I’ve been thinking, as have many people, about Nick Griffin and the BNP quite a lot recently. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about why I just can’t find it within myself to get worked up about the man.
The fury about him being allowed to speak on television and the anxiety about the perceived swell in support for the BNP are things I would assume that I’m rather hardwired to indulge in, yet I can’t bring myself to be a part of them. It isn’t apathy or defeatist. I think I’m just rather happy to have him ‘in charge’ of racism. While he’s at the top of the UK fascist contingent, I think we’re in quite a good position.
First things first – by trying to ‘play the game’ and legitamise his party, he’s had to somewhat sort out the militant and racist groups he slithered from. He understands that to achieve their ‘Britain for the British (but not the British with different coloured skin, obviously)’ end game, they can no longer take the law into their own hands, they must crack the system from the inside. I have no facts and figures in front of me but it feels like the organised racist violence and activity which was so pervasive in the 80’s and somewhat the 90’s has died down.
Nick Griffin himself is an interesting figurehead. At first he seems like a kind of rubbish James Bond villain. Sitting back smugly in his chair absolutely tickled that nobody will guess his masterplan for global domination. He seems to delight in presenting a dignified public face whilst harbouring the dark truth of his cantankerous plan. But, of course, he’s rubbish at it because most of us know his history and his true ideals. This turns him into kind of a pantomime baddie and makes all of us complicit in this bizarrely enjoyable routine in which we love to loudly boo and hiss whenever we see him and wait joyously for him to say ‘OOOOOOH, I’M NOT A RACIST!’ so we can reply ‘OH YES YOU ARE!’ and he loves it and shouts back ‘OOOOH WINSTON CHURCHILL WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR THE BNP’ and we all try to scream back loudest ‘OH NO HE WOULDN’T!!!!!!!’ And it’s all rather jolly. He has neither the passion and vision of Hitler (and I am in no way saying that Hitler should be admired for these things) nor the charisma and leadership skills of Mosley. He’s more like the manager of a Tesco in the shit part of town who says he’s sorry they don’t stock tofu but blatantly doesn’t mean it and actually thinks you’re a bit of a cunt for eating tofu.
I think perhaps my favourite thing about Nick Griffin’s reign is his rubbish masterplan. After a lifetime of racist huffpuffery, he has decided that the best way of taking power is by pretending to be something else. This is quite brilliantly stupid. So, he goes into depressed areas and rallies support by telling the disenfranchised that his party will put their needs first. This has been working. If any of the other parties could be bothered to seem to care about the disenfranchised, it’d work for them too. Disenfranchised people generally would like nothing more than to feel… enfranchised. The votes he is gaining from these people, however, are not indicative of their political beliefs and, should the day ever come (it never will) that Griffin is sworn in as Prime Minister and turns around with an evil cackle shouting ‘RIGHT! Now I banish every black, brown, yellow and purple person from my country forever!!!’ it would be many of his actual voters who would stand side-by-side with their friends in their beautiful multi-cultural community (along with the police and armed forces) and say ‘I think maybe you should leave, pal’. He wouldn’t last a day.
I think that’s why I am amused and unfazed by him. The sheer lunacy of attempting a racist agenda by non-racist means is compellingly notable. I mean, are we short of racists in this country? Wouldn’t he do better by being explicit and honest about his intentions and just uniting the latent prejudice and racism that is omnipresent in this country? Real actual racists must be despairing as to what he is doing to their cause.
Which is why I’m rather happy we have him about.