May 6, 2010
The JC's article "Election 2010:Jewish candidates await the results" includes a list of "other key Jewish constituencies to watch" - one of which is Epping in Essex.
A very brief bit of research reveals that candidate Patricia Feldman Richardson is - apparently - ethnically Jewish, though she does not practise the faith.
Now, I'm sure regular readers of this website are not the types to vote for someone simply because they're Jewish. However, politicians are well aware that there are people out there who pick which candidate's going to get their X on the ballot paper according to such criteria as how attractive the candidate is, whether or not they dress well and, indeed, their religious and/or ethnic background.
With that in mind, anyone from Epping tempted to vote for Ms. Richardson simply on account of her ethnoreligious status should think carefully before doing so, as a quick look at the ballot paper will reveal she's standing for the extreme right British National Party - and the BNP who are certainly no friends to us Jews, no matter how often party leader Nick Griffin claims to no longer deny the Holocaust. Nor, for that matter, how many times Ms. Richardson says the party is neither antisemitic nor racist.
Since 2009, Richardson has been leader of the BNP on Epping's council and during that time the group has campaigned against Muslim prayer groups. Jews, throughout the millennia that we have existed, have been subject many times to attempts to prevent us practising our faith and so it is our duty to protect other people's right to practise their own.
The BNP are a group so hungry for power that they will say just about anything if they think they might get a few votes out of it. In Britain today, that means claiming not to be racist - "racism" is a dirty word, and even those who admit to such beliefs are frequently apologetic when doing so ("Well, I'm sorry but I do think they're just over here to claim benefits..." "I know I shouldn't say this, but if I see a black man in the street at night..."). However, "Islamophobia" is not - following the terrorist attacks in New York, London and other places, British Muslims have been demonised in very much the same way that we were at various times in our history and the BNP are taking advantage of that by using people's fears to advance their racist ideology by stealth.
Remember Pastor Martin Niemöller's famous poem about the inactivity of German intellectuals allowing the Nazis to rise to power?
THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
It still rings true today - the only difference being we've moved a few notches up the scale as the fascists have identified new enemies.
THEY CAME FIRST for the Muslims,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Muslim.
THEN THEY CAME for the Poles,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Pole.
THEN THEY CAME for the Africans,
and I didn't speak up because I was not an African.
You can be certain that, if the BNP achieved power and removed Islam from Britain, they'd pretty soon move onto their next target. It might be Poles, or it could be Africans, or it could be homosexuals. However, sooner or later - no matter how many other groups were targeted first - it'd be our turn, because the ultimate aim of the BNP is and has always been a Britain populated solely by white, Anglo-Saxon BNP supporters.
Pat Richardson may be ethnically Jewish, but that's no guarantee that her party is not antisemitic. Her membership and position on the party, in fact, seems a calculated attempt by the group's leadership to prove that the BNP is not antisemitic - she may be convinced the BNP is not antisemitic but would they retain her, do you think, if antisemitism was as widespread among the general population to whom the party is trying to appeal as it is among its members? Poor Ms. Richardson is yet another victim of the cynical BNP's lies.
Make sure you don't fall for them too - and if you live in Epping, don't vote for Pat Richardson even if a candidate's ethnicity is the best reason you can think of to vote for them. There are far, far better reasons to vote against her.