Well, I had to do it, didn’t I? After finding out about the Racist Rev, the failed BNP candidate who was also self-defined as not a BNP member, I had to find out more about his “Christian Council of Britain.” (Link to wikipedia article)
Infuriatingly, it comes top in google for Christian Council while other more innocent – if more authentic – “Christian Councils,” such as Ryedale Christian Council, Telford Christian Council, trail behind.
The good news: On the basis of its website, it’s about as real as something that’s not very real.
The bad news: It’s definitely not a spoof site.
Website look and feel:
Like a Vatican website, with a spurious seal and a dramatic Victorian angel statue emitting rays of light and holding a cross as if playing the bass. Gothic-looking Biblical font used for the title.
Most of the pages don’t work, being “under construction” since 13 June 2008, unless they created it yesterday and got the yyyy bit wrong. Most page links lead to a bit of text saying:
Welcome to the new website.
Please be patient as it is still under construction!
Which isn’t bad, considering the shite I expected it to say. Racist Christians must have the proverbial patience of Job. (I am assuming that means “a lot of patience”. My apologies, if Job turns out to have been really impatient, being so annoyed by getting a name meaning “what you do for wages”)
The most recent – indeed only – entry on its “Sunday Lunch” Blog discusses an article in the Daily Telegraph, from November 23, 2007. Like most things on the site, the post date is 13 June 2008, suggesting it was brought in with other old guff when this site was set up and that nobody’s looked at it since.
The About us is possibly wishful thinking. It claims an executive of seven PLUS a national council. It generously says you don’t have to be a Christian to be on the council, which must improve its odds of getting members, but I still doubt that there is a membership roll greater than the number of people I could fit in my bathroom.
Articles has 3 entries in one post by “Revd RMB West, Moderator, Christian Council of Britain.” The word “self-styled” is unaccountably missing. Think about getting stuck in a bus queue with a bigoted drunk who’s carrying the Daily Mail and you have the flavour.
Latest news is the only thing I can find that has much in the way of content. It’s not “latest news” in the sense of being particularly recent. But it does seems to be the “latest” news on this site, so I have to hold off on the phone call to the trade Descriptions Act.
It is a doozy (whatever that is) The piece is a response to the CofE’s General Synod’s call to Christians to oppose the BNP. You can imagine how welcomed that was by the Christian Council.
Whoever wrote it (“albert”) starts off trying to present it as if he is just someone who thinks the BNP is being misrepresented. However, he soon shifts to saying “we” rather than “the BNP.” He has already failed in the first paragraph.
The call of the Synod of the Diocese of Chelmsford is misconceived in that the British National Party is not a racist part, nor does it recommend or countenance politics of racial or national misbehaviour. ……. The British National Party is the only political party not seeking to do this; but rather to ensure a future for the indigenous peoples of these islands.
Indigenous people’s rights? Who are these noble savages? He must mean “celts”, given that we don’t know much at all about who lived here before them. How are they to be identified then? Are they hiding on the dark side of a mountain on Anglesey?
Ah. They don’t have some secret genetic science that can identify the indigenous peoples. The answer’s in genesis. Goddidit. He just forgot to avoid confusion by stopping people from all over the world coming to the UK over a few millennia.
It is the will of God that the one race of mankind be divided into nations or descent groups with each having its own homeland where its interests, identity and values can be protected, upheld and promoted (Genesis 10: 5, 32; Acts 17: 26-27) . (from the Christian Council site)
In case you remain as confused as I am over the whole concept of Britishness, as expressed by the Rev, it’s an “ethnic” concept of Britishness. Yes, this explains nothing. The term “ethnicity” is as clear as mud, and I’ve studied Anthropology – it’s a shorthand description of a few cultural traits, at best, and by its nature, it is constantly evolving:
BNP UNDERSTANDING OF BRITISHNESS
.. Hitler sought to deprive the ethnic Poles of their identity and homeland by mass immigration from the Third Reich of ethnic Germans. Surely it is the denial of ethnic identity to the native British population which is analogous to what Hitler tried to do in Poland; and it is the mass immigration lobby, therefore, who are the far right and are practising what they accuse everyone else of doing.
Revd RMB West, Christian Council of Britain
Well, no, “mass immigration” lobby? (D’uh? name one person in it?) “the far right”. Blimey! This means that the term “the far right” is a dirty word, even to the BNP. (Well, for propoganda purposes anyway.) I shudder to think of what the BNP would see as “far right”.
There is something very disturbing about fascists claiming legitimacy by stealing the story of anti-fascism. The BNP are increasingly trying this trick – confounding bigotry with patriotism. Making racism appear patriotic. As Charlie Brooker’s old school-teacher said, they are insulting the memoriy of everyone who died or suffered in fighting fascism.