Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Hilariously weird rightwing media squabble unfolding in Britain

The British National Party - the semi-respectable and semi-literate face of British far right politics - and the The Sun - the semi-respectable and semi-literate face of British far right journalism - are locked in a desperate turf war. Both espouse similar values and ideals - St George, whiteness, bring-back-the-birch and cast out the bleedin' immies and so on - and inevitably have turned on each other in a battle for their shared demographic.

The BNP has claimed that the Sun has libelled it by publishing a story containing an image of a phoney BNP leaflet. Reluctantly, I'll quote from their website:
The British National Party has called in the police and laid charges over the latest media lie about the party which has included a completely forged leaflet condemning the Gurkhas.

BNP lead North East candidate Adam Walker has this morning laid an official complaint against The Sun for incitement to racial hatred. The Sun story consists of a poor quality black and white leaflet which attacks the Gurkhas and which was not issued by the BNP.

“We have never issued such a leaflet,” Mr Walker said, adding that he had been contacted by the Northern Echo newspaper on Sunday and asked about the leaflet then.

“I told that newspaper that the leaflet was not ours, and that we would never issue such a thing,” Mr Walker said. “The newspaper would not tell me when or where it had been distributed, which made me highly suspicious. (1)

Hilariously, Walker goes on to identify the source of the smear:

“It is clear that this is just another ‘black operations’ trick drawn up by the local Communist Party front organisations who make a living out of spreading anti-BNP lies.


Mr Walker pointed out that the BNP have “members who fought alongside the Gurkhas and ex-forces who have served alongside them in garrisons. They are as disgusted and appalled as I am that The Sun and its Communist Party allies can resort to such tactics ..." (2)

Get that? The Sun, a rightwing rag that still lionises Margaret Thatcher and is owned by Rupert Murdoch, is in fact a communist fellow traveller. Topless birds, footie and Marx - no wonder it is so popular.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time I've encountered this paranoid obssession that the BNP and their ilk have with the baleful influence of the CPGB. The other day, LiveLeak.com published a bit of a rant about hordes of Roumanian's emigrating to Britain, and it rounded the diatribe off as follows:

The destruction of the Romanian economy took place under the Soviet Communist era - when that party was supported in Britain by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB).

Today, the CPGB is the organisation which coordinates anti-BNP propaganda in the media. That Communist front organisation’s leader actually stood as an election candidate for the CPGB in 1962, at the time when the Soviet Communist Empire was at its height. (3)

Which is fantastically potty and suggests the BNP is actually serious about this Red Menace nonsense. So much the better. The more time they waste running from shadows, the better. Also serves to reveal their Nazi roots, as well. Hitler was fervently anti-Communist. They're just following the example and teachings of their spiritual leader.

Meanwhile, the Sun has hit back with a story of its own, complaining about how the BNP has produced an image of a British soldier with falsely attributed words. Again, with some regret:

AN ex-Guardsman branded the BNP “scumbags” last night for using his photo and faked words on an election flyer.

Former Scots Guards NCO Stuart Walker, 37, was shocked to see a picture of himself in uniform outside Buckingham Palace on a poll leaflet.

Beside it, implying he would back the racist party in the Euro elections, were words criticising kit shortages and soldiers being “abused” by Muslims.

Stuart, who left the Army in 1997, first knew about it when it dropped through a relative’s letterbox. The dad-of-two, now a corporate manager in London, said he rang the BNP’s offices to complain and was told to “f*** off”.

He told The Sun: “I was completely outraged when I saw this leaflet. I think they got the photo off a website and the quote they’ve made up. They are scumbags and I’d never vote for them in a million years.”

The BNP is also reported to have used shots of US actors and Italian OAPs to represent British voters. (4)
It looks like the Sun has caved in and pulled the Gurkha story - I can't see it on their website. Which might mean that the leaflet really is a forgery - though the sentiments expressed in the leaflet are in line with the BNP's stance on immigration - which calls for
an immediate halt to all further immigration, the immediate deportation of criminal and illegal immigrants, and the introduction of a system of voluntary resettlement whereby those immigrants who are legally here will be afforded the opportunity to return to their lands of ethnic origin ... (5)
You'll note, if you peruse the BNP press release, that Adam Walker doesn't actually say the BNP want the Gurkhas here, or condemn the contents of the leaflet - an indirect admission that the leaflet, while not actually a BNP publication, was an accurate enough sumamry of their position.

My hunch is that it was put out, unauthorised, by a member of the BNP. A few weeks ago, a leaked internal memo from the BNP warned members not to do their own propaganda work (6). This is probably the sort of thing they were worried about - unruly members not being able to keep their inner racist thug hidden up until election day.

1 - "BNP Calls in Police over Latest Media Gurkha Lie," press release by the British National Party, 18th of May, 2009. (http://bnp.org.uk/2009/05/bnp-calls-in-police-over-latest-media-ghurkha-lie/)
2 -
3 - "Paying the Price for EU Madness: Millions of Unemployed Romanians on Their Way to the UK," by anonymous poster 24038462, published on LiveLeak.com, 16th of May, 2009. (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ad9_1242483244&c=1)
4 - "Hero's fury at BNP 'fake' pic," by Tom Newton-Dunn and Andy Crick, published in The Sun, 19th of May, 2009. (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2436087.ece)
5 - "Immigration: time to say enough," policy statement of the BNP regards immigration. Policy details correct as of 19th of May, 2009. (http://bnp.org.uk/policies/immigration/)
6 - As described previously on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2009/04/bnp-bigwigs-battle-burnout-blues.html

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I am still here.

 I am still here.  I haven't gone away.  I'm just trying to shame you all into better behaviour through my disapproving silence.