Fucking hell, the BNP eh? What a bunch of wankers. Scum of the earth. Massive arseholes. Total dogshit.
Nick Griffin’s decision to tweet the address of the couple who sued the B&B owners who refused to let a gay couple have a room hasn’t gone down well at all. After all, it’s gutter politics of exactly the sort that the BNP are frequently accused of engaging in.
Indeed, I found it utterly revolting, albeit not that surprising, considering the far right’s long-standing tactic of publishing the addresses of their political opponents in an attempt to intimidate them into silence.
Nick Griffin is also a stupid prick (as well as an ugly, ugly bastard) so of course he thinks this sort of thing is perfectly appropriate, and in his own warped mind I’m sure he genuinely believes that all of us heterosexuals are under attacks by hordes of ‘homosexual deviants’. ‘Heterophobia’ indeed…….
Anyway, I went on Twitter yesterday to tweet a link to my latest magisterial piece. I don’t go on Twitter for any other purpose now to be honest as I’m getting a bit bored of the whole thing.
In fact, I think I must be the first person in the world to be bored of Twitter and be rather underwhelmed by the claims of its power over the national conversation. I like longer pieces and don’t think you can really say anything profound in 140 characters. I like brevity (yes I do) but such constraints are too much even for me. Twitter is a useful source of info if you need to find out about something quickly but that’s about as far as it goes.
But anyway, leaving another tangent aside, I read a huge number of tweets condemning Nick Griffin with lots of high-horse jumping and back-slapping about how the rest of us would not stoop so low, and how the whole unsavoury incident provided further confirmation of the BNP’s utter moral degeneracy.
Which is true, but then it’s also true that today is Friday. Or Saturday, depending on when you are reading this. What I’m saying is that as political statements go saying the BNP are horrible and really, really mean is terribly banal.
Of course they are.
But lots of things are horrible without being terribly important.
A few years ago it seemed reasonable to assume that the BNP were a party on the rise and they posed a genuine threat. They were gaining a hearing and mainstream credibility, and polls showed increasing numbers if people were seriously considering voting for them.
That simply isn’t the case anymore though. The last couple of years have seen a total collapse in their fortunes. The ‘oxygen of publicity’ Griffin’s appearance on Question Time was supposed to provide actually ended up choking him and his party, as many of us correctly predicted; there have also been a wave of splits, financial problems, expulsions resignations and the party is a pale, fratricidal shadow of its former self.
They have now become a bit of a joke. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb in saying that they aren’t a serious threat anymore. In the grand scheme of things, they are nothing more than a minor irritant. Of course that could change again, but right now it simply isn’t the case.
Which is grand news, naturally, apart from small matter of the political and economic situation still providing the far right with great opportunities if they could get their act together, and the other small matter of the resurgence/insurgence of the militantly anti-immigration UKIP.
The extremely rapid rise of the violently, unambiguously pro-Nazi Golden Dawn in Greece is also a salutary reminder that these things can change very quickly so I’m not complacent.
However, what all this means is that right now getting really, really furious and self-righteously angry about Griffin and the BNP whenever he says and does anything reprehensible, as so many liberals do, is to badly miss the point.
The problem in British politics, the real threat, is this government and the dominance of their ideology. It isn’t the BNP dismantling the NHS, selling off anything not nailed down to the floor and subjecting the welfare state to a death by a thousand cuts and creating the social conditions for the far-right to flourish.
It’s this government and their cheerleaders in the media doing that and creating the climate for that.
Right now there are much bigger fish to fry than what Nick Griffin says on Twitter. If his plans for a demo outside the house of a couple who just wanted to be treated like normal human beings came to fruition then that’s another thing entirely.
But it appears to have been nothing more than the hollow words of an embarrassing, impotent man, and should be treated as such.