David Broder gives his (personal) view on the EU elections and the BNP
The Times has carried several articles in the last week predicting that the recent outcry at the “MPs’ expenses scandal” has boosted the chances of the British National Party winning at least one seat in the European Parliament in the June 4th elections. Most people can only be sickened by this prospect – and indeed the extra revenue and organising power this would afford the BNP – but in a sense the election results will merely reflect the ‘already existing’ organising strength of the different parties. Of course, at election time we ought to be concerned not only by the growth of the BNP, which has expanded ten-fold in the last decade, but also by the much greater – continuing – strength of the Tories and New Labour, who already have both the (state) power and determination to attack migrants.
Typically of the media (both corporate and leftist) The Times devotes great attention to all the activities of the BNP – wholly unwarranted by its size or power – much as the press swallowed the far-right group’s own ludicrous claims to have played a leading role in January’s Lindsey Oil Refinery wildcat strikes. The paper fears the BNP playing on “anti-establishment” anger and widespread disaffection with the mainstream parties. Editorial pieces over the last week have extolled the virtues of Parliamentary democracy and pointed to the criminal records, violent past and sloppy attendance record of BNP councillors. A May 11th editorial piece encouraging voter turnout to stop the group securing an MEP commented:
“To alert voters to the reality of the BNP, the main parties need to make their own case and persuade people that, no matter what they think about the state of politics in general, the BNP is worse than just useless, it is bad. A vote for the BNP is a vote for extremism and intolerance.”
Of course, it is no surprise that The Times, the long-standing newspaper of record and ‘authoritative’, ‘serious’ voice of the elite, should defend the established order of ‘normal’ politics and ‘mainstream’ parties against ‘extremists’ (surely it would have the same attitude towards a sizeable communist alternative to the establishment). So why does the traditional left’s “anti-fascism” look so similar? Continue reading “the european elections, the left and anti-fascism”