By Stephen Smith
On BBC’s Newsnight programme in 2001, Jeremy Paxman interviewed BNP Chairman Nick Griffin. NG gave an excellent performance, constantly verbally outwitting the veteran newshound Paxman. There was one question that Paxman posed that still resonates. Paxman asked if Nationalist parties had policies that were universally popular why hadn’t this translated into electoral success? NG replied (correctly) mentioning mass media bias and the many obstacles that small parties had to contend with.
Nonetheless, Paxman had a point: why was there no serious progress by Nationalist parties dating back to the 1960s? Admittedly this interview (2001) was just before the BNP’s run of electoral success from 2002 onwards. Success that lasted until 2010. Then swift oblivion. So, the Paxman question remains. From the formation of the old (original) National Front to the present, in real terms, we haven’t got much to show. Factions, individuals, infiltration have all taken their toll, but the astute question still remains.
Ironically, despite obvious media bias against patriots, it was mass media attention, if negative, that made the National Front a household name and assisted in an indirect way the BNP’s years of electoral success. Therefore, old NF and the BNP were reliant on the media smears for publicity, to a certain extent. Of course, BNP activists were the driving force of many election wins and high percentages during that period. One of the key things that severely damaged both parties was the media blackout, the old Oscar Wilde dictum about better to be insulted than ignored!
To be fair to the National Front there was always a strong element of community politics dating back to the early 1970s. The NF also created a myriad of sports, social and cultural activities for its members. In 1978 the party purchased a large, impressive building in central London called ‘Excalibur House’. Intended for use as a HQ and social club. The fact that this property was lost a few years later (factional infighting) does not disguise the fact that the NF wanted concrete infrastructure for the party!
The BNP, heavily mass media dependent, was politically eclipsed by being disregarded by the media as well as the same media’s promotion of Farage/UKIP. The BNP, with courage, work and intelligence, had a fantastic streak of electoral success between 2002-2010. However, with the UKIP factor, media blackout and zero attempts at establishing a strategy outside elections (e.g., Community work, infrastructure, youth recruitment, etc) when the party stopped winning, it sadly, crumbled. There was no plan beyond the polling booth. When the lights go out, one shouldn’t sit in darkness, one finds a torch or a candle! The end result; political tumbleweed.
There are spurious arguments within the current Nationalist movement (especially after May’s elections) about whether the various parties should have an electoral strategy or a street presence or try community projects. Some people have presented this argument with the inference that we only have one of the aforementioned options. Public political protest has a part to play but only occasionally otherwise the public find it irritating. Check out most left-wing demos on a range of subjects.
Real efforts should be focused on building from the ground up (hardly tried before), solid community foundations and a policy of carefully selecting elections. The old Labour Party and Trade Union movement had such humble beginnings as British politics was dominated by the Tories and the old Liberals. Some of the best people among millions of Britons have not joined us because they don’t see us (yet) as a fully viable option.
The British Democrats will avoid cranks, cultism, those that push a foolish and damaging message/image, and unnecessary physical confrontations. The best of the British will not cross the Rubicon until we display the potential for serious strength and the real prospect of victory.
The British Democrats strategy is multi-faceted; strict electoral choices, Nationalist community-based politics (precursor to becoming a mass movement) and a democratic constitution with thoughtful checks and balances. We have a coherent plan based on various methods of legal, sensible political advancement. Not just one. Elections have always been a ‘casino wheel’ (ask the Labour Party in 1931). The British Democrats strategy is not media dependent nor to fight each and every election (often at great cost in finance and sweat) neither are we addicted to political street theatre (which many demos are!).
We will obtain our rightful Patriotic Political Representation through canvassing, leafletting, creating both community foundations and infrastructure, no need for sensationalism. Serious, patient building of Nationalism, entering on the path towards political power, victory and then a full renaissance for our ancient, British nation.
(Editor: Stephen Smith has been actively involved in British Nationalist politics for 43 years. He has held various official positions during that time, playing a key role in some big breakthroughs, such as Derek Beackon’s famous by-election victory in 1993.)