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BNP on the BBC = 21st century Section 31?
rights, freedoms and repression |
Friday October 23, 2009 10:46 by ipsiphi - = iosaf mac d. barcelona
Yes to Irish, Blacks, and Dogs. NO to the BNP
As this article is published the leader of the BNP, England's neo-fascist racist political party & one of the principle articulators of European neo-nazism in the English language has entered the BBC studios in London to take part in a BBC "question time" broadcast. The presence of Griffin has not gone without protest or reaction in Britain as much as in Ireland. This article collates much of the recent coverage of that reaction & puts this week's publishing on the internet on "Wikileaks" of the current BNP membership list in context.
But the point of this article is to examine from a leftist and Irish perspective the possible consequences of the BBC invitation to Griffin and the reaction in the liberal English chattering classes and at parliamentary level. Rather than moving to a revamping of the Race Relations Act the British it seems are considering a return to the censorship which was applied to the factions of the north of Ireland in general and Sinn Fein in particular.
The decision by Jack Straw to share a televised debating platform on the BBC flagship political program "Question Time" with Nick Griffin the leader of the BNP has sparked off reaction amongst the chattering classes, action on the street & may very likely result in moves to legislate a new form of censorship in the UK.
Jack Straw's actions have given oxygen to the BNP and allowed their leader to deftly play the multiple roles of "media martry", "alternative radical politician" & in the immediate wake of proper legal action against the party - move his spin to include "positive" mention of black Britons.
Today's opinion piece by the Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, who was responsible for not giving broadcast time to the Gaza appeal on political grounds hypocritically and scurrously offers the idea that it is not for the BBC to censor but for parliament .
There are only three precedents for censorship in the UK.
1) The most common is the least understood : the use of D notices by the Cobra Comittee of the joint intelligence and security services which working in co-operation with the British commercial and state media ensures reporting of events simply does not occur.
2) The recent case of the Carter Ruck "super-injunction"
3) The type of censorship used in the UK which mirrored the Irish state's section 31. During the troubles members of Sinn Fein could not appear on RTE. For less time they were also denied voice on the BBC and other British broadcasters. Ironically the picture of SF leaders were dubbed by English actors who repeated thier words verbatim though in a heavily and selectively edited form.
[for points 1 and 2 - D notice censorship and the Carter Ruck super injunction of early October please consult my back article on the case of Dilpazier Aslam of the Hizb ut-Tahrir group and his article in The Guardian during the bombings of 2005 & then for the "Super injunction" please read the comments to that article http://www.indymedia.ie/article/71169 ]
For point 3 please refer to an older person who remembers how the conflict in the north of Ireland was reported on telly and radio or go to wikipedia :-
If the chattering classes do not stop their pointless debate & not unite with the genuine left in opposing the BNP as all fascism on the street and consistently denying it platform - then we are left with no other appalling vista but continued and more honed media savvy spin from the BNP.
If we do not bankrupt them before provoking their lawyers before they reach the stage that they do not care for "negative publicity - nor does British society properly address the issue through the Race Relations Act and use of its terrorism laws on the EDL -
then we are left with nothing more than a return to "section 31"
= ¿ are we now to imagine that we would see Griffin and all the little fascists on the BBC but not hear their dulcet tones instead being treated to voiceover dubbed versions perhaps with a suitably ironic Jamaican accent?
"On 20th October 2009 a list containing personal details of BNP members was leaked for the second time by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks. According to Wikileaks the latest data reflects the state of the party membership as of April 2009. An analysis of the data alludes to the successes and failures of the antifascist movement within the UK." Indymedia UK http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/10/440274.html
The first leak as the second were first reported on Indymedia sites. The second membership list has however been archived on wikileaks where it's continued availability will be assured. The first list was fought by the BNP through their lawyers. we learn each time and do it better next . The BNP are of course paying their lawyers quite a bit at the moment.
I reported last week The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission (the statutory watchdog of the UK Race Relations Act) brought the BNP to court after its European election victory on the grounds that its party constitution which bans those who are not "indiginously caucasian" from membership.
The BNP's eastern regional Spokesperson Chris Roberts said in response that the enemies of the BNP are keen to bankrupt the party. Archiving on wikileaks will push up their injunction costs. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/94446?search_text=bnp
The membership lists of the BNP past and current (or last April at least) should be considered with the hack of the neo-nazi "Blood and Honour" website. That was reported on this website at this article :- http://www.indymedia.ie/article/88985 and although subsequent analysis of the information did not offer evidence of much Irish involvement (interestingly most Irish users were confined to the western seaboard where we have noted neo-nazi connections to Shell projects and violent attacks), there was the beginning of a clear picture of contemporary European neo-nazism and organised fascism. This weekend scores of neo-nazis are expected to converge on Ireland's west in Kerry coming from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. The very states which figured high in the B&H crack list. (c/f call to action in Kerry for this saturday http://www.indymedia.ie/article/94523 )
In Ireland mobilisation in support of anti-fascist action groups and trade unions who repudiate the presence (As I write) of Griffin and his party faithful on the BBC political flagship program may be read about here :-
Protest BBC House Belfast (right now) http://www.indymedia.ie/article/94490?search_text=bnp
In the lead up to today's protest in Belfast the story of widening trade union opposition to the BNP
One of the illustrations with this artilce is a cartoon by Steve Bell of The Guardian and British anti-War movement. http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/cartoon/2009/oct/...rtoon It appears here under the accepted "fair non-commercial use" practise of copyleft publishing. His cartoon came in response to a TV appearance by Griffin in which he defended his wearing of a red poppy after prominent British generals and the British Legion (who issue the blood red poppies annually had taken exception at his expropriation of what they see as a national symbol) In a video on the website of the "Daily Telegraph" newspaper you can see how he claims that he his father cleaned spitfire aircraft to assist the British war effort against fascism and that Churchill was a racist and that both black & white lads who have served in Britian's latest wars are deprived of television whilst scum in prison enjoy it. Griffin claimed that British generals ought be hanged for warcrimes. I noted in a comment to Steve Bell's cartoon, that the poppy that Griffin is wearing is very wee. No doubt the fascist though better of wearing the usual British Legion version. We may also note he has not opted for the white poppy alternative which pacifists attempt quite unsuccesfully to promote each November.
That video & article :
Might I also in passing mention as I did in my comment to Steve's cartoon, that I really think we should promote the wearing of the purple opium poppy for peace in Afghanistan . OF course if we can't get that together, we could just cheapskate little smack wraps in tinfoil and wear them proudly on our lapels.
But I fear that the likelihood of us doing such a thing is much smaller and abysmally more remote than the idea that the BNP are going to continue to expand. From the netted window of intolerance to the corner of the drawing room telly tube to the 21st century flatscreen.
If you shite in a bag and stamp on it - don't be surprised if you can't get your floor or shoes clean.
The Guardian Steve Bell's cartoon - © steve bell (fair use)