Here's Andrew Brons, the British National Party's new MEP who'll be representing the good people of Yorkshire and the Humber on last night's Channel 4 News.
Let's have a little bit of background on the man to start with. Brons has been active in far-right politics for many years, having started out in the National Socialist Movement when he was just 17. National Socialist...hmm...sounds a bit Nazi-ish, doesn't it? Back in those days, the far right weren't so keen to distance themselves from Hitler's fascism as they currently are now, probably because they hadn't cottoned on to the rather obvious fact that the vast majority of the United Kingdom's electorate are highly unlikely to vote for any group resembling the very people that many of our grandparents (and, back in those days, parents and even friends) gave their lives to defeat. During the 1960s, members of the NSM - an organisation formed from a splinter group of the original 1960s BNP on Hitler's birthday by one Colin Jordan who died in April this year. Jordan advocated "pan-Aryan universal Nazism" and openly used Third Reich symbols - were responsible for a campaign of arson against British synagogues and Jewish property.
With the NSM in turmoil following the departure of John Tyndall, Brons left to join the 60s BNP, which later merged with the League of Empire Loyalists - a group led by Arthur K. Chesterton, who had served under Oswald Mosley in the British Union of Fascists - to form the National Front. Brons stood as an NF candidate in both of 1974's General Elections, winning 2.3% of the vote in both instances and became leader of the party following its poor performance in the 1979 General Election. During this time, he and a group of NF supporters conducted a leafletting campaign in Leeds and were heard to shout slogans including "White Power" and "Death to Jews" - when a policeman of Malaysian ethnic origin asked the group to disperse, Brons called him an "inferior being." This event led to his appearance before magistrates and he was convicted with abuse and breaching the peace, for which he was fined £50 (a reasonable sum at the time).
Brons put his political life on a back burner in the mid-1980s, concentrating instead on his career as a lecturer in Politics and Law at Harrogate College. He retired from this position aged 61, and a number of articles attributed to him have subsequently appeared in Identity, the BNP's magazine (warning - that link connects to the magazine's website, so don't click it if you're likely to feel offended by the contents). During this month's European Election, he won 9.8% of the vote in his constituency, making him the BNP's first (and so far one of only two, the other being BNP leader Nick Griffin) MEP.
That's all we're going to say on the man himself and his political leanings (for the moment, at any rate) - it serves as an introduction for those not previously familiar with him and readers can probably guess the opinions of a blogger called Acid Rabbi when it comes to groups such as neo-Nazis. What we want to take issue with here is the interview from last night's news.
Interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy asked Mr. Brons for his thoughts on racism (01.01): "What about racism? Do you think racism is a terrible thing, or do you quite like it?" Brons replied with a bit of bluster on how the term is a Trotskyist invention, adding that "racial hatred of any kind is unpleasant and must be condemned. We don't wish people to hate other races."
Nick Griffin, leader of the "non-racist" BNP, received a suspended prison sentence in 1998 for... wait for it... incitement of racial hatred.
Er...right. So what about that bit in the 2001 General Election BNP manifesto where it states that native Britons - who, according to the party, can only be white people - being given priority in the jobs and homes market, effectively making non-whites second class citizens? What about Nick Griffin's statement to Wales on Sunday back in 1996, when he said that "All black people will be repatriated, even if they were born here"? What about his conviction for inciting racial hatred in 1998? Not forgetting your party's gloating in 1991 when a group of your supporters stabbed that African immigrant at London Bridge Station, you know the one - your newspaper claimed the victim had had his kidney surgically removed during the attack?
Or the part of the BNP constitution that says the party is "committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration" - "immigration" could be construed as non-racist, but not "non-white immigration." What about Richard Edmonds' reply in 1993, "We are 100 per cent racist" when asked if the BNP was, in fact, racist by Duncan Campbell of The Guardian? While we're on the subject of Mr. Edmonds, who is a high ranking BNP member and served as their National Organiser, what about his time in custody in 1993 over a racially-motivated attack? Or his conviction for deliberately smashing the statue of Nelson Mandela on the South Bank in London? OK, so he was expelled from the BNP eventually - but then he was brought back in by Nick Griffin and given a job on the Advisory Council. That's a very strange thing for a non-racist party to do.
Richard Edmonds, who serves on the non-racist BNP's advisory council, is a veteran of the far right who was convicted of a racially-motivated attack. Image from Hope Not Hate.
Brons offers an absolute delight of an idiotic statement when he claims that (07.00) "...many parts of this country are almost unrecognisable to the original inhabitants." Well, they would be. After all, we have cars, houses, science, televisions, microwaves, aircraft, medicine, domestic animals, farming, money and literature nowadays; we also cook our meat and don't cower overnight in trees to escape the attentions of things like bears. We're now an island too, no longer connected by a land bridge to mainland Europe. All of those are big changes to have taken place in Britain since the original inhabitants set up home here sometime before the last Ice Age.
Most of us can see straight through all the BNP lies, Mr. Brons. Right now, it seems you have succeeded in convincing a worryingly-high number of people that your party isn't racist. It is obvious that this was necessary if you were to gain any power - let's face it: you're so desperate for power you'll all say just about anything in order to get it, won't you? - because the vast majority of people in this country are proud of our long and honourable tradition of offering asylum to those who need it and our tendency to accept anyone, no matter what colour they happen to be, if they're decent, hard-working people. That's why so many of us admire Gandhi. That's why so many of us maintain friendships with the peaceful, hard-working Asians who have contributed so much to our society. We also know that we have benefitted enormously from the cultural contributions made by immigrants to this nation - Britain would be a far poorer place without reggae, rap, drum and bass, the blues, rock and roll, jazz, bhangra, belly dancing, steel drum bands, samba bands, the Notting Hill Carnival, curry, chicken chow mein, fish and chips (an adaptation of the traditional Jewish dish gefilte fish) and many more; not to mention the many British sportsmen and women who are of immigrant stock. You know, don't you, that the reason the far right have never enjoyed any real success in Great Britain in the past was due to your overt racism and because the British people are, with few exceptions, quite simply not racist. You also seem to have finally worked out that it'd be a good idea to try to hide your admiration for the policies of the Third Reich, because no patriot in their right mind would ever vote for a group who align themselves with the Nazis when countless brave men and women risked their lives and our country's future existence to defeat them. You took your time on that one though - are you really all so stupid?
If - and God forbid it ever happens - your party achieves its aims, allowing you sufficient power to start shaking off the sheep's clothing you're all wearing and to once again display your true selves, you can be sure that, overwhelmingly, this nation will turn its back to you. You represent none of the aspects of Great Britain that make us proud to be British.
Andrew Brons will be taking up his seat in the European Parliament on Tuesday 14th July 2009. Following that date, he'll be easy to contact via the UK Office of the European Parliament website - this link will take you straight to the relevant page - so, if you love Great Britain and are proud to be a part of it, make sure you take a few moments to let him know what you think.