Wednesday, March 7, 2012

136 Nick Griffin interview on the BBC

(1) Comments from 'GL' on the Nick Griffin interview; and reply by PM
(2) Critics attack BBC for making Griffin 'a victim' on Question Time
(3) The BBC blew it and Griffin came out well
(4) The true cause of the BNP's rise - Melanie Phillips
(5) Mick Hume: It should not be an offence to belong to the BNP
(6) Intolerant tolerance - Mick Hume
(7) Trots & other New Leftists arose amongst Uni Students; estranged from Working Class
(8) The national is also international - Communist Party of Britain (M-L)'s ideology

(1) Comments from 'GL' on the Nick Griffin interview; and reply by PM

> Did you see the Nick Griffin interview?

Yes, I did, and I imagine nearly everyone in Britain did.

It did not change my view of Nick Griffin. He has been seen on TV often, and his views, bad and good, are well-known. Like Hitler he is cleverly taking advantage of the fact that the socialist elite does not care tuppence for the lower range of white working people. He is attracting voters who in the past have been solid supporters of the Labour Party. Jack Straw, the Labour Justice Minister, represents a constituency in which a third of the voters are Asian, many with the attitude of colonists, but supporting Labour. Even Sraw has protested about women coming to see him wearing veils or burkas. Straw fears that the white workers in his contsitituency will vote for Griffin, as they did in the European election, and he will be out. So Straw, the first speaker on the program, voiced a rehearsed tirade of vilification at considerable length. Whenever Griffin tried to reply he was repeatedly interrupted. The whole purpose of the programme began to look like a kangaroo trial of Griffin and nothing like it is nornally. The normal format was not followed. Every question bar one was clearly deliberately chosen to allow everyone to attack Griffin. Maybe 2 of the audience of 100 were his supporters.

This was very silly tactics as the British instinctively back the underdog. Straw's attempt to show Griffin as a supporter of the Naxis backfired right at the start. 'My father served in the Royal Air Force and fought the Nazis while yours was in jail for refusing to fight' said Griffin to Jack Straw. Straw did not answer.

Griffin does not have much of a sense of humour, but if he had he would have been laughing his head off later in the programme, as the Conservative (Sayeeda Warsi, a muslim lady member of the House of Lords), the Liberal Democrat, and the Labourite realised they had to declair they wanted to control immigration if they wanted to keep electoral support. So there they were voicing strongly what is the main plank of the BNP policy. And of course the fact that the other three were at each others' throats served Griffin's purpose well.

Sayeeda Warsi is a liberal Muslim and does not wear a hijab. She was declaring that Abu Hamza was not a Muslim, and the same re all the other extremists. They however regard themselves as the only true Muslims, and Griffin would doubtless agree. Some of his remarks were unwise as they were open to mis-quotation. For instance he talked about 'a' Klu Klux Klan which he said was non-violent. The press has turned 'a' into 'the', not knowing or caring that each Klan is independent  and Griffin's claim could be true of that particular group.

The policies he tried to push were. 1. that his party is anti- Eurpean Union, 2, anti- uncontrolled immigration, 3. anti public demonstrations of homosexuality though happy with what goes on in private, 4. anti the Iraq War and the Afghanistan war ('let the Islamic countries alone), 5 supported Israel's actions against Hamas. He described the BBC as controlled by the extreme left. He wanted Britain to remain British and predominatly Christian. (Someone in the audience quoted the Book of Revalations as evidence that Christianity was as bloodthirsty as Islam.)

Outside the BBC was the usual rentamob, determined to stop the broadcast. They were 500 according to the police, but 300 looked more likely. They claim to be ant-fascist yet their tactics reminded one of Mussolini's Fascisti. Suppress free speech by violence. Griffin cleverly supported their right to behave that way, knowing of course that would give his supporters the right to do the same.

At the end of the programme my opinion of Griffin's opponents had fallen a lot as they had betrayed the principles of fair play and showed contempt for the intelligence of the British public. The public does not need their help to tell when Griffin is not being sincere.

Reply to 'GL' - Peter M.:

I saw bits of the interview, and demonstration, on the BBC website. I thought Nick Griffin came out well; the ordeal he had to go through shows the pressure put on all other politicians over immigration and other "Political Correctness" issues. But the BNP will have to change its "whites only" policy. Nor can there be any deportation of existing migrants. Even so, migrants are likely to breed up while indigenes breed down. But at least these issues are being publicly aired at last.

Immigration in Australia has a different context to immigration in Britain.

Britain is already "full"; I can't understand how opposition to immigration has been branded "racist".

Australia could have a much bigger population, if creative ways of living in inland areas were developed. This would involve diverting floodwaters of some rivers inland - a project that Australians of a century ago would have jumped at, but which today's Greens reject. They envisage pre-White Australia as a Garden of Eden we should revert to.

You can be sure that China, if it controlled Australia, would bring water to the inland.

Without bringing water to inland areas to alleviate the regular droughts, the increased population will move to cities and other congested areas.

I'm sending you pieces on Nick Griffin written by Melanie Phillips and Mick Hume. Both are Jewish, former leaders of the (Trotskyist) Revolutionary Communist Party.

On the fall of the Soviet Union, they shut down the RCP and developed an anti-Green, anti-Feminist-lobby, anti-Gay-lobby position. In the journal they founded, Living Marxism (later LM Magazine), they took shots at the various kinds of Political Correctness their former Trotskyist colleagues (and their Fabian allies) have imposed on us. (please don't call this "Socialism" - that makes me wince - Socialism is about public ownership)

Both are pro-Zionist. That makes them Neo-Cons, I suppose. Mick Hume writes for the Times occasionally.

Their articles on Nick Griffin are much more calm and sensible than the emotional denunciations of the media reporters, editors & columnists.

(2) Critics attack BBC for making Griffin 'a victim' on Question Time

Philippe Naughton  

October 23, 2009

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6886918.ece

Britain's best-known black politician accused the BBC today of having handed Nick Griffin the kind of "victim" status that he craves during a Question Time clearly designed to humiliate the British National Party leader.

The views expressed by Diane Abbott largely coincided with those of the BNP itself today, which said that "white working class" voters would have been shocked by the treatment Mr Griffin received.

Ms Abbott, the country's first black woman MP and herself a BBC TV pundit, said that Mr Griffin should not have been allowed to appear on the programme because all it achieved was to give him and his party publicity.

"It's all very well in the morning to say 'oh well, he got smashed' but in the long run people who are attracted to the BNP will come away saying 'he was a victim'," she said. "When you put the BNP into the mainstream like that they drag people onto their agenda. Everyone is talking about Nick Griffin.

"The programme has given him unnecessary exposure, unnecessary credibility, and giving more credibility to a fascist party in the middle of a recession is a very dangerous thing.'

At least 500 angry protesters had massed outside Television Centre in west London as Mr Griffin arrived for the taping of the show. Scotland Yard said that three officers were injured – one of whom was taken to hospital with a head wound – and six protesters arrested during the evening's demonstration.

Inside the studio there were no protests but passions ran high and members of the audience repeatedly jeered and challenged the BNP leader. One accused the accused him of trying to "poison politics"; another offered to set up a whip-round to buy him a ticket to the South Pole. "It's a colourless landscape, it'll suit you fine," he said.

For his part Mr Griffin decried multiculturalism, which he said had been imposed on the British people.

"We are the Aborigines here," he said. "It is racist to shut white people out of their own country. The majority of the British people are descended from people who have lived here since time immemorial who now feel shut out from their own country."

The Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, who came to prominence as an anti-Apartheid campaigner in the 1970s, denounced the broadcast.

"The BBC should be ashamed of single-handedly doing a racist, fascist party the biggest favour in its grubby history,' he said. "Our black, Muslim and Jewish citizens will sleep much less easily now the BBC has legitimised the BNP by treating its racist poison as the views of just another mainstream political party when it is so uniquely evil and dangerous.'

But the BBC deputy director general Mark Byford insisted it had been "appropriate' to invite Mr Griffin to appear given the level of support his party achieved in the last European elections.

"Members of the audience asked the kind of tough questions that mark Question Time out as the premier television programme where the public put the panellists on the spot,' he said.

"We remain firmly of the view that it was appropriate to invite Nick Griffin on to the Question Time panel this evening in the context of the BBC meeting its obligation of due impartiality.'

The main complaint from viewers appeared to be that the programme had become exactly what its host, David Dimbleby, said that he wanted to avoid: the Nick Griffin show.

Of the five questions put to the panel, four related directly to the BNP. The fifth was about a controversial Daily Mail column on the death of the Boyzone singer Stephen Gately - which Mr Griffin used to describe gays as "creepy".

The BNP spokesman John Walker said this morning that the BNP's critics would be "smug' about Mr Griffin's performance last night, but said the Question Time format had been altered especially to target him.

He said: "This wasn't really Question Time, was it? They changed the whole format of the programme into a complete, 100-per cent attack on Nick.'

He said it was "unbelievable' that issues which could have been discussed were not, including the postal strike, Tony Blair's mooted appointment as president of the European Union and the deaths of British troops in Afghanistan.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Walker went on: "Anyone who was opposed to the BNP would probably feel very smug and pleased with themselves this morning.

"But I don't think it makes much different to the people in white working class areas that have been betrayed by the mainstream politicians. If anything, a lot of their concerns were confirmed last night about the mainstream.'

(3) The BBC blew it and Griffin came out well
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/georgepitcher/100014609/the-bbc-blew-it-and-griffin-came-out-well/

By George Pitcher   UK  Last updated: October 23rd, 2009

I was right in my column on Monday, though I say it myself. It was pure Oprah Winfrey. All self-righteous voices wobbling with emotion. No real points or proper debate, just tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I don’t think Nick Griffin came out of Question Time badly. Or not as badly as he should have done. He was barracked, interrupted, talked over and talked down. All those who argued that he should have his say and have his ghastliness exposed were denied. All those who claimed that he might have something worthwhile to say were frustrated. And practically an entire current affairs programme on the BBC was occupied with the spectacle of the fat boy in the class being humiliated.

This was no triumph, for the BBC or anyone else. It was childish, lightweight and stupid. A few half-phrases about the Ku Klux Klan and Churchill does not make a debate. Griffin got away with it, but didn’t have any space to develop an argument, if he has one. If anything, he may have benefitted slightly from his victimhood.

It was a wasted opportunity, with no substance, discourse and with precious little point at all. Which just about sums it up for our politics and the BBC today. What a crying shame.

(4) The true cause of the BNP's rise - Melanie Phillips

The true cause of the BNP's rise

Melanie Phillips

Daily Mail, 19 October 2009

http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=688

The participation on this Thursday's Question Time of the British National Party leader Nick Griffin is a priceless publicity coup for his party.

From the commotion this is causing, a casual observer might imagine that Griffin is the pivotal figure in British political life.

His appearance is being treated by the chattering classes as the biggest showdown since Attila the Hun's rampage through Gaul was halted by the Roman general Flavius Aetius in 451AD.

Never has a TV show attracted more feverish attention. Broadcasting executives and party officials are drawing up and re-drawing battle plans and strategies to deal with this one-man threat to the body politic.

The selection of the other panellists has been decided around one question alone — how to contain and demolish Nick Griffin.

The reason for the frenzy is the fear that the high-profile BBC1 Question Time panel format will enable him to present himself as a reasonable politician.

Alas, despite all the uproar, his opponents have settled upon the wrong strategy. And the reason they have got it wrong is precisely why Griffin has made the headway that he has.

In a democracy, politicians from distasteful but lawfully constituted political parties - and the BNP is a legal organisation, with two MEPs — should not have their views suppressed but taken on and defeated in argument.

But to do so, the positions they take and the source of their appeal have to be honestly acknowledged. And that is what the political class is getting so badly wrong.

For the strategy being adopted to contain and destroy Griffin is to attack him for being a racist. Which he is.

But that is not the reason for his appeal. Those who support him do not in the main do so because they are racially prejudiced. It is because he also opposes mass immigration, Islamisation and the loss of sovereignty to the EU.

These are all legitimate concerns which are widely held by people who fear the loss of Britain's historic identity — but which are stigmatised as beyond the pale by an intelligentsia which considers any such expression of nationalistic sentiment to be a form of racism.

The BNP really is racist. Its constitution states it is 'wholly opposed to racial integration' between British and non-European people, and that it wants to restore 'the overwhelmingly white makeup' of Britain before 1948.

But because legitimate feelings about national identity are also deemed to be racist, Griffin has been able to present the entire political mainstream as a conspiracy against the interests of ordinary people.

By cleverly sanitising the BNP message over recent years, he has thus been able to pose as a victim of political correctness.

Yesterday, he showed his slipperiness in an interview on Sky News in which he unblinkingly claimed that he now had no problem with 'settled ethnic minorities' such as Afro-Caribbeans, Sikhs or Hindus, only with 'colonists who want to change our country into something completely different' — which is code for those who want to Islamise Britain and replace its values with Islamic Sharia law.

Such distinctions should fool no one. The BNP is hostile not merely to Islamic supremacists but to all Muslims, including those who threaten no one's way of life.

And as a report by the Centre For Social Cohesion reported recently, BNP members and supporters still display significant enthusiasm for key neo-Nazi ideas including condoning violence, anti-Semitism, admiration of Hitler's Germany and extreme racist views.

The head of the BNP's legal team, Lee Barnes, has even advocated the downfall of Western civilisation so that BNP supporters can 'take power in the ensuing chaos with a mandate for radical change'.

And although last week's legal ruling means that the party can no longer bar membership to non-white individuals, the fact remains that the membership policy it is now being forced to change is a racist one.

Like all quasi-fascist movements, the BNP is supremely opportunistic, using legitimate grievances which the political mainstream has ignored as a Trojan horse for its own horrible objectives.

To expose Griffin on Question Time, he needs therefore to be opposed by people who endorse the legitimate elements of his platform but repudiate the bigotry.

He should be taken on by the decent, white working and middle classes — those sections of the community from where he is drawing most support, and which most urgently need to hear people like themselves say to his face 'not in my name'.

It is such people alone who can take the ground from under his feet. But instead, his fellow panellists have been drawn from precisely the 'liberal elite' that he rails against to such effect.

This is because there seems to have been a governing fear that if anyone gave him any ground at all this would be tantamount to endorsing him.

So there are reports that an early proposal to fill the ' independent gadfly' role on the panel by Douglas Murray, the right-of-centre director of the anti-Islamist Centre For Social Cohesion, was vetoed because of the danger of creating the impression that any of Griffin's ideas were legitimate.

Instead, playwright Bonnie Greer was selected. But as a Left-wing black American, she is unlikely to get under Griffin's skin simply by virtue of the colour of her own.

Because of electoral fairness restrictions, the programme had to offer the remaining three panel places to Labour, the Tories and the LibDems.

All these parties promptly fell into the trap. The LibDems' choice, Chris Huhne, can be picked off as a classic example of the out-of-touch, upper-class, on-the-make political elite.

Labour's choice, Jack Straw, is compromised by his record of sucking up to radical Islamists. And the Tories' choice, Baroness Warsi, is vulnerable to the charge that in the 2005 General Election she campaigned in white areas of Dewsbury for 'British identity and British citizens', while in Muslim areas she played upon anti-war and anti-gay Muslim feelings.

Griffin can easily use such issues to land some powerful blows. And if the other panellists try to destroy him as a racist, he will win hands down. All he has to do is appear to be the victim of this 'liberal elite' — merely for making apparently reasonable points in a quiet and restrained manner.

After all, his personal target audience in the country at large are already vilified as 'racist' or some variety of 'phobe' whenever they seek to support bedrock British values. Every time that accusation is thrown at Griffin on Thursday night, he will go up in their estimation.

The liberal intelligentsia has put the BNP's rise down to the bigotry and imbecility of ordinary people.

Having turned patriotism from a civic virtue into a racial crime, however, it is that elite which has driven thousands of decent, patriotic British people, both white and dark-skinned, to supporting the BNP.

This is because it appears to be the only party (except for UKIP, which is seen to be a single issue, anti-European organisation) that allows them to uphold such a belief.

What a terrible indictment — that the only party which allows people to express their patriotism is one that exploits and manipulates such feelings for other, unsavoury, ends.

The mainstream parties seem principally concerned to demonstrate their own virtue by competing to be the loudest to denounce the BNP as vile and despicable.

This, however, conceals a devastating reality — that the people who are truly responsible for the rise of the BNP by abandoning and demonising the ordinary decent people of Britain are none other than themselves.

(5) Mick Hume: It should not be an offence to belong to the BNP

[Ever in favour of presenting an alternative take on events, here is a very different view on the exposure of the BNP's membership list by the Wiki posse. As Mick Hume of Spiked says, there was a time when it was us lefties who were the subject of witch-hunts. Oh, and reprinted without permission, so sue me. Ed.]

19 November 2008

The furore over the leak of the British National Party's membership lists 'reveals' some home truths about democracy as well as the far right.

http://www.creative-i.info/?p=2339

The leaked publication of the details of 12,000 members of the British National Party (BNP) appears to have created almost as much fuss and front-page news as the British state's recent losses of data on millions of people. This confirms the misplaced political obsession with the BNP, and the peculiar place that this small far-right party occupies in public life today. Many of those who were outraged by the authorities' loss of disks containing personal data seem almost gleeful about the way that this leak has 'exposed' the BNP's membership.

On spiked we have little time for the anti-immigrant politics of the BNP (in fact we have none at all). Amid the overnight furore, however, a few things are worth remembering about living in a democracy.

Anybody should be free to join any political party they wish without legal impediment, or we risk turning the clock back to a time of state repression and secret societies. And they should be free to keep that matter of political conscience private should they so wish – even if they are embarrassed to be members of the Labour or Conservative parties.

Nobody should fear the sack for their political opinions or affiliations alone. Those anti-racists crowing about the discomfit of BNP members today might recall that such measures have more often been used against the left. Back in the Cold War days when I edited a revolutionary newspaper and Living Marxism magazine, some people in sensitive jobs and public positions felt obliged to write for me under pseudonyms. In the past, victimising a left-winger for his or her politics would be called a 'McCarthyite witch-hunt'; now doing it to a BNP supporter would apparently be deemed fair play.

Any racist behaviour by a policeman or any other public servant is obviously unacceptable. But being barred, fired or punished for a personal political view is a different matter. Even police officers should not be subjected to the thought police.

And while we are on the subject, Britain's trade unions should drop their attempt to change the law so that they are able to ban BNP members from membership. Private clubs and political parties should be free to decide who they want as members. But trade unions are by nature meant to be organisations representing and open to the entire workforce.

Behind all of that, the publication of these membership lists and the reaction to them might also remind us of some facts about the BNP and the mistaken way in which it is often perceived.

The publication confirms that it remains a relatively small and ineffective organisation, riven by the sort of petty disputes and power struggles that have long characterised the far right in Britain – which is presumably why some disaffected individual leaked the information via the internet.

But, as the BNP leadership has pointed out, the list also confirms that the party membership is not entirely typified by 'a skinhead oik'. Despite what its opponents claim, it is not the National Front of the 1970s and early 1980s, with whom some of us are old enough to recall exchanging blows rather than views. The BNP members include professionals and other respectable types, such as the ballerina, Simone Clarke, who was previously exposed as a BNP member.

Even more than its members, BNP voters today are quite different from the way they are often depicted. The mainstream parties have sought to demonise the BNP as the fascist symbol of evil in British political life, the one thing against which all decent people must unite. Yet in reality support for the BNP today reflects above all the widespread feeling of alienation from the political class. It has become an all-purpose symbol of disaffection amongst white voters, rather than an endorsement of any of the party's specific (and specifically grim) policies. That is why its votes can go sharply up and down from one election to another, almost regardless of what the BNP does or says.

What our established political leaders fail to grasp is that the more they try to censor, bar or put down the BNP and its members, the more they risk reinforcing its reputation as a protest movement for free speech and against the discredited old politics. The 'exposure' of its membership lists may well put some off joining for now. But the wider demonisation of the BNP, of which the reaction to this is part, is the best publicity it can get.

The only thing that really needs to be 'exposed' about the BNP today is its politics. That requires a commitment to democratic debate and free speech, not censorship, disciplinary procedures and blacklists.


Mick Hume is editor-at-large of spiked.

(6) Intolerant tolerance - Mick Hume

If there's one thing far worse than the BNP…

Mick Hume

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/2086/

...it is using a botched political prosecution of that far-right party as another stick to beat free speech and jury trials.

The state stages a transparent politically-motivated trial of weak opponents, in order to lay down the law on the limits of official tolerance. Unfortunately the authorities fail to persuade the jury, which finds the dissident politicians not guilty. In response to this embarrassing failure to get their way, government ministers declare that the law must be changed, in order to ensure that their enemies are found guilty of crimes against society next time.

To some, this might sound like the stuff of a police state in a 'banana republic', or perhaps of the sort of dystopian futuristic drama beloved of the BBC. But in fact it is what happened in the UK last week, when the leader of the British National Party was cleared of stirring up racial hatred by attacking Islam, and New Labour ministers had an authoritarian tantrum in response.

(However, it is funny you should mention the BBC, as the broadcasting corporation was heavily involved in this little piece of real-world political theatre – scarier than anything seen in its conspiracy dramas.)

The case was prompted by an undercover BBC documentary. The BBC secretly filmed a meeting of BNP supporters, during which Nick Griffin, the party leader, condemned Islam as 'a wicked, vicious faith'. In the media-inspired furore that followed, Griffin and Mark Collett, BNP publicity director, were charged with incitement to racial hatred. Griffin repeated his views on Islam from the dock. After their first trial, the jury failed to reach a verdict. Last Friday a second jury found them both not guilty.

On hearing of this disgraceful display of independent thinking by the jurors of Yorkshire, New Labour and the rest of the anti-racist establishment immediately threw all of its toys out of the pram. No less a figure than chancellor Gordon Brown, prime minister in waiting and a man not noted for hot-blooded political speeches, immediately intimated to the BBC that this sort of thing would not be tolerated on his watch. 'I think any preaching of religious or racial hatred will offend mainstream opinion in this country and I think we have got to do whatever we can to root it out from whatever quarter it comes. And if that means we have got to look at the laws again, then we will have to do so.'

Other New Labour ministers were quick to join the chorus, while one anti-racist campaign condemned the verdict as 'a travesty of justice' because 'the BNP are guilty of inciting racial hatred', as if the party should have been on trial for its views in general, rather than Griffin for anything specific he might have said or done. Insiders pointed out that the government's attempt to introduce a tough law against incitement to religious hatred had been defeated earlier this year; surely the failure of this prosecution for incitement to racial hatred proved that law was needed now? And there were mutterings about the problem of trying such cases before unreliable juries – particularly when, as almost every report made clear, this was an 'all-white' jury.

Here on spiked we have no sympathy or time for racists. But this carry-on is far more worrying than anything the BNP might say. The political motives behind the prosecution were transparent. First the BBC played its self-appointed role as broadcasting wing of the Commission for Racial Equality, with a programme clearly scripted to 'expose' the fact that the BNP is not a friend of immigrants and Islam (shock horror!). Then the state stepped in and announced the decision to prosecute the BNP pair the day before the launch of last year's General Election campaign – a campaign in which bashing the BNP became a ploy for all the major parties to demonstrate their decency. It now seems that even West Yorkshire police were concerned that this heavy-handed exercise would present the BNP with a 'no-lose opportunity', whatever the eventual outcome of the trial.

If there is one thing worse (and a lot worse) than the feeble far-right, it is the state using that little political faction as the pretext for another political clampdown on liberty and democracy. After all, it is not the BNP that is now planning to introduce new laws further to limit freedom of expression, laying down new rules about what we are allowed to say about religion, or floating ideas in high places about the 'problem' of jury trials. Griffin can only vent his illiberal prejudices at private meetings of his party activists. The government has the power to try to turn its illiberal prejudices into public custom and law.

Chancellor Brown's statement that we cannot tolerate opinions which 'offend mainstream opinion in this country' sums up the outlook of the political class today. There is a powerful mood of conformism, of intolerant tolerance, an attitude of 'You cannot say THAT!' which seeks to restrict the terms of public debate. And in this climate, offending what is deemed to be 'the mainstream' often seems to be considered the worst offence of all. You can have all the 'diversity' you want, so long as it does not diverge too far from the centre. The mainstream is the only stream in town (see The age of intolerant tolerance, by Mick Hume).

As we have consistently argued on spiked, however, free speech is not divisible. Expression cannot be half-free. And the 'freedom' to say only what does not offend the mainstream is no freedom at all. Indeed, as champions of free speech from Mill to Orwell have long pointed out, it is only the fringe, 'extreme' or unconventional opinions that need protecting – mainstream opinion is quite capable of looking after itself.

If defending fully free speech is important as a general principle, it is also politically vital in the particular circumstances of today. The unresolved problems of division and tension in our society are not going to be addressed by burying them underground and forcing everybody to abide by an empty etiquette of tolerance. That is simply storing up more explosive trouble for the future. We need genuine tolerance that allows the expression of views with which you vehemently disagree, more clear opinions and sharp debate not less, a no-holds barred argument about the sort of society in which we want to live. That must involve the liberty to criticise Islam, Christianity or any other religion as wrong or even 'wicked' – the freedom for Griffin and the BNP to attack Islam, for Muslim radicals to denounce the Pope, or for Sir Elton John to call for a ban on all religion as homophobic. It also, of course, includes the freedom of religious types to tell the likes of me that we are going to hell.

The law on incitement is a dangerous instrument that needs to be handled with great care even when it applies to a real crime such as murder. When we are dealing with racial or religious hatred, however, incitement laws have no place. It is a peculiar situation where feeling hatred itself is, quite rightly, not a crime, but incitement to that non-crime can itself be deemed a criminal offence. The criminal law is here intruding into the realm of ideas and thought-policing, and it should be shown the door again. If a racist instructs somebody to go and attack a mosque, and hands him the petrol can, he should be held responsible. But if somebody were to hear the likes of Nick Griffin say Islam is wicked, and then takes it into his head to launch such an attack, the speaker cannot be held to account for the actions of another. However unpleasant words might be, we need to insist upon the distinction between speech and deed (see 'Free speech' is more than a slogan, by Dolan Cummings).

I recall a case from America a few years ago, where a racist firebrand who told a crowd of (largely armed) supporters that America would be better off without blacks and Jews was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder. As his defence lawyers argued, in a free society, so long as we are dealing with words rather than violent actions, people should be free to hate.

As I always have to insist at this point, we are not interested in upholding any human right to be racist. This is not primarily about Griffin and Co, it is about freedom for the rest of us – our liberty to listen to all of the arguments, stupid as well as sensible, and judge the truth for ourselves. That is the freedom the authorities now seem to fear most of all. The venom that they direct against the BNP reflects their fear that the simpleton white working classes are putty in the hands of such rabble-rousers. Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, backed Brown's call for a change in the law after last week's case, on the ground that 'what is being said to young Muslim people of this country is that we as a country are anti-Islam and we have got to demonstrate without compromising freedom that we are not'. It sounded as if he was suggesting that the BNP speaks for Britons! Solution? Shut them up – without compromising freedom, of course.

Whatever else it might be the BNP does not represent Nazism on the march. Indeed, in some ways it embodies an eccentric version of the fashionable political attitudes of the age: Griffin has welcomed the rise of the politics of ethnic diversity, in which whites vote BNP while Muslims vote RESPECT, and both he and Collett emerged from court wearing blue ribbons for their cause.

The BNP is an empty receptacle for the disaffection of sections of the white working class who have never read its programme, but feel intensely alienated from the mainstream of the political class. And this cack-handed attempt to crack down on its views from on high will hardly alter that state of affairs. Indeed, the tragedy is that the BNP has now been able to claim the high ground as the champion of free speech. It will have turned many a stomach to see Griffin standing on the steps of the court boasting that 'They can't take our FREEDOM!' But the government's response – to threaten to change the law to do just that – is more sickening, and can only make matters far worse.

It is high time we had a campaign for free speech and genuine tolerance, in defence of jury trials and democracy, and against illiberalism in all its forms, whether it is directed at immigrants or white voters. No doubt that might 'offend mainstream opinion', and upset New Labour as well as the BNP. But it's a free country – isn't it?

Mick Hume is editor of spiked.

(7) Trots & other New Leftists arose amongst Uni Students; estranged from Working Class

From: Charles F Moreira <moreira_charles@yahoo.com.sg>  Date: 22.10.2009 04:13 AM

I still owe you a comprehensive reply to your earlier post on communism but I'm busy with work right now.

Anyway, just for the record, it is the the anti-revisionists ie. Stalinists who split with Kruschev after he denounced Stalin at the 20th Congress of the CPSU, and these include Maoists, Hoxhaists which describe the Soviet Union after Stalin as state capitalist. You can do a search on Mao for his or China's statements on that.

Amongst the Trots, only those associated with the International Socialist Organisation headed by Tony Cliff (Yeger Gluckstein) who call the Soviet Union, China, etc "state capitalist," whilst the rest of the Trot groups refer to it as a "deformed workers state" where a "privileged bureaucracy" has formed and enjoys special privileges off the backs of the rest of the workers.

As the title of this post shows, there is much antagonism amongts the various Trot groups.

There is another group, the World Socialist Movement http://www.worldsocialism.org/index.php, a small group with member parties in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and the United States which uses the term "state capitalism" but in reference even to the Soviet Union since its inception. It's member party in Australia is the World Socialist Party of Australia.

The World Socialist Party follows in the tradition of Daniel DeLeon in the US and only recognises Marx & Engles, whilst it rejects Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Mao, Enver Hoxha.

OK! Now to the topic of this post at hand.

I have been rather concerned that the far right in the west would make gains amongst the working class, simply because both the Trots and many of the Stalinist (including Maoist and Hoxhaists) groups in the west arose amongst the student movement, especially during the anti-Vietnam protests of the 1960s and as a result do not have strong roots amongst the workiong class, unlike the reformist, parliamentary road communist parties, such as the Communist Party of Great Britain, New Communist Party of Britain, the CP USA, Communist Party of France and so on, which collaborated with the social democratic parties, such as the old Labour Party in the UK, Australian Labour Party, Democrat Party in the US, etc.

These parties were active in the anti-racist/anti-fascist, anti-imperialist struggles and gained some support mostly amongst immigrant workers and in the case of the Trots, also amongst women, gays, lesbians and so on.

So now, faced with this economic crisis of capitalism, with many workers thrown out of work, cutbacks in social services and so on, without that strong influence amongst the majority of the organised workers, the right far right gains traction instead.

One communist party amongst the anti-revisionists which still has roots in the working class is the Communist Party Britain (Marxist-Leninist) www.workers.org.uk which was led by Reg Birch in a split from the pro-Soviet Communist Party of Great Britain. The CPB (M-L) originally was Maoist but later became Hoxhaist following the Albania's spit with China in 1978.

They take a national position on communism, to the point of being called "National Bolshevik" by some. Whilst they don't oppose immigration, they nonetheless oppose multi-culturalism as divisive and expect immigrants to become a part of the British working class in their fight against capitalism and imperialism and as a result, some communists accuse them of being national chauvanists.

(8) The national is also international - Communist Party of Britain (M-L)'s ideology

From: Charles F Moreira <moreira_charles@yahoo.com.sg> Date: 22.10.2009 04:44 AM

The national is also international

This is an example of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) ideology

It's under the Opinion section at www.workers.org.uk

The statement in the last paragraph on fighting globalisation is classic Stalinist strategy of the national struggle at home contributing to the international struggle against capitalism and imperialism in other countries. Defeat globalisation in one country and it will inspire the workers of other countries to do the same in theirs.

Do you hear such statements from the Trots?

That's why, with few exceptions such as in Sri Lanka, the Trots never made any headway in the anti-colonial struggles of the colonised people's and only survive and thrive, mostly amongst the middle class in the liberal democracies of the west.

Charles ===================================

The national is also international

WORKERS, MAY 2009 ISSUE

MAY DAY has been International Workers Day for over a century. But the background to this year's celebrations around the world is new. The triumph of capitalism supposed to result from the destruction of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of a host of socialist countries – though not Cuba – has become a wake.

Never have capitalist governments been so clueless. Their beloved system has let them down, and they have nowhere to turn to except to drive down living standards and raid the assets of the working class. If the G20 meeting amounted to anything, it was just that.

At home, our government clings on to finance capitalism like the drowning man it is. Its morality is the morality of the banker: greed is good. Every day brings fresh exposures of corruption and malpractice.

Meanwhile, Labour presses on with everything that the British people hate: privatisation, wars, the hounding of the unemployed, the militarisation of the police, the contempt for industry. Those who think of voting Labour as the "lesser of two evils' should reflect on the nature of that evil. No root, no morals, no ideas.

Never, too, have the people of Britain been so cynical about the ability of politicians to make things better. But cynicism is a dangerous condition, leading as it does to inaction. It's all the more worrying as the solutions are plain to see and easily within our grasp. We must rebuild our industry and our infrastructure, basing ourselves on need not profit. That means taking control, and cynicism and taking control don't live well together.

The workers of all countries face the same crisis, to varying degrees: finance capital is seeking to destroy national independence in order to allow it to sack the wealth of all nations. That's the globalisation agenda, and that's where the World Trade Organization fits in.

The only way to deal with the globalisation offensive is nationally: defeat it where we are strong, and widen liberated areas. We can do this through asserting the importance of nation and of independence. The only way we can help other workers is by defeating capitalism here, just as the only true help they can give us is by taking up their own fights. That's true international solidarity– and it's the only one that works.

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