I haven't said here that we shouldn't let the BNP air their ideas, nor that we should ban them, or that we shouldn't be in a democracy. Yet people here seem to think that I've said that people are only allowed to speak their views if I agree with them... that's not what I'm saying at all.
The ability to campaign against them by signing a petition, basically peaceful protest, is my democratic right, just as much as it is theirs to stand for an election - in fact, more so. The only one here who has argued for banning their existence is Haggis, and he actually has a point. Their very constitution is illegal, simple as that. However, an open debate would be very useful - rather than brushing it under the carpet, we need to challenge the BNP's lies and give people the facts. It's tricky. I support the legislation that could ban them, but I certainly wouldn't want to make them martyrs - and I'd prefer to try to change the minds of those who believe their propaganda. This is a huge issue - they are only a fringe party, sure, but the amount of people that have said to me recently in conversation about the BNP that they "have some good ideas but I don't like all of them" (or words to that effect) has genuinely shocked me. The very things that they stand for are disgusting and a disgrace to their nation. (The irony is that Nick Griffin is a nationalist, and I've never been more proud to be British than when someone smacked that ######er with an egg.)
Saying that I shouldn't be signing this petition because they were democratically elected is ridiculous. Is it undemocratic to sign a petition now? Over 30,000 have signed this - that's many more than voted for them. A democracy doesn't just mean that you get to put a cross in a box every now and again. It doesn't just mean that you have the freedom to talk out of your arse, either. It also means that people have access to information, that we have the open exchange of ideas and debate, and that people are given the facts they require to make an informed choice. I don't know how true it is that "most people that signed the petition probably didn't vote" (I did vote, and I'll give Alex one guess as to who I voted for). But I'd wager that most that voted for BNP candidates aren't in full possession of the facts.
Is it that simple, though? Yes, people should all definitely be free to feel and think and act however they see fit. However, when the actions of a particular person/group infringes on the human rights of others, don't you have to draw the line? The BNP are racist, no matter how they try to dress it up. Of course, if they want to go about hating people for their race, they can do that. But voting them into positions of power? The BNP would very gladly introduce policies that would completely destroy any democracy that exists in this country.
I do my best to stay out of political debates, as my knowledge is limited at best. It was just all the "oh you're just saying if you don't like it it's not allowed" stuff was irritating me.
Me too. You're spot on.
Spacecrumbs quoted Mill to me. Is that from 'On Liberty'? It's been a while since I read that, but as I understood it, it's central message was basically, do what you want as long as it doesn't harm anyone else. I have no problem with that at all, but as much as we need to address this threat, we need to remain vigilant, because they may (probably usually do) break hate laws. The idea that we should defend the BNP's 'freedom' because they aren't harming anyone is crazy.
"We have the ability to back up our slogan 'Defend Rights For Whites with well-directed boots and fists... non-whites have no place here at all and we will not rest until every last one has left our land." - Nick Griffin - Member of European Parliament.
What needs to happen is the major parties need to do something about immigration - illegal immigration, that is. At the moment they're all too scared of appearing racist or politically incorrect to actually tackle the issue, and it needs to be tackled. If they do so, then a lot of the BNP's vote would disappear.
QUOTE (dave cc)
Alex is absolutely spot on. The more that the major parties rufuse to deal with issues like illegal imigration, amongst other things, the more people will vote for the BNP.
I actually could not disagree more here. This is the way that the major parties currently look at it, and I really don't think it's working.
The main reason the right has enjoyed an upsurge of late is a media offensive against the EU and negative headlines about immigration, asylum and terrorism. So people argue that BNP gains mean that the major parties need to tackle the issues, so they come out and say things like "oh, but we ARE doing our best to control immigration, we ARE stopping too many from coming in and swamping this country, we ARE defending our borders, we are sending people home every day, we DO want to provide British jobs for British workers, etc etc." All this does is vindicate the BNP's arguments, and reinforce voters' perception that this is something negative that they really ought to be concerned about. So people remain concerned. The BNP will just say, "well sure, but you're not doing it well enough, we can do it better".
The major parties know the truth - that immigration benefits this country's economy and we'd collapse overnight if we stopped it, and the EU is beneficial - yet they're too scared to say it, because it doesn't make headlines in the right-wing press. What we need is an open debate, and the major parties, especially Labour (who have lacked balls on this for years), to make the case FOR immigration. They're too interested in appearing to look "tough", which as I say, just comes across like the right-wing parties were right all along. Instead of trying to defuse the threat by moving into their space and stealing their policies, just dancing to their tune and doing nothing whatsoever to fight against their lies, I would love it if a high-profile figure would just stand up and say "No. I'm sorry, but you're wrong on this. I've no interest whatsoever in pandering to xenophobia, and leaving the EU, and reducing immigration, because it would be disastrous for this country. The facts are that... (A, B and C). We should be supporting this instead of saying 'bloody foreigners stealing all our jobs etc' because of... (X, Y and Z). It's not true because (etc etc)." There's a huge perception gap that nobody with much influence seems to be doing much to challenge.
As an interesting side note, a survey recently asked people what they knew about asylum seekers/refugees, and funnily enough, found that most people don't know what they're talking about.http://www.independe...rs-1699213.html