and morally) to do was to vote for any non-racist party with a chance of winning. Everyone who stayed at home is partly to blame for the BNP going to Brussels.

And we DON'T fight racism by compromising with it. We already have a full set of racist anti-immigration laws. We don't need any more.

We DO need to confront the BNP and point out who they are and where they come from. The "DNA" of their party IS relevant. The BNP leadership like to think that they are running a revolutionary party. Their published policies are at best a sort of transitional demand which they have no expectation or intention of ever seeing carried out. Their voters (& maybe most of their party members) are being duped. British nationalists, racists, & xenophobes who hate immigration ought to be voting UKIP or Tory, not for these sad old Nazis. It is a horrible thing that on the anniversary of D-Day, when tens of thousands of British men risked their lives to free Europe from the Nazis, parts of England should elect two Nazis to the European Parliament. Every vote cast for the BNP is like pissing on the graves of our British dead.

And in the end I don't think the BNP will be that important. They are so off the wall that I think the British people will see through them. If there is going to be a serious new nationalist/racist party in the UK its much more likely (or less unlikely) to come from UKIP than BNP. All the more reason for not giving in to their demands.

(I put a much more longwinded version of my analysis-cum-rant here: http://www.cix.co.uk/~kbrown/rotm/2009jun.html And some more personal comments here: http://ken.wibsite.com/)