The BNP is trying to soften its image. The literature I have in front of me has nice ‘soft’ pictures all over it: a family with two parents and three children, two girls, one boy, all happy and smiling; three workers all in hard hats, male, various ages, one avuncular type with grey beard, all smiling; for the intellectuals there’s a doctor, male, 40-ish, white coat, stethoscope round neck as per ‘Casualty’; for the elderly there’s a grey-haired couple also smiling, looking as though they’ve been lifted from an ad for conservatories or cures for arthritis. For environmentalists there’s even an invitation to recycle the leaflet. That’s one invitation I will be accepting!
Like UKIP they are invoking the World War 2 spirit. UKIP have hijacked Churchill and the BNP have hijacked the Spitfire. They go further, invoking Trafalgar, the Somme, Dunkirk, D-Day, and the Falklands. Bit of a cheek, really, and not particularly historically literate. The crews on HM ships at Trafalgar were a much more multinational lot than you might imagine, containing various European nationals, Afro-Caribbeans and the odd American alongside our own Jack Tars. Like UKIP they hope that these images will evoke a response in those of a conservative cast of mind – don’t just hijack Churchill, but Nelson and Thatcher as well!
The invitation to say ‘NO to high taxes & Rip-Off Britain’ is appealing to the same group, but the real ploy is the echo of Gordon Brown’s ‘British Jobs for British Workers’ pledge, with attacks on immigration, the banks, big business and ‘globalisation’ which has been allowed to ‘destroy jobs and drag down wages’. All this is a result of ‘cut-throat foreign competition’. This is rather similar to the gospel accorging to ‘No2EU’ run by various left wing Trade Unionists like Bob Crow.
They affect to be all things to all people, of the ethnic majority, that is. Given the combination of Proportional Representation and the expenses scandal, there must be a real danger that members of this party will be elected to the Europen parliament (an institution which, like UKIP, they affect to despise). We already have a few of them on local councils and one on the GLA (PR again!) Thus do fringe parties like this gain influence, ‘respectability’ and, eventually, power. Voting for them would an equivalent act to that committed by ‘the young lady of Riga’ in the limerick.