The BNP respectable? Hmmm

Its websites create links with those who deny the Holocaust while agitating for another one

By David Aaronovitch, January 8, 2009

I begin the goyishe new year with the shattering observation that people are odd. If we are very unlucky, we might find out in the next 12 months just how odd. This generalisation is attached to a story, of sorts. About a month ago, following the leak of the membership lists of the British National Party, I wrote in The Times that respectability would always be denied to an organisation that contained, at its core, a collection of genuine antisemites and equally authentic criminals and convicts. As ever, BNP supporters wrote in the online comments section about how I was wrong and how they were simply advocates of sensible immigration policies and opposed to the actions of Gordon Brown and “Zanu Labour”.

Two, however, wrote to me directly. Both described themselves as proud BNP members. Both wished me to know that my analysis of the character of their party was mistaken and probably malicious. Now, remember what that analysis was, and read on.

My first correspondent, whom we may call Helen from Brighton, was the more measured in tone. She was also more self-consciously intellectual, enclosing a photocopied map of Europe in the time of Trajan and Constantine, upon which she had highlighted, in yellow, certain events attached to places depicted on the map, such as “Trajan captured Armenia, 114” or “Roman army captures Mesopotamia, 116.” On the reverse, she had written that “the same period of history that the Roman Emperors were capturing the Judeans, Hadrian was busy taking Briton (sic) from the Britons.”

“Helen’s” letter made clear what the map was supposed to be showing. It was her contention that modern “second-generation Judeans” were determined to deny to Britons — those, presumably, that Hadrian had left — what had been denied to ancient Judeans by the Romans. It was clear to her, and by implication to her fellow party members, that it was the Judeans who were largely responsible for the latter-day seizure (via immigration) of Britain.

My second correspondent was much angrier. He began his two-page letter in a condition of high dudgeon of the “how dare you call my girlfriend a fat cow” variety. He spoke, he said, for young party members and nationalists, whose voices would not be silenced and whose ideals could not be suppressed by people like me.

People like me, it turned out at the beginning of the next paragraph, were “hook-nosed, swarthy Jews”, and from there the letter descended into what would have been the standard anonymous neo-Nazi rant, which I receive two or three times a year, had it not been for one big difference: after the passage in which the author lamented that Adolf Hitler, a great man, had not “finished the job” and promised that the next generation of nationalists would do better, the letter was addressed and signed. From prison.

I looked up the young man on the internet. There he was, serving a five-year stretch for attempting to firebomb a mosque. Now, as you can imagine, I began to wonder what precisely he had objected to in my article. I had said that too many BNP activists were antisemites and criminals, and here was a man telling me how mistaken I was, writing from the dubious sanctuary of Bristol Prison while extolling the virtues of the Führer and his policy of racial extermination. How capricious.

The second thing I thought was that this chap, who tried to light his fuse with a rolled-up BNP leaflet, would almost certainly have been just as happy to have set fire to a synagogue as a mosque — a valuable lesson, I think, for those tempted to be complacent about racism directed at others. And then I discovered that this same sad individual had, nearly two years ago, written another letter from prison, claiming that he had repented his National Socialism and broken all ties with antisemitic groups. Well, he had obviously re-repented in the meantime.

Naturally, the official position of the local BNP to various bits of vandalism and illegal racism in the area from which Correspondent Two hails, is to blame them on left-wing provocateurs or “someone who was bored and wanted to cause a stir…

“We don’t even know,” said their neighbourhood smoothie, “why people contact us about this kind of thing because the days of racist graffiti are long gone.”

In fact, membership of the BNP, on its various publications and websites, creates a series of links with national and international groups, organisations and individuals devoted to denying the Holocaust while, paradoxically, agitating for another one.

It is a rare racial activist who has the self-discipline to loathe Muslims only, without also leaving a heart-space for hating Jews. Which is why the BNP, in any guise that it assumes in this difficult year to come, remains the mortal enemy of every Jew in Britain.

Last updated: 5:27pm, January 8 2009