Nick Griffin is right, Churchill would be at home in the BNP


At the beginning of the controversial BBC’s Question Time (22 October 2009) with the BNP’s Nick Griffin as one of the panelists, there was a question from the floor which went: “is it fair that the BNP has hijacked Winston Churchill given that he fought against oppression and repression”. Labour MP and Justice Minister Jack Straw’s response to the question was “it is certainly not fair. The fact that this party has hijacked his image when he stood against racism and Nazism in WW1 and WW2 is wrong. We only won the First and Second World Wars because we were joined by millions of blacks and Asians around the world”. Straw’s reply was greeted with rapturous applause from a multi-racial audience. The Tory Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and Social Action Sayeeda Warsi delivered the final blow when she thundered “any party which has the values of the BNP does not share the values of Churchill and of our armed forces, therefore it is disgusting that they should use those images”.

In his defense, Griffin noted that Britain fought WW2 “to preserve its freedom and sovereignty” and made reference to a comment by Churchill in the early days of mass immigration to the UK that “they are only coming here for our benefit services”. Griffin is right about Churchill and the reasons Britain fought WW2, and you do not have to be racist to agree with him. Churchill, a self proclaimed democrat, fervently opposed granting freedom to India and branded Mohandas Karamchand Gandi “a half naked fakir”. It is “disgusting” that Sayeeda Warsi, who is of Asian origin, was in Churchill’s defense. And while Asians and Africans fought alongside the British in WW2, as Straw argued, they were still denied independence by Britain in their respective colonies at the end of the war. Some of the African WW2 veterans were also not adequately compensated at the end of the war. Moreover Churchill regarded black Africans as incompetent and lazy. This is not the thinking of a man “who stood against racism”, as Straw would have us believe. Despite Churchill’s racist views on black Africans, Bonnie Greer, a black historian on the panel, made a lame comment that Churchill’s mother was “American and there are hints that his mother was Mohawk Indian, therefore he could never have been in the BNP as its is constituted”.

By 1944, Churchill and the Allies knew that the Nazis were using gas to systematically exterminate Jews in Auschwitz. International Jewish organisations and other prominent Jews made impassioned appeals to Churchill to bomb gas chambers or railways, which were the mode for transportation of Jews to their death in Nazi concentration camps. Britain had the military capability to do this but Churchill chose to ignore the pleas. Churchill was never a champion of saving Jews from the Holocaust.

It was also troubling to witness the mainstream parties compete with the BNP over immigration issues. Labour even looked “liberal” on immigration at times. This of course had to do with Griffin being on the same panel as Straw. Griffin deserves to be taken to task for his immigration policy proposals. But by making his right wing views the focus, the audience and British public generally lost sight of just how racist and restrictionist Labour is on immigration, and how the Tories promise to be even tougher on immigration should they come to power next year. Labour and Tories’ immigration policies needed to be taken to task, along with the extreme Griffin. But with Griffin there, the criticism was deflected. Labour and the Tories could claim the high moral ground. There is little to fear from the BNP. The party will never get elected. It is the mainstream parties who are frightening. They are racist and restrictionist on immigration, but just that more sophisticated and subtle than the rabble rousing and crude Griffin and BNP.



~ by wanderer and his shadow on November 1, 2009.

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