Today’s BBC’s Big Question was discussing the premise that the Buggering Nutters Party had a right to be heard.
The aforementioned “big question” was effectively decided by the very format of the programme, given the fact that BNP people were central to the discussion, so they were obviously getting heard. There were some very good audience and panel responses to them, but still, it’s hard not to see this as a pretty generous BBC platform. Their representatives were able to showcase their policies throughout the whole programme.
I was briefly stunned to see a vicar, in full clerical dress.
The BNP are indeed becoming masters of manipulation. They have already annexed the Union Flag, thus leaving non-racist English people with the red on white cross, (which was previously associated only with another miniscule fascist party, called the League of St George.) Along with UKIP, they hijacked the image of Churchill in their election propoganda. (Trying to connect their fascist nature with an image that only has power because of a war against fascism…. Ironic, n’est ce pas?) As well as stealing this iconic Tory figure, they have stolen policies from old Labour – building a manufacturing base, expanding British mining, and so on – allowing them to build a base in the least politically-aware parts of the working class.
All in support of a racist project that they barely bother to conceal . Unsurprisingly, they don’t bother to hide it because it’s their basic USP.
And there they are, on the BBC, with a vicar – a failed BNP candidate – as if they are now trying to annex the Church of England. He’s wearing a dog-collar and what looks like a bishops top – except it’s green. The identifying subtitle – not available for ordinary audience members -calls him Reverend blah. (It lists his church as Baptist Beans or something.)
I momentarily suspect that Rowan Williams has really fallen asleep on the job.
Nah, Phew. It’s just a bit of subliminal political chicanery. It turns out the Racist Rev isn’t a CofE vicar. But you have to do a fair bit of searching to find that out.
From Seismic Shock:
Back in 2006, Reverend Robert West was suspended from the Tory Party for addressing a BNP meeting. He went on to set up the Christian Council of Britain, which although claiming to represent ‘Christian values,’ was little more than a front group for the racist policies of the BNP.
Since then, various Christian organisations have denounced the Christian Council of Britain, whilst the BNP’s religious tactics have been reported in the Christian press. Back in December 2008, the General Synod of the Church of England voted to ban clergy from joining the BNP.
Suffice to say, Rev West is none too happy.
This Sunday, Rev West addressed a congregation in the Baptist Chapel in Barton in the Beans, Leicestershire, deploring the General Synod’s decision. (from Seismic Shock)
He comically sought asylum from the BNP, when he got into trouble with the tories for giving aid and comfort to the BNP.
Rev’d West claimed his action was sparked by a desire to “seek “refuge from political correctness by applying for asylum with the British National Party – Britain’s finest and most decent party – in our country’s hour of need.”
Ironically Rev’d West taught political philosophy and equal opportunities law at the universities of Nottingham and East Anglia, was also a member of the Lincolnshire Council for Racial Equality. (My emphasis)
But, switching to the BNP, he claimed Cameron’s A-list, an attempt to boost numbers of women and black candidates, was “discrimination of the worst kind.”
I guess that having lost his election attempt, that makes him a “failed asylum seeker.” (Control orders – where are they when you need them?)
The Daily Mirror (“Fake vicar leads the bigots’ bid “) cast doubt on his vicar credentials, in its brief but informative list of the backgrounds of BNP candidates – which included the party leader’s own attempt to play the Christian card.
“The ex-National Front chairman said Jesus would vote BNP if alive today”
Well, maybe, if the BNP was standing for election in Palestine. Unless they mean, if Jesus was a racist UK voter.
It seems the BNP see a move into the knee-jerk Christian realm as step forward for them. According to Ekklesia:(BNP helping to establish church group based around racial ideology)
The confirmation followed speculation previously reported by Ekklesia, that members of the British National Party (BNP) were involved in setting up a ‘Christian front.’….
“The Christian Council of Britain is a group set up to represent Christian values and the Christian Heritage of the country” West told the programme. ..
Asked how many members his church had, West said; “at this stage there aren’t very many but that is always the way when you are beginning something. You have to believe what you are doing is right.”….
The presenter then asked him whether there was a link between his church and the BNP.
“There is a link in that the BNP has encouraged and facilitated the formation of the Christian Council of Britain. They are working as facilitators. They are supporting what we do” West said.
He denied however that he himself was a member of the BNP. But, he said, the church group “arose in connection with the Nick Griffin trial.”
It seems that the word “Christian” is a weapon in the would-be fascist arsenal. On the model of the US religious right, I assume. The US right have already been pretty successful in hijacking the term as a synonym for “wingnut.” It is depressing that the BBC has inadvertently been suckered into the process of redefinition.